by Ira Wise, August 2018/Av-Elul 5778
Many of us are aware of the significance of the Yamim Nora’im – the Days of Awe. They include not only the time we spend together on the beach, in the sanctuary or in the tent worshipping on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but all of the time in between. Our tradition tells us that this is a time for introspection, for examining our souls and our behavior for the past year in order to learn how to make things right and do the work of t’shuvah – repentance.
We want to invite you to try a new approach with us. You don’t have to come to temple any more than you have planned. There are no fees. And there is no need to dress to impress. You can participate in your pajamas or even your slouchy clothes that you only where when no one outside your family can see them (even though they wish you would get rid of them).
Yes, this is an online exercise. It is personal and private. No one will ask you to share what you write, although we might ask you about the process. How does it work?
10 Days. 10 Questions.
Each day, from September 9th, a 10Q question will land in your inbox along with a link. When you click on the link, you will be taken to a private and personal space where you can answer the question. Your answer will be stored. The next day, you will receive another question and a link.
And so on, for ten days.
Answer one question per day in your own secret online 10Q space. Make your answers serious. Silly. Salacious. However you like. It’s your 10Q. When you’re finished, hit the magic button and your answers get sent to the secure online 10Q vault for safekeeping. One year later, the vault will open and your answers will land back in your email inbox for private reflection. Want to keep them secret? Perfect. Want to share them, either anonymously or with attribution, with the wider 10Q community? You can do that too.
Next year, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, your answers will magically appear in your inbox, full of revelations. And the year after that, and the year after that. Do you 10Q? You should.
This will be my fifth year answering questions like “Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?” Last year I answered this one at length. Another I answered with three two-word sentences. I skipped number nine completely. The first year I think I answered three. Time is tight! But I am glad I did.
So go to http://bit.ly/10QBnaiIsrael. Fill out a very short, basic form. And when the e-mails start to come on September 9, try and find a quiet few minutes with the device of your choice and write a few words – to yourself. I believe that even answering one question – even if you just do it in your head without typing – will help you make the Yamim Nora’im more awesome for you.
And, as an added bonus, our Yom Kippur adult study session (and yes, high school students are adults from this perspective) will be built around the ideas of gratitude, introspection and T’shuvah. Join us on Yom Kippur afternoon, Wednesday, September 19 at 1:00 p.m. for 10 Days. 10 Questions. No reservations, just drop into the library.