The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as Aseret Yemei Teshuvah (Ten Day of Teshuvah). This is a time of reflection and returning. The concept of chet (sin) in Jewish tradition is related to an archery term which means to ‘miss the mark’. During Aseret Yemei Teshuvah we consider the ways we ‘missed the mark’ in the past year; we consider how, despite our best intentions, we sometimes hurt others’ feelings through our words and deeds. During Aseret Yemei Teshuvahwe seek forgiveness from those whom we’ve hurt and consider how to ‘return’ and take aim again. During the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, we chant:ה’, ה’ אל רחום וחנון ארך אפים רב חסד ואמת. The phrase refers to God as אל רחום – a God who feels womb-full, like a parent, who is וחנון – generous, ארך אפים – patient, רב חסד – and full of kindness and truth. When we chant these words we ask that, despite our mistakes, we be treated with love, generosity, patience, and kindness. As we ask this for ourselves, we are reminded to treat others who have made mistakes the same way. During these ten important days may we each experience and offer love, generosity, patience and kindness as together we travel the path of Teshuvah.
Shabbat Shalom Vegemar Chatimah Tovah,