Days of Awe-Some

BY SETH SCHAFLER,  WJC PRESIDENT

Awesome is an overused word. But it is the right word to describe this year’s High Holidays at WJC.

Not only because the High Holidays are known as the Days of Awe, but because of how truly awesome it was to experience the outpouring of spiritual engagement and community feeling during this year’s High Holiday services. Here are some of my personal highlights:

  • Rabbi Arnowitz talking about the sacred Torah scroll his great-great-grandmother brought to this country from Europe in 1903, which has been in his care since he first became a Rabbi, and is now part of our shul. The arrival of the Arnowitz Torah to WJC represents the joining of Rabbi Arnowitz’s family history with ours and the Torah learning he has begun to impart to our community.
  • Rabbi Segelman’s final letter to his children, which he read at the start of the Neilah service, in which he reflected on his impending retirement (note to self: retirement is a sunset that can be long and beautiful) and pleading with God one last time to “keep the gates open” for our shul.
  • The long line of congregants coming up to the Bimah, alone or with their families, to stand before the open Ark, kiss the Torahs, have a private moment of prayer and reflection, and share High Holiday greetings and hugs.
  • The comments read anonymously by congregants in the Study Service about the importance to them of the WJC community and the impact it had made on their lives.
  • Cantor Ethan’s beautiful voice and inspired Davening.

We should always remember that WJC is a holy place because of the role it plays in our lives and the lives of our families. The “Center of our Jewish Lives” is not just a motto. We now turn with renewed energy to the exciting year that lies ahead of us, beginning with Rabbi Arnowitz’s installation on December 8.

And please remember to submit materials for the Rabbi Segelman memory book before Thanksgiving!

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