Rabbi's Column - October 2017

What in the world could the Holy One have been thinking to pack FOUR major holidays into one month! Nevertheless, we Jews have been indefatigable in celebrating just those holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. As I write these words, we are still in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah. But by the time you read them, Yom Kippur will be over. The Book of Life will have been opened, our own lives reviewed, and the new chapters are just beginning.

That is where Sukkot and Simchat Torah come in. How wonderful to celebrate Sukkot, out on the TBT deck, in our wondrous Sukkah, set up by the Men’s Club and decorated by our Nursery
School & Religious School children. Sukkot reminds us of the beauty of nature and of its fragility. We are still post-hurricanes and continue to be awed if not overwhelmed by the ferocious power of wind and rain. (And no, it’s not too late to donate to the cause - my favorite one being NECHAMA, A Jewish Response to Disaster. You can give at nechama.fundraise.org).

Every year at Simchat Torah, the unfurling of the Torah scroll throughout the congregation is an awe-inspiring wonder to behold. We end the Torah and we begin again. Simchat Torah
marks the conclusion to our season of new beginnings. We celebrate a new year at Rosh Hashanah, a new opportunity at Yom Kippur, a new harvest at Sukkot, and a new cycle of Torah at Simchat Torah.

Endings and beginnings. The order of these words is significant because it is indeed a cycle that we are celebrating.

Moadim L’Simcha - May the holidays still ahead of us be filled
with joy.
Rabbi Offner