‘Rosh Hashanah’ Category

Rosh Hashanah

September 24, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 451: Hakafot, Yizkor, and Anxiety

Dear Hevreh, As I sit at my desk trying to think about how to describe our upcoming celebrations of the holidays of Sh'mini Atzeret and Simhat Torah, I'm struck by a particular thought. Judaism is a religion that thrives on anxiety. Now bear with me, for a moment -- we just celebrated the High Holidays which is a period of serious reflection as we consider the aspects of our character that we'd like to work on for the following year. Yet Rosh Hashanah is supposed to be a joyous holiday, and Yom Kippur is considered to be a Shabbat Shabbaton, the greatest of all Sabbaths, and no one would mistake Shabbat for a sad occassion. The juxtaposition of the solemnity[...]

Category : Holidays Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Sh'mini Atzeret Simhat Torah Yom Kippur
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Rosh Hashanah

September 12, 2013
By bethmordecai
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Emphasizing the First Day; Reimagining the Second Day — A plan for our synagogue observance of the Jewish Holidays (High Holidays 5774)

Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai High Holidays Bulletin Article, 5774 Last Friday, for the second day of Rosh Hashanah, we had a special and unique High Holiday experience that was not the normal, traditional service. The order of the service was different, there was no Torah service, and we had opportunities for discussion and some dancing, in addition to some other innovative methods used to enhance our Rosh Hashanah experience. Overall, the feedback has been that it was a fun and meaningful service. Yet the service would never have been possible if it were not for a combination of a unique quirk of the Jewish calendar and the unique customs in which we observe our holidays. The unique quirk of the Jewish calendar is the existence[...]

Category : Bulletin Articles Passover Rabbi Rosh Hashanah Sh'mini Atzeret Shavuot Simhat Torah Sukkot Yom Kippur
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Rosh Hashanah

September 5, 2013
By bethmordecai
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Rosh Hashanah Sermon 5774 — The Necessity of Vulnerability for Connection

The Necessity of Vulnerability for Connection Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai Rosh Hashanah Sermon 5774 (September 5, 2013)* It was a cool Rosh Hashanah morning in early September. All of the worshippers of the small schul in the center of town had already been davening, praying together for a few hours. They were currently davening the Mussaf Amidah, the central prayer in the second half of the service which we, here are Beth Mordecai, will soon pray together. Every worshipper was deep in their thoughts, shuckling back and forth as the words flowed from their lips…zohrenu l’hayyim tovim kol v’nei v’ritekha – God, remember us the children of your covenant for good. Little Deborah, all of 9 years old, stood watching as the men and women of[...]

Category : Rabbi Rosh Hashanah Sermons Uncategorized
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Rosh Hashanah

August 15, 2013
By bethmordecai
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Rosh Hashanah

July 12, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 12: Thinking about motivation…

Dear Hevreh, I'm sitting here in my office, practicing my reading for the Torah portion for this week (Parashat Pinhas), and I'm struck by a story that relates to something I was thinking about at the Board of Trustees meeting last night.  We were talking last night about finding volunteers for the High Holidays, and during that discussion I wondered...how do we motivate people to give up their precious free time and commit to helping our community?  I had a suspicion of what my answer was (and to be truthful, I've thought a lot about it over the years), and that suspicion was confirmed tonight while practicing the Torah reading: Motivation comes from feeling like we matter. In this week's Torah portion, the[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
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Rosh Hashanah

July 10, 2012
By bethmordecai
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DAY 10: New York, New York!

Dear Hevreh, I am very excited because I am on my way to New York City today!  It'll be nice to step out onto the streets I called home for over a decade, but more than anything else, this trip is about a threefold commitment I am making to our community: 1) PROVIDING MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES - This morning I will be meeting with Cantor Levine to start working on High Holiday services that are meaningful, spiritual, and relevant to our Jewish community.  These are the kinds of activities that get me very excited and I look forward to being part of a team (which can include all of you!) to provide high quality spiritual experiences.  I am psyched for the High Holidays[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur
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