Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Oh My!
We are in the midst of the busiest month of the Jewish calendar. A year ends and another begins, soul searching becomes intense and apologies are made and forgiveness is given, the Torah culminates and begins anew, and finally, Sukkot are built and dining al fresco becomes all the rage. For many of us, this is a beautiful and exhausting time. We are granted the gift of time – time to be together with family and friends who are our chosen family, time to sit in shul to pray and think, time to have meals with everyone we’ve ever met and extra time at home with our families if we get to disengage from school and work. This is a luxury and can be overwhelming at the same time. Once the holidays pass, we welcome the mundane and yet feel the let down of it, as well.
Are we making meaning during this celebratory time? Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf has said, “Jewish holidays are rendezvous that incorporate not only the dimensions of time and place, but spiritual dimensions that go to the heart of the Jewish understanding of history, the soul, God, and what it means to be a Jew.” Here at Adat Ari El Day School, we are trying to harness all of this. We are learning the special t’filot, the special readings like Yonah and the big fish, the themes like starting over, being better people, not making the same mistakes, bringing sweetness, freedom and temporary dwellings.
I hope you will get to either build a sukkah or at least enjoy a few meals in one. Perhaps this is the year for a Sukkot sleepover!
Speaking of time outside with your family celebrating, join our community at Camp Ramah for our 2nd Annual Day School Family Shabbaton on December 8-10. Registration is open now through October 27. We had an awesome weekend together last year with 32 families and look forward to even more this year.
Wishing you a special end to this holiday season.
Chag Sukkot Sameach,
Director of Jewish Life and Learning