Dear WJC Family,
Chodesh Tov! Happy Elul. The Jewish month of Elul, which begins today, starts the month-long count up (we don’t count down) to Rosh Hashanah. As you may have noticed, you are receiving an awful lot of communication from me lately. The summer is winding down and we are preparing for a holiday season like none that we’ve experienced before, so there is a lot to tell you! You will be receiving a letter from me very soon about the Kol Nidre Appeal, which like everything else this year, will be done differently from the past. I wanted to take this opportunity to address the fact that many of us will be participating in High Holiday services via live stream on WJC’s website rather than in person.
One thing I have noticed throughout this difficult period is that virtual events are generally better than we think they’ll be. We’ve seen it here at events like the Gala honoring Rabbi Jef and Marla Segelman and a number of services and programs, as well as more globally with family gatherings, school graduations, and more. With regard to our High Holiday plans, I find this fact encouraging and I am optimistic that we will be able to have a truly meaningful, if definitely different, High Holiday season this year.
Different does not necessarily imply less meaningful. On Passover, for example, though I wasn’t able to have the seder the way I like and have grown accustomed to, the evening had new meaning. I never felt more connected to the Israelite slaves who cowered in their homes 3500 years ago while a mysterious plague passed among the homes of the Egyptians. I do not yet know what the parallel will be for that on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, but I know there is undiscovered meaning waiting to be accessed. Let’s do our best to allow that to happen by making this effort together.
I hope you will join us for Shabbat services this week. Kabbalat Shabbat will be on Zoom led by Rabbi Dalton and I will be delivering the drasha called, “Sorcery, Shabbat and the World to Come.” Saturday morning I will start davening the preliminary and morning services alone in the sanctuary from 9:00-9:45. At 10:00am, we will start with a minyan including the Torah service. Service highlight for me: Tami and I will be taking an aliyah to the Torah in honor of our 21st wedding anniversary which is this Shabbat–Happy anniversary Tam!
See you in shul or online,