Rosh Hashanah and Chuck Colson’s impeachment wisdom: Three urgent questions as I return from Israel

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An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man prays near the Mediterranean Sea during a Tashlikh ceremony in Herzeliya, Israel.

I am returning from the Holy Land this morning after having led a study tour of Israel. As our group left last night, Rosh Hashanah was beginning. This is the Jewish New Year, celebrating what Jewish tradition considers the birthday of the universe.

Unlike the American New Year, which is observed with parties and celebrations, Rosh Hashanah is a time of contemplation, repentance, and spiritual purification. 

This afternoon, Jews will go to a body of water to perform the Tashlikh ceremony during which they ceremonially cast their sins into the water. They will spend much of the day in their synagogue, followed by special feasts in the evening. 

Observant Jews will then mark the following days as the Ten Days of Repentance, concluding with Yom Kippur, when they gather in their synagogue for twenty-five hours of fasting and prayer. This entire period is known as the High Holidays. 

As one Jewish website notes, “The season of the High Holidays is a time for an epic journey for the soul, and Rosh Hashanah is where it all begins.” 

Why should we emulate them this week? 

Chuck Colson’s wise words on impeachment 

As the impeachment inquiry into President Trump continues to dominate the news, the Colson Center’s John Stonestreet invites us to consider wise words written by Chuck Colson in 1999 after President Clinton’s impeachment ended with his acquittal by the US Senate

Colson noted that while 80 percent of Americans believed Mr. Clinton to be guilty, two-thirds did not want him removed from office. By not convicting the president, Colson believed the Senators made a decision motivated by politics rather than the facts of the case. 

Then he observed: “Politics is nothing but an expression of culture. It is not enough to win elections, for political power alone cannot change how people live or change…

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