As we approach Kol Nidrei Night and Yom Kippur, I wanted to share with you two things.
The first is a video of my sermon for Rosh Hashanah, which you can view by clicking on this link: https://youtu.be/16O6XhTrKHk
The second is a list of 'al chets' that I have written. This is not to replace the fixed lists we recite in the machzor as part of our liturgy, but rather to complement them. Whilst it is important for us at this time to have an honest and unvarnished look at who we are and what we have become in the past year, it is important to remember that we are all limited human beings, we are doing our best in difficult circumstances and life is often messy, difficult and complicated - and all of us make mistakes. So, we have to hold ourselves and relate to ourselves with love, kindness and compassion - trusting in our innate goodness.
Here is the list:
Please forgive us for the following mistakes: …for the mistake of not forgiving ourselves for doing what we did …for the mistake of not accepting ourselves for who we are …for the mistake of not loving ourselves for being who we are …for the mistake of not acting with compassion towards ourselves and others …for the mistake of holding on to grudges and resentments towards others in the mistaken belief that it makes us feel better and makes them feel worse …for the mistake of not forgiving others for the things they did that hurt us …for the mistake of not maintaining healthy boundaries with difficult people in our lives …for the mistake of saying “yes” to someone’s request when we really wanted to say “no” …for the mistake of not cultivating gratitude for all the blessings in our lives …for the mistake of thinking that life should be fair …for the mistake of forgetting that we are connected in love to all that lives and all that breathes …for the mistake of comparing ourselves with other people …for the mistake of not asking for what we need from others …for the mistake of thinking that other people in our lives should know what we want from them (without us telling them) …for the mistake of not seeing the uniqueness of, and divine image in, all human beings, including ourselves.
I hope these are helpful and supportive for you in your process of teshuva.
With love and warmest wishes - and wishing you and your loved ones a g'mar chatima tovah - may we all be sealed in the book of life for a year of wellbeing, joy and blessings.