Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
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10 Days of Repentance: Action Steps for Individuals

The Aseret Yamei T'shuvah (Ten Days of Repentance) are the days that fall between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, and are considered part of the entire High Holiday cycle. During these Ten Days, we spend time reflecting upon our sins of the year past and thinking about how we can improve ourselves in the year to come. The Ten Days, therefore, provide an opportunity to internalize the themes covered in the guide and consider appropriate action steps. Below is a list of suggestions relating to each of the three themes in the guide. Consider taking one action from each category and incorporating it into your High Holiday observance.

Hunger

  • Start volunteering at a local food pantry or homeless shelter as a family.
  • Join local Meals on Wheels program to deliver hot meals to homebound individuals.
  • Volunteer at your synagogue to help prepare the grocery bags that will be distributed for the High Holiday food drive.
  • Learn: Visit our Hunger Advocacy page or Mazon to find out what the Jewish sources have to say about hunger. Learn about issues pertaining to hunger, either on a local level, a national level, or an international level.
  • Take Action: After learning about the issues, contact your local, state and national elected officials to ask them to take appropriate actions. Sample letters and action alerts are available.

Environment

  • Volunteer to clean-up litter in your neighborhood or local public parks. To find volunteer projects in your local community, contact your local City Cares affiliate.
  • Write letters to your local officials regarding an important environmental issue. For more information, click here.
  • Visit the RAC's website to learn about important environmental issues, climate change, environmental justice, environmental health and endangered species.
  • Start a scrap-paper pile in your home or office to re-use or recycle wasted paper.
  • Start a compost pile in your backyard.
  • Calculate your Carbon Footprint or home energy consumption.
  • Make a donation to support an environmental cause or support green energy developments.
  • Take a home energy audit and find ways that you can reduce the amount of waste in your home through use of florescent bulbs, recycling and other means.
  • Visit COEJL's "What you can do" list.

Judicial System

  • Write and send Rosh HaShanah and holiday cards to Jewish prisoners or become a pen pal through Jewish Prisoner Services.
  • Visit www.rac.org/advocacy/issues and pick an issue pertaining to the judicial system. Spend each night of the 10 days learning about a different aspect of that issue and ways that you can be an advocate.
  • Read some of the key prayers and readings in the machzor related to themes of justice, repentance and forgiveness, such as Unetane Tokef and Al Chayt. Use these as texts to reflect upon and discuss these key concepts as they are applied to the criminal justice system.
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