Look below for a request I am making for your help. This Shabbat is the last before Rosh Hashanah and the marathon that we call the Yamim Noraim, The Days of Awe. Rose Valentine sent an important message to the Board of Trustees that she recently received. It is about the need, at this time of year, to focus on what we need to see and repair in ourselves. The traditional exercise is not to point out the flaws in others, but rather to see them in ourselves. This is hard, but it is essential to the process of Teshuvah, i.e. repentance or change. You can read the essay here:
Since this is the last Friday before the Holidays, as has been our recent tradition, as suggested by David and Maxine Freedman, everyone is invited to join us before services, at 7:15 pm, in order to have a moment with me at the Aron HaKodesh, the Ark that houses the Torahs. This will provide a time for personal reflection and prayer as we approach this important time on our Jewish calendar.
Next Wednesday night we will commence celebrating Rosh Hashanah. It is a time of introspection and review. It is a time of doing Teshuvah. According to our tradition, God will review how we each comported ourselves over the course of 5777, and will then decide whether or not to enter us into the Book of Life for 5778.
However, rather than relying on God to make a favorable decision I believe that this is a time of for us to begin to make personal choices. Choices about how we choose to live our lives. Choices about how we will treat others. Choices about the impact we wish to have on the world around us.
Join me in hoping and praying that the collective decisions of our community in the year to come will be holy and that each of us has a year to come that is filled with health, peace, joy, and fulfillment.
As I am wont to do, I need to ask for your help. I would like you to email me all or some of the following:
1) The name of your favorite song or your "anthem".
2) The name of the song that makes you happy (if different from the one above)
3) The name of the song that you listen to when you are sad.
4) The name of the song that is guaranteed to make you jump up and dance.
I hope to see you at the Selichot service on Saturday evening at 7:30. We will change the Torah covers to the traditional High Holy Day white, Have a Havdallah service, Have our Selichot service, and watch the film "A Serious man" which, in a darkly comical way, raises issues about life and Jewish tradition.
Shabbat Shalom and Shanah Tovah U'metuka (A Good and Sweet New Year) -
Rabbi Michael S. Jay