Sign In Forgot Password

Rabbi's Weekly Message

Rabbi Peltz - Thursday, September 22

I love September, especially this year. That’s because it is the time that, after the lull of summer, the shul comes alive once again. As I type this, I hear Alex Weinberg playing his guitar and singing “bim-bam” with our Mommy & Me group on the lawn outside of my window. Each day the children of our Eric B. Jacobs ECEC toddle the halls and the sounds of their cute voices chatting and singing songs and prayers echo throughout the building. Our Rabbi Albert and Sarah Lewis Religious School and HaMakom High School programs are also in full swing, and it is such a joy to welcome back our students to learning, and our groups back with their programming. On Shabbat morning we get to celebrate wonderful s’mahot and the joy of being together as a community. After the last couple years, we have learned not to take these sounds and these moments for granted. The first verse of our Torah reading this Shabbat, Nitzavim, expresses the power of being together. It begins Atem Nitzavim HaYom Kulkhem – “You stand this day, all of you…” Our humash commentary notes that the word kulkhem, “all of you,” emphasizes the idea that a community is greater than the sum of its parts. When we all join together, the strengths and good qualities of each of us are reinforced and magnified.

Beginning this weekend, and into Rosh Hashanah next week, I look forward to living this lesson. This last Shabbat of the Jewish year will be a wonderful celebration of our community. I hope you can join us on Friday night for our Wine & Cheese Shabbat, where we will gather outside in our beautifully redesigned Sukkah area for our Kabbalat Shabbat service. Then, on Shabbat morning, we will celebrate the dedication of Mahzor Lev Shalem, the new mahzor that we will be using for the High Holy Days this year and for many years to come. It is published by our Conservative movement, and contains many insightful commentaries, helpful transliterations, and clear instructions to help all of us better connect and find meaning during services. On Shabbat morning we will preview the mahzor and thank all those who dedicated books.

Then, of course, Sunday night begins Rosh Hashanah. While we are happy to offer a livestream of our services so all can participate, I hope to see many of you in-person. The energy of having kulkhem, all of you, together, as one TBS mishpaha, is unmatched. It has been too long since we have experienced the joy of singing, celebrating, schmoozing and reconnecting with one another. I am very much looking forward to seeing you throughout the holidays. When we are all together, the opening verse of our Torah portion this week comes alive. Our community is certainly greater than the sum of its parts. I look forward to experiencing that with you, as we gather together over the next few days and over the course of what we pray will be a good, sweet, healthy and joyous new year.

Shabbat Shalom!

A Guide for Virtual Shabbat and Holiday Services

“The Shabbat services that we offer virtually help keep us spiritually connected while we are physically distant. Though we normally do not use electronic devices on Shabbat, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative Movement considers this to be a hora’at sha’ah, an extraordinary time, which allows us to make an exception to our normal observance. You can read the halakahic ruling (teshuvah) that comprehensively addresses our situation here. Even though we are using technology to gather for services on Shabbat and holidays, we still try to minimize the use of our devices in honor of Shabbat. Click here to see our guide to help with this.

A PDF version of Siddur Lev Shalem is available HERE or can be purchased at the TBS office for $54 each.

Mon, September 26 2022 1 Tishrei 5783