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Dear Friends,

Each day during this month of Elul brings us closer to the arrival of the New Year. With that in mind, I offer the words by my colleague Rabbi Debra J. Robbins as a meditation to carry into Shabbat this evening.

The Hebrew words “hope” and “cord” share letters.
I grab hold of both.
I use them to tie myself securely to a base or pull myself to safety.

The Hebrew words “hope” and “cord”
also share letters with the Hebrew word mikveh.
Immerse in God, like a person immerses in the water,
in the ritual bath.

I immerse in the fresh possibilities for holiness and new life.

Hold on and immerse in God
This takes strength, courage, and daring.
Will I dare to grab hold of hope and pull it tight?
Can I let Holiness wash over me?

Am I brave enough to

See the divine image in every human encounter?

Use my voice for those who have no voice?

Hear with heart?

Learn and grow in soul?

Do I have the courage
to live, really live, in the world of the living,
here and now, in a new year?


I will.

Hold on. Immerse. Live.

—Rabbi Debra J. Robbins, Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27: A Spiritual Practice for the Jewish New Year

May this Shabbat be a Shabbat of reflection for us all.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Daniel M. Cohen