Daily Archives: September 7, 2017

Contemplative Second Day of Rosh Hashanah

seconddayDear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

You may be aware that as a Reform-affiliated congregation, we celebrate many holidays more briefly than our Conservative and Orthodox family and friends. Passover, for instance: Reform Jews observe seven days of Pesach, while Conservative and Orthodox Jews outside the land of Israel observe eight. Long ago, many Biblically-rooted holidays gained an “extra Diaspora day.”

The original reason for this had to do with ensuring that new moon and full moon were being appropriately marked, and keeping Diaspora celebrations aligned with those in the Holy Land. (If you’re curious about this, read Why Some Holidays Last Longer Outside Israel at MyJewishLearning.com.)

But an interesting thing happened with Rosh Hashanah. All of the other holidays that got an extra Diaspora day remained their original length in Israel (and Reform Judaism opted to maintain their original length even in the Diaspora)… but Rosh Hashanah became a two-day festival both in Israel and in the Diaspora. Rosh Hashanah lasts for two days no matter where we are.

At CBI we have always observed two days of Rosh Hashanah, and this year will be no exception. And this year, like last year, we’ll be diving into a Contemplative Second Day of Rosh Hashanah. (That’s Friday, September 22 this year.)

The sanctuary will shift: we’ll sit in a circle, facing inward into the circle and inward into ourselves. Our use of the machzor (high holiday prayerbook) will shift: we’ll use the same book, but we’ll daven fewer words, and go deeper into the ones that we do chant and sing. Our Torah reading will shift: instead of three aliyot, we’ll have a contemplative Torah service experience led by Rabbi Lori Shaller.

Like last year, on the second day of Rosh Hashanah we’ll place a special table in the middle of our circle, on which members of the community will be invited to place meaningful objects. On the second day, we invite you to bring something with you that has spiritual or emotional significance for you, and place it on the table during our davenen.

If you’re one of our second day “regulars,” we hope you’ll enjoy this deeper dive into the liturgy and the meaning of this very special day. And if you’ve never before joined us for second day of Rosh Hashanah, we hope you’ll consider giving it a try. The second day of Rosh Hashanah is a special day with its own unique energy. We look forward to opening that up for you this year in this rich way.

Blessings to all,

Rabbi Rachel and Hazzan Randall

ps: here’s our High Holiday Schedule for 5778 / 2017 in case you need it.


Days of Awe at CBI 2017 / 5778

There are no tickets for the Days of Awe at CBI — no one has to “pay to pray” — all are welcome.


Schedule for the Days of Awe at CBI 2017 / entering 5778

Havdalah & Selichot (“Forgiveness“) service, Sat. Sept. 16, 8-9pm

    (potluck dessert reception to follow)

Cemetery Service , Walker Street, Sun. Sept. 17, 2-2:30pm

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah First Evening service, Weds. September 20, 7:30-9pm

Rosh Hashanah First Day morning service, Thurs. September 21, 9:30am-12:30pm

Children’s service, 10am (childcare all morning)

      Tashlich (casting bread upon the waters) to follow

       Rosh Hashanah Lunch to follow at the Log; please RSVP by Sept. 17. ($18)

Contemplative Second Day morning service, Fri. September 22, 9:30am-12pm

Yom Kippur

Kol Nidre (with childcare) Fri. September 29, 6-8pm (arrive at 5:30 for music to open the heart)

Yom Kippur Morning service, Sat. September 30, 9:30am-12:30pm

Children’s service, 10am (childcare all morning)

Yizkor /Memorial Service will take place at the end of the morning service

Contemplative Practice with Steven Green and Rose Ellis, 3-4pm

Yom Kippur Mincha and Avodah service, 4-5:30pm

Yom Kippur Ne’ilah service, 6-7pm (sundown: 6:29pm)

       Yom Kippur Break-The-Fast: after services. Please RSVP by Sept. 25. ($18; kids $5)


Sukkot / Shabbat Potluck, Fri. Oct. 6, 5:30pm. Please RSVP by Oct. 3.

Shemini Atzeret services, with Yizkor, Thurs. Oct. 12, 10am-12pm