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A Rosh Hashanah to Remember! 

09/18/2023 10:48:49 AM

Sep18

Rosh Hashanah 5784 was definitely one for "the books"! There is a traditional saying:  

תכלה שנה וקללותיה - תחל שנה וברכותיה

"Tichleh shanah v'ki-l'loteh-ha, Takhel shanah u'vir-cho-teh-ha!" 

"May the (previous) year and its curses  end, and the New Year and its blessings begin". 

It strikes me that on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we hyper focus on our shortcomings, our mistakes and our failings. Because our tradition encourages us to focus on correcting our behavior and improve ourselves,   there is a tendency to focus on the negative aspects of the year that is ending. But, I recently read a wonderful little children's book called "Tashlich at Turtle Rock".  As we all know, tashlich is a brief ceremony in which we throw bread crumbs  symbolizing our misdeeds into a flowing body of water. This children's book however expands the ceremony into one which includes recognizing the positive memories and aspects of the past year that we want to retain  in addition to recognizing our shortcomings. 

The re-emergence of covid threw our congregation into a bit of a challenge - and next year we may remember it as a "curse", or a negative experience we hope never to repeat. However, I saw a bit of "good" in it. We all had to come together and problem solve and in the end I think we all had a very positive worship experience.  Ilyssa Tepperman, Jessica Jacobs and Miriam Benovitz had to step in to oversee the youth service program at the last minute when Lisa Klein  became sick. Lisa Klein helped me plan our High Holiday Youth Program and will hopefully be back for Yom Kippur.  A special shout out to Hannah Stepak and Charlotte Sussman for leading the Young Family Service, Daniella Kimowitz who led a service for 3rd-6th graders  and  all of our teen madrichim. 

On a totally different topic, I want to share with you the following article: How 5 Cantors Prep for the High Holidays

And because I want to end with music, here is a spectacular performance of Avinu Malkeinu (composed by Max Janowski) sung by HaZamir, The International Jewish Teen Choir. This performance is guaranteed to give you chills. Avinu Malkeinu Hazamir.

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784