For This Week of September 11th, 2020

A Note From Rabbi Raina Siroty

With the current health pandemic, and restrictions on group gatherings, our kitchens have become our classroom, our basements are our yoga studios, and the dining room has become our office. Where then, is our synagogue?

The rabbis asked this same question right after the destruction of the Temple. Without a localized place of worship, how could we pray together? We are the inheritors of their answer: our home would become our “mikdash m’at,” a miniature sanctuary, a holy place. Our current challenge is to create a sacred space at home while we are in front of our computers on Zoom. What can help us create both that spiritual mindset and that spiritual refuge?

We are not able to gather in large groups in our building for the High Holy days. We will all certainly miss being in person together, with the majesty of large crowds standing close, singing in harmony all our familiar and moving tunes. But we will be “together” safely— in our own homes and/or spaced out in our sanctuary.  This year, we have a unique opportunity to create a sacred space in our home— a mikdash m’at—for the High Holy days and beyond. These ten suggestions are meant to help you enhance the High Holy day experience at home, while creating a communal atmosphere for us all.  Thank you to Rabbi Elyse Goldstein for this beautiful list.

1. Choose your prayer space carefully in advance by spending a few moments of individual contemplation/family discussion. Don’t wait for the last minute!

2. Once you have chosen your space, say a blessing or kavannah (“intention”) over it to mark it as your mikdash m’at

3. What chair will you sit on? Put a cushion or festive pillow on it, or drape it with a tallit, special piece of fabric, or scarf. 

4. Change where you put your computer from a work space to a contemplative space by covering the desk or table with a white tablecloth, white runner, or white placemat, and a vase of flowers.

5. Find meaningful objects to grace your space. On Rosh Hashana include holiday objects like candlesticks and kiddish cup, apples and honey. On Yom Kippur you can place cherished mementoes, family heirlooms, and photos of loved ones to surround you. If you own a shofar, put it where it’s visible.

6. If possible, move the computer space back so that you are “watching” the screen more than “manipulating” it. Consider connecting your computer to a TV screen so it feels less like a work device.

7. Try to limit or disconnect auditory distractions. You can turn off your email and text message ping sounds, and/or close your email program and other apps so you can be fully present during the service.

8. Wear clothing that makes you feel as if you are entering a spiritual space. Kippah and tallit are welcome if they help you express a connection to this special worship.

9. Be sure you have your machzor with you, just like on past High Holy days when we gathered. As you feel its cover and edges and flip its pages, remember the times you’ve used it before—who you sat near, what moved you in the service, the first time you used it, etc. We will use Gates of Repentance this year. The prayers will not be on the screen, so having a machzor means you can participate more fully. These will be found in your Holidays Tote & Treat bags. I promise you, these are really special. Don't miss out.

We all appreciate the time and effort it takes to make your mikdash m’at a reality. Think of it as a “work in progress!”  May it add joy, meaning and to your holiday, and wishing you a very warm and personal Shana Tova,

God bless you and keep you safe. I look forward to seeing you at Shabbat on Friday night at 6pm tomorrow.

Please give me a call on my cell and let me know how you are doing 310 800-4243, or text or email at  I have open Zoom "office hours" Wednesdays at 10am. I am always there. Log on with the link below and say hello.

Rabbi Raina 

We will be having Shabbat services again on Zoom this Friday night at 6pm. 

Rabbi Raina Siroty is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Shabbat Service

Friday September 11th at 6pm Central

Meeting ID: 251 868 1038 

Password: 001859 

Preparing our Souls for the High Holy Days.

A Selichot study of the 13 attributes 

Beginning the Saturday night before Rosh Hashana, and continuing through Yom Kippur, Jews around the world say “Selichot,” prayers for forgiveness designed to awaken us to the significance of the High Holidays.

After the Israelites sinned by constructing the Golden Calf, Moses asked God to explain how God relates with the world. God's answer, known as the "13 Attributes of Mercy," forms the essence of the “Selichot" prayers.

Merciful God, merciful God, powerful God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness and truth. Preserver of kindness for thousands of generations, forgiver of iniquity, willful sin and error, and Who cleanses. (Exodus 34:6-7)

Rabbi Raina Siroty

is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Selichot study of the 13 attributes 

Saturday September 12th at 10:30am

Meeting ID: 251 868 1038 

Password: 001859 

Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim

is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Sunday September 13th at 6PM 

Meeting ID: 251 868 1038 

Password: 001859 

This Weeks Torah Portion
Deuteronomy 29:9–30:20, 31:1–30

You stand this day, all of you, before the Eternal your God--you tribal heads, you elders, and you officials, all of the men of Israel, you children, you women, even the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to water drawer… - Deuteronomy 29:9-10 Moses went and spoke these things to all Israel. He said to them: "I am now one hundred and twenty years old, I can no longer be active. Moreover, the Eternal has said to me, 'You shall not go across yonder Jordan."


  • Moses tells the assembled people that God's covenant speaks to them and to all of the generations who will follow. (29:9–14)

  • God warns the Israelites that they will be punished if they act idolatrously, the way the inhabitants of the other nations do. (29:15–28)

  • Moses reassures the people that God will not forsake them and that they can attain blessings by following God's commandments. (30:1–20)

  • Moses prepares the people for his death and announces that Joshua will succeed him. (31:1–8)

  • Moses instructs the priests and the elders regarding the importance of reading the Torah. (31:9–13)

  • God informs Moses that upon his death, the people will commit idolatry and "many evils and troubles shall befall them." God tells Moses to teach the people a poem that will "be My witness." (31:14–30)

Our Congregation Remembers


Lauren Sobel
Dr. Ayned Mitchell Bell
Judge Michael Moyse Wahlder

M. Schlessinger
*Mandel Blackman
*Moses Rosenthal
Gissela Fuhrer
Jeanette Weil
*Debora Louise Lipsey
Babetta Weil
Sidney Klein
*Rose Brazel Bialy
Dr. Alvin H. Honigman
*William B. Nachman
Charlton B. Forgotston
Sarah G. Forgotson
Sarah Greenstone Forgotson
Anne Fuhrer Morrison
Morris Weinberg
*Abraham Heyman
*Elizabeth A. Dover
Julius Rosenthal

*A light will burn on our bronze Memorial board

May their memories be for a blessing


All those infected and affected by Coronavirus, and

Marla Banta
Robert Banta
Kristine Baum
Phyllis Berenhaus
Mary Beth Caplan
Nathan Dayan
Doris Greene
Harry Gross
Susan Israel
Viola Jonson
Sara Kerr
George LeRay
Ron Lubritz
Jamie Mykoff
Harry Silver
Deborah Taylor
John Texada
Please visit our website section 'HEALING PRAYERS' linked below for the prayer for healing, Mi Shebeirach as recorded by our Rabbi Cantor Raina Siroty.

*If anyone knows of someone who is in need of a Mi Shebeirach prayer, please email the rabbi and she will mention their name in our bulletin, as well as at Friday night services. Their names will continue to be mentioned and listed until it is requested that their name be removed.

Rabbi Siroty is inviting you to an informal Zoom meeting.

Talk with Rabbi Raina Wednesdays at 10am

Join Zoom Chat

Meeting ID: 251 868 1038 

Password: 001859 
Pick-up your Shana Tova "At Home for the Holidays"
Temple Tote, Treat bag and Machzors

Bag pick up from Nadine and Cleveland at Temple
Tuesday 10:30-2:30 and
Wednesday 11-2:30
Drive Through Beech Street Entrance near Kitchen
Bags will be at the Hall Door.

One Family Member may pick-up and distribute all the bags for their extended family.

We will have bags delivered to the infirm and elderly. Please let us know if you are unable to pick-up your bag. 310 800-4243

Gorgeous Temple Imprinted
Heavy Duty Zippered Canvas Tote Bag

Filled with Goodies and perishables.

