I don’t usually do this, but events have moved me on this occasion to write to you all.
The Yomim Noraim are called the "High Holidays", and I am on a high after Yom Kippur. And to follow the very next morning with the bris of Moshe Eliezer Mendelson, a child and grandchild of our shul community, was just such a wonderful follow-up, full of the promise that these holy days are all about.
We came into Rosh Hashana with the sad news that Rabbi Simcha Mann would not be joining us and serving as our Shaliach Tzibur. We had to scramble. We then held out some hope that he would join us for Yom Kippur. But that was not to be either. We wish R’ Simcha a year of Refuah and good health. There was a lot of scrambling behind the scenes. But in the end, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in shul were beautiful. I was so energized after Yom Kippur that I wasn’t even hungry. I want to express my Hakaras Hatov to so many people who helped make this work:
- Ari Klarfeld, Baal Tefilla for Mussaf on the first day of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, Mincha on both days of Rosh Hashana, and Baal Korei for the first day Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur morning,
- Mitchell Rose, Baal Korei on the second day of Rosh Hashana,
- Ari Auerbach, Baal Tefilla for Mincha on Yom Kippur,
- Aaron Wolf, Baal Tokeia,
- Jason Claude, for calling the Shofar blasts on the second day of Rosh Hashana
- Corey Adler, Gabbai; as well as Baal Korei on Yom Kippur afternoon,
- Phil Setnik, Gabbai; as well as Baal Shacharis on the second day of Rosh Hashana, and leading Pesukei D’Zimra and Yizkor on Yom Kippur
- Fred Bolotin, Baal Tefilla for Maariv and Pesukei D’Zimra on the second day of Rosh Hashana,
- Neil Parks, for leading Pesukei D’Zimra on the first day of Rosh Hashana,
- Esther Abramowitz in the office, for handling the endless ringing of the phones, all the reservations for seating and babysitting, as well as the Yizkor Book,
- Channa Ireland, for making the babysitting arrangements that allowed many mothers to join us for davening,
- Rob Altshuler, our Vice-President, who took care and is still taking care of the numerous near-misses and headaches of making sure the building remained standing over the Yomim Tovim,
- Martin Lipman, our President, who led the successful Aliyos Auction and directed the whole operation, ensuring that it remained steady and standing amidst all the uncertainty.
I am so terrified that I have forgotten someone, despite having read over this list over so many times. Please forgive me for any slip-up.
I also want to thank all of you for your tefillos, and the positive koach you gave to the shul over the past two weeks, and will continue to give throughout this beautiful holy month of Tishrei. Without the energy and support of the Tzibbur, the people providing support, no Shaliach Tzibbur can fulfill their task. And this was felt this year. I am so proud of our shul. I always am, but today more than ever.
This year made me realize how much I took for granted in previous years, both on the Yomim Noraim, as well as in life. For our lives to work, so many distinct items and plans have to come together. This year’s events made me more grateful for all the people who made it all happen all those years, that I didn’t write a letter about!
My plea to the Ribono Shel Olam is that the beautiful tefillos in our shul were fully accepted, and will serve as a Simana Milsa, a powerful and positive omen for all the good things we davened for, for ourselves, our families, our shul, our community and all of Klal Yisrael.
Deena and I wish you all a gut gebentcht yohr, a year filled with blessings and sweetness.
Rabbi Raphael Davidovich