Mazal Tov!

This weekend in Shule we will be celebrating a number of celebrations:

  1. Mazal Tov to the Dean family on Olivia’s Bat Mitzvah this Friday night!
  2. Mazal Tov to the Meyerowitz and Zinman families on the Aufruf of Sarah and Adam this Saturday morning!
  3. Mazal Tov to the Klompas and Sznajer families on the naming of their twin babies this Shabbat afternoon!

Blessings for a Long life

I take this opportunity in wishing the Goldstein family and in particular Jason, Jonathan and Adam a long life on the passing of their dear father, Sidney. May his memory be a blessing and continue to inspire.

I take this opportunity in wishing the Goldstein family and in particular Jason, Jonathan and Adam a long life on the passing of their dear father, Sidney. May his memory be a blessing and continue to inspire.

The month of Elul

We have now entered into the new month of Elul which means that there is less than a month to go until Rosh Hashana. Our tradition tells us that during this month we are blessed with a heightened spiritual awareness and greater ability to connect meaningfully with Hashem and ourselves. The classic parable used to describe the power of the month is that of a king and his subjects.  

We have now entered into the new month of Elul which means that there is less than a month to go until Rosh Hashana. Our tradition tells us that during this month we are blessed with a heightened spiritual awareness and greater ability to connect meaningfully with Hashem and ourselves. The classic parable used to describe the power of the month is that of a king and his subjects.  

Throughout the year a king resides in his palace and takes recreational strolls among his beautiful, contained gardens. To gain access to the king, one has to book an audience, often very far in advance. Even so, a person is not guaranteed an audience with the king. There has to be a good reason that the person wants to visit and many thorough checks have to be carried out to ensure the candidate’s suitability. However, once a year the king decides to leave his palace and take a ride throughout his countryside. The king wishes to endear himself among his people and to see how they live. As he rides down the streets and lanes, he catches a glimpse of the many individuals that comprise his kingdom and may even make contact with a number of them. During the days of his travel, any of his subjects can see the king. All they need to do is make the effort to leave their homes and stand on the sidewalk before the king rides by. 

This, say our Sages, is what occurs during the month of Elul. While Hashem is always accessible to the sincere penitent, a meaningful relationship requires great effort and much exertion. To truly appreciate G-d in our lives we must continually strive towards spiritual perfection and the refinement of our characters. Yet for one month a year, Hashem makes this process a little easier for us. He takes greater notice of the many small actions that we do and overlooks many of the regular boundaries that would intervene in our relationship. While we must never underestimate the power of a small action, this is especially true in this month. Yet the minimum step must be taken. We must open our front doors to step outside onto the sidewalk.

So this month let’s add to our prayers, increase our learning and expand the generosity that we show to others. Let’s highlight one small area in our lives that could be improved upon and let’s stick to it – at least for one month. To assist, see some of the events and learning programs that are coming up at our Shule and consider joining us!

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom and a meaningful month ahead!

Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman