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And so the Journey Begins…

08/28/2014 09:13:03 AM


Rabbi George Gittleman

Yesterday marked the first day of Elul, the month of preparation for the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe, the Holy Days.  These Days of Awe are a kind of pilgrimage of the neshemah/the soul.

Lech l’cha,” God says to Abraham — Go(!), leave everything you have known up to now to find Me!  And so Abraham’s journey, the journey that becomes the story of the Jewish People, began.  Our sages note a funny thing about the Hebrew, lech l’cha:  literally translated it means, “Go into yourself,” as if to say the journey really takes place inside, an inner odyssey, a spiritual quest for the emet, the truth of our lives.

Earlier in Genesis, God asks Adam, “ayeka” — where are you?  Of course, God knows where Adam is; the question is not for God, it is Adam who must answer that question for himself.

Where am I?  How am I?  Who am I?  What am I?  These are the perennial questions of the Yamim Norayim, these Days of Awe.  They are also the questions that make up the content, meaning, and purpose of our existence.

Asking, let alone answering, these questions is no easy task. Thankfully, our sages created an elaborate ritual framework of prayers, blessings, texts, and music to guide us on this hero’s journey of the soul.

Lech l’cha/Go into yourself!  That was God’s call to Abraham and it is God’s call to us, as well.
Join Cantor David, Rabbi Kramer and myself this Shabbat evening as we begin this journey, this pilgrimage of the soul together.
Shana Tovah….

Rabbi George

Mon, August 10 2020 20 Av 5780