Shalom WJC Family,
We are in our fourth big week of holidays here at WJC. This past Monday and Tuesday we celebrated a beautiful first two days of Sukkot with over one hundred people and a lot of parading around with lulav and etrog. The video link below is a recap of my remarks from the first day of Sukkot about Sukkot as the holiday for refugees. This Monday and Tuesday we will take parading to the next level with Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah!
First, Sunday night and Monday morning are Shemini Atzeret, a quieter day in shul, but one of the four days a year that feature the Yizkor Memorial Prayers. We will do Yizkor on Monday morning – I would advise arriving by 10:45am. As is our custom, I will officiate at an additional early service at 7:00am—in the sukkah if weather permits (rain location will be the chapel)—that will include Yizkor prayers and end a little before 9:00am.
Monday evening and Tuesday morning we celebrate Simchat Torah. Join us Monday evening for a community dinner, followed by family friendly Simchat Torah celebrations. We will have lots of parading and dancing with the Sifrei Torah, unfurling the Torah completely for all to see, a brief service, and treats for everyone (cookies for the kids and l’chaims for the grown-ups)! Weather permitting, many of these activities will be outside on the sukkah patio. Please note that due to location, this service and celebration will not be live streamed.
On Tuesday morning, we are delighted to continue the Simchat Torah celebration with “Dancing and Dumplings!” We will honor our “Kallat Torah,” outgoing SLC chair Beth Jaret, and our “Kallat Bereshit,” incoming SLC chair Tracey Levy. As we celebrate the renewal of our commitment to the Torah by beginning the cycle of readings again, so too does our congregation celebrate our commitment to the spiritual life of our community with the continuation of strong leadership at the SLC—they both embody “from strength to strength.” We will dance with the Sifrei Torah and feast on our regular Kiddish enhanced with dumplings from Bodhi Kosher Vegetarian in Chinatown! (Thanks to the Levys for sponsoring the Kiddish in honor of Beth and Tracey.) You can look below for more details on Simchat Torah.
And don’t forget that before all of that we have a great Shabbat planned—ECC Shabbat, Shabbat dinner in the sukkah (rsvp required) and Rhythm & Ruach plus a tour of the new exhibition in the Koslowe Gallery after services.
One more thing—we need your blessings! You may recall that on Rosh Hashanah I spoke about blessings and asked you to submit blessings to our 100 Blessings a Day for 100 Days Project. We started out strong but the effort is fading. Can you click here right this moment and write one thing you are grateful for, one person that helps you feel blessed or one blessing you have given someone else in the last day or two? After submitting your own, you can browse the long list of blessings that have been reported so far and bask in the glow of our blessed, blessing community. Thank you so much for helping with our effort.
See you in shul for Shabbat and/or Yom Tov,