Rosh Hashanah Eve we enjoyed apples, honey and champagne, symbolizing the sweet year ahead of us. The Services led by Rabbi White were inspiring and meaningful. I especially enjoy the moment during the Service when the children are brought from the Children's Program to the Sanctuary when the Torah is brought out. This adds excitement to the room as the children get to touch the Torah as it is carried around the Sanctuary. My hope is that this time with the Torah will remind them throughout their lives how important these Scrolls are to the Jewish Community. Therein lies the wisdom we need to live a fulfilling life. As Rabbi White says, "The Torah is for our children".
Then on to Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur Eve gives us another time with the Torah. We took out the three Torahs. Every year during this part of the Service, we honor those members who are important to B'nai Israel. This year we honored our Past Presidents. On the Bima were many of our Past Presidents with the Torahs while Rabbi White chanted the blessings.
Yom Kipper day was another inspiring Service. It is thrilling to have a full Sanctuary with Rabbi White leading the all-day Service with powerful energy, while teaching us with words from the Torah. Our dear friend Max also was on the Bima, singing and teaching. We ended the day with a festive Break-the-Fast, looking forward to a new beginning.
Then a quick transition to Sukkot, a time of rejoicing and celebration. We are commanded to be happy. We built a Sukkah and made it our home to mark the time of harvest and prepare for winter. We rejoiced with Services on Sukkot eve and Sukkot morning with Rabbi White leading us through the rituals, prayers and teachings, helping us fulfill our responsibility of being happy.
Then on to Simchat Torah, the completion and the beginning of the cycle of Torah readings. We read the Torah from beginning to end every year. At the Simchat Torah Service we celebrate reading the final verses of the Torah and re-roll the scrolls so at the next Shabbat Service we can begin reading Chapter1, Verse 1. We are so happy to complete the reading of the Torah, we dance around the Sanctuary seven times with the Torahs.
Now we are ready for the new beginning. We will begin reading the Torah from the start. This symbolizes a new beginning for all of us. A chance to start over with a clean slate.
So we begin our new year. During these Holidays and Celebrations all Services were well attended with active participation of the congregants. For me, this is what Congregation B'nai Israel is all about. Providing a venue for the Jewish Community to observe our life cycle moments. This is the reason the Local Synagogue exists, a place for our Community to observe our past and look forward to our future.
GOOD NEWS - we will do it all again next year, God willing.