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		                                    High Holy Days		                                </span>

High Holy Days 2021 (5782)

HIGH HOLY DAY INFORMATION

Click here to view our 5782 Guidebook

Dear Members of the Beth El Family,

“And may they construct a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8)

So instructs God to the Israelites, having recently been redeemed from Egyptian bondage.  One might think that God would command that the sanctuary be built “that I may dwell within it”.  But the Torah avoids this anthropomorphic image of the deity residing within the sacred structure by preferring “that I may dwell among them”, illustrating that God’s presence exists among the people, wherever they may be.  As the Mishna teaches, “Whenever two sit together to share words of Torah, then God’s presence resides between them.”  (Pirke Avot 3:2)

This September, for the first time in two years, our entire congregation will be welcomed into the sanctuary and campus that we call home for the High Holy Days.  For many of us, Temple Beth El houses memories of sacred moments and milestones.  For others, it is the place where our children happily meet friends and engage in Jewish living and learning.  And for others, it is the foundation of our community and the connections which bring us together in an isolated world.  In any case, whenever we gather within it, God’s presence dwells among us.  

It is for this reason that I am overjoyed to welcome you home for this year’s High Holy Days.  As you will see, we have been busy renewing our campus while waiting for you.  Our parking lot has been freshly paved and water drainage issues addressed, so hopefully the back end of the lot will no longer look like a skating rink this winter.  The building has been newly stained and painted so that the newer addition more closely matches the color of the original building.  Security planters now decorate the front curb and new signage welcomes all visitors at the front entrance.  The building anxiously awaits your arrival alongside those of us who “dwell” within it. 

Even as safety precautions are maintained and unvaccinated children and individuals will wait until the second day of Rosh Hashanah to gather outdoors, we will have the opportunity to come together in worship and reflection.  For those who are unable or uncomfortable with entering the building, please know that both of our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur sanctuary services will be live streamed for your convenience.  We will also be offering outdoor tashlich and hiking at Gedney Park.  In this way, we hope to demonstrate the spirit of inclusion which underscores our congregation.

The Greek word “synagogue” means house of gathering.  The same goes for the Hebrew “beit knesset”.  Without the people, the synagogue is simply a structure, devoid of spiritual awakening.  And so on behalf of our clergy, staff and lay leaders, we are excitedly looking forward to the building coming alive with your return.  Welcome home.

Wishing you and sweet and happy new year,
Rabbi Jaffe


If you don't find the information you are looking for, please contact us at temple@bethelnw.org or give us a call at 914.238.3928 and we’ll be happy to help you.

Resources

Read Our 2021 High Holy Day Sermons

Wed, September 22 2021 16 Tishrei 5782