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The Villages
Monday, September 27, 2021

Celebrating the Jewish holidays in 5782

Susan Sirmai Feinberg

It is now September and that means back to school, in some form or other, and the beginning of the fall season. According to the Jewish Calendar, we are celebrating the start of the New Year 5782 and the observance of our High Holy Days and other Holidays commemorating the Harvest and beginning of the Torah Reading Cycle. This year Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year starts on the evening of Monday, Sept. 6 which is Labor Day.

Temple Shalom of Central Florida will have all of our High Holy Day Services InPerson and on Zoom with streaming. Since the start of of the pandemic, we have moved to virtual services via Zoom. Our Temple used this time to upgrade and modernize our technical facilities for in person services for Zoom, Multimedia and Streaming. The choir loft has been redesigned to enhance our services.

Tickets for High Holy Day Services In person are still available. Or you can get a ZOOM Subscription for all services. Go to [email protected] or call 352-748-1800. 

The Holiday Season started in earnest on this Saturday August 28 with Selichot which takes place at the close of the Sabbath before the High Holy Days. Our guest, Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell shared a Sermon In Song which consisted of Yiddish, African, and Eastern European Music. At the culmination of the service, the Shofar or Rams Horn was blown. 

Dennis Roth, President of Temple Shalom of Central Florida and resident of the Village or Dunedin, extends his best wishes to the entire Tri-County Community during the Jewish High Holy Days. “This year continues to be  special and challenging because of the Pandemic. Our Temple will have in person services for all aspects of the holiday. We are also working hard to bring Holiday Services to our Members, Guests and the entire Jewish community online.  Our High Holy Day Prayer Services will embrace all the joy and emotion of the season. We will present all Services in person and online and by Zoom starting with Selichot (the opening), which took place the Sabbath before Rosh Hashanah (celebrating the Jewish New Year) and continues through Yom Kippur (time of forgiveness and remembrance).  The power of the Holidays, its message of creation, renewal and self-reflection, is universal. We link ourselves in prayer, whether physically or electronically.  I look forward to sharing the Holidays with all.”

Rabbi Zev Sonnenstein will lead all the High Holiday Services in person from the Temple but Services will be Broadcast.  We will have a combination of prayers, rituals, music and traditions that will enable sharing and interaction with our Temple Members, Friends and Guests. Rabbi Zev is assisted in planning by the Temple Ritual Committee led by Renee Gershman of the Village of Glenbrook and Sharon Borovay of the Village of Tamarind Grove, along with a active Committee of 20 Temple Members and the Temple Shalom Choir.

This year we are inviting the entire community to join us for our High Holy Day Services with tickets for Inperson Service or with an  online ZIOOM Subscription. To check the schedule and join us online, please register on our web site www.tscfl.org and we will send you the contact details if you wish to join us by ZOOM. Yizkor Services Inperson and Taschlich are available to everyone without a tickets.

Temple Shalom also continues its Project Isiaih to collect Food and Donations or Tzedukah during the Holiday Season. The Community is invited to help in the donation process with food or by clicking on the cash donation button on our web site.

A Guide to the Jewish High Holidays

Rosh Hashanah, literally meaning “head [of] the year”, is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days that occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a cleaned-out ram’s horn), attending synagogue services and enjoying festive meals that include symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey, hoping to evoke a sweet new year. Temple Shalom will have its Taschlit Ceremony after Morning Services on Rosh Hashanah outdoors to symbolically cast off our since.

Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. It takes place 10 days after the New Year. Its central themes are atonement and repentanceJews traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Kol Nidre is a vow originally written in Aramaic to absolve one of all broken vows in the upcoming year and the Yizkor Service or Memorial Service for the departed is an important part of the holiday.  

We continue our Holy Day activity with Sukkot commonly called the Festival of Shelters. During the existence of the Jerusalem Temple, it was one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals on which the Israelites were commanded to perform a pilgrimage to the Temple. It marks the end of the harvest time and the agricultural year in the Land of Israel. It lasts seven days. The Sukkot is the plural of Sukkah which is a temporary walled structure covered with plant material, such as palm leaves, and hung with fruits and vegetables where meals are eaten and many people sleep there as well. Temple Shalom has built large a Sukkah this year for the Holidays.

Temple Holiday  Outreach Season Begins with Sukkot

Nine years ago, one of our Temple Members, Heinz Jaffe, moved into a Villages assisted living residence and asked if someone from the Temple could come to his facility and share holiday traditions with the Jewish residents and other interested people at the facility.

Sylvia Elinoff (Village of Hadley) is the current Chairperson of the Temple Shalom Sisterhood Holiday Outreach Program. Over eight years the Committee grew to 40 Sisterhood participants who share the Sukkot, Hanukkah and Passover Holidays with residents in 18 rehabilitation, assisted living, nursing and memory care centers around the TriCounty area. 

We have creating a multimedia presentation since we cannot visit the facilities inperson due to the pandemic directed by Jeff Jagmin and Susan Feinberg. We will highlight the elements and symbols of holiday, describe the historical significance, perform the blessings in Hebrew and English, and talk about how the holiday is celebrated today with personal recollections including the special foods. The public can view this on tscfl.org under outreach.

Simchat Torah: October 9-11, 2020

After the seven joyous days of Sukkot, we come to the happy holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. We still dwell in the Sukkah, but without a blessing. Yizkor, the memorial for the departed, is also said on this day. The second day is known as Simchat Torah, when we complete and immediately begin the annual Torah reading cycle. This joyous milestone is marked with dancing as the Torah scrolls are held aloft. It is a chance to get up close and personal with the Torah. Both days are celebrated by nightly candle lighting and festive meals.

Temple Shalom of Central Florida is excited to share our holiday customs and traditions with the entire TriCounty Community. For more information and dates/times, check out our website at  www.tscfl.org, or contact Temple Shalom ay [email protected].

Villager Susan Sirmai Feinberg is the marketing director for Temple Shalom.

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