Between Rosh Hashanah and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, come the Days of Awe, a time for intense introspection, for taking an inventory of our lives over the past year. During The Days of Awe, we're supposed to have a heightened awareness, "an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear, produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful." That's the dictionary definition of awe.
And then there is "wonder" — to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; to marvel at. Wonder is something that Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (z''l) lived with every day. He combined the reverential fervor and joy of the Hasid with the solid rationalism of the secular realist. And his wonderment was always combined with action.
In the Days of Awe, we are called, with the blowing of the shofar, to do teshuvah (repentance, or literally "return"), tefilah (prayer), and tzedakah (charity, or literally "justice"). Read more here, with some ideas for how to make the High Holidays more meaningful.
Wishing you Shanah Tovah, a happy new year, filled with wonder.
Recommended Reading: I Asked for Wonder, by Abraham Joshua Heschel.
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