Posts in High Holy Days
She Is On Her Way: Rabbi Adina's Erev Rosh Hashanah Drash

By Rabbi Adina Allen

The passageway of new life into this world requires - both physically and psychologically - openness, loosening and softness. A softness that carries with it strength, courage and total presence to the act at hand.  Another world is not only possible. May Rosh Hashanah allow us to soften our gaze so that when we look upon each other, we see that, in us and through us, she is on her way.

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On Beauty and Grief: Rabbi Adina’s Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Drash

By Rabbi Adina Allen

On Rosh Hashanah we recite the piyut “Hayom.” In this liturgical poem we say over and again “Hayom, hayom, hayom - today, today, today.” So, today, rather than focusing on the “what ifs” and “what could bes” of the future, let’s reground in the here and now with a question that doesn’t require a keyboard or experts or predictions to help us answer it, but rather asks us to just be; to be present in this very moment; and to open up our hearts to the wonder of existence that is constantly calling to us, waiting for us to return home to it. Instead of asking “How is this all going to end?” let’s ask “Why is the world so beautiful?” 

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The Vitality of Feeling: Teshuva in a Broken World - Rabbi Adina's Yom Kippur Drash

How do we deal with wrongs committed against those whom we don’t know personally, whom we can’t - and should not - seek out for forgiveness, but whose suffering we’ve witnessed and and in some way contributed to either directly or indirectly through the strands that weave us together in this inescapable web of interconnection?

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The Holiness of Purim Lies in Glitz, Glam and Color

By Rabbi Adina Allen

“Holy holy holy is the Lord of hosts!” Chanting these words in the Kedushah, we stand, feet together, mimicking the angles on high. As we press up onto our toes, yearning for that Divine connection, we take on the posture of these pure, ethereal beings without physical characteristics that exist only in spirit.

Our conception of holiness often follows on this track, conjuring images of those things pure, simple, beyond the mundanity of the physical world. Our most sacred holiday is often considered to be Yom Kippur — a day on which we wear a plain white ceremonial robe known as a kittel — and which we prepare for by dunking in the mikvah, ritual bathing that requires us to peel away all outer layers (clothes, makeup, jewelry) so as to enter the waters as unadorned as the day we were born.

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Will We Listen? (Parshat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)

By Rabbi Adina Allen

In this week’s parsha, Moses sets two paths before the Israelites as they prepare to enter the land. Introducing these two paths, Moses says, “If you listen, listen to the voice of Adonai your God” all blessings will follow, however, “if you do not listen to God’s voice” then every curse will ensue. What is the voice of God and what does it mean to listen to this voice?

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