October 2016

Sukkot and Simchat Torah

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October 23rd and all days

On October 23rd at 9:45 and 12:15 we will join our peers and clergy to see the Torah up close. We will unroll the Torah and hold it with our own hands (from the bottom). It is an exciting experience and parents are absolutely invited to attend.


Also, please note almost every week we have T'fillah (songs and prayers) at 8:35 and 11:05. Parents are always invited to attend. Please do not feel obligated, but it is always open to parents (and of course grandparents too!).

Religious School Family Pot Luck Shabbat Dinner

The year is moving so fast - I can't believe I am talking about November.

The Religious School Family Pot Luck Shabbat Dinner is coming up on November 4, 2016

The Temple Beth El Religious School Committee cordially invites all Religious School families to join us for a Potluck Shabbat Dinner!

There is no cost and no agenda, just a warm gathering to celebrate the beauty of Shabbat together.

Here is the link : https://www.tfaforms.com/442650

Holidays - a Busy Month.

This month we will learn about two more holidays, Sukkot and Simchat Torah


Sukkot: Erev Sukkot is Sunday October 16th.

"Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning "booths" or "huts," refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. It also commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai. Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur on the 15th of the month of Tishrei, and is marked by several distinct traditions. One, which takes the commandment to dwell in booths literally, is to erect a sukkah, a small, temporary booth or hut. Sukkot (in this case, the plural of sukkah) are commonly used during the seven-day festival for eating, entertaining and even for sleeping.


Sukkot also called Z’man Simchateinu (Season of Our Rejoicing), is the only festival associated with an explicit commandment to rejoice. A final name for Sukkot is Chag HaAsif, (Festival of the Ingathering), representing a time to give thanks for the bounty of the earth during the fall harvest." URJ Website.


Please check the Temple Web Site for all the wonderful Sukkot events. You can also make arrangements for your family to eat a meal in the Sukkah!


http://www.reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/sukkot

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/sukkot-101/


Simchat Torah: Erev Simchat Torah is October 23rd. There will be services Sunday Evening. This is a wonderful service for children.


http://www.reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/simchat-torah-and-shmini-atzeret

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/simchat-torah/


"Immediately following Sukkot, we celebrate Sh'mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, a fun-filled day during which we celebrate the completion of the annual reading of the Torah and affirm Torah as one of the pillars on which we build our lives. As part of the celebration, the Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times. During the Torah service, the concluding section of the fifth book of the Torah, D’varim (Deuteronomy), is read, and immediately following, the opening section of Genesis, or B'reishit as it is called in Hebrew, is read. This practice represents the cyclical nature of the relationship between the Jewish people and the reading of the Torah." URJ Website


On Sunday 10/23 there will be a free Pasta Dinner for the Congregation (reservations required) followed by the Simchat Torah Service and Consecration for all students who just entered Religious School. If your child is new to religious school and will be consecrating their religious studies, please let me know! Even if your child is already consecrated, it is still an amazing service. It is very exciting to see the Torah unrolled and wrapped around our congregation.


Here is what the website says about the Pasta Dinner: "We celebrate the completion of the annual reading of the Torah and affirm Torah as one of the pillars on which we build our lives. As part of the celebration at Temple Beth El, the Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times to the music of our very own Kletzmer-style “Congregational Pickup Band.” We physically unroll the entire Torah scroll to read the concluding section of the fifth book of the Torah, D’varim (Deuteronomy), immediately followed by the opening section of Genesis, or B’reishit. This practice represents the cyclical nature of the relationship between the Jewish people and the reading of the Torah.


Simchat Torah also marks our annual Consecration Service, when the children of Temple Beth El begin their religious school education as kindergarteners. Proudly displaying their Torah scrolls and waving flags, the children march into the sanctuary to recite the Sh’ma and show commitment to Jewish learning.


Join us for our Simchat Torah Congregational Dinner prior to worship. This is a FREE dinner, but we hope you will consider making a small donation to underwrite the cost. Menu includes: pasta (a gluten-free pasta will be available), garlic toast, salad, dessert, and drinks."

Car Talk

10/16/2016: Wonder why the Sukkah is open to the sky.


Extension - if you have lots of time while eating in a Sukkah. You might want to talk about how important the Torah is to many people and how some people, like the Pilgrims have the Torah in their bible. Talk about how Sukkot is like Thanksgiving. Wonder about how the Torah is there for many different people and how the Pilgrims learned to give thanks from the Torah. Here are some articles to consider before having this crazy discussion:

https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2010/09/sukkot-the-harvest-holiday/

http://www.jewishboston.com/thanksgiving-the-american-sukkot/

http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2013/8/19/did-sukkot-help-shape-thanksgiving#.WAK6quArKUk=


10/23/2016: Talk about the Torah. Simchat Torah means joy of the Torah. Why do you think that we call the holiday Joy of the Torah, rather than "We finished reading the Torah Day" ? Why do we keep making the Torah out of natural materials and hand write it in natural ink, why don't we just use a digital tablet like an ipad?

Make A Sukkah

Children love playing in a Sukkah, they love decorating it. It does not have to be too complicated - look on line and see simple wood or pipe designs. Surprise yourself and your children by having a week of meals together under the stars in a Sukkah. The weather will be just lovely this week.