Shalom, chaveirim - hello, friends -
The Ten Days of Awe have concluded - now what!?
Well. That was great.
Rosh HaShanah. Yom Kippur.
Shofar blowing, Torah reading, Haftarah chanting, lots of niggunim (wordless melodies), tons of prayers, a few sermons ... and we are now in the New Year.
We barely have a chance to catch our breath and immediately we are onto Sukkot.
Our challenge is to keep the theme of The Ten Days of Repentance relevant to our daily living. While we don't need to live with the intensity of the chest beating and reflection, we are required to carry the idea of repentance with us all year long. "Repent the day before your death," say the rabbis of old.
I invite you to consider how we can carry forward the theme of love as obligation/loyalty into our year ahead. I challenged everyone on both holidays to to consider love in relation to family members, friends, Temple Sholom, and Israel. This theme is "very Jewish" and will undoubtedly show up during the coming year. As we are commanded to love (God, our neighbor, the stranger), doing so fulfills three commandments of the 613.
Given the immediacy of what is happening in Israel, I have written a column here ("Helping the Protestors") where you can learn more about how to help the protesters in Israel. Through שומרים על הבית המשותף ~ Guardians of our shared home, you can assist those who are working for a Jewish and Democratic Israel.
My offer still stands: I'm happy to discuss my sermons over a coffee ~ whether you liked the ideas or not!! I genuinely am interested in hearing responses to nurture discussion! You can find the printed material below - just remember that missing in the printed form are my insertions, vocal intonations, and impromptu side-notes that allow me to flesh the sermon out a little more.
A chance for thanks
With Sukkot being the holiday of giving thanks for the fall harvest, playing on that theme, please allow me to thank those who helped in the orchestration of the holidays: Barbara Kessler for the choir, Jeremy Stone as our pianist, Howard Lapidus and Steve Nargiso assigning honors, David Schaffer representing our Board, and of course, the outstanding: Tamara Potter, Executive Director.
My work is unique as the rabbi of the congregation but I am only able to do what I do because of the excellent work of Tam and the many volunteers. Thank you all.
The Sukkah is UP!! Have a look at this video!!
Sukkot is coming soon - and the sukkah will be open all week: come by to enjoy!! Bring a meal and do a mitzvah by sitting in the sukkah. I'll be there on Tuesday, Oct. 3 for lunch (noon) and dinner (5:30p - I know, kind of early, bring a snack if you prefer!). On Friday, Sept. 29, we'll welcome Sukkot. On Friday, Oct. 6, we'll close off the holiday and celebrate the cycle of Torah reading.
If you are dwelling in a sukkah (ours or your own or a friend's), making kiddush for the holiday, or just want to learn more check out JewFaq's resource HERE.
May the New Year be a good one for us all and may we have a chance to do what the good book tells us: BE HAPPY FOR SUKKOT!! Literally - see Leviticus 23:40. We've got a lulav and we are not afraid to use it!!
Moadim l'simcha ~ to festivals of rejoicing,
Rabbi Mark Cohn
Thank you to the Sukkah Builders of Temple Sholom 2023/5784: Henry Cooperman, Howard Lapidus, Pacey Pet, David Schaffer and the Doerwald crew: Doug, Drew Sr. and Drew, Jr.
Whiskey Tasting November 2022
Passover leftovers pot luck dinner, April 2023