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A Bisl Torah – Shipwrecked

In this new year, we share in the commonality of being shipwrecked. We all feel a little lost, frozen, unable to call for help.
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September 7, 2023
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I am rereading my favorite High Holy Day books. Fortuitously, I came across a beautiful passage in Judah Goldin’s introduction to Agnon’s High Holy Day anthology: Days of Awe. Here I share a treasure with all of you:

“But to be perfectly honest, we are all shipwrecked, and ultimately it has little to do with Hebrew or English or Esperanto for that matter. Start thinking of the mess we so frequently make of our lives, and words fail: no words seem to express exactly the deep regrets we want to feel and all the heartache we must learn to put up with. Suddenly we envy the originality of that brilliant countryman who, lost in the woods on Yom Kippur, without a prayer book to his name, recites the alphabet and directs it skyward: it’s beyond me God; You combine these letters into the right words and sentences, for You know what I want to say.”

Sometimes passages choose you. Our lives are filled with tragedy and joy, uncertainty driving each waking minute. Some hopes feel irrevocably lost. Some accomplishments are beyond imagination. Our hearts burst, shatter, break and heal. And through it all, we search for ways to remain connected to the Divine. Revealing our purpose and holding us close.

In this new year, we share in the commonality of being shipwrecked. We all feel a little lost, frozen, unable to call for help. But God hears you. Rest assured; your words pierce the heavens.

Pray. Cry. Shout. Laugh. Sing. Or be silent. God is listening to every word.

Shana tovah


Rabbi Nicole Guzik is senior rabbi at Sinai Temple. She can be reached at her Facebook page at Rabbi Nicole Guzik or on Instagram @rabbiguzik. For more writings, visit Rabbi Guzik’s blog section from Sinai Temple’s website.

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