January 11, 2019
Services – 6:30 pm
Dinner – 7:30 pm
You have to love that our most ancient ritual, Shabbat, starts with a most contemporary aesthetic: dining by candlelight. In Jewish tradition, lighting candles at sunset on Friday is the last act of the workweek, the literal spark that carries us into Shabbat. Yet nowhere in the Torah does God command us to light two candles at dusk. Rather, over the centuries, the sages linked the practice to shamor and zachor, the commandments to keep and remember Shabbat.
Start this new year with Temple friends and family when we keep and remember Shabbat at Sha’arei Shabbat services. Ease yourself into a new ritual by attending this shortened worship service followed by a delicious dinner.
, known as Passover in English, is a major Jewish spring festival, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago. The ritual observance of this holiday centers around a special home service called the seder (meaning “order”) and a festive meal; the prohibition of (leaven); and the eating of (an unleavened bread). On the fifteenth day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, Jews gather with family and friends in the evening to read from a book called the , meaning “telling,” which contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings, and songs for the Passover seder. Today, the holiday is a celebration of freedom and family. Read more about Passover at the URJ Website.
Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest, as well as the commemoration of the forty years of Jewish wandering in the desert after Sinai. Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur on the 15th of Tishrei and is marked
by several distinct traditions. One tradition, which takes the commandment
to “dwell in booths” literally, is to build a sukkah, a booth or hut. A sukkah is often erected by Jews during this festival, and it is common practice for some to eat and even live in these temporary dwellings during Sukkot. Thanks to our mighty Sukkah builders!
The first Megillah of the year!
On Rosh Hashanah Rabbi Harris challenged us to read five short Jewish books from Tanakh, including four megillot:
– Jonah on Yom Kippur
– Ecclesiastes during Sukkot
– Esther on Purim
– Song of Songs during Passover
– Ruth on Shavuot
Sukkot begins this year on the evening of Oct. 8, 2014. Over the next seven days let’s read Ecclesiastes, called Kohelet in Hebrew. There are study questions below, and you may want to join an informal Lunch & Learn, Thursday, Oct. 9th at the Downtown Library at 11:30 a.m., or Tuesday, October 14, at noon in the sukkah at Temple.
Background of Kohelet/Ecclesiastes
The megillah of Kohelet is found in the third part of the Tanakh, called the Writings section. You can order an English translation of all five megillot plus the book of Jonah. You can see a less modern on-line English translation of Kohelet.
Tradition teaches that Kohelet is one of three biblical books written by King Solomon(10th century BCE). Scholars believe it was written around the 2nd-3rd century BCE. It is the biblical book closest to presenting an actual philosophy of life. Kohelet asks fundamental questions about meaning, purpose, and hope.
There are at least three reasons why Kohelet is read during Sukkot:
- It talks about rejoicing, and one name for Sukkot is ‘the season of our rejoicing’ (z’man simchateinu)
- It talks about the impermanence of life, and a sukkah represents transience and uncertainty
- “Autumn” is the season of our lives when we think about mortality, a significant theme of the book
Questions for Reading Kohelet
- Chapter One: Are you surprised a book of the Bible opens with the statement that “all is futile” or “all is vanity”? The statement will vary depending on the translation. If you were choosing what books would be included in Tanakh, what criteria would you use?
- Chapter Two: Kohelet describes his great material success as ultimately meaningless. Think about what his back-story might be. What might have happened that has caused him to search for meaning and interpret life as he does?
- Chapters 3-6. What does Kohelet believe about God? How does his belief compare to your own?
- Chapters 7-8.Chapter 9. Particularly in this pre-election season, how do we attune ourselves and encourage others to hear “words spoken softly by wise men”? Do we live in an environment where those words are heeded? (9:17-18)
- What might be better about the day of death than the day of birth (7:1)?
- How would you describe Kohelet’s emotional state? When have you felt like this? Is this an emotional place where you are comfortable? (8:9-14)
- Chapters 10-11.Chapter 12. “The sum of the matter, when all is said and done: Revere God and observe God’s commandments! For this applies to all mankind: that God will call every creature to account for every deed, known or hidden, be it good or bad.” Is this a satisfying conclusion to the book? What of Kohelet’s philosophy will you continue to think about for the rest of the day?
- Who can you trust? What might this teach about how we use our words, even in private? (10:19-20)
- Do you hear these words as hopeful and promising, or disheartening and grim?
Your Temple Board of Directors is pleased to announce that all High Holy Day tickets are free of charge. Guests of member congregants as well as non-members within the community are welcomed and invited, free of charge, to join us in prayer. To receive complimentary tickets, guests must complete our High Holy Day Ticket Request found HERE.
Schedule of Services
Please see the Temple High Holy Days Schedule for a list of dates, times, and locations of services. Join us at 5779 Celebration Continues for information about Sukkot, Simchat Torah and Shemini Atzeret.
The beginning of a new year is filled with mixed emotions. In looking back on the previous year we focus on our failures, missed opportunities and the precious moments that slipped by. At the same time, the High Holy days provide us with a new year full of hope and renewal.
The rituals and symbols of Rosh Hashanah wonderfully capture and express these mixed feelings. The shofars’ blasts cry out for the year gone by. The shofar urges us to wake up, look inside ourselves and to recognize our habitual shortcomings. By beginning the process of introspection in the month of Elul we can recite the prayers of the High Holy Days with a sense of seriousness and urgency.
