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High Holiday Highlights: Part 3

10/04/2017 07:55:27 AM


October 3, 2017
by Cantor David Frommer & Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

What a journey! Almost three weeks ago, we began our High Holiday season with an unforgettable S’lichot experience, and this past weekend we concluded Yom Kippur with a packed sanctuary for our Ne’ilah service.  In the final hours of Yom Kippur, you can imagine that our energy was starting to wane, but seeing over 1000 of you in the congregation for our closing service, hearing your voices soar and feeling your positive energy filled us with excitement and optimism. Thank you all for your commitment and dedication to Sherith Israel which inspires us in our work every day!

The good news is… we still have more holidays, starting right now. The better news is that none of them involve fasting.

Fall is wonderful—leaves start to change color and we get to wear cozy scarves. And the holiday of Sukkot is so much fun: It’s like a Jewish combination of the values of Thanksgiving (gratitude for the food we have and commitment to care for those who have less) with the decorations of Christmas (we adorn the sukkah with lights, fruit, laminated photographs and festive home-made ornaments). We welcome guests into our sukkah to share our food and company, shake the lulav and the etrog, and study the book of Kohelet (better known as Ecclesiastes—the coolest Jewish text EVER). 

Here at Sherith Israel, we’ll be celebrating Sukkot and its conclusion, Simchat Torah, with a terrific series of events.  We’ll kick off the week-long holiday of Sukkot with a fascinating documentary called Sukkah City. The movie tells of a design competition (organized in part by Cantor David's college roommate) for the creative re-envisioning of sukkah.  Before the movie, come nibble and hang out in a real sukkah, without having to build one yourself!  Sukkot starts Wednesday night—so please RSVP right away.  Don’t miss this!

Thursday night, join us for a cozy wine and cheese event in Cantor David’s sukkah. Space is very limited so  RSVP here. Please bring wine, cheese or fruit to share. 

There are many other events throughout the weekend, including a dinner and sukkah decorating party at our CSI sukkah following services Friday night, and some parties at Urban Adamah—an urban Jewish farm in Berkeley. More information can be found on our website.

Friday, October 13, join us at Prime Time (the 65+ group) for lunch and a lively study session on Kohelet. (Did we mention it’s the best Jewish text EVER?) 

For Simchat Torah, join us on October 11 for a mind-expanding presentation by Rabbi Graf on Judaism, astronomy and the creation of the world.  Then, at services on Friday evening, October 13, we’ll unroll the entire Torah scroll around our sanctuary and tour the highlights of its chapters. Please save the dates and stay tuned for more information, or check out our website if you’re too excited to wait for next week’s Under the Dome.

On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we joined together to confront painful truths and make important resolutions about what kind of people we want to be in the coming year. Our work is far from over, but during the next week we shift our focus from inward to outward—welcoming and celebrating with those who are closest to us and rededicating ourselves to creating the just and caring society that we believe the world can be.

Chag sameach—Happy holidays!!

Sat, March 17 2018 1 Nisan 5778