Rabbi's Column - November 2016

As I write this column for November, I am still awash in the majesty and imagery of our High Holy Days. I can’t quite let go of them just yet, so permit me to begin this column with a THANK YOU to all of you who came with open hearts and open minds and ready souls. The intensity of sitting in shul for just about 24 non-stop hours is boggling. The words, the prayers, the readings, the presence of community all around, each do their part in making us truly reflect upon our lives. I hope that you were inspired to incorporate some of the important messages into your own life.

Being in synagogue all day with nothing else to do and no interruptions is actually quite a luxury - more than ever, in these days of non-stop beeps and texts and schedules. Of course this was a luxury created by so many people here at TBT that made our Holy Days possible. I must take a moment to praise our staff. We are truly ‘teammates.’ A big round of applause goes to our Administrator, Kim Romine and our Office/Clergy Assistant,

Bonnie Mahon, both of whom worked non-stop to make sure we were ready for the holidays.

Our volunteers were incredible. Thank you to Lisa Leventhal for all you did to make sure we had a wealth of participants involved in the service. Thank you to Doug Agranov and all our Ushers. Thank you to Shaun Glazier for the most spectacular floral arrangements. Thank you to our medical team: Dan Jacoby, Dan Greif, Lynda Rosenfeld, and John Foggle for allowing us to rest easy knowing you were on call for us. Thank you the entire Board of Directors for being wonderful Greeters.

Thank you to Sam Rader for an incredibly inspiring sermonette, inviting all of us to go through the portals of holiness. Jason Gaines led a fabulous study session on Cain & Abel. His reputation is growing as the library was full to overflowing. All our Torah and

Haftarah readers prepared and chanted with loving care.

Our Children’s Programming was better than ever - thanks to Kate Rothstein, Suzy Frisch, and our magnificent Salty BBYO youth group, led so wonderfully by our Salty Advisor, Stephanie Condoluci. Thank you to Judy Merriam for hosting our Tashlich Service and opening up the power and beauty of the shoreline waters for us to ritually cast away our sins, led ably by Cantor Margolius.

To Ted Langevin and the Parking Lot Crew - you are the first welcome as we enter, and welcome us you do! Thank you, thank you. Len and Dyanna are such a blessing - they are more than ‘custodians;’ they are a part of our TBT family. Bennett Paul and the Break-the-Fast crew provide a spread worthy of the wait until that last blast on the Shofar - thank you Eli Sherer and Jen Silva.

Cantor Margolius, now in his fourth year here at TBT, only gets better and better and better. He is truly an expert in Jewish liturgical text, and he combines that with a beautiful voice and a caring spirit. And the choir! Just breathtaking. With Walter Stutzman on the piano, and sometimes Stu Weinzimer, who also doubles as our fearless president, life is good.

How blessed we are! And now we look onward to November: our Scholar-in-Residence Weekend 11/12/13, our Interfaith Thanksgiving Program with all the community churches and our synagogue, and so much more. Peruse your Shofar, see for yourself, and come and join us.

Rabbi Stacy K. Offner