We are coming to the end of a year of colossal opposites—dreadful news alongside great celebration, emerging hope coupled with frightening environmental losses and uncertainty about the future. It's late summer and there is an eagerness in the air—to get off the roller coaster of highs and lows, drop down beneath the breaking news alerts, get still, and connect to a deeper reality.
We come to High Holidays because we are hungry. Not for bread or water, as the prophet Amos said. Certainly not for schmaltzy platitudes or pie-in-the-sky prescriptions.
We come because we are starved for the immediacy of God's presence. We come because we need a direct experience of the holy, to be awakened by the raw and primal blasts of the shofar, to sit with a community with whom we can be our most genuine selves.
To prepare, we must remove our outward layers.
Kafka said: “Before setting foot in the Holy of Holies, you must take off your shoes. Yet not only your shoes, but your traveling clothes and everything that hides beneath that…" There we will find what the Torah calls the undying fire that lives at our innermost core.
This year I enter the season of endings and beginnings in a stripped down, heart-broken-open state. So I know of what I speak when I invite you to High Holidays wherever you find yourself. Bring your heartbreak, your yearning, your profound love for the world. Let's get behind our outer masks, cry together, get inspired together, awaken our ancestors, and fan the truth of our being, the sacred fire of our hearts.
In the end, all God wants of us is our purest heart.*
I hope you will join me.
"I, the Compassionate One, want only the heart. Your will and inner desire are dearer to Me than all the sacrifices in the world. Offer Me your inner fire, and the breath of your mouth, and your whole heart and desire. This is the true altar of atonement."
Zohar Hadash 80a
Rosh Hashanah Services
September 29 — October 1, 2019
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD, is an author, Jungian therapist, and the founding rabbi of Congregation Nevei Kodesh in Boulder, Colorado. She was ordained by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi in 1992 and is a leader in the international Jewish Renewal Movement. She served as Co-Chair of Rabbis for Human Rights, North America (now known as T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.) Widely known for her work on Jewish feminism and the modern applications of Jewish mystical wisdom, Firestone teaches nationally on Jewish ancestral healing and the common boundary between ancient Jewish spirituality and modern psychology. Her most recent book is"Wounds Into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma." For more about Rabbi Firestone, go to www.tirzahfirestone.com
Please contact Susan@metivta.org if you would like to volunteer some time during High Holiday services. We need people to help set up, handle check in, clean up etc.
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