Staying Young - Vezot Ha'Bracha - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks zt”l
There's No Place Like Home - Rabbi Dov Linzer
Shabbat Chol HaMoed
Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah
Sukkot is a yom tov that focuses on the idea of home.
We dwell in a sukkah, which serves as a substitute home. We leave our house, our permanent abode, and reside for one week in the sukkah, a temporary abode. We leave that sense of security that four firm walls and a firm roof provide to dwell in a flimsy hut which provides no real protection from the elements. In this way, we remember the Clouds of Divine Glory that guarded us from the scorching sun and howling wind of the wilderness, and come to understand that, ultimately, it is God who protects us.
It is this realization that we take back with us into our homes after Sukkot, so that we can lead a life that is secure and successful, with a deep knowing that God is in our lives, making our success and flourishing possible.
This is only possible because we have a permanent home to return to. If we only dwelled in a sukkah, we would be too concerned with our security and safety to see in it any religious meaning or to achieve and accomplish in the world.
This home/away-from-home dialectic is central to Sukkot. The Torah underscores that Sukkot is a holiday of joy: “And you shall rejoin on your holiday… and you shall be only joyful” (Deut. 16:16-17). It is at this time of the year that we feel tremendous joy when, after many months of hard work in the fields, we are able to bring the fruits of our labor into our homes. The Torah tells us: Take that joy and bring it to Jerusalem and to the Temple, and rejoice before God for seven days.
This national jubilation takes place outside the home in Jerusalem, but its very source is rooted in the home you left behind. You have a place and land that you can call your own, that you can till and work and harvest its product. You have a home that is the source of your livelihood and your anchor in society. What allows for the experience outside of the home is the anchoring in the home, and the knowing that you will go back to it and to the security it provides.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we have had a lot--maybe too much--of being at home, and far too little of sukkah-like, out-of-home opportunities and experiences. To some degree, this lack of being away from our home diminishes our own valuing of being at home. We need to return to our homes after being away to feel and appreciate what it means to have a home. As the author Wendy Wunder said: “The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and feels even better to come back.” A home allows you to travel in the wide world knowing that wherever you may roam, you will always have a place to which to return.
My prayer for all of us for this coming year is that we are able to experience the balance of the permanent and the temporary, of more opportunities to leave, to travel, to explore, to spend time outside of the home, more opportunities to have a home to which we will return. I wish for all of us that we grow to appreciate the security and anchoring that our homes afford and the realization that wherever we are, in our homes or a hotel, in a tent or in a sukkah, it is God that supports us and enables us to succeed.
Chag Sukkot Sameach.
Sincerely, Rabbi Dov Linzer
President & Rosh HaYeshiva, Norman & Tova Bulow Chair
Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot
9 am leyning of Megilla Kohelet, 9:30 am tefillah. There will be a lite kiddush in the sukkah. If you have not signed up already please do so here.
Click here if you would like to sponsor a kiddush in the future.
Mark your calendars, next week, Shabbat Bereshit, we will daven Kabbalat Shabbat together.
Covid Guidelines The summarized version
We have masks by the door for those that need them.
1. For now, services are remaining outdoors.
2. We strongly recommend that everyone masks outside. Inside masks must be worn.
3. All kids can now attend services masked, sitting next to their parents. (infants can still attend unmasked)
4. If you are not vaccinated, you must wear a mask AND maintain 6 feet distance. Unvaccinated people
can take their masks off to eat and drink as long as they maintain 6 feet of distance.
5. If you are fully vaccinated and choose not to wear a mask, you must ensure 6 feet of distance between you and anyone outside your family/pod.
6. Vaccinated travelers (domestic and international) should mask and distance for 7 days post-travel at shul due to Delta.
Mincha in the Dershowitz yard after the sukkah hop!
Shabbat Chol Ha Moed, September 25 - 4 pm
Mercaz Sukkah Hop and simultaneously
Bnei Akiva Teen Sukkah Hop culminating in
Sukkot Bnei Akiva Snif
in the Dershowitz backyard
Times and details coming on Sunday!
Shemini Atzeret morning tefilah
Kids Party and family hakafot
Simchat Torah day with lunch
Separate Women's aliyot and hakafot
Simchat Torah food and fun is sponsored by Gilad and Deena Ottensoser in honor of their children, Harry and Jessica, as an expression of their pride in them, excitement for their joining this community, and for the warm welcome they have received.