Teshuvah [repentance or return] is not easy or quick. Nor is it a once-and-done kind of thing. The on-going nature of the work is evidenced in the commandment to participate annually in a group wake-up call and in the repetition of certain prayers throughout the season. This repetition is a great gift, allowing us to focus on many areas of repentance and repair.
This year, Hill Havurah offers some readings and prayers to help guide us through reflection around racial justice: what more can we help transform through identifying, and seeking to make amends, alone and together, for, previously unrecognized errors of thought, word, and deed?
These materials focus on three prayers which appear together at several points in the Machzor — Shema Koleinu, Ki Anu Amekha, and Vidui. Together these sections reflect on human-divine relationships: what God expects of us; what we expect of God. These sections also present important prompts to consider the size and composition of “we” in asking God to “hear our voice,” in chanting “We are Your people, and You are our God,” and begging for God to “forgive us, pardon us, and grant us atonement.”
Some of these materials will appear in portions of Hill Havurah public prayers; all can be used at many points in our own reflections — to prepare for the holidays, during Yom Kippur especially, and beyond the holidays, knowing that the work is hard and not quick and that there is always time for turning, time for repair.
Selichot Sources: Toward Anti-Racism prepared by Rachel Conway and Virginia Spatz, for Hill Havurah, with advising from Rachel Faulkner, National Jews of Color Organizer, Dimensions Educational Consulting.
Hill Havurah high holidays services are always free and open to all. This year, due to Covid-19, most programming is virtual. Click here for details.
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