Sharon Brous —
Days of Awe

We delve into the world and meaning of the Jewish High Holy Days — ten days that span the new year of Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur's rituals of atonement. A young rabbi in L.A. is one voice in a Jewish spiritual renaissance that is taking many forms across the U.S. The vast majority of her congregation are people in their 20s and 30s, who, she says, are making life-giving connections between ritual, personal transformation, and relevance in the world.

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is a Los Angeles based American rabbi. She sits on the faculty of the Hartman Institute-North America, Wexner Heritage and REBOOT.

About the Image

In preparation for the Jewish High Holy Days and Sukkot, a public art installation of cardboard figures calls attention to the plight of the poor. The social justice campaign in Tel Aviv is trying to raise money to feed and house the homeless.

Photo by Baz Ratner/AFP/Getty Images

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I have just listened to the interview with Rabbi Sharon Brous on the Jewish High Holy Days-and it is excellent. Would it be possible to obtain a written transcript of that particular programme that I could use in my congregation (I am a congregational rabbi in Florida)? Sincerely, Rabbi Howard Shub

I am wondering of the same thing. It would be nice if we could get a transcript.

Your interview about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur somehow managed to miss one of the central ideas of holy days. That is that each sin that a person commits against another is really 2 sins, one against that person and one against God. In Yom Kippur, we confess our sins to God. God in turn will forgive our sins against God. However, the key point is only the person against whom we have sinned can forgive that sin. We are instructed to go to those against whom we have sinned and seek forgiveness. This means that we must take personal responsibility for our sins, and then take direct action to try to rectify those sins by going to the person most harmed by our sin.
Speaking of Faith missed a great chance to explain this to non Jews. Many of my non Jewish friends think that somehow Jews can freely sin during the year, and then God will wipe it clean at the end of the year. I try to explain that God does not wipe clean our sins against others, so we must directly confront those people and ask forgiveness.

It is truly disappointing that the Rabbi in your interview missed this central theme of Yom Kippur.

Rabbi Brous is amazing, but I agree that it would be terrific for Krista Tippett to re-invite her to discuss more theological stances. This program was very informative about socio-cultural, generational trends in Jewish life, but somewhat lacking in theological gravitas. Brous is a great thinker and conversationalist, so I'd be delighted for a follow up interview. Silvia.

Interesting interview tonight with the young woman rabbi; please fix the links: 1) on the main sof page, where it says "VISIT THE WEBSITE"--that's a dead link (you cannot click on it at all) and 2) when I clicked on programs, and then clicked on this same program (Awe), it links me to the last program on Intelligence (the one with the black and white photo of the waitress). Thanks--I'd like to post a link to the rabbi interview on FB but cannot until you fix this.

I was driving through the NYC area returning from Boston after dropping my son off at college. I am not Jewish, but was captivated by Rabii Brous. Your show is wonderful, you are an excellent inverviewer, and Rabii Brous is truly a great and visionary figure. I intend to read more of her writings. Please continue your show.

Accidentally tuned in yesterday to the Days of Awe program. What a wonderful, inspiring, beautiful program! Krista was able to bring out the best in Rabbi Brous, and I have emailed the online program as an attachment to numerous friends. I liked the program so well that I'm going to make a donation! Thank you so much for selecting someone to interview who brought such insight and energy.

9.07.10 Dear Ms. Tippett: I loved your Day of Awe program this week. It was perfectly presented and I want to thank you for highlighting Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It's not clear to me why your program will have a name change. In any event, I hope from time to time Judaism as a culture, philosophy and religion will be explored from wide variety points of view. Thank you and best wishes for the upcoming season of SOF. Hazel Roslyn Feldman

I was moved by Rabbi Sharon Brous. I feel a connection to what she had to day. It brought tears to my eyes. I was reared in the Catholic/Jewish traditions. My Father being Jewish and my Mother Catholic. I later became a member of the Episcopal Church. My Dad attended church with all his six children since he and my Mother were raising us as Christians. My Mom had a disposition from "The Pope" to get married and the streets of Knoxville were lined with people to get their first look at a "Real New York Jew". They were of course looking for his horns and tail. They married in Knoxville on April 6, 1946 and were married 62 years until my Father's death. Two of my brothers died at young ages and my parents could not grieve together because of their beliefs. They allowed each other their right to practice their own faith. I remember all my parents christian friends always trying to "Save" my Father. My friends tease me and call me a "Ca-Jew". I have never tried to convert anyone to my belief. Now I have friends begging me to come to Bible study with them. I do not feel the connection that they feel. I did feel a connection to what Rabbi Sharon Brous had to say and I am going to visit my Jewish roots. I feel a stong pull in that direction.

Just wanted to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed the "Days of Awe" program, aired on our local NPR station, WKMS in Murray, Kentucky, Sept 08.... John Bauer

Days of Awe I read just now to this podcast and have to say there is for me, another major coincidence associated with reading this on the second night of Rosh Hashona. The coincidence involves Rabbi Arthur Green and Abraham Joshua Heschel, and it's about a letter I was moved to send Arthur Green today, after a long period of silence. I have sent SOF, over the years, several emails about a life of astonishment of coincidence, meaning connects that surface out of the every day ness of our lives. We all call these small miracles, and, for a moment, we are stunned, and do think about these, and then move on. How would anyone deal with a life in which the astonishment of such connects precipitating out EVERY day, connects that do involve us all and that are each one, "small miracles" and sometimes "big", when in the telling one is being so totally and absolutely ignored. How would it feel to try constantly to share something this massive and th en, to enter and re enter total silence? I feel deeply, these connects, that cannot possibly be random, and that have informed my life for over eleven years, daily, must be shared. If not now, then when? I am leading a life of total, radical amazement. I have the proof, in a Diary that documents cross-connects that are astounding, like beads on a string, every single day of my life. The interview I have just read, with this most caring and wonderful rabbi speaks about surrender. There is no one, perhaps, who could know more than I do, about the notion of surrender in the writing of a story, that paradoxically, I could never have written, because there is no way I could ever has invented or supplied these connects that are hailing on me, every day, in every possible way. At least, the very least, in writing this, to SOF, you will know and perhaps one day, understand how it has felt, to have been so unheard these long and longing years of wanting to share something this profoun d, this deep. These connects are totally verifiable, in every possible way, and do involve all those and others I connect with in walking through my admittedly, small life.

INSPIRING. I have listened to this entire thing at least 15 times. I first heard it in one of my religion classes in college.