The Absence of God: Teshuvah (Repentance) & Heshbon HaNefesh (Soul-Searching) in a Time of Darkness and Uncertainty
We come to synagogue during the High Holy Days in significant numbers. We come to reflect, we come to connect, and we come to reset our priorities and lives. For many, the words of our High Holy Day Machzor (prayer book) are a challenge. They may work as poetry. We may see in them slink to earlier times when our ancestors lived in a different world by a different sense of faith. The reality is that we are the first generation to grapple with God’s place and role in our world and our lives. Indeed, the Rabbis of two millennia ago had many of the same questions that we have in the 21st century.
In this year’s Selichot Study Program we will examine a number of texts that may help us understand that we are actually no more or less “religious” or “faithful.” In fact, we are continuing the long tradition of wrestling with how to frame our connection to our Jewish story, tradition and identity in a world wherein the Presence of God is challenging. How do we gather to pray, hear the words of our tradition, and do teshuvah (repentance) in a time of darkness and uncertainty in our world?
After our text study, we will watch a recent study session given by Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute – North America, on the theme and texts studied. Dr. Kurtzer’s presentation will be followed by discussion, led by Rabbi Eric Gurvis.
Our evening will conclude with the Selichot service which will be held in the Rothman Chapel at 10 p.m.