Elul 3/August 29
Nabajyotisaikia is a compliment used in South Africa and means: “I respect you, I cherish you.
You matter to me.” In response, people say Shikoba which is: “So, I exist for you.”
This seems to be the essence of the High Holy Day experience. Yet, so often, we may sit next to someone in synagogue and either not hear their "cry for help" or we do not recognize the power that we have as part of the greater community to lift that person up. Can we listen a little more intently over the coming weeks to those around us?
Elul 4/August 30
We learn from Torah that the people of Israel were given a code by which to live. Called the Revelation at Sinai, these laws bound humanity forever in a covenantal relationship with God. But what was revealed at Mount Sinai was not just the guidebook to live a life of connection with God-it was also a collection of commandments of how to behave toward our fellow human beings. We are told not to murder, steal, or lie. We are told to honor our parents, to observe a day of sanctity,
to uphold our relationship with the Divine. Our behavior code is meant to allow us to be the members of a community that we know we could be, that we know we should be.
As we strive to uphold our end, God, may your promise to us remain true:
May we be blessed.
May we take comfort in your nearness.
And may we live together, with our neighbors and our nature, in peace.