As members of local and global Jewish communities, we bear responsibility for pursuing justice and equality for all the citizens of the world. We can all give tzedakah and a little time, while some of us have the capacity to do much more. We make the world better when we fight for justice from a place of humility and love, not rage. These rituals and prayers infuse that work with a sense of holiness and perspective to help us do just that.
I pray this way in the mornings now because I want to feel less afraid; less afraid of the places I have been and less afraid of the path ahead.
I have said the words of the Yom Kippur Vidui many times, always awkwardly aware that most of the list of sins did not apply to me. I never thought I would come to embrace its awkwardness, and I certainly never imagined that it could guide me towards making decisions I was afraid to make.