Question for the Holidays

Yom Kippur, 5770

Rabbi Malka
Thank you for the wonderful Yom Kippur service and especially your sermon on eldering. Your thoughts are still resonant. To have the Rabbi going thru life’s processes at the same time is such a blessing-losing parents, not being filled with regret, wondering what one’s authentic voice and contribution are after 60. You addressed all of the most difficult issues in such a stunning and poetic way. Mil mil gracias for pointing the New Year to the point!!

The services, the songs, all the women in white, your cantor –just exquisite. I was so grateful to be able to attend with my dearest sister.

Much love, M


Greetings Malka,
I have a question I have had for a long time for these days of awe, and that is “wouldn’t it make more sense to atone one’s missing the mark, and clear the slate BEFORE, the New Year?” It’s always been confusing to me that we enter the new year, still with this baggage on our back. I understand if you don’t have time to answer this, I am sure you are busy, but perhaps you can address it, in your sermon.
Shana T’ova to you and famille.
Warmly, J

Thanks for your question. We need the sweetness of Rosh Hashanah, the rabbis say, to give us the strength to face Yom Kippur, so it comes first, to set us on the path. First, we come clean and are honest. Then, we’re appalled. Some people can’t get to the second step, because it’s too painful. They stay ashamed and humiliated. Others never get to the first step, because they don’t know what self-examination really is. The biggest piece is the third step, which is to forgive ourselves for missing the mark. Again. And again. For not being perfect. For all we’ve done in our sleep. And we do this so we can start again as a new being.

Hope this helps, and I’m glad you’re feeling better. Hope to see you for the At Onement Day.

L’shanah Tovah Tichateim! May your year be good and sealed in permanent ink!

Peace and Love, rm
Commentary about the High Holiday Services

Dear Malka,
I wanted to tell how much I enjoyed services this year. I am particularly pleased to have attended the Yizkor service, I felt something different. I felt as if I were mourning with the people who had lost loved ones–not just mourning for them. So many different thoughts have come up I noticed how often the word the word listen was used–the importance of listening. I’ve been thinking about the metaphor of books, how theprayers call upon us to be in many different great books and it made me think of why it is so important to list ourselves in these books of life. Because of all the mention of books throughout the holiday services, I’ve been thinking about Judaism as a vast library.
Norton’s singing of the prayers was the connection of past, present and future linked together through sound; a note sounded long ago that traveled through time for me to hear. Beautiful.
Most of all I appreciated seeing the teamwork, the community, coming to life at the bema. It made the services very, very big. Thank you. -a congregant

Rabbi Drucker’s reply,
So many thanks for so many things: kind words, drop dead sukkah, amazing cookies, joyful presence. Listening to the voices no longer audible except inside us…that’s what your words about Yizkor awaken in me. There is a midrash to explain the expulsion and dispersion of the Jews. What good is a library if you can’t get to it? So we’re sent all over the world to listen, to tell, and to record for future generations.

God bless you both. I’m grateful for your friendship.