Words reflect reality.
They also create reality.
For example: consider the way that we speak about the entire experience of the Days of Awe (also known as the High Holy Days).
What do we American Jews call those things that gain you admission into worship services?
A ticket is: what you get for driving too fast; or, what you need to get on a plane or a train; or what you use when you go to the theater, a concert, or a sports event.
A “ticket” implies a performance, something passive, something that you watch.
At Temple Solel, we have thought about what this coming season really means. It is a season of renewal — of spiritual, personal, moral, and communal renewal.
What is the most dominant image of the Days of Awe? Gates — the passage ways that led us into the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, and the entrance paths of our prayers to the heavens.
We no longer have “tickets.” We have keys — keys that will open up our gates to renewal.
Here is your key — not only to the experience of the Days of Awe, but to the unfolding experience of deep religious and communal life here at Temple Solel.
This year, may we help you find the key that will unlock your soul.
An early wish for shanah tovah — a good and sweet year.
Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin