Dear Temple Members,
The Days of Awe are upon us. Rosh Hashanah begins this Friday night and Yom Kippur just ten days beyond that. We have been preparing for this High Holy Day experience for so long it has seemed at times as if this moment would never arrive. But now we have all but arrived at our day of days. We have prepared New Prayer Books for our hands, Streaming Services for our eyes, the haunting melodies of these days through the voices of our socially distant choir for our ears, and now it is time to prepare our hearts for repentance and return.
Planning for the High Holy Days was always the plan. The entire month of Elul was to be dedicated to day-by-day reflection in preparation for the shofar’s call to return. This age old tradition has not traditionally included prerecording a video message from the governor, sending an HDMI cable to connect your computer device to the flat-screen TV, figuring out a way to gather your beloved collection of family and friends without actually physically gathering, or gathering all the ingredients for a holiday meal from touchless delivery at the grocery store.
These High Holy Days we have prepared in different ways, we know they will not feel the same once they arrive, but it is our hope that these days might be memorable for more than the pandemic which has created the need for all these preparations, but rather for the message of unity amidst adversity, and the strength of a community of faith which they have taught.
Shanah Tovah, from your rabbis, your Temple leadership, and from all your Temple staff who have worked so hard to make this High Holy Day experience one we will remember: for blessing and not for curse, for sweetness and not for sorrow, for beginnings and not for its end. May the One who has opened the gates of repentance and welcomed us in love through generations of our people, bless you all and those you love in this New Year and for many years to come.
L’Shanah Tovah, may it be a year of goodness and blessing for us all.
Rabbi Joe Rooks Rapport
Rabbi David Ariel-Joel