from chains to freedom

High Holidays: Elul and Forgiveness

Preparations are underway for the Days of Awe (High Holidays) in the Jewish calendar. Come join the celebration and learn something new. This is a time of teshuvah–of turning and returning–a time of forgiveness. Let’s remember that forgiveness is a small shift with big consequences–maybe, even a miracle or two…

Links for wonderful Jewish learning resources:

The Reconstructionist website is full of helpful information as one learns about Judaism and deepens one’s relationship to the Jewish people and tradition. This community is welcoming of all people from all walks of life. If you are spiritually progressive and committed to social justice, you will find a home here. (This was my first connection with Judaism, so it holds a special place in my heart.)

10 Rituals to Assist with Making Teshuvah from the website, Ritualwell, an offshoot of the Reconstructionists. Ritualwell describes themselves this way: “We at Ritualwell believe strongly in the power of ritual. Contemporary life is rich in moments for which we have no traditional ritual or prayer. But we are certain that you can help us find ways to make the tradition speak—or sing—even in circumstances that our ancestors couldn’t have imagined.”

The Union for Reform Judaism is a “large tent” Jewish community committed to progressive and diverse voices.  (Love them. They are home!) Their website is chalk-full of useful learning tools and information for anyone looking to dabble or “go deep” into Judaism.

Institute for Jewish Spirituality is a nonprofit looking at Jewish practices grounded in mindfulness. They are about the business of transforming Jewish life and they offer some of the best programs anywhere. You can’t go wrong with this organization. Beautiful through and through. If you can ever find Rabbi Sheila Weinberg’s rendering of Psalm 27, by all means use it in your meditation work!

Small Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life–Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal.  Joey’s story is found in this book from 1997.

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I love you! I really, REALLY love you,

Lee Ann


About the Author Lee Ann Hopkins

"Smile and the world smiles with you." That's the motto she lives by. Lee Ann is perfectly imperfect and unabashed about it even as she strives for higher and "better" every day. Both her can-do and her foibles are as fabulous as her smile. So take a moment and breathe in Lee Ann's "hooray" for today! Ms. Hopkins is host of the podcast Hooray Weekly, founder of The Hooray Daily and Hooray Living, a speaker, writer and do-gooder, who believe-it-or-not has been a public-interest attorney and clergywoman for longer than she cares to admit. Check out her books, You Are All That: Creating a Great Life with Affirmations, and Hooray for You: 365 Get-Up-and-Go-Go Quotes for Your Year. When you write her, send along a clergy and attorney joke. She loves 'em!

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