The Personality Myth: Week 2 of High Holy Day Prep Course

The Personality Myth: Week 2 of High Holy Day Prep Course


Welcome to your High Holy Days Prep Course! We have arrived at Week Two of our seven-week countdown to the New Year 5777!

What is this prep course?
In the spirit of focusing our intentions leading into the High Holy Days, Hillel will be sending you weekly messages until Rosh Hashanah to aid in your process and preparedness.

On Week One, Rabbi Aaron Lerner, our Executive Director, recommended reading Chapter 2 of the Laws of Repentance. Written nearly 1,000 years ago by the Rambam, the principles guide us toward several options for repentance and personal change.

When teaching students this text, it is always exciting to bear witness to the ‘aha’ moments when students realize that human behavior hasn’t changed so significantly over the millennia. Technology, medicine, science and culture have advanced exponentially, but the basic emotions and desires driving us are nearly identical to our ancestors’. Thus making 3,000 years of recorded Jewish wisdom every bit as relevant in the 21st Century as it is historically.

Speaking to the subject of fundamentals in human behavior, we suggest you listen to a podcast from Invisibilia called The Personality Myth in Week Two of the High Holy Days Prep Course. You can download it here.

As you listen, consider two guiding questions:

  1. Which aspects of the Rambam’s teachings can you identify in the poignant stories of personal change shared in the podcast?
  2. What inspiration can you personally take from the Jewish and secular claim that we are all capable of change?

If you’re joining us for the High Holy Days at Hillel, you can anticipate a sermon by Rabbi Aaron on this topic during the First Day of Rosh Hashanah.

Hillel values shared learning - as you begin to uncover deeper realizations through your participation in our High Holy Days Prep Course, share your thoughts with us by email and on our Facebook group!



In case you missed it, last week Rabbi Aaron recommended the following two books:

Everyday Holiness by Alan Morinis - a practical introduction to Mussar, the Jewish approach to cultivating personal growth and spiritual realization in the midst of day-to-day life.

Touger’s translation of The Laws of Repentance by Maimonides (referenced above). Learning directly from the classic Jewish sources. Skip to Chapter 2 if you’re having a hard time getting started.


 Not a Member? Not a Problem.

High Holy Days aren’t just for the students – we’ve got something for you too! If you or someone you know is looking for a warm home for the Holy Days, please join us! We have a complete line-up of professionally-run, engaging services covering Reform, Conservative and Orthodox orientations. Every year, hundreds of community members participate in Hillel’s services, from young families with children to people who have been joining us at these services for decades. Information can be found on our website:

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