Mark your calendars now for the High Holy Days at Your Shul by the Sea. As importantly, bring friends who seek what's real, the heights and depths of spiritual life, the call of community, the renewing joy of a living, vibrant Judaism.
• Selichot & Healing – Sat. 9/16, 7:30pm
• Erev Rosh Hashanah – Wed. 9/20, 6:30pm
• Rosh Hashanah 1 – Thu. 9/21, 10:00am
• Rosh Hashanah 2 – Fri. 9/22, 10:00am
• Kol Nidre – Fri. 9/29, 6:15pm
• Yom Kippur – Sat. 9/30, 10:00am
These Seven Weeks
By Rabbi David
As I write these words, I'm nearly done packing my home for a local move. Nowadays most of my physical possessions seem to be books. In a mindless rhythm, into boxes go one book after another, my hands speeding from bookshelf to box to bookshelf again.
Mindless rhythm: get it done and move on (literally). My hands know what to do – move books – while I tune out in the monotony of the moment. Amidst the plop
of each book in its place, my hands toss into a box my now-favorite High Holy Day volume, Alan Lew's This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared
Suddenly I stop in my tracks. How poignantly metaphorical: a mindless rhythm lulled me into unawareness. Suddenly a sign of the season jolts me to attention. I realize what I hadn't seen. How could I box this
book, which is so important to my spiritual life at this very season? Why wasn't I paying attention?
Such is our annual spiral journey. Spiritually speaking, we wake and fall asleep and wake again. Something jolts us to attention. We return to our souls, only to find that our souls have been waiting all along.
These seven weeks – from Tisha b'Av to Rosh Hashanah – call us to attention. In many ways, these seven weeks a mirror image of the seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot. Each spring we count our days to Sinai. Now we count down to Rosh Hashanah. Each spring we journey for seven weeks from Passover's liberation to Shavuot's revelation of Torah. NowTisha b'Av focuses us on what's buried in darkness (revelation), and in seven weeks Rosh Hashanah will open wide the teshuvah
gates of spiritual renewal (liberation). Our summer/fall journey is our spring journey in reverse: we return to our beginnings.
Easy to say, and sometimes very hard to do. As Alan Lew writes, Tisha b'Av can be jarring and or even turn people off. We don't always like what we see. We prefer light to dark. Often we try to forget the dark if we can. If we must venture into the dark, how quickly we seek comfort.
Perhaps for that reason, these seven countdown weeks to Rosh Hashanah are called the Weeks of Comfort. The Shabbat after Tisha b'Av (this year, August 4) is Shabbat Nachamu
– the Shabbat of Comfort. We crave comfort after the historical exile from Jerusalem (and other losses both individual and collective) that Tisha b'Av invokes. Comfort is a theme of Isaiah 40
that tradition calls us to read at this time with the eyes and ears of our exiled ancestors who heard: "Comfort ye, my people!" Our ancestors heard the prophetic call, in the spirit of the holy, that it'll be okay. We'll return. We'll heal, forgive and be forgiven.
We need that assurance now, to enter fully into the gates of repair and return that we call teshuvah.
Whatever exile we may feel from our best selves, these seven weeks rouse us and remind us. Yes, we can heal, forgive and be forgiven. Yes, we can return.
May these seven weeks of preparation bring light, depth, truth, courage and comfort, as we turn into the month of Elul and the season of teshuvah
"Comfort ye, my people." Return again!
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Israel Trip with Rabbi David
(April 29 - May 11, 2018)
TBE and Kol Haneshama (Sarasota, FL) are proud to announce a joint Adventure to Israel
co-led by Rabbi David, Rabbi Jennifer Singer
and Ayelet Tours. Our itinerary will offer tastes of Israel's diverse geography, culture, arts and spirituality, including:
• Jerusalem's Old City (all four quarters)
• Archeological dig of Temple Mount
• Shabbat with Renewal's Nava Tehila
• Lag Ba'Omer and Yad Vashem in Jerusalem
• Masada, Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
• Jordan Valley and Kinneret (Galilee)
• Tzfat (Israel's mystical center)
• Haifa and the Bahai Gardens
• Caesarea ruins and musical concert
• Tel Aviv and coexistence in Yafo (Jaffa)
• Eilat and Petra, Jordan (optional for added fee
We'll travel in mid-spring, during Israel's "ideal weather" season, with an expert guide and rabbis passionate about spiritual experience. Space is limited and is offered in priority of registration. All arrangements will be via Ayelet Tours as follows:
For full itinerary and pricing
, click here
For trip flyer and registration
, click here
For more information, email Rabbi David at email@example.com