There were many many beautiful moments over this holiday period. However, there were two moments when I felt that my breath was taken away. The first was at Neilah, the final service on Yom Kippur, when I witnessed families and individuals coming before the ark and standing in front of the Torah scrolls. For some it was a chance to reflect on the past year and offer a prayer for the year ahead. For others it was a chance to meditate on the themes or ideas in the service, and for others a chance to offer blessings to family members. And of course there were tears. I was lucky to witness the way that so many of you connected with this ritual and our sacred objects and spaces. It simply was a beautiful outpouring of emotion and it gave us all hope for the year to come.
The second moment was last week when I saw the final result of our food drive for the Interfaith Food Bank. We collected 140 bags of food! I got chills as I saw Shaarei Tikvah’s generous heart take shape in the hallways and closets of our building and was very proud as I helped our volunteers schlep heavy bags out to the car for delivery.
With the holidays behind us I want to call our attention to some amazing events happening at ST.
The topic for our first Midtown Midrash will be “Communal Responsibility Against Sexual Assault.” Together we will engage classical Jewish texts to help us in a conversation about the #metoo movement and how we can react with Jewish values.
Day/Time: Thursday, October 11 from 12:30-1:30PM.
Location: NYC at a midtown office. Please call our synagogue office for address.
Next shabbat, Saturday October 13th, Shabbat Lunch and Learn led by Maital Friedman. Maital will be speaking about her recent visit to the West Bank with a tour led by Encounter, an organization which brings Jewish leaders to encounter the complex stories, people, and places at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Through a first hand account of her experiences, Maital will share her stories about an area of Israel many of us have never visited and are curious to learn more about.
Lastly, I want to encourage each of us to sign up for the Shabbaton on Friday to Saturday, November 2nd-3rd. I have heard from many of you how fantastic the last Shabbaton was before I arrived at ST and I am thrilled to get a chance to spend an entire shabbat with you in Tarrytown! There will be so many opportunities to deepen relationships, learn something new, share a drink, eat delicious food, play games, take a stroll, and celebrate shabbat as a community. Please join me!