A few years ago I read an argument for bringing a book to shul during the high holidays. At first blush, this seemed blasphemous! But here’s the argument that Yehuda Kertzer, President of the Hartman Institute presents that changed my mind: if you bring relevant, spiritually refreshing material, it can enhance your experience of the holidays. Read the article with his full argument HERE.
Of course, every year I suggest Alan Lew’s seminal book on the holiday season This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared. In addition this year, I am diving into Arthur Green’s newest masterpiece Judaism for the World. It’s so delectable and engrossing that I started it in July and then PUT IT ASIDE, like a gift to unwrap for myself, to read over the holidays. The other book I’m bringing is a book of poetry by Alden Solovy entitled This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer.
And yet. I am challenged by our Soul Center wisdom leaders to really lean into the liturgy as well. Are these high holiday prayers a love letter to the Jewish people? Are we, ultimately, reading a love story? How do I approach these words that we say year in and year out with my new “5782” version of me?
So, I’m curious to hear from you. What are you reading this year? When Yehuda posts this question on his Facebook page each year, he gets hundreds of responses…and therefore my reading list grows longer!
Wishing you a year of reading and speaking words that move and inspire you.