Preparing Our Souls for the High Holy Days – Archives

The CCM Rabbinic Advisory Group hosted this free and open six-week series of webinars from August 12 – September 16, 2020 on Preparing Our Souls for the High Holy Days. 

Session I, August 12, 2020 

 On Elul: Introducing the Month of Preparation

Rabbi Ira Stone, Rosh Yeshiva, CCM, Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Stone presented the theology of Chesbon HaNesesh, “Accounting of the Soul” as it emerges in both Mussar and the month of Elul in preparation for the High Holy Days. He also introduced the Unataneh Tokef prayer, a major piece of High Holy Day liturgy, to set the table for the remaining talks by the Rabbis of the Center for Contemporary Mussar. 

Session II, August 19, 2020 

 On Repentance/T’shuvah

Rabbi Rachel Bovitz, Executive Director, Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning, New York, NY

Rabbi Bovitz explored the deep essential questions of T’shuvah, both for ourselves and others. Drawing upon CCM’s framework, she revealed a practical approach to “doing and believing in t’shuvah” to live a responsible life.  

Session III, August 26, 2020 

 On Prayer/Tefilah

Rabbi Richard Camras, Shomrei Torah Synagogue, Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Camras spoke on the nature and benefits of prayer/tefilah as a “unique path.” Drawing upon multiple texts, he revealed the potential of tefilah as a source of reflection, thanksgiving, confession, and joy.   

Session IV, September 2, 2020 

 On Acts of Justice/Tzedakah

Rabbi Harold Kravitz, Adath Jeshurun Congregation, Minneapolis, MN

Rabbi Kravitz continued our look at U’Netaneh Tokef, from the High Holiday liturgy, focusing on how we achieve redemption through Tzedakah. We looked at the Talmudic source from Baba Batra 10a and at how Mussar elevates our practice of Tzedakah.   

Session V, September 9, 2020 

 On Averting the Severe Decree

Rabbi Joshua Boettiger, Temple Emek Shalom Ashland, Portland, OR

Rabbi Boettiger reviewed the Unatoneh Tokef in light of what has been covered in the previous weeks, and presented a fresh interpretation of what can be averted through Teshuvah, Tefillah, and Tzedakah, and what cannot.  

Session VI, September 16, 2020 

 On Zikkui HaRabbim

Rabbi Ira Stone, Rosh Yeshiva, CCM, Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Stone concluded this six week series with renewed vision of Mussar’s place in the world. Drawing inspiration from Emmanuel Levinas and Rabbi Israel Salanter’s five primary Mussar tools, Rabbi Stone inspired us to strive to serve the needs of our closest others and the needs of the world.