There have been some interesting stories on the news the past few days. The administration's decision to throw the 'dreamers' issue to Congress has taken quite a bit of time. There's no question that changing life plans of some 800,000 people will have an impact, not only on them, but on immigration and any plans to build a wall. There were also scenes of the clean up from Harvey. Many pictures showed the "dreamers" who were working to help those displaced by the storm.

Taking major focus has been another weather story, the strengthening of Irma and the concern for where it might hit the U.S.  -  the second major storm in just a few weeks. If you have not yet made a contribution to help with Harvey clean up, now's a good time to do so. We are accepting gift cards from Home Depot, Target and Walmart. Contributions to  Nechama will be put to good use whether for Harvey, Irma or other disasters.  If you're donating a gift card, please bring them to the Temple Office and we will send them to congregations in Houston for distribution.

Watching the hurricane-is-coming coverage was interesting. Of course, there was the standard  B-roll of shoppers loading carts with water and bread. One of those standing in line was interviewed. Asked why he was at the store he responded, "There's a storm coming, we've been warned. We need to be prepared."

Exactly. When something big is approaching, we need to prepare ourselves. That's the case for winterizing cars and storm-proofing homes. That's how we should approach the High Holy Days. Many of us are moving in that direction. We have set our guest lists and planned the menus. We have a pretty good sense of what we need to buy and what we still need to do to clean and prepare.

But the preparations for entertaining, while important, hardly exhausts what we need to do to get ready for the holidays.  In fact, preparations for the spiritual side of the high holy days are already underway. Two are built into the liturgy: adding Psalm 27 morning and evening and sounding the shofar each weekday morning. Coming soon: Selihot services to be held jointly with CBS-CS (18 Patsy Lane, Jamesville), at their building, this year on Saturday, September 16.  We will begin at 8:30 pm with an animated short film, study, and discussion, followed by refreshments at 9:30 pm and Selihot services at 10:00 pm.

Elul's nearly over, time to be prepared for the start of 5778. Because spiritual preparations are as important, if not more important, as we approach the holidays. No waiting in line required.

Rabbi Paul Drazen
(315) 445 - 0002 x121
450 Kimber Road
Syracuse, NY 13224
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