The High Holy Days are past. Our being together as a congregation during the Days of Awe is always one of the most powerful and moving experiences we all feel. I want to express my appreciation to our congregational family for helping to create such a highly spiritual atmosphere in which we were all able to confront ourselves and pledge to make the coming year a year of meaning and purpose.
And while the High Holy Days are past, they are, in actuality, not over! What we accomplished and what we promised for ourselves is just a beginning. It is now the time to roll up our sleeves and put our prayers and promises to work as we celebrate Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
We celebrated Sukkot just a week ago. Sukkot is the holiday of “doing”. It is no accident that the calendar has Sukkot follow so closely on the heels of the High Holy Days. While the High Holidays were the Days of Awe and contemplation, the seven days of Sukkot are days of activity and action. We build a sukkah immediately following Yom Kippur and then enter it everyday to celebrate the blessings of our lives by waving the lulav and Etrog.
Simhat Torah takes place in a few days. It celebrates the continuity of Torah and our heritage. We read the end of the Book of Deuteronomy immediately followed by the beginning of the Book of Genesis. The Torah’s conclusion with the death of Moses is followed by the retelling of the creation of the world. And this is what Simhat Torah represents-a new beginning, a continuity of life and cherishing all the moments allotted to us. Once we have celebrated Simhat Torah, we can say that the new year has really begun.
Wishing you and your families a Hag Same’ach, a healthy and happy holiday season with a vibrant and meaningful new beginning.