High Holy Day Greeting Card
Box of Herbal Apple Tea
Honey Jars
Shabbat Candles
Yahrzeit Candle
Fresh Round Challah
Yummy Honey Cake
Bottle of Wine
Tzedakah Boxes for the Children
Mrs. Prindables Triple Chocolate Carmel Apple
Tashlich Seeds and Service
Kever Avot Service

Shana Tova From Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim.

High Holy Day Calendar

During the past few weeks, I have met with the board and a select group of members of our congregation, spanning all age groups to decide how to proceed with our COVID-19 High Holy Day services this year.  While many said that they will only be attending virtually, there were some that were interested in attending services in person. We have decided the following:

All High Holy Day services will be broadcasted over ZOOM. 

In addition, we will be opening the Temple Sanctuary for Erev Rosh Hashanah Services on Friday, September 18th and for Yom Kippur Services on Monday, September 28th in the afternoon which will include our memorial and closing service. 

We will be limiting in sanctuary services to the first 30 congregants who make a reservation to Fran at  and please designate which service you would like to attend.

Reservations ARE required
Unregistered people will not be permitted to enter the building. 

 • All seats will be marked with your name. You will be seated by family. 

•  Every congregant must wear a mask or face covering, use hand sanitizer upon entering the building, have their temperature taken and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from those not in your immediate family.

• At the conclusion of services, congregants will leave through the designated door without shaking hands and you may not socialize within or outside the building.


Selichot Study Session: Saturday, September 12th 10:30 am
Erev Rosh Hashanah: Friday, September 18th 7:30 pm via zoom and in person
Rosh Hashanah Morning: Saturday, September 19th 10:30 am
Shabbat Shuvah: Friday, September 25th 6pm
Erev Yom Kippur: Sunday, September 27th 7:30 pm
Yom Kippur Morning: Monday, September 28th 10:30 am
Yom Kippur Torah Study Session: 1:30 pm
Yom Kippur Afternoon, Yizkor and Neilah: 4:45 pm via zoom and in person
Sukkot Shabbat: Friday, October 2nd 6pm
Simchat Torah Shabbat: Friday, October 9th 6pm

Melisa Fox  • September 4
Nancy Noles  •  September 5
Mickey Mayo •  September 7
Jack Kahn  •  September 8
Paula Bindursky  •  September 9
Edward Kaplan  •  September 10
Maddie Ginsburgh  •   September 12
Buddy Lipsey  •  September 12
Arielle Fine • September 13
Karen Klein • September 13
Leo Lowentritt  •  September 14
Beverly Lowentritt • September 17
Missy Rubin • September 18
Hunter Wellan • September 19
Shira Kaplan • September 22
Camille Kirzner • September 22
Shelley Kaplan • September 28
Matt Stroderd • September 28
Jacqueline Auerbach • September 29
Dianne Blotner • September 30

Judy & Arny Task • September 4
Missy & Adam Rubin • September 5
Laurie & Tommy Wahlder • September 10
Edwina & Sam Friedman • September 26


A leaf on our Tree of Life is a wonderful way to honor family and friends.


A leaf is $150.00 and can be given by one or more people. 

  Contact: Kim Bindursky
  318 613-1647

Follow us on Facebook for upcoming events
and a link to this weekly newsletter.

Visit our website we add fresh info weekly.


HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is to guarantee patient privacy, which is good for the patient because it protects their confidentiality, but not very helpful when the Temple is trying to find patients. Please do not assume that we know you are in the hospital or that the Chaplains Office has contacted the Temple or the Rabbi, even if a chaplain has visited you. PLEASE, I want to be able to visit you. I want to be able to offer you the solace and perspective of our tradition. The Temple wants to let you know that we care, but that can only happen when we know where you are. 

Thank you,

Rabbi Raina Siroty
Congregation Gemiluth Chassodim | Rabbi Cantor Raina Siroty | 318.445.3655