This week we returned שבנו (shavnu) to Heschel with that deliciously nervous feeling that accompanies the return to school.  We gathered and welcomed each other as we heard the blast of the shofar and recited שהחיינו (shehecheyanu). 

This week we learn parshat כי תצא  (ki tezei), which can be translated as “when you venture out”.  Middat Hashavua this week is, “return items to your fellow person”; in Hebrew:

הָשֵׁב תְּשיבֵם לְאָחִיךָ

In the Jewish month of Elul – as we “venture out” of the year 5782 towards the Rosh Hashanah of 5783, “returning” is on all our minds.  We consider how to make תְּשׁוּבָה (teshuvah) – “a returning.”   We return to our friends and our family with kind deeds and words; we return to face those whom we have hurt or offended with words of regret and apology; we turn a mirror to our own souls and seek to return to a new, better version of ourselves.

This Shabbat may we turn our eyes skyward to the full moon that marks the middle of the Jewish month of Elul, the month of turning and returning to a new year.

Shabbat Shalom,

Moreh Greg / מורה שלמה