A Good Word from Rabbi Reuven Silverman


Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur 5780 – Rabbi Reuven Silverman

Greetings and Blessings to all….

As we begin the year 5780 on the Jewish calendar, I want to take this opportunity to wish the entire community peace, prosperity and blessing!  While Rosh Hashanah is a joyful time with round challahs filled with raisins and dipped in honey – it is also a solemn time as it is decreed in heaven, “who shall live and who shall die ….. Who shall be impoverished and who shall be enriched and who shall fall and who shall rise!”

Our Holy Torah refers to this day as Yom Teruah, the day of the blowing of the Shofar. And in fact, the central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the Shofar in at least 100 notes. It wakes up our souls and shakes our souls to the realization of how precious our lives are. On the two days of Rosh Hashanah, I am always reminded of our forefather Abraham and his son Isaac on the mountain as God provides them with a ram with horns in the thicket.

It is so joyful to be in the Synagogue on the night of Rosh Hashanah and listen to everyone wishing each other, “L’shana Tova!” Everyone is dressed in their finest! It begins a ten day period of prayer, repentance and reflection. Our Services at the Synagogue are longer than usual including many of the prayers that are directed toward the meaning of our lives and the King of the Universe. On the 10th day we celebrate a day of solemn prayer and affliction of our souls known as Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. Our tradition tells us that on Rosh Hashanah it is written and that on Yom Kippur it is sealed.

A few days after Yom Kippur is the Holiday of Sukkot. And for 7 days, we go into our “Sukkahs” and shake the Lulav, Etrog, Willow and Myrtle! The goal is to spend as much time in the Sukkah as we can and enjoy the fruits of our year’s labor! It is a festival of thanksgiving. The festival of Sukkot is not just for the Jewish Community but is for all of the world to enjoy. In the times of the Temple, people from all over came to enjoy the festivities! As we complete the Holiday of Sukkot, we roll back the Torah with great dancing and joy on Simchat Torah.

By the time these Holidays are over, we have gone on the roller coaster of spiritual solemnity to joyous exaltation of dancing and singing. By partaking in all of the communal events – you are then prepared to meet the year, uplifted and filled with enthusiasm. Celebrated with the pre-thought and knowledge of what the Holidays mean, the annual High Holidays can be a life changing experience. Please join in experience!

L’Shanah Tova Umtuka to all……

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