The High Holidays are a time of introspection. As Jewish people gather together in synagogues around the world, our prayer services offer each individual a challenge as we start the New Year. In the midst of U’Netaneh Tokef, one of the most stirring prayers in the liturgy, there is a formula for how to take control of what appears to be the randomness of life.

We recite together the three-part remedy of “Repentance, Prayer and Charity” and commit to these tenets to remove the harshness of the decree. Through these three acts, and through the introspection inherent in them, we reflect on our relationship with God and with each other, in an effort to remove the bitterness of life’s many challenges. As we gather together for this New Year, my blessings and prayers are that by treating ourselves, each other and the divine in a positive manner, we will find a renewed sense of meaning in our lives and, in doing so, shine more light into the world.