Writing The Days of Awe
List written and compiled by Catherine DeCuir

Writing can function as or be an aid to prayer, meditation, and self-reflection. Here is a series of prompts, written in first person, designed to assist writers in looking at their attitudes and intentions for the new year. Start with writing for 15 or 20 minutes a day. Answer the questions in any order.

 

September 1. What memories do I have of Rosh HaShanah? In the temple or synagogue? With my family

 

September 2. How do I pray? Why? How did I pray as a child? As a younger person?

 

September 3. Who is the person in the Torah or other books of the Tanakh with whom I most identify? What can I learn from the words or actions of that person?

 

September 4. What 3 (or more) questions would I ask the Eternal? What does God ask of me?

 

September 5. What is my relationship with Judaism now? Has it ever been different?

 

September 6. What meaning does Rosh HaShana have for me? What would I like to do differently in 5781?

 

September 7. What changes would I like to see in my community and the world, and how can I contribute to making it so?

 

September 8. What memories do I have of Yom Kippur? With my family? In the synagogue or temple?

 

September 9. Health permitting, do I plan to fast? If I can’t fast, what can I do differently to acknowledge or observe the fast?

 

September 10. What mitzvot could I perform today? Each day?

 

September 11. Who do I need to forgive? Who has asked me to forgive them? Can I?

 

September 12. To whom do I owe an apology — or reparations? 

 

September 13. Where is the land of my soul? How can I return?

 

September 14. What is my relationship to and with the Jewish community? Would I want it to be different?

 

September 15. What part do I play in the life of my temple or synagogue? Do I want that to change?

 

September 16. What does my study or practice of Judaism entail? Do I want to do more?

 

September 17. Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof: How do I seek justice, and for whom? How do I participate in tikkun olam, repairing the world?

 

September 18. Which aspects of Judaism make the most sense to me? What do I struggle with?

 

Online Resources

Preparing for Rosh Hashanah: 16 Prompts (Aish)

 

Preparing for the Days of Awe – Journaling with Symbolic Objects (Reform Judaism)

Writing ideas under Questioning and Journeying

 

New Year’s prompts for elementary school students (JTeach)

 

10Q — A question a day for 10 days

Books

 

The Jewish Journaling Book


Writing – The Sacred Art: Beyond The Page to Spiritual Practice​

List written and compiled by Catherine DeCuir
 

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