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The High Holidays are a sacred time on the Jewish calendar for intense personal reflection and spiritual growth. Our weekly email series, YOU ARE HERE, is designed to help make this time personally meaningful. Look for an email from Beth El every Friday through October 18 with a video teaching from our clergy, a personal reflection from a Beth El member, liturgical music, and High Holiday programming details. May this be a season of growth, renewal, and reflection for you. Shana Tovah!
Rabbi Rachel Marder: The Shofar

Continuing our YOU ARE HERE series, Rabbi Marder teaches on the shofar, which we sound throughout the month of Elul to prepare us for the new year. As we come closer to Selichot, the Saturday before Rosh Hashanah, the shofar can remind us of the ways in which we are interconnected:

"The shofar is a remembrance from the Akedah, the binding of Isaac story. Instead of sacrificing Isaac, Abraham sees a ram in the bushes and offers the ram instead. And so when we blow the shofar, we should also think of the ram in that story. The ram offers its own life to replace Isaac’s. Who are the people in your life who have helped and supported you? How do you serve as a ram, giving of yourself for others?"

Join us for our Beth El Selichot Bonfire:
Saturday, September 21, 8:30pm

Usher in the High Holiday season with our Selichot bonfire. Join us at the home of  Johanna Ginsburg and  Mark Brownstein for song, poetry, readings, and traditional prayers as we prepare ourselves to welcome a new year.  RSVP to  Johanna  for the address.
Lori Schuldiner Schor: Remembering 9/11 on Rosh Hashanah

Beth El member Lori Schuldiner Schor, shares this reflection remembering the first Rosh Hashanah after September 11, 2001, at the moment when the Cantor chanted the Hineni prayer.

"The Cantor began to chant the Hineni prayer to ask for an audience with God. Hineni is the word with which believers respond to God when God calls to them in the text of the Torah. God asks: are you there? are you there? And the Torah gives us a coded response: Hineni. It goes beyond “yes." It means: I’m present. Count on me. God, I’m all in. I AM HERE."

Atah Hu Eloheinu:
אַתָּה הוּא אֱלֹהֵינוּ בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ
גִּבּוֹר וְנַעֲרָץ דָּגוּל מֵרְבָבָה
הוּא שָׂח וַיֶּהִי וְצִוָּה וְנִבְרָאוּ
זִכְרוֹ לָנֶצַח חַי עוֹלָמִים
טְהוֹר עֵינַיִם יוֹשֵׁב סֵתֶר
כִּתְרוֹ יְשׁוּעָה לְבוּשׁוֹ צְדָקָה
מַעֲטֵהוּ קִנְאָה נֶאְפָּד נְקָמָה
סִתְרוֹ יֹשֶׁר עֲצָתוֹ אֱמוּנָה
פְּעֻלָּתוֹ אֱמֶת צַדִּיק וְיָשָׁר
קָרוֹב לְקוֹרְאָיו בֶּאֱמֶת רָם וּמִתְנַשֵּׂא
שׁוֹכֵן שְׁחָקִים תּוֹלֶה אֶרֶץ עַל בְּלִימָה

Atah Hu Eloheinu bashamayim uva'aretz
gibor v'na'aratz dagul mairvava
hu sah vayehi v'tziva v'nivrau
zihru lanetzah chai olamim
tihor ainaim yoshev seter
kitro yeshuah livusho tzedakah
ma'atahu kina'ah neipad nikamah
seetro yosher atzato emunah
piulato emet tzadeek v'yashar
karov l'korav b'emet ram umeetnasaia
shohen shihakim toleh eretz al bileema
Rabbi Josh Warshawsky: Atah Hu Eloheinu

Rabbi Josh Warshawsky, the nationally-known Jewish musician and composer, returns to Beth El (where he started his career as our JLC Music Specialist!) to join our clergy and lay daveners to lead us in prayer this season. Rabbi Warshawsky will include traditional and original melodies in our worship, and in our YOU ARE HERE email series, we'll introduce you to some of them.

Recited in the repetition of the Shacharit Amidah on both days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, "Atah Hu Eloheinu" is a foundational piyut (poetic prayer) inaugurating the other piyutim by offering special praise to God. (Please note that Rabbi Warshawsky will play guitar at Beth El only on Erev Rosh Hashanah -- other services will not include instrumentation.)

You are our God in heaven and on earth
Mighty and awesome, distinguished among myriads
God spoke and it came to be,
God commanded and they were created
The Holy One's remembrance is eternal,
God lives forever
With pure eyes, enthroned in mystery
A crown of salvation, a garment of righteousness
A cloak of zeal, girded with retribution
God's mysterious ways are just and God's counsel trustworthy
The Holy One's deeds are truth,
God is righteous and just
Close to all who call in truth,
God is sublime and exalted
Dwells in the heavens,
Suspends the earth in empty space
High Holiday Programming:
Three Pillars Study Sessions for Rosh Hashanah

Beth El will continue our Three Pillars program during our High Holiday services, so that we can experience the holidays according to the three pillars of learning, prayer, and acts of tzedakah that are foundational to the world. Below are the learning sessions for Rosh Hashanah, click here to see the full learning program. Look for details about the social action Three Pillars programming in next week's email.

Rosh Hashanah Day One :
10:00am-11:00am: Ki M’Tzion Teitze Shira : The Days of Awe as seen through the eyes of Israeli Poets, from Secular to Religious, from the Moshav to the city, from escaping to Sinai, to finding comfort in synagogue, with Rabbi Meirav Kallush, Director of Israel Education at Golda Och Academy
12:00pm-1:00pm:  God Heard the Cry of the Child: Being Angelic Voices to end Family Separation, using our Torah as a Textual Catalyst, with Rabbi Jesse Olitzky
Rosh Hashanah Day Two :
10:00am-11:00am: The Juxtaposition of Hope and Fear : Exploring the frightening and painful account of the Binding of Isaac, a story of ultimate betrayal and alienation, and comparing that with Jeremiah’s message of love, compassion, homecoming, and redemption found in the Haftarah, with Rabbi Sheryl Katzman, the Rabbinics Initiative Leader of the Legacy Heritage Instructional Leadership Institute
12:00pm-1:00pm: Teshuvah and the Struggle with Ming-Forg’d Manacles : Lessons from Northern State Prison, with Rabbi Rachel Marder
Congregation Beth El is an inclusive, egalitarian synagogue affiliated with United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism, serving Essex, Union, and Morris counties. We can be reached by calling 

Jesse M. Olitzky, Rabbi
Rachel A. Marder, Rabbi
Jason Silberfein, Executive Director
Danielle Weitz, Director, Thelma K. Reisman Preschool  
Rivka Nelson, Director of Religious Education
Karen Freeman-Pettis, Assistant Director
Molly Gimbel, Youth Program Director
Terry Pridgen, Coordinator of Maintenance Services

Jehiel Orenstein z"l, Rabbi Emeritus
For more information about Beth El membership, please contact
Membership Chairs , Yuval Brokman and Lisa Buber.