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  • Writer's pictureRandy Lubratich

29 Elul 5783/September 15, 2023 & 1 Tishrei 5783/September 16, 2023

The Re-Orientation Process

by Rabbi Deana Berezin

The season of change is upon us once again. As we move from Elul into the High Holiday season, the physical world will change around us. And as it changes, we have the opportunity to change alongside it. When observed intentionally, Elul serves as a framework for spiritual growth that can prepare us for the Days of Awe. Each day brings the opportunity to hold up a mirror to ourselves and determine if what we see is the way we wish to continue. And if it’s not, we are given the choice of how to reorient ourselves in this new season.

This process of reorientation is called teshuvah, which we often translate as repentance, but really means “returning.”

It would be easy to say that we should pray for a return to the “right path.” But the “right path” is subjective, and it varies according to timing, circumstance, and the person navigating that path. There is no “one size fits all” path through life, so we cannot pray for a return to the right path, but instead for each of us to return to a right path. We pray that the work of teshuvah returns us to a path of righteousness; one that will lead us to justice, to family, to community, to love, and perhaps most importantly, to hope. As we move into the High Holy Day season, I pray that our paths, wherever we turn and return to, lead us on a path of hope for tomorrow.


1 Tishrei 5783/September 16, 2023

Rosh Hashanah

As we enter another year on the Jewish calendar, we offer our thanks to our colleagues who participated in Elul Thoughts 5783. From all of us, we wish you a sweet, happy, healthy, and safe 5784 full of positive change and many blessings!

This year’s Elul Thoughts include contributions from:

Cantor Joanna Alexander, Temple Israel, Omaha, NE

Rabbi Batsheva Appel, Temple Har Shalom, Park City, Utah

Rabbi Deana Sussman Berezin, Temple Israel, Omaha, NE

Cantor David Berger, KAM Isaiah Israel, Chicago, IL

Rabbi Michael Birnholz, Temple Beth Shalom, Vero Beach, FL

Rabbi Erin Boxt, Temple Beth Shalom in Ocala, Florida

Rabbi Matt Cohen, Temple Emanu El, Orange Village, OH

Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, Temple Emanuel, Winston-Salem, NC

Rabbi Glenn Ettman, Congregation Or Ami, Lafayette Hill, PA

Rabbi Cassi Kail, Temple Beth El, San Pedro, CA

Rabbi Neal Katz, Congregation Beth El, Tyler, TX

Rabbi Eric Linder, Congregation Children of Israel, Athens, GA

Rabbi Alan E. Litwak, Temple Sinai of North Dade, North Miami Beach, FL

Rabbi Laurence Malinger, Temple Shalom, Aberdeen, NJ

Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Albert, Albuquerque, NM

Cantor Jenna Sagan, Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Fountain Valley, CA

Rabbi Benjamin Sharff, Temple Israel, Omaha, NE

Rabbi Simone Schicker, Temple B'nai Israel, Kalamazoo, MI

Rabbi Don Weber, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Rodeph Torah, Marlboro, NJ

Cantor Laurie Weinstein, Temple Israel, Tulsa, OK

Rabbi Michael Weinstein, Temple Israel, Tulsa, OK

Rabbi Stephen Wise, Shaarei-Beth El Congregation, Oakville, ON, Canada

Cheryl Wise, Shaarei-Beth El Congregation, Oakville, ON, Canada

Rabbi David N. Young, KAM Isaiah Israel, Chicago, IL

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