Category Archives: sukkot

Sukkot is here!

Dear CBI members and friends,

Sukkot has begun! Hooray!

Our sukkah is your sukkah: come dine, schmooze, relax, stargaze, drink coffee, drink wine, even sleep there if you want!

Join us on Friday night at 5:30 for our annual Shabbat Sukkot Potluck — bring a vegetarian / dairy dish to share.

Families with children are welcome to arrive at 5 for some Sukkot learning and storytelling and also communal soup-making — bring a vegetable to add to our Sukkah Soup which we will cook on the spot. (Here’s a flyer for more information on that.)

Please RSVP to cbinadams@gmail.com and/or at the Facebook Event for our Shabbat Sukkot Potluck so we know how many chairs to set up.

Moadim l’simcha — a joyous Sukkot to all!

Rabbi Rachel

It’s Almost Sukkot!

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

On Sunday at sundown we will enter into the festival of Sukkot. After the hectic pace of the Days of Awe, Sukkot is a welcome opportunity to relax. The primary mitzvah of Sukkot is to dwell (or at least dine) in a sukkah for a week and to rejoice there.

Sukkot is a harvest festival. In antiquity this was one of the three great pilgrimage festivals when our ancestors would have taken the fruits of their harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer them to God. Today we harvest memories, emotions, and experiences. What memories from the High Holidays do you want to bring with you into the sukkah this year?

Sukkot is an opportunity to remember the Exodus from Egypt, as the sukkah is meant to remind us of the temporary shelters in which our ancestors dwelled during the forty years of wandering.

Sukkot is also an opportunity to reflect on what’s temporary and what really lasts. We move for a week into these flimsy little houses (which must have roofs made of organic material through which one can see the full moon and the stars) in part to remind ourselves that even a beautiful and stable dwelling is ultimately as temporary as a sukkah… but if we cultivate faith and trust, we can know ourselves to be sheltered beneath the Divine Presence, even if our structures / our lives / our bodies don’t last forever.

And here in northern Berkshire, Sukkot is a glorious opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors during these beautiful days of fall.

Thanks to a group of wonderful volunteers, CBI’s beautiful sukkah will be set up today before Shabbat begins.

“Our sukkah is your sukkah” — please come and take advantage of the CBI sukkah anytime during the coming week, day or night! Bring lunch to the CBI sukkah and dine there beneath the rustling cornstalks; bring dinner; bring your book group to meet there; bring a bottle of wine and enjoy the moonlight; even bring a sleeping bag and camp out if you’re so inclined! The sukkah is here for you.

And, of course, I hope you’ll join us next Friday night for our Shabbat / Sukkot potluck, where we’ll also have a kids’ program called Sukkah Soup (bring a vegetable to add to the soup pot) and an optional sleepover for kids and parents in the sukkah after the potluck. Please do RSVP so that we know how many people are coming and what people plan to bring.

Chag sameach / a joyous festival to you! And for now, Shabbat Shalom —

Rabbi Rachel

Shavua tov! Looking forward to Shabbat Bereshit.

Shavua tov — a good new week to you.

Join us on Shabbat morning at 9:30am for Shabbat Bereshit. We’ll be reading from parashat Bereshit, the very beginning of the Torah.

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, here are a few:

  • And here are commentaries from the Union for Reform Judaism: B’reishit.

Sukkot continues through Wednesday evening; feel free to visit our synagogue sukkah anytime! On Wednesday evening we move into the festival of Shemini Atzeret; join us on Thursday morning at 10am for Shemini Atzeret services with Yizkor (memorial prayers).

Wishing you joy as we approach this festival of rejoicing,

Rabbi Rachel

It’s Almost Sukkot!

sukkot_1Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

Tonight at sundown we enter into the festival of Sukkot. After the hectic pace of the Days of Awe, Sukkot is a welcome opportunity to relax. The primary mitzvah of Sukkot is to dwell (or at least dine) in a sukkah for a week and to rejoice there.

Sukkot is a harvest festival. In antiquity this was one of the three great pilgrimage festivals when our ancestors would have taken the fruits of their harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer them to God. Today we harvest memories, emotions, and experiences. What memories from the High Holidays do you want to bring with you into the sukkah this year?

Sukkot is an opportunity to remember the Exodus from Egypt, as the sukkah is meant to remind us of the temporary shelters in which our ancestors dwelled during the forty years of wandering.

Sukkot is also an opportunity to reflect on what’s temporary and what really lasts. We move for a week into these flimsy little houses (which must have roofs made of organic material through which one can see the full moon and the stars) in part to remind ourselves that even a beautiful and stable dwelling is ultimately as temporary as a sukkah… but if we cultivate faith and trust, we can know ourselves to be sheltered beneath the Divine Presence, even if our structures / our lives / our bodies don’t last forever.

And here in northern Berkshire, Sukkot is a glorious opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors during these beautiful days of fall.

