Runway to the Days of Awe 7: Ready or not…


Dear CBI Members and Friends,

Selichot is coming up on Saturday night — this year our Selichot services are a partnership between the three Reform congregations in the Berkshires; RSVP here! — and the holidays follow soon on its heels. (Here’s the schedule.) Do you feel ready?

One of my favorite lines in my Passover haggadah is an explanation of why we eat matzah: to remind us of the waybread our ancestors baked in haste, and to highlight the spiritual truth that if we wait until we feel fully ready, we might never take the leap at all. 

Like everything else in our core story of peoplehood, this teaching about matzah as a reminder to leap even if we don’t feel fully ready can be a powerful one in every era. The Days of Awe don’t wait until a convenient time, until we feel prepared, until the pandemic is over and we can convene in person again. New moon is on its way. And when that first sliver appears in our night sky, it will be 5781, ready or not. 

Readiness is overrated. It’s almost time to start this journey — even if we’re not sure we have everything we need, even if we’re not sure quite where we’re going or how we’ll get there. Spiritual life is like that sometimes. (Spiritual life is like that most of the time.)

The holidays are almost upon us. I’m humbled and honored to be walking this path with all of you in this unprecedented year. It’s okay if we don’t feel ready. Together we’ll step into this High Holiday season that will be unlike any other we’ve ever known. 

Together we’ll learn and pray and sing — and hopefully laugh — and maybe cry — and together we’ll make meaning in this difficult pandemic year. Our holidays and prayers and spiritual practices helped previous generations through countless tragedies and struggles. This year, they’ll help us through ours.

Ready or not, here they come. 

See you on Zoom very soon.

Blessings to all —

Rabbi Rachel

The Runway to the Days of Awe