But Rosh Hashanah is more than just somber prayers in a minor key. Gathered as families around the dining room table, we dip challah and apples into honey. The sweet honey reminds us of the many pleasures we experienced in the course of the previous year. By reciting special blessings we ask God to grant us a new year of health and happiness.
Yom Kippur lacks the shofar and the festival meal of Rosh Hashanah, but its rituals are no less powerful, its symbols no less evocative.
During the course of the day’s extended prayers, one symbol is repeated over and over again. As we recite the vidui (confessional), it is customary to stand slightly bowed and to lightly beat our hearts with our fisted right hand. Bent over under the weight of burdens and pain, we express our humility. Admitting that our hearts turned astray, we beat our chest to express the pain we caused ourselves and others. When done for the first time, the customs of beating our chests may feel awkward and embarrassing. But it helps us better enter the words of our prayers and the mood of the day.
Come join us for a night of food, friends, music, and wine as we join together for the holiday of Sukkot. Paired wines and appetizers for $10 per person.
Contact Rachel Opatowsky at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405.848.0965.
For the full Celebration Continues schedule, Click Here
For more about Sukkot, Click Here
|NOTE: Each holiday begins and ends at sundown on the days listed.|
|Secular Year||Sep ’11 –
|Sep ’12 –
|Sep ’13 –
|Sep ’14 –
|Sep ’15 –
|S’LICHOT SERVICE||Sep 24||Sep 8||Aug 31||Sep 20||Sep 5|
||Sep 16-18||Sep 4-6||Sep 24-26||Sep 13-15
|YOM KIPPUR||Oct 7-8
||Sep 13-14||Oct 3-4
|SUKKOT||Oct 12-19||Sep 30-Oct 7||Sep 18-25||Oct 8-15||Sep 27-Oct 4
||Oct 7-8||Sep 25-26||Oct 16-17
||Nov 27-Dec 5||Dec 16-24||Dec 6-14|
|TU BISH’VAT||Feb 7-8
||Jan 25-26||Jan 15-16||Feb 3-4
|PURIM||Mar 7-8||Feb 23-24
||Mar 4-5||Mar 23-24|
||Mar 25-Apr 1||Apr 14-21
|YOM HASHOAH||Apr 18-19||Apr 6-7||Apr 26-27||Apr 15-16||May 4-5
|Apr 24-25||Apr 14-15||May 4-5
||Apr 15-16||May 5-6
||Apr 27-28||May 17-18||May 6-7||May 25-26
||May 14-15||Jun 3-4||May 23-24
||Aug 5-6||Jul 25-26
|NOTE: Each holiday begins and ends at sundown on the days listed.|
You are invited and encouraged to let us know the name and yahrzeit of your beloved ones who have departed from us. We will honor their memory by announcing their name at our synagogue during services. May you be comforted among all the mourners of Israel.
In Jewish tradition, when the year of mourning is over, mourners are expected to return to a fully normal life. There are several occasions each year when our loved ones who have passed on are memorialized. The most significant of these is yahrzeit, the anniversary of the death, which is observed according to the Hebrew calendar. As is the case in all Jewish holy days, yahrzeit observance begins at night. A 24-hour candle is lit and one may attend synagogue to recite the Kaddish [the memorial prayer]. It is traditional to avoid attending any celebrations or parties on the day of yahrzeit, and some people fast on that day.
Yit-ga-dal v’yit-ka-dash sh’mei ra-ba,
b’al-ma di-v’ra chi-ru-tei, v’yam-lich mal-chu-tei
uv’chai-yei d’chol-beit Yis-ra-eil,
ba-a-ga-la u-viz-man ka-riv,
Y’hei sh’mei ra-ba m’va-rach
l’a-lam ul’al-mei al-ma-ya.
v’yit-pa-ar v’yit-ro-mam v’yit-na-sei,
v’yit-ha-dar v’yit-a-leh v’yit-ha-lal, sh’mei d’ku-d’sha, b’rich hu,
l’ei-la min kol bir-cha-ta v’shi-ra-ta,
tush-b’cha-ta v’ne-che-ma-ta, da-a-mi-ran b’al-ma,
Y’hei sh’la-ma ra-ba min sh’ma-ya,
v’cha-yim, a-lei-nu v’al kol-Yis-ra-eil,
O-seh sha-lom bim-ro-mav,
hu ya-a-seh sha-lom a-lei-nu v’al kol-Yis-ra-eil,
An English Translation
Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has
created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during
your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.
May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.
Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be
the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises
and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all
Israel; and say, Amen.
May they rest in peace and may their memory ever be for a blessing… At this moment, I pause for thought in memory of my beloved………………………I give thanks for the blessing of life, of companionship and of memory. I am grateful for the strength and faith that sustained me in the hour of my bereavement. Though sorrow lingers, I have learned that love is stronger than death. Though my loved one is beyond my sight, I do not despair for I sense my beloved in my heart as a living presence. ustained by words of faith, comforted by precious memories, we kindle the light in remembrance. “The human spirit is the light of Adonai” (Proverbs 20:27). As this light is pure and clear, so may the blessed memory of the goodness and nobility of character of our dear…………..illumine our souls.