Rav Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of pre-State of Israel, has a problem with Yom Kippur and Teshuvah and the confessionals and everything else we have just been through. Yom Kipupr is good, he taught, but it weakens us. The solution is Succot, ‘days of holy joy, of gladness of the soul.’ The Rabbis callit ‘Zman Simchateinu,’ ‘Time of our Happiness.’ We sit in the Succah, shake stuff and season culminates in Simchat Torah.
A plea - the Shul Succah needs your Schach – anything that once grew from the ground is gratefully appreciated. You can drop Schach around during the morning when the office is open, otherwise just leave it by the front of the building.
A request – lots of services this time of year. Wednesday evening, Thursday morning and evening and then straight into Shabbat. If you can help us celebrate well during the day that would be wonderful. If you can’t, please consider coming for a Maariv service – especially if this would be your one chance to be in a Succah.
The following week we go once more, but before Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, comes Hoshanah Rabba. Anyone able to join us for a 7:15am whack of the willows on Wednesday 25th September, you are very welcome.
A couple of reflections on the week just past. My thanks to everyone who helped make these services very special, it was a huge effort at every level of the congregation. Thank you. We are already collecting reflections and opportunities for improvement for next year. I did, for example, make an error in not including a public the Memorial Prayer for Rabbi and Shula Jacobs during Yizkor. We will get that right next year. If you have any reflections or observations, please do let me know.
And finally, there was an important question asked about Syria, during the Q&A on Yom Kippur. It, and the suggestion of a member, prompts me to wave a flag for World Jewish Relief’s Syria Crisis Appeal. WJR is partnering with the Jewish Colation for Disaster Relief and Save the Children to provide nutrition for refugee children in Jordan’s Za’atari camp. More information, and the opportunity to make a donation, can be found at www.wjr.org.uk.