By Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner | Temple Beth Tikvah

The time is now. We’ve gathered ’round. So bring all your gifts and bring all your burdens with you.

No need to hide. Arms open wide. We gather as One. To make a Makom Kadosh (a holy place).

We come to tell. We come to hear. We come to teach. We come to learn. We come to grow. And so we say.

The time is now. Sing to the One. G-d’s presence is here, Shechina. You will dwell among us.

We’ll make this space a Holy Place, so separate, so whole. Rejoice every soul who enters here.

— Debbie Friedman z”l and Tamara R. Cohen

Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner

Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner

The time is now for us to gather as a community, to transform the walls and the pews of the sanctuary into holy space with our presence, with our prayers. On the Yamim Nora’im, these 10 Days of Awe-someness, we are called to enter the liminal space of time and existence to reflect, examine, dream and do the difficult work to attempt to realign who we are with whom we wish to be.

The shofar calls out to us, calling us out: Ayeka? Where are you?

And we stand in response — the time of opening has arrived for our hearts, minds and souls! We must not look away!

For who among us does not have regrets? Who doesn’t pray for the opportunity to right a wrong? Release the pain; make peace where there has been brokenness.

And so we are afforded the opportunity to respond, “Yes! I am here, and I am ready” to face what these days have to offer and to work them hard.

In responding to the call, may the Holy One dwell among us, offering us the support we each need to turn from our old habits and patterns and forge new pathways. Paths of teshuvah, paths of shalom, bringing us home to our higher selves. The time is now!

May this new year of 5776 be a year of blessing and growth for each one of us! Shana tova; may it be an awe-some new year!