Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,
Shavua tov / a (slightly belated) good week to you! This is an extra special week; not only are we looking forward to Shabbat already, but we’re also looking forward to Selichot on Saturday night.
This week we’re reading the Torah portion called Nitzavim-Vayeilech in the book of Deuteronomy. The name of the Torah portion is a hyperlink; click on it to be taken to the Torah portion in English if you want to read the portion before coming to Shabbat services. If you would like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, here are a few:
- 2006: In your mouth and in your heart, Rabbi Rachel
- 2008: Secrets [Torah poem], Rachel
- 2009: Milk [Torah poem], Rabbi Rachel
- Nitzavim (Standing) (commentary by a Jewish Renewal rabbi, Rabbi Shefa Gold)
- Nitzavim: Reform Commentaries (the Union for Reform Judaism’s page for this Torah portion, which contains several different Reform commentaries)
This Shabbat, our shaliach tzibbur (prayer leader) for morning services will be Rabbi Rachel.
And, on Saturday evening, we will enter into the High Holiday season with one of the most beautiful services of our year, the evening service called Selichot. “Selichot “means “pardons,” and is the name for the liturgy of forgiveness prayers we recite during the Days of Awe. We’ll begin at 8pm on Saturday evening with havdalah, the ritual which formally divides between Shabbat and workweek.
After savoring the light of a braided candle and the scent of wine and spices, we’ll move into a short-and-sweet service which will contain some of our favorite High Holiday melodies and some inspiring contemporary poetry. During Selichot services everyone will have the chance to write down, anonymously, the things for which we seek release or forgiveness. We’ll collect these cards and the rabbi will weave the responses into one of our communal “Al Chet” prayers on Yom Kippur.
After Selichot, we’ll enjoy a potluck dessert party — please bring a favorite dessert to share.
We extend a hearty thank you in advance to this week’s service hosts. If you would like to join the shamashim (“helpers”) who welcome people to our Shabbat services and who host our light kiddush afterwards, contact Pattie Lipman.
We also extend thanks to our member Helene Armet for the beautiful home-baked challah!
We hope to see you soon at CBI. Have a great week!