New Beginnings: High Holiday Reader 5780

The cycle of teshuvah (repentance) that leads us up to the High Holidays promises a clean slate, a way to cleanse our previous sins and begin the year renewed. But we also know that the truth is more complicated than that: a new beginning is always, in some ways, a continuation of what came before. Our slates are never fully clean. Relationships remain broken, our communities remain divided, and we can’t know for certain whether God accepts our teshuvah or not.

And yet, there’s still hope in the transformative power of true teshuvah. These essays from Hadar’s distinguished faculty discuss meanings of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the central theme of teshuvah, offering insights and calls to action, both internal and external. We hope you use this resource to enrich your experience of this central time of year, that you use these ideas when you are thinking of your own teshuvah and your place in fixing what is sadly broken in the world.