Shabbat Shalom ~ Shoftim 2021

Dear WJC Family, 

It was a great trip to Colorado and so much fun to participate in a simcha, but I am really excited to be back home – and just in time for the month of Elul which leads up to Rosh HaShanah. Elul is the time to ask the sometimes difficult questions that will allow us to have a successful spiritual experience of teshuva or ‘return’ during the High Holidays. One of those essential questions was highlighted for me while we were exploring Rocky Mountain National Park.

We took a short hike on the Tundra Communities Trail at the highest point on the main road through the park. It was 85-degrees when we left Boulder, but 55-degrees up on the mountain. As we walked just a half-mile we found ourselves stopping every few dozen feet to catch our breath and let our heart rates slow. The air up there was clean and crisp, but also rarefied and unable to support. It begged the question appropriate for Elul:

What are the nearly invisible things all around us that are essential for our survival, but that we barely notice are there – until they’re not?

The month of Elul is a time to focus on things that are simple and essential: our relationships with family, community, God, and even with ourselves, the things to which we dedicate time and resources, and whether we feel we are following the path that was meant for us. Over the next few weeks, we have several opportunities to learn, sing, pray and contemplate. The idea is to create an atmosphere rich in spiritual opportunities to make the most of this season. Please take a look at the Elul/High Holiday schedule and I hope you’ll join us at some of these special events.

For more of my thoughts about the high mountain, thin air experience, and the connection to Elul, look out for my article in the next WJC Review.

I also wanted to mention that with the pace of change at this moment in the pandemic, it is still too soon to definitively say what the COVID-19 safety protocols will be at the various services we are offering for the High Holidays. The COVID-19 Task Force and our High Holiday Task Force chairs Susan Miller and Harold Treiber are spending an amazing amount of time and effort to make sure the services will all be as safe and as comfortable as possible—much gratitude to them all. Please be patient and pay especially close attention to emails or letters that arrive over the next few weeks. Together we will create a High Holiday experience that is as safe and comfortable for as many members of the WJC family as possible.

Looking forward to seeing you in shul or on the Live Stream tonight at 7:15pm – Rabbi Dalton will be speaking. Then in the morning, our guest darshan will be WJC member Gaby Tolchinsky. Mincha services will then be Saturday afternoon at 7:45 where I will be teaching on the topic, “The Essential Credo of Living a Good Jewish Life.” You can download and print out the source sheet by clicking here.

See you in shul or online,




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