What is the joy of Sukkos all about?

When B’nei Yisrael traveled in the desert, Hashem provided three special miracles to take care of their needs: Delicious manna rained down from heaven, fresh water flowed from Miriam’s well, and ananei ha’kavod (clouds of glory) enveloped the people (Taanis 9a).

T’shuvah requires a supporting “cast”!

As Rosh HaShanah approaches, we are reminded that sincere t’shuvah requires serious introspection and conscientious planning for a better year. The shofar alerts us that the time has come: We need to confess our wrongdoings, break habits, regret the past, and commit to a brighter future.

What is the secret to making lasting resolutions?

In the first line of Avinu Malkeinu that is recited responsively, we ask Hashem to help us do “t’shuvah sh’leimah,” complete repentance. The addition of that descriptor, sh’leimah, makes it sound like there is another type of t’shuvah – one that is “incomplete” – which we do not want. And here I was thinking that one can either repent or not. What would incomplete t’shuvah look like? And, by contrast, what is the t’shuvah sh’leimah that we all are trying to achieve?

The birth of a new year is a time of reflection and resolution, when hope and inspiration fill the air. We dream about what this upcoming year holds in store for us, how we can make the rest of our lives the best of our lives. We all have ideas, ambitions, and aspirations that we yearn to bring to fruition, and the new year gives us “permission” to revisit these goals and breathe new life into them. For a brief moment, everything is crystal clear; we see our purpose and our path with vivid clarity. However, there is an underlying frustration that accompanies this time period, as well. If we reflect honestly, we often realize that our new year’s resolutions are awfully similar to those of last year, and the year before, and the year before…