This year's Yom Kippur message focuses on antisemitism in the alt-right. The Jewish community feels vulnerable, more so than at other times in recent memory, and this vulnerability gives us empathy with other groups whose standing in society is much more precarious than our own. Interfaith and multi-racial alliance with other targeted communities will be essential to our genuine and effective resistance.
God loves you.
God is close to you.
And it's going to be okay.
We respond to God's love by dedicating ourselves to a life of service. We serve God with our intellect, our passions, and our deeds both public and private. As a new year dawns, we commit ourselves to refining and strengthening the ways we serve God in order to enrich ourselves, those around us, and the world we live in.
Parashat Nitzavim-Vayeilech deals intimately with the themes of the upcoming High Holy Days. For example, we read this week that every one of us counts and that our actions really matter. There are many cases when דָּבָר זֶה תָּלוּי בִּי, "This matter depends upon me," and it is upon us to rise to the occasion.
“To be effective, the preacher's message must be alive; it must alarm, arouse, challenge; it must be God's present voice to a particular people.”