Atonement, gratitude and planning during the High Holy Days


Taking time to reflect on what I’m doing and where I’m going, and to evaluate if what I’m doing will get me where I want to go, has helped me a great deal in my work and my life.

During Rosh Hashanah, asking for God’s guidance will help us refine and tweak our goals. Rabbi Levi Lebovits elaborates on this idea in his article, “Rosh Hashanah at Home: How to Embrace the Opportunity,” posted at

He writes, “Take this idea and concretize it. Imagine that you were invited into God’s ‘office’ for a consultation about your life. God tells you, ‘We’re here to discuss exactly how to help you best succeed and thrive. Let’s examine your life together so we can figure out how to best achieve our goal.’

“Continue this conversation in your mind, inserting your personal details – your strengths, your struggles, and your dreams for the future. Become a partner in God’s ‘remembrance’ and connect to Rosh Hashanah on an unprecedented level.”

I would add “grace” to Rabbi Lebovits’ article: seeking the best possible solution in your mind and creating a win-win situation. This helps me bring peace and clarity into my own life.

We’re in such a time of constant change, particularly now with the Delta variant of COVID-19 upon us. Even though many people have been vaccinated, we’re still in a time of uncertainty in mask-wearing and social distancing and catching the virus. In view of this, some of us will have High Holy Days services in-person, some will have a small in-person gathering and some will be online. We may not know this until the last minute.

I frequently lead webinars where I talk about burnout, resilience, coping with COVID-19 and preparing to go back to the workplace. We are all feeling anxious and uncertain during this pandemic.

The High Holy Days provide us with a perfect opportunity to feel guided and safe. In addition to prayer, we can take stock of what we’ve achieved during this past year, which has been different from all other years, and consider how we will move forward no matter how long the pandemic lasts.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the times to seek atonement, feel gratitude and plan for the new year.

PATRICIA RASKIN, owner of Raskin Resources Productions, is a media host, coach and award-winning radio producer and business owner. She is on the board of directors of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence. She is a recipient of the Providence Business News 2020 Leaders and Achievers award.