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Saturday night is Selichot. It is the way we really make sure that we have done some of the initial preparations of our spirit and soul as we enter the New Year. We recite familiar High Holy Day prayers like the Al Cheyt and Avinu Malkeinu. We hear the shofar sounds. These begin to ready us for the task that will soon be at hand. The great tasks of atonement and repentance,

We like to soften the blows of sin. In the spirit of understanding, in the spirit of non-judgment, in the spirit of psychological explanations we often extend a pass to less than proper behavior. Perhaps because there are so many religions that would damn a person to the fires of eternal damnation! Even for small violations of civility. But that is not the Jewish way!

We ask for forgiveness from both those we have harmed and from God. sins aren’t permanent marks on a soul in Jewish thinking. We can atone. We can be forgiven. We can renew our spirit. We can be cleansed. We can be whole again. Selichot helps us with that process.

Please join me for Kol Ami’s Selichot observance. This Saturday , September 24, at 7 pm. We will have a fascinating study session on the great commentator Nachmanides. Including viewing a short film called “The Disputation”. And then at 9 pm observe our Selichot service under the stars in our rooftop garden Gan Shalom. Happy NewYear.