Ten Days: Your T'shuvah, T'filah, Tzedakah At-Home Guide

This year, as we stay home to uphold the mitzvah of pikuach nefesh, saving a life, we offer a Ten Days of Repentance At-Home Guide with suggestions for how to deepen your t'shuvah, t’filah, and tzedakah during this season.

Day 1: T'shuvah/Repentance-- Relationships
“All life is encounter” (Philosopher Martin Buber).

Think of someone you know who may be feeling isolated, and reach out with a phone call/FaceTime

Day 2: T'filah/Prayer-- Spirituality

“As often as you can, take a trip out to the fields to pray. All the grasses will join you. They will enter your prayers and give you strength to sing praises to God...” (Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlov).

Take a walk, or if walking is not an option, take a look out the window. Find something in nature to appreciate, stop to meditate on Rabbi Nachman’s words.

Day 3: Tzedakah/Justice-- Righteous Giving

“Is this not the fast I desire? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry?” (Isaiah in the Yom Kippur Haftarah reading).

Symbolizing the uneaten food of the fast, bring or make plans to bring, this week, foods needed by the food pantry collection, or donate funds to the food pantry. [For information including needed foods list, click here].

Day 4: T'shuvah/Repentance-- Relationships

“For sins against God, the Day of Atonement atones; for sins against another human being, the Day of Atonement does not atone until they have made peace with one another...” (Mishnah).

Consider your relationships this year. Which of them do you need to deepen, preserve, repair? Identify three people to whom you need to apologize and reach out to them today.

Day 5: T'filah/Prayer-- Creative Expression

“One who knows awe is like an artist with tools at hand...” (Midrash).

Find the spiritual release in the experience of creativity. Pause to appreciate a piece of art in your home or create art, perhaps with these coloring pages for any age.

Day 6: Tzedakah/Justice-- Diversity-Equity-Inclusion

“God creates a single person first, for the sake of peace among humankind, that one should not say to the other, ‘My lineage is greater than your lineage...’” (Talmud).

View this webinar conversation of Jewish People of Color, who lead anti-racism in our Reform Movement: Moral Resistance and Spiritual Authority: The Fierce Urgency of Now.

Day 7: T'shuvah/Repentance-- Letting Go

“You shall not seek vengeance or bear a grudge...” (Leviticus 19 in Yom Kippur afternoon reading).

A grudge can hurt the person holding the grudge as much as it hurt the offender. If there is a person in your life with whom it is not healthy to share a relationship, let that person go, and let that grudge go. person go, and let that grudge go.  Spend some time today thinking about how you wish them well.

Day 8: T'filah/Prayer-- Gratitude

“Tiny joys, joys like a lizard’s tail…everything blessed!” (Rachel, 20th c. Israeli poet).

Write, draw, or post a list of five things for which you are grateful.

Day 9: Tzedakah/Justice-- Repairing the World

“Love your neighbor as yourself...” (Leviticus) and “Do not do unto others what you would not have them do to you.” (Mishnah).

With a friend, discuss these texts and what distinguishes one from the other. Determine a tzedakah donation, volunteer effort, or advocacy you can do to help repair the world for our neighbors.

Day 10: T'shuvah/Repentance-- Courage

“You do not wish the death of sinners, but urge them to return from their ways and live. Until the day of death, You wait for them...” (Unetaneh Tokef prayer
in High Holy Day morning liturgy).

Listen to Cantor Rita Glassman’s beautiful prayer for return and consider: What is the hardest change you need to make in your self improvement this year? Reflect on a time in your past when you have gathered the courage to make a very hard change.