now the real work begins
Talk about “trimming” or “unifying” is easy. The difficult task lies ahead. I need to seek out the people I have wronged, approach them and express to them my regret along with a clear plan as to how I will change my behavior in the future.
At this time every year I print out the worksheet illustrated above. I first prepared a variant in the late 1980s and made it available to my congregation each year at the beginning of Rosh haShannah. At that time I would explain that, though we may feel it is important to attend services periodically during the year, the important task of the holiday we each need to do on our own among the people we love and about whom we care.
According to the Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Teshuva, chapter 2, halacha 9) God can forgive those transgressions between one person and another if we request forgiveness from those we have hurt and repair whatever injury we may have caused.
אין התשובה ולא יום הכיפורים מכפרין אלא עבירות שבין אדם למקום, כגון מי שאכל דבר אסור או בעל בעילה אסורה וכיוצא בהן. אבל עבירות שבין אדם לחברו, כגון חובל חברו או המקלל את חברו או גוזלו וכיוצא בהן–אינו נמחל לו לעולם, עד שייתן לחברו מה שהוא חייב לו, וירצהו.
download and work from your own copy
You can download a copy of the Selichot Homework Sheet 1, make copies and distribute them for your own use.
Yes, another Selichot Homework Sheet is on the way. Please resist actually printing this. Feel free to copy the text into a file (a couple of tables would work in your word processor) and keep track of your progress there.
zayin ז for 7 people and behaviours on the seventh of elul
As I mentioned the other day, I have a number of lapel buttons that display no more than a Hebrew letter. At one time the Union of Orthodox Congregations created a series of buttons letters with the 22 letters as they appear in Torah script. I have a faint recollection this was done to support a project of congregations sponsoring the writing of Torah scrolls. (”Buy a letter in the Torah.”?)
This button dates from the early 1950s or mid 1940s. I have no documentation on it, nor any explanation as to why it was produced and distributed.