September 18, 2022 / 22 Elul 5782

Dear Friends,

Engaging in the process of teshuva does not come naturally for most of us. Reflection on the past year can be painful. Many of us have been hurt; tragedies have happened; we have hurt others; anger, embarrassment, and shame might loom within us. Teshuva begs us to remember the hurtful words we have directed towards others and ourselves. Some of us have a measure of self-hate that is only uncovered with self-reflection. Teshuva creates a sense of vulnerability and opens wounds, leaving us without the protection of ego aggrandizement.  

Yet, that sense of vulnerability and our willingness to be open and honest about our shortcomings brings us closer to God and ourselves. 

Above all else, repenting and turning towards God allows us to recognize the godliness within us all. Created in the image of God, we are inherently good 

and the purpose of teshuva is to return to that good and live our lives with assuredness that Adonai is near to all.  

May our week leading up to our High Holy Days be filled with reflection, honesty, and humility. May the year bring us an additional measure of inner peace and a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.  

Kyle and I, Gabi, Lucy, and Nathan wish you a Shana Tovah—a year of health, goodness, and abundant blessings.

Rabbi Bellows