Connection Points
High Holiday Reader 5781

Shai Held, Avi Killip, Avi Strausberg, Aviva Richman, Avital Hochstein, Ethan Tucker, Nadav Berger, Yitzhak Bronstein, Tali Adler, Yitz Greenberg, Orit Kent, Allison Cook, Joey Weisenberg


High Holiday Reader

The High Holidays are often a time out of time, where we re-examine our relationship to God, ourselves, and our communities; we reflect on ways to make ourselves and these lines of connection stronger and more vibrant. Certainly, our current reality of social distancing challenges the traditional setting for this self-reflection: An individual, bolstered by community, standing before God. But these times also create opportunities for re-visioning—seeing things anew and growing in the process.

In these pages, the Hadar faculty has tackled many theological, spiritual, and emotional questions that may arise this holiday season. In what ways must the individual rise to the occasion in the absence of community? What do we expect from God, demand from God, in our prayers this year? What creative avenues are available for conceptualizing community, when we don’t gather en masse? How do we foster celebration and joy in a time of loneliness and stress?

You will find that though the Hadar faculty was quarantined in different pockets of New York, Washington, DC, and Israel while writing these pieces, a coherent, inter-connected network of ideas has emerged. We hope that you will feel strengthened by these articles and linked to the larger community as you read and enjoy this year’s High Holiday Reader.


Click here to view our Halakhic Resources for the High Holidays. This set of resources is specifically for practical halakhic elements of prayer and ritual to help navigate many constraints and new situations we are being faced with.

Click here to view our Spiritual Guide from Rabbi Avi Strausberg, A Palace in Time: A Guide to Structuring Sacred Moments


Click the "Consult the Texts" icon in the bottom right corner of this page to download a full version of this reader. A printer-friendly version will be available soon.


Additional Resources for Connection Points, High Holidays 5781/ September 2020


High Holiday Reader: Connection Points

High Holiday Reader: Connection Points - Printer-Friendly

Spiritual Guide - A Palace in Time: A Guide to Structuring Sacred Moments

We Are Never Alone - Rabbi Avi Strausberg

Why Pray? - Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg

The Power of Prayer: Yehuda Amichai and Berakhot - Rabbi Aviva Richman

Rise Up the Ladder of Song - Joey Weisenberg

Re-envisioning God as King - Rabbi Avi Killip

Divine Love & Human Uniqueness - Rabbi Shai Held

Hayom Harat Olam - Rabbi Tali Adler

Redeeming the Akeidah, Halakhah, & Ourselves - Rabbi Ethan Tucker

Text & Discussion from Project Zug - Unlocking the Mahzor

From Exodus to Exoneration - Rabbi Avital Hochstein

Rabbi Nadav Berger - להתוודות כמו כהן גדול הרב

Family Learning & Activities - Pedagogy of Partnership

A Lulav of One’s Own - Dena Weiss

Can We Celebrate With Vulnerability? - Yitzhak Bronstein

Sukkot Rituals that Spillover - Alieza Salzberg Yizhar