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Rosh HaShanah is only a week away! It’s time to get the apples and honey (I have tasty organic apples and home grown Leicestershire honey at the ready!), bake a honey cake, or put Sunday morning’s Machzor Drive Thru in the diary so you can collect a hard copy of the High Holy Day prayer books and enjoy an in-person cuppa and piece of home baked honey cake socially distanced in the SWESRS car park at 11am.

One of the names for Rosh HaShanah is Yom HaDin, expressing that aspect of the Season which focuses on honest self-reflection and Divine judgement. Once the Yamim Noraim, our Days of Awe, are upon us, the liturgical imagery changes. God moves to God’s throne of majesty and becomes a distant Sovereign and judge. But for now, we still have a week of Elul Zman in which to continue – or start, if we’re slow off the mark! – the work of spiritual stock-taking in the flow of God’s compassion, supported by the knowledge of our belovedness in the heart of the Holy One. In the language of the Chassidic masters: The King is in the Field! We just need to go out and meet Him.

The perfect opportunity for warming and stretching our hearts in preparation for Rosh HaShanah is our Selichot service this Saturday night at 8pm. With the unique opportunity presented by being online for the High Holy Days this year, I am thrilled that we are partnering with Manchester Reform communities Menorah (my home community), Jackson’s Row and Sha’arei Shalom for prayers, melodies and reflection that will awaken our thoughts, our ears and our souls to the days ahead. Please join us!

And this Sunday morning at 10am I will be leading a Neshamah service online for a more meditative spiritual preparation for the High Holy Days. Whether you are a Neshamah regular or ready to try something new for the first time, you are all welcome!

Wishing you All Peaceful and Sweet Shabbat,

Stay Safe and Well,

Rabbi Lisa