To the Temple Emanuel Community,
Shanah Tovah! The New Year is nearly here!
The Hebrew word “shanah” means “year,” and it also means “change.” This has certainly been a year of massive change. When everything feels different, it is good to know that some things are certain: Jewish custom and tradition. The High Holy Days. Our community. The Torah. These anchor our lives when all else is turbulent.
Temple Emanuel looks forward to sharing the High Holy Days 5781 with all of you.
Because of COVID-19, and the paramount need to keep one another safe, our observances will look different this year. Even so, they will be robust, varied, accessible, thoughtful, and warm. They will be opportunities to connect and reconnect, to ponder, to take stock, and to feel, as they always have been. They will be full of music, ideas, and love. We’re excited to experience them with you!
In the days ahead, we will share all the specifics with you – times, links, texts, directions. For now, however, here are the four principles that are guiding our observances:
- Services. We’ll pray each service as we have – using Mishkan HaNefesh, with the music of Cantorial Soloist Allan Naplan – from our own sanctuary via Streaming. Rabbi Dean will share the bimah with Rabbi Suzy Stone of ASU Hillel, and Hillel students will join us electronically. Services will be streamlined, to last about 1 hour.
- Deeper Dives. After each service concludes we’ll pause, then reconvene on Zoom for shared study, conversation, and personal consideration led by Rabbi Dean and set around the themes of the holiday. These explorations are an opportunity to co-create, to go deeper, and to connect with fellow community members in new ways. You are welcome to the service, the Deeper Dive, or both.
- Chesbon HaNefesh – the inner work of taking stock of our own lives. As always, no one can do the work of the High Holy Days for you. You are responsible for your own growth and experience. The synagogue will provide a range of helpful tools for you to make them your own – thoughtful questions to answer, yahrzeit candles to light, copies of Mishkan HaNefesh to borrow, and more. These materials will be available for collection at Tashlich and Shofar Blowing ceremonies, and at the synagogue in the lead up to the Holy Days. Some materials will be distributed electronically. The more you give yourself over to the season, the more it will give to you.
- Being Together. Simply put, we miss each other. We want to be together. We’ll gather outside, safely, for Tashlich and to hear the Shofar. We’ve scheduled two gatherings each, for a total of four, spread throughout the East Valley. Come on your own or with your family. We’ll keep our distance and wear our masks, but we’ll be together.
Please keep an eye on your email. If you have yet to renew your membership, now is that time! Email Jocelyn Richards, Director of Finance, at [email protected] now to avoid missing out on our schedules and links!
We’re a month away and so very excited to share this meaningful time with you.
This year will be different, and it will also be fantastic. This year, more than ever.
The Clergy, Staff and Board of Temple Emanuel of Tempe