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Be Happy! -- Chronicle Online/The WORD 10/06/22

Weekly On-line Rabbi's D'var-Torah

October 6, 2022

11 Tishrei 5783

Parashat Ha'azinu

I think the Torah itself recognized how crazy the Jewish calendar is this time of year. We just completed the Ten Days of Repentance. It’s almost Shabbat. And we have to put up a Sukkah in time for the next festival to start Sunday evening. It’s nuts! That may be one reason why the Torah commands us to be happy on Sukkot: “You will rejoice in your festival...you shall be altogether joyful (Deut. 16:14-15).” Otherwise, we might be too tired to be happy. But, we—the Ohr Shalom community—have a very good reason to be happy this Sukkot. We can celebrate what our community accomplished these past 10 days. While both the cantor and I were fighting through COVID (and I should point out that our president Karen Rosenberg joined the COVID club also!), various members of our community stepped up and took on additional responsibilities in order to make sure that we had a beautiful and meaningful High Holiday experience. Jeremy Markowitz—our High Holiday chair—just kept finding new people to fill in for those who could not be with us. He adapted to Yom Kippur morning services going virtual. He never let anything bother him. Our tech team—Mark Beatty and Phil Kantor—also adapted to every new change without blinking. Jim Paul made sure our security arrangements adapted to all the changes in our schedule. Oh, by the way, both Mark and Jim had COVID too! Lauren Levine and Jose Caballero were their usual invaluable selves. David Santamaria made us all sound great—even those of us with no voices. And then there were the people who stepped up to take on parts that the cantor and I simply could not do this year. Abbie Krupnick, Charlie Ehrenfried, and Iliana Weisberg wowed us all over Yom Kippur. But there were many more! Heath Weisberg, Stan Krieger, Todd Bletcher, Maurice de Picciotto, Temira Weisberg, Gary Schneider, Cantor Richard Nadel, and David Ehrenfried all helped out. I’m sure I’m missing other people. All of our daveners, Torah readers, and Haftarah chanters adapted on the fly. It was simply amazing. Of course, we all need to extend a special Yasher Ko’ach to the cantor, who barely had time to recover from COVID before Kol Nidre, but somehow led us through the entire day. Wow! So, in truth, we have a lot to be happy about! We have quite a few people who developed some High Holiday skills on very short notice. Maybe, we’ll give them a little more warning for next year ;-) L’Shanah Tovah, RAF.


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