* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])
Is it only me or is there something truly special in the air?
Last night in the community of Kochav Yair in central Israel, together with singer Sivan Talmor, I was privileged to participate in an event featuring speeches and songs in honor of the new year. A crowd of women from every sector of society came together for personal renewal.
The evening before in Ma'ale Adumim, I had hosted a Selichot event with hundreds in attendance that featured the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra.
Meanwhile, a friend sent me a video of an inspiring appearance of Shiri Maimon together with Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi in front of thousands.
At the very same time, three thousand young people were uplifted while listening to piyyutim (liturgical poems) sung by Ishay Ribo and Natan Goshen at Binyanei Ha-umah in Jerusalem.
Songwriter David D'Or related this week that the Selichot events at which he performs around Sultan's Pool near the Old City in Jerusalem are always sold out.
In addition to all of these happenings, tens of thousands have been coming to the Western Wall every night, to say nothing of the multitude of Selichot minyans held just before dawn throughout the country.
These gatherings do not make news headlines down here on earth, but maybe they do up in heaven -- *occasions where the desire for renewal, brotherhood, and unity is palpable*. It seems to me that the hundreds of thousands who are chanting Selichot are moving in two new directions:
*After looking outwards all year long, after focusing on the wrongs of other people, the focus is now inwards and upwards -- inwards for self-improvement and upwards for a closer connection with Hashem.*
So is it only me or, during these final days of 5783, is there something truly special in the air?