Some of us experienced God and nature at the beach last Shabbat eve. God was in the waves and the wind, the songs and the sea birds. Why did we go to the beach? Why do we celebrate the birthday of the world on Rosh Hashanah? Why do we do the action of tashlich, throwing away our sins into a stream of water? Because being outside in nature is better than reading about nature. Even if the articulation is great poetry or the psalms.
How can you get ready for 5774? You can plan to be with us for as many of the prayer experiences we offer as possible. You can attend ready to think deep, serious thoughts. You can try to let God speak to you and you can speak to God.
Judaism knows very well that there is one God, but there is dualism all over the place. There are good and evil, mitzvot and sin, repentance and the resistance to repentance. All of these parts of life are within each and every one of us. The Zohar, the book of splendor, speaks of this.The Jewish theology behind this notion is based on the belief that sin is not devoid of some worth. Poetically, it is described in the Zohar (III 80b). "When God created the world, light and darkness were wrapped in one another. Therefore light emerged out of darkness...so too from goodness issues evil and from mercy issues judgment, and all are intertwined, and good impulse and the evil impulse."
Let us all find the journey to our High Holy Days meaningful.