Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, and the Yamim Nora'im Drashot @cnsberkeley!
Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah,
and the Yamim Nora'im Drashot!
Simchat Torah will be observed this year on Monday night October 8th. 6:15pm Ma'ariv, 6:30pm unrolling the entire Torah with a guided tour, 7:00pm Simchat Torah Services and Celebration including 7 Hakafot Dances. The holiday continues the next day, Tuesday October 9th with Services and Celebration starting at 9:30am.
from Rabbi Shalom Bochner, CNS Director of Lifelong Learning
If you are only going to observe one Jewish holiday, which one should it be? For me, the answer is Simchat Torah. While my favorite holiday is Sukkot without any doubt, Simchat Torah is the quintessential Jewish holiday. It has three basic ingredients: Jews, celebration and Torah. There are no special supplies, other than flags. (Why are there flags anyway?!). There are no special foods to prepare or eat, no 25 hour endurance challenges without food, no strange sounds to make on animal horns, no all-night study sessions, and no days to count towards. This party is fully accessible; we don't encounter Torah as teachings or detailed instructions on Simchat Torah, we encounter it in pure joy, as a dance partner, in a timeless dance for everyone. On Simchat Torah we don't need to build a fort in our backyard and we don't need to search and destroy small pieces of bread crumbs. On Simchat Torah we just need to dance... Click here to continue reading!
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…