The Shabbat that falls during the week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah, or the ‘Sabbath of Return’. The word Shuvah is also somewhat of a pun, as Shuvah sounds very much like teshuva, or repentance, a core concept of the High Holy Day season.
As this Shabbat comes just prior to Yom Kippur, the atmosphere for the Shabbat Shuva service is usually solemn and focused.
The Haftarah portion is made up of selections from two books of Prophets – Hosea and Joel. The selection from Hosea focuses on a universal call for repentance, and an assurance that those who return to God will benefit from Divine healing and restoration. The selection from Joel imagines a blow of the shofar that will unite the people for fasting and supplication. Hosea focuses on Divine forgiveness, and how great it is in comparison to the forgiveness of man. Other than the special haftarah, the service on Shabbat Shuvah is not any different from a regular Shabbat.
Historically, Shabbat Shuvah was also a time when the rabbi of the community would present a sermon to the congregation. Though this is done every week in most contemporary communities, in previous eras a rabbi’s sermon was expected only twice a year: on Shabbat Shuvah, and on Shabbat Hagadol, the intermediate Shabbat of Passover. Sermons on Shabbat Shuvah traditionally focus on themes of repentance, prayer, and charity.
Our Makom NY Shabbat Shuvah observance takes place at the Bethpage Worship Center on Saturday morning, September 23. You may choose to come to all or pieces of the morning. Just let us know in advance so that we can prepare appropriately. The Shabbat Shuvah schedule:
so that we can prepare appropriately.
We encourage all participants in Makom NY events to make a donation in order to help support our programs. Suggested donation for this event is $18 per person or $36 per couple/family, or, for those who are able, to engage at the Shorashim level. Donations may be made by submitting a check to the address below or simply completing the form below. We thank you for your generosity in supporting Makom NY events.