Dear WJC Family,
This will be my last personal message to you in this calendar year and so I want to take the opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year. I know this isn’t the Jewish New Year, but even on the Jewish calendar we have four “New Years” (see Mishnah Rosh HaShanah 1:1), so there is no reason why we can’t celebrate this one too?! And the truth is we can all use any excuse to celebrate these days.
There seems to be a lot of excitement about 2020 drawing to a close. I am reminded of the myth that there were riots after King George II enacted the Calendar Act of 1750 (which moved Britain from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar.) To get the dates to sync, King George removed eleven days from September of 1752. People are said to have chanted, “We want our eleven days back.” The story is very likely just a myth, because even the British peasants of 1752 were wise enough to know that changing the calendar did not actually change their lives, and so are we.
Still, while turning the page on the calendar may not actually change our fortunes, it is a good time to reflect on the past year and express some hope for the year to come. It seems hard to believe, but 2020 was actually my first full year as Rabbi of WJC. While it wasn’t how I hoped and pictured my first year would look, I want to express my gratitude for being part of such a remarkable community even at, maybe especially at, such a difficult moment in history. You have supported the synagogue, each other and our clergy in ways I could not possibly have imagined or expected. You continue to inspire me and I consider it one of the great privileges of my life to serve this community.
2020 being what it has been, I have not had nearly the opportunities I would have liked to sit with you at Kiddish, go out for coffee or have you over to our home for Shabbas dinner. While I hope and expect that those opportunities will come soon, in the meantime I would like to create one more opportunity for us to connect now. So, could you please hit “reply” to this email and tell me at least one unexpectedly good thing that happened to you and/or your family in 2020? Perhaps something comes to mind quickly, or perhaps it takes you a little longer to sift through the year and find the ray of light, but together we will create a log of the good we experienced even in a year that felt pretty bad. Please send me your notes and I will look forward to giving you a call when I get back from a few days off in the first week of January.
In the meantime, this Shabbat I will be off, but Rabbi Dalton and Cantor Goldberg have two wonderful services planned. Since Shabbat comes in so early this time of year, we are going to switch to Kabbalat Shabbat by Live Stream from the sanctuary once Shabbat actually starts, this week that will be 4:30pm. We hope this change allows more people to participate. The service will be similar to the one we have been doing on Zoom, Cantor Goldberg will daven and Rabbi Dalton will give a short Dvar Torah. We will also recite Mourner’s Kaddish, though there will be no minyan present in the sanctuary.
On Saturday morning we will start at 9:15am with Cantor Goldberg leading the Pesukai DeZimra preliminary service and the Shacharit morning service. At 10:00am we will read an excerpt from the Torah portion, Vayigash, and Rabbi Dalton will teach/speak on the parsha as well. Then we will wrap up with the personal musaf, davened out loud by Cantor Goldberg. Saturday evening we will gather again, this time on Zoom, for havdalah at 5:30pm.
Happy New Year and Shabbat Shalom,
Friday at 4:30pm
Led by Rabbi Dalton and Cantor Goldberg in the sanctuary. The service will be similar to the one we have been doing on Zoom, Cantor Goldberg will daven and Rabbi Dalton will give a short Dvar Torah. We will also recite Mourner’s Kaddish, though there will be no minyan present in the sanctuary.
Join us: www.wjcenter.org/wjclive
Please note: There will be no Saturday Morning Parsha Study this weekend.
Pesikei D’Zimra and Shacharit services
Saturday at 9:15am
Join us: www.wjcenter.org/wjclive
Saturday Morning Service Live Stream
Saturday at 10:00am
Join us by live-stream from our beautiful Sanctuary for Torah reading and learning. We will read an excerpt from the Torah portion, Vayigash, and Rabbi Dalton will teach/speak on the parsha as well. Then we will wrap up with the personal musaf davened out loud by Cantor Goldberg.
Join us via our new live steaming service: www.wjcenter.org/wjclive
**To view according to Shabbat rules, before Shabbat on Friday night, go to www.wjcenter.org/wjclive and click play. The stream will be live at that time and become active upon the start of Shabbat services on Saturday morning at 8:30am.
For instructions on how to log in before Shabbat to avoid violations of Shabbat practice, click here. If set up properly, there should be no need to touch your computer on Shabbat itself.
Havdalah with the WJC Clergy
Saturday at 5:30pm
Join us as we say goodbye to the quiet of Shabbat with the beautiful symbols and music of havdalah.
Join us via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/335351155