Coming so soon on the heels of the High Holidays and Sukkot, it is hard to believe that this edition of our Temple Bulletin lists our Latke party and Chanukah services as upcoming events. Really?
We certainly get a sense of how quickly time passes. Tishsrei is certainly a packed month for our congregants. So many religious holidays, so many services in such a short time. But for those of us involved in the daily rhythms of Temple life, there is so much more that doesn’t meet the public eye – it is the start of our Temple school, b’nai mitzvah and conversion student interviews and classes, and another cycle of great Friday night and Saturday morning services – different lay leaders as well as me on the bima, different musical leaders, some weeks with Torah and others with special themes. And so, even as the High Holidays fade away, we keep it going — planning and filling up our Temple and Community calendar with so many engagements and then kicking it off.
Strange that we give Cheshvan, the second month of our year, a nickname – Mar Cheshvan or bitter Chesvan, as it is the one month of the year that doesn’t have a religious holiday in it. The joke, of course, in the rabbinic community, is that Mar Cheshvan stands for “Happy Dance Cheshvan” or some variant. We don’t disappear, it’s just that there is a bit more time and space, once away from the huge to-do lists that consume summer and early fall.
But I am so thrilled and excited to see how this year will unfold, and I hope that you will all find some of that time and space yourselves to stay connected and even better, to deepen your connection to this wonderful Temple Shalom community. We seem to have captured magic in a bottle during the High Holidays and everything surrounding it, a spiritual elixir that was concocted during our many moments of self-reflection. That elixir is waiting for us now and worth sipping regularly over the course of the year.
So, show up, have fun, enjoy the people around you who, like you, are building this wonderful community at Temple Shalom and help make this truly a special year.
Rabbi Allan Finkel