In the title of his most famous novel, Thomas Wolfe warned, You Can’t Go Home Again.
Earlier this year, when United Hebrew Congregation invited me to lead High Holy Days services this year at the Temple, that phrase was constantly with me.
From 1948-1966, your congregation was a center of my Jewish life. Those years were, from my perspective, very good for the Terre Haute Jewish community. That was the time when my parents (of blessed memory), extended family and so many others set me on a life path that remains an incredible blessing.
I would say without the United Hebrew Congregation, its rabbis, teachers and volunteers, there would be no Rabbi Stanley R. Miles.
And so, I am humbled as I anticipate learning with and leading you in worship to begin 5783.
Nevertheless, I realize many of us approach Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with fears, apprehensions and doubts.
Sermons will confront challenging issues
Some challenges, like the pandemic, are relatively new, while others are old as Judaism. During the High Holy Days, we will confront these issues together. My sermons will discuss these topics:
- Erev Rosh Hashanah — Sunday Sept. 25: Tying Up Loose Ends
- Rosh Hashanah Morning — Monday, Sept. 26: What Do You Expect of the Children?
- Kol Nidre — Tuesday, Oct. 4: Judaism, the Hard Way
- Yom Kippur Morning — Wednesday, Oct. 5: Standing on the Line
- Yom Kippur Yizkor: After Death?
It is my fervent prayer that Thomas Wolfe was so very wrong, as you have given me the opportunity, the honor and the mitzvah to come home again.
Toda raba — Thank you so very much!
L’shalom v’Refuah Shlema — With peace and perfect health,
Rabbi Stan Miles