on Wednesday, 21 August 2013.
The High Holy Days are soon upon us once again. In fact, the Selichot service which really ushers in the Days of Awe occurs on Saturday night, August 31st! I hope all of you had safe, healthy, and happy summer months to recharge your batteries for every aspect of life - work, family, school, friends, and... Temple. Our Rabbi has already spent many hours and days preparing for our most well-attended services of the year. This year, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the rabbinical arm of the Union for Reform Judaism, has released yet another draft prayerbook for some more of the High Holy Day services following the style of our Shabbat siddur, Mishkan Tefilah. Some of our services will be using the new CCAR machzorim that we used during the past few years, some will be using our old red Gates of Repentance, and one service will be using a machzor we have to have printed locally. (Don't worry - you will be given ample alerts about which prayerbooks will be used in each service.) We thank you for your continued willingness to experiment with us and the Reform movement editors as we work toward the future Mishkan HaNefesh, with English transliteration of all the Hebrew prayers and songs and lovely alternative readings for times when this kind of inspiration is what you need to put yourself in the mood for proper prayer and introspection. What I can also tell you is that Rabbi Dressler is very much looking forward to the time, slated for 2015, when the completed Mishkan HaNefesh is ready in time for the High Holy Days.
Our tradition tells us to begin preparing for the fall festivals of Sukkot and Simchat Torah as soon as Yom Kippur concludes. This year, we will inaugurate our new Sukkah on the deck beside our sun porch. Call the office if you and/or your children would like to volunteer your time and skills to beautify our new Sukkah and please make an effort to come to our Sukkot service, our pancake breakfast (details elsewhere in this issue,) and at any time during the week of Sukkot to perform the mitzvah of partaking of a meal in the Sukkah. The end of Sukkot brings us to the holiday of Simchat Torah, the Rejoicing over the Law. This year will also be a special celebration of this holiday. Here's why: The Art Committee (which by now should perhaps be called the ARK Committee?) has been meeting almost weekly over the spring and summer (and sometimes more often) to create what should be several most attractive and functional improvements to our Rabbi Joel and Ailene Wittstein Sanctuary. We are working on the creation of a new Ark, reading table, Ner Tamid, and Torah covers. We will dedicate the new Ark at Simchat Torah on Wednesday, September 25th, so mARK your paper or electronic calendars so as not to miss this important occasion.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and I will see you in early September at the JCC, if not before then.
Finally, the Board, Rabbi Dressler, and Linda and I wish all of you a Shanah Tova and may you be written and sealed in the Book of Life.