Prayers Unanswered

בָּ֭עֶרֶב יָלִ֥ין בֶּ֗כִי וְלַבֹּ֥קֶר רִנָּֽה Tears may linger when night falls, but joy arrives with the dawn. (Psalms 30:6) My list of those in need of healing grows longer as the days get shorter. I wake up in the dark, sometime between 5:15 and 5:30 AM, and wonder at the Psalmist’s conviction. Each day I arrive … Read more

The Cycle of Return

Last week I posted a teaching about teshuvah, quoting from Yaacov David Shulman’s translation of HaRav Kook’s Lights of Teshuvah. I’d like to add a few more thoughts here, beginning with HaRav Kook’s idea that teshuvah itself existed before the world was created:  התשובה קדמה לעולם “Teshuvah preceded the world.” I’ve been pondering the meaning … Read more

Almost Forty Days

How long does it take to return? That depends… It’s been almost forty days since I set my sights on teshuvah. Even before the first of the month of Elul, when we begin sounding the shofar to awaken us to return, I’ve been preparing for the final shofar blast at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, … Read more

Six Months Later

In early June, I began to consider abandoning my Reading Challenge goal of reading 54 books in 2021. My mind was consumed by COVID concerns and too distracted to read an entire book for pleasure. Other than reading to prepare for classes and book club, I mostly leafed through magazines during the first 6 months … Read more

Homecoming

“Home is where the heart is.” —Pliny the Elder  “If you go anywhere, even paradise, you will miss your home.” —Malala Yousafzai My spouse and I recently began our twenty-third year of living in Metro Atlanta. As we’re now empty nesters and beginning to think about where we might move when he retires, I’ve been … Read more