To prepare ourselves for the New Year that begins Wednesday night, we will follow the tradition of reciting S'lichot - prayers for forgiveness - beginning this Saturday night. We will have a musical S'lichot service beginning at 8:30 PM in the Charry Sanctuary, as well as a late-night S'lichot prayer service beginning at 10:45 PM in the Magil Chapel, and I encourage you to come to either or both services.
Asking for forgiveness from those we have wronged in the past year is an established prelude to the High Holidays, and S'lichot services encourage us to take that step of apologizing to and reconciling with those from whom we may have become estranged. We ask for forgiveness from other human beings, and we also ask for forgiveness from God, hoping to enter the New Year without the burden of feeling that others harbor anger or resentment toward us. However, if we truly want to enter the year with a full heart, we must also take the time to offer forgiveness to those who may have wronged us or whose relationship with us has become difficult, whether they know it or not, and whether they have taken the step of asking for our forgiveness or not. Together, these two steps can lighten our burdens and allow us to walk into the New Year with the freedom to truly change our path.
May our prayers and our songs during this time of turning bring us to a place of fullness of heart, tranquility, and peace.