Profound Moments: Dena Herrin

November 18, 2011

By Dena Herrin, RS President

Before I tell you about a profound moment that I had, let me give you some context.  As some of you know, my connections to Judaism for most of my life were weak at best.  I left Hebrew school, which I hated, at 10 years old and barely stepped in a synagogue for the next 25 years.  I occasionally went with my parents for the High Holy Days, but really didn’t understand or engage in the service.  The word and concept of God made me very uncomfortable, still does.  Our Rosh Hashanah dinners, Yom Kippur breakfasts and Passover Seders were occasions I enjoyed as family gatherings, and to a much lesser extent, cultural events.  For me, there really was no spirituality or deep religious context to these holidays.  I joined Rodeph Shalom in an effort to find some Jewish connection for my children.  We are an interfaith family and my Jewish foundations were simply too shallow to provide relevant content and meaning for my family.  I share this background because the moment that I want to tell you about occurred in the sanctuary here, at Rodeph Shalom, at a time when my connections to Judaism and to the synagogue were very superficial.

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Jewish Repentance: Tough Demands

August 10, 2010

by Rabbi Jill Maderer

Is it enough to confess to God?  What if it’s too messy to mend a relationship with a person?  Last Friday night, our Interfaith Families Connection Group hosted a Shabbat dinner about the High Holy Days.  When I shared this High Holy Day prayer, it sparked passionate debate about tshuvah, repentance.  The text reads: “For transgressions against God, the Day of Atonement atones; but for transgressions of one human being against another, the Day of Atonement does not atone until they have made peace with one another.” Read the rest of this entry »