Thanks to a group of wonderful volunteers, CBI’s beautiful sukkah is once again standing behind the synagogue. Deep thanks to Ed Oshinsky, Chaim Bronstein, and Orion Howard for corn stalks and frame, to the older Hebrew school kids for so ably working on the corn stalks and siding, and to Jen Burt and her family for fabulous decoration!

Hebrew school students throwing corn stalks onto the roof.

“Our sukkah is your sukkah” — please come and take advantage of the CBI sukkah anytime during the coming week, day or night! Bring lunch to the CBI sukkah and dine there beneath the rustling cornstalks; bring dinner; bring your book group to meet there; bring a bottle of wine and enjoy the moonlight; even bring a sleeping bag and camp out if you’re so inclined! The sukkah is here for you.

And, of course, I hope you’ll join us on Friday night for our Shabbat / Sukkot potluck, where we plan to honor Bob and Barbara Bashevkin for their years of participation at CBI. Please do RSVP so that we know how many people are coming and what people plan to bring.

Chag sameach / a joyous festival to you!

Rabbi Rachel

Sukkot Updates

Dear all,

Chag sameach – wishing you joy in this festival of Sukkot!

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Our community Hebrew school enjoys our synagogue sukkah. You can too!

As a reminder: our synagogue sukkah is open to you. Come and use it anytime this week.

Please RSVP to the office for Friday night’s Shabbat / Sukkot potluck (5:30pm) so we know how many tables and chairs to set out.

Next Monday morning at 10am we’ll hold Shemini Atzeret services with Yizkor. You can read more about that here.

And next Monday afternoon at 4:15 all are welcome to join our Community Hebrew School for our celebration of Simchat Torah. We’ll say a few prayers, read a bit from Torah, sing songs, parade the Torah around the building (weather permitting) or at least around the sanctuary, and celebrate the wonderful teachings that are our inheritance! The service will be geared toward our Hebrew school kids but all ages are welcome.

Blessings to all,

Rabbi Rachel

Shavua tov and chag sameach – happy Sukkot!

Shavua tov – a  good week to you — and chag sameach (a  joyous festival): it’s Sukkot! This coming Shabbat services will be led by Rabbi Rachel, and we’ll read the Torah reading for Shabbat when it falls during the intermediate days of Sukkot.return-to-shabbat

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion and on this festival, some links follow:

All are also welcome to join us at 5:30pm on Friday evening for our annual Shabbat / Sukkot potluck in the sukkah (if it rains, we’ll dine indoors) which will be followed by an optional sleepover in the sukkah — please RSVP for both so we know how many people to expect.

Chag sameach – happy Sukkot!

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

Tonight at sundown we enter into the festival of Sukkot. After the hectic pace of the Days of Awe, Sukkot is a welcome opportunity to relax. The primary mitzvah of Sukkot is to dwell (or at least dine) in a sukkah for a week and to rejoice there.

Sukkot is a harvest festival. In antiquity this was one of the three great pilgrimage festivals when our ancestors would have taken the fruits of their harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer them to God. Today we harvest memories, emotions, and experiences. What memories from the High Holidays do you want to bring with you into the sukkah this year?

Sukkot is an opportunity to remember the Exodus from Egypt, as the sukkah is meant to remind us of the temporary shelters in which our ancestors dwelled during the forty years of wandering.

Sukkot is also an opportunity to reflect on what’s temporary and what really lasts. We move for a week into these flimsy little houses (which must have roofs made of organic material through which one can see the full moon and the stars) in part to remind ourselves that even a beautiful and stable dwelling is ultimately as temporary as a sukkah… but if we cultivate faith and trust, we can know ourselves to be sheltered beneath the Divine Presence, even if our structures / our lives / our bodies don’t last forever.

And here in northern Berkshire, Sukkot is a glorious opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors during these beautiful days of fall.

Thanks to a group of wonderful volunteers, CBI’s beautiful sukkah is once again standing behind the synagogue. “Our sukkah is your sukkah” — please come and take advantage of the CBI sukkah anytime during the coming week, day or night! Bring lunch to the CBI sukkah and dine there beneath the rustling cornstalks; bring dinner; bring your book group to meet there; bring a bottle of wine and enjoy the moonlight; even bring a sleeping bag and camp out if you’re so inclined! The sukkah is here for you.

And, of course, I hope you’ll join us on Friday night for our Shabbat / Sukkot potluck. Please do RSVP to our hosts Heather Levy and/or Jen Burt so that we know how many people are coming and what people plan to bring.

(We’re also seeking a CBI host for Sukkah Cycle Sunday; participants will be bicycling between four sukkot in northern Berkshire county, and the final sukkah on the ride is supposed to be CBI’s. If you are able to be in our sukkah on Sunday and to welcome the cyclists, let us know; we can provide refreshments.)

Chag sameach / a joyous festival to you!

Rabbi Rachel