Zooming the High Holy Days

Hello dear Kolot Mayim friends,

We will be Zooming all Rosh Hashanah services – please join us to see all the wonderful faces of our Kolot Mayim membership. The really wonderful part of Zoom is we see each other face-on, and not just the back of many heads.

The New Year always invites us to look back – where have we been – and to look forward – where are we headed. Sometimes our pathways can seem as obscured as the Sooke Hills these smoky days. And sometimes we have a message of such clarity we are astonished into a change of direction.

During the Selichot service co-sponsored by the Canadian Reform movement, the esteemed (and born in Canada) Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman spoke with us. He spoke in part about the evolution of our prayers and prayer services, and how that evolution included the notion of sin within some of our more well-known prayers during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In particular, he addressed some of the content of Avinu Malkeinu and Unetana Tokef, and the transformation in these prayers from profession of faith to confession of sin (a notion influenced in great part by our living in proximity with Christians and the emphasis of sin within Christianity).

But what I loved most was his final point about the Zochreinu prayer, which we sing repeatedly. We usually think of zachor as meaning to remember, but Rabbi Hoffman had researched the word and found a meaning of the word that shifted both meaning and intention: zachor meaning to point out, to be pointed towards and into life. So rather than praying to be remembered by God, we are asking God to point us towards life. Choose life. This is a message we hear over and over.

All life is in our pathway. Let’s think this Rosh Hashanah how we are to “zachor”, to point ourselves towards life in the coming year. Meanwhile enjoy this little video: https://www.facebook.com/254448904602044/videos/951964165307221

Shanah tovah um’tukah, May you have a good and sweet New Year,

Rabbi Lynn