This week, NECHAMA - Jewish Response to Disaster, completed work on a 150th household as part of our ongoing Detroit, Michigan Flood Response. There are many people in the area still in need following this little publicized flash flooding event that took place on August 11th. The pace of our work has been quick and for good reason. We continue to collaborate with Jewish Family Services of Metro Detroit, The Wayne County Community Action Program and the Michigan Community Service Commission to identify those most in need of our assistance and take action.
Just for a minute, imagine yourself a C.P.A. of your soul. You have been tasked with self-accounting to determine where you have been a mensch (a person of integrity and honor) and where you have fallen short. Ideally we are all engaging in chesbhon hanefesh – e.g., taking stock of our behavior - all of the time. On Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement), with its emphasis on introspection, the call to examine our words and actions is heightened. Arriving just after the turn of the Jewish new year, Yom Kippuris an ideal time to be honest with ourselves about what we have done well and what we could do better.
Tekiah! Teruah! Shevarim!
The sounds of the shofar, the ram’s horn that is blown to announce the arrival of Rosh Hashanah (the New Year), have been interpreted as a cry of painful suffering and triumphant celebration. They have been said to symbolize the voice of the prophets, and to herald the ultimate freedom of all people.