Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovits leads a discussion on The Unetaneh Tokef prayer in a time of pandemic. Some years, we need the High Holidays to make us pause, to confront our actions, to repair our relationships, and to face our mortality. This year, in the midst of a global pandemic and political and societal turmoil, many of us have already been forced to acknowledge the fragility of our lives and the lives of our loved ones.
The Unetaneh Tokef prayer, is designed to make us confront our fragility, but just as importantly to call us to action. How can each of us intervene to ameliorate the profound brokenness of the world? This foundational High Holiday text, recited on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, suggests three routes for us to forge ahead in 5781: Tshuva, reconciliation; T'filah, prayer; and Tzedakah, dedicating our resources to build a more just world.
Rabbi Ephraim Pelcovits is Director of the New Israel Fund's LA-Southern California Region.
This class took place via Zoom on September 4, 2020 as part of the Elul+ Pre-Tishre study program presented by Temple Beth Am Los Angeles.