Preparing for the High Holidays

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It is that season. When done right, it is intentionally overwhelming. That is one of the things that motivated me years ago to do Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy Days with my colleague Rabbi Rachel Sabbath-Halachmi, now of Jerusalem. But there are lots of ways to prepare—especially since not everyone is positively disposed to spending the holidays in services at synagogues. Consider the plans of New York’s Skirball Center. While the lead-in (a quiz on the high holidays) is not the most inviting (although the winner does win a shofar—in New York, perhaps a chauffeur would also be appreciated), everything else seems really on target. Getting fit for the holidays. Preparing by doing yoga at a yoga center. Free water and nutrition bars. And an invitation to four three-session courses during the preparatory month (of Elul). (Alas, the courses have fees attached to them.)

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