A High Holy Days 2020 Letter from Rabbi Naomi

Dear Temple Members & Friends,
This will be a High Holy Day season unlike any before.  In their wisdom, our dedicated Board has decided that all our events will be via Zoom or Livestream.  As we say in Yiddish, “Abi gezunt! - !טנוזעג יבא - Just be healthy!”  In our tradition, considerations of health come before all else.
Though we won’t have the delight of gathering in the crowded synagogue, hearing the wonderful choir or sharing delicious food, there will be certain benefits to an online Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe.)  First, everyone will have a front row seat. Second, no driving needed to attend. Third,there will be opportunities for members to deepen relationships through the friendly medium of Zoom.
I’m so delighted that we will have wonderful musicians to uplift us: our beloved soloists Bel- Ami Margoles and Berel Steinberg, pianists Jerryl Lynn Rubin and Rachel Samet, and violinist Sasha Chandler.  Sasha celebrated her Bat Mitzvah at TBE in 1997 and her mother Betty Braver, of blessed memory, served as our High Holy Day Coordinator for several years, helping me craft our musical approach to the holidays.  What a joy to welcome Sasha back!

Our services for Rosh HaShanah unfortuantely will be available only, via Zoom. Please contact the TBE office if you would like Zoom link information.  Hopefully our services on Yom Kippur,  will be livestreamed from a private residence where we can safely make music together outdoors, starting at 6 pm to catch the daylight. Please make a note of this early time!  Recordings of the services will be made available on the Temple website.
The second day of Rosh HaShanah will feature an interactive Family Shofar Service with our soloists, again availabe to TBE members only, via Zoom.  I warmly encourage families with children to take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy any and all of our on-line holiday events.
Temple Members may check out copies of our beautiful Machzor and our song sheets by contacting Blue in the office, or may download one from this website.  Please take advantage of this to deepen your experience of the holidays. While we usually enjoy long, full days of celebration, this year I’ve adapted our schedule to avoid too much screen time and allow more free time on the Holy Days. You might be glad to browse through the poetry and philosophy in the Machzor.

We’ll have various Shiurim (Study & Discussion Sessions) led by our dedicated Tefilah Leaders and Teachers, and also some at-home holiday meals via Zoom for socializing and discussion.  A list of leaders and topics will be sent out by email prior to events.
On both Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur we will livestream harp music for private contemplation played by Naomi Silvertree from the bimah with holiday decorations.
In order to reflect deeply on the Black Lives Matter movement, Caroline Isaacs is coordnating a powerful Rosh HaShanah Torah reading about freeing slaves and treating the poor generously. (Devarim 15:1-23) Yaysher koach to Caroline and the Temple members who will leyn via Zoom. May this ritual be part of the great tikkun, the correction of course so badly needed in our country.
I urge you all to peruse the schedule of events carefully and make plans to enjoy the precious hours of insight and inspiration these High Holy Days offer.

B’shalom ~ In peace,
Rabbi Naomi