Preparing for the High Holidays

By Ilana Sumka

‘Ever since reading Rabbi Alan Lew’s book, “This Is Real And You Are Completely Unprepared” on personal and spiritual transformation during the Days of Awe, I have been captivated by the ways that facing our own mortality can be – perhaps ironically – deeply life-affirming.  I’m teaching two classes for IJC this fall to share this wise book and its profound lessons as spiritual preparation for the High Holidays. 


Facing our death – which we are called to do in this season more than at any other moment in the Jewish calendar – gives us an opportunity to get clarity on what’s most important to us. Particularly this year, as Covid19 continues to plague the globe, sometimes it feels as if death might be lurking around every corner.  How do we live as full lives as possible amidst this pandemic? How do the High Holidays support us on our journey, as Rabbi Lew says, “from anger to healing, from denial to consciousness, from boredom to renewal”?  I hope you’ll join me.’

Please save the dates: 

Spiritual Preparation for Rosh Hashanah:  Tuesday, September 15, 7pm - 8:30pm

Spiritual Preparation for Yom Kippur: Thursday, September 24, 7pm – 8:30pm