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Rosh Hashanah Prayers: And They Shall Form One Group

The preacher Harry Williams believed: “We all have experience of two types of feeling. There is the feeling which unites us to our world and makes us rejoice in it, an experience of love, of acceptance, of communion. And there is the other kind of feeling which separates us from our world and makes us hate it, an experience of fear, of exile, of discord.


The first of these feelings belongs more truly to us than the second. We are profoundly satisfied by love and communion. We are exasperated by exile and hatred…

The difference between these two types of feeling is the difference between good and evil and evil is secondary, existing not in its own right but as thwarted goodness. “

I observed people while waiting to be called for my flight. Some people, the ones my wife calls, “All American,” as praise, are warm and social. They are comfortable initiating conversation, sharing life information, and casually laughing and teasing. They are “Connectors,” who lived the “United,” in the U.S.

Then there are the others who, not because they are shy or withdrawn, keep others at a distance. They prefer separation to connection.

When we articulate the Rosh Hashanah version of the world, we speak of unity and connection. We believe tat unity is the natural state.

It’s worthwhile to include some reflection on whether we are primarily connectors or distancers in our Teshuva process. We must first understand and desire to be connectors before we can say, “And they will form on tightly bound group to do Your will with a full heart.”  If we are distancers we will never be able to join with a full heart. Saying these words will only distance us from ourselves.

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