We’re about to enter the Yamim HaNora’im, the Days of Awe, ten days from the beginning of Rosh HaShanah through Yom Kippur. The transcendent power of the moon of Elul is working it timeless energy, drawing us nearer to the reaffirmation of and renewal of life.
The words of the Parsha call out “Atem Nitzavim HaYom, Kulkhem...”. “You are standing firm today, all of you, before the Eternal your Life Giver. - your leaders, your tribal chiefs, your elders, your law enforcers, every Israelite - your children, your women, and the strangers in your camp - from your wood cutters to your water drawers.” The Covenant of Conscience and moral awakening is once again calling us. We are called as individuals to wrestle with our inner selves and our immediate circle of relationships. As a community and as a people we are witnessing before our eyes millions of people “standing firm” for the climate, a Jewish and Arab electorate in Israel “standing firm” against bigotry and corruption and for a new path forward, an American congress that is, finally, “standing firm” in rejecting a dangerous leader who betrays his country and his office.
In Parshat Nitzavim all of us are held responsible. We are aware of the consequences of inaction when it comes to our personal lives and our collective life. The world is filled with loving kindness, “Ki L’Olam Chasdo.” May we “stand firm,” be open to Love-Chesed and to the changes that are needed. From chapter 30 verse 6 of this Parsha: “The Ineffable, your Life Force, will remove the barriers from your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love the Ineffable, (the Mystery and Breath of Life) with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.”
Rosh Hashanah begins Sunday night. On Monday, at WJ, we will be joined by Daryl Davis, an African American musician who has befriended KKK members. Tuesday morning, we celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Creation at the Viers Mill Rec Center. Tashlikh at Viers Mill and Rock Creek will take place at 2pm. At both facilities we have enhanced our normal security.
Wishing everyone a Shanah Tovah, v’Tikateyvu, For a healthy new year, and may you be in inscribed in the Book of Life. Reb David