D’Var Torah: September 30, 2016

Dear Friends,

As we prepare to approach the High Holy Day season, and its very challenging liturgical and personal messages, the Torah, in this week’s portion, gives us an important reassurance. “Surely, this Instruction which I enjoin upon you this day is not too baffling for you, nor is it beyond reach. It is not in the heavens, that you should say, ‘Who among us can go up to the heavens and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who among us can cross to the other side of the sea and get it for us and impart it to us, that we may observe it?’ No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart.” The Torah, our tradition, and our faith are already there. These High Holy Days are the opportunity to look within and beyond to reach towards G-d and reconnect. To seek out our truest, best selves, and look for a path towards personal growth.

On Sunday evening we will gather, just as we do at the beginning of Parshat N’tzavim, “your tribal heads, your elders and your officials, all the men of Israel, your children, your wives, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to waterdrawer.” All the disparate parts of our community will come together to form a k’hillah k’doshah, a holy congregation. We will sing, study, and pray. Many of us will come to seek out G-d, hiding in plain sight, embedded in the melody, connecting us to one another. May our search be sweet, and may the new year bring health, joy, and spiritual fulfillment for us all.

L’shanah Tovah from my family to yours,

Cantor Sally L. Neff