Shabbat Parashat Ki Tavo Soul Searching

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us, in person or online by live stream, for our Selichot Service this Saturday night, August 28th, at 9 pm! This is our first opportunity to hear some of our favorite High Holy Day melodies and a special “moment” in which to ramp up our spiritual preparation and soul searching for the High Holy Days.

Our weekly Torah portion of Ki Tavo is always read close to Rosh HaShana, and this year, in particular, it is very poignant as we prepare ourselves for the upcoming holidays.

Soul searching is often equated with thinking about all the things we may have done wrong and figuring out how we might better ourselves in the new year. And, the traditional liturgy of the Selichot service seems to favor that interpretation…However, in parashat Ki Tavo, there is a section of Torah that offers a different perspective on soul searching.

Rather than thinking about all the things we may have done wrong, a section in Ki Tavo suggests to us that our soul searching might benefit from an emphasis on the things we have done right – on the mitzvot we have managed to perform, on the good deeds we have done, rather than on our omissions. This kind of emphasis is reflected in the words to be said by the person bringing the Ma’aser (tithe): “…I have obeyed the Lord my God; I have done just as You commanded me….” (Deuteronomy 26:14).

May we, too, recall our good deeds and figure out how we might build on them for a better future!

May our strengths, as individuals, help us to come together as a community and meet the challenges of this new year.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror