High Holiday Newsletter 2021 • 5782

Contents
Rabbis’ Messages
President’s Message
About the Holidays
Holiday Preparations and Customs
Shul Etiquette
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Personnel
Aish HaTorah Learner’s Service
Children’s Programs
High Holiday & Yom Tov Complete Schedule of Services

2021 High Holiday Newsletter 5782  

Rabbi’s Message 

Deep in the frozen tundra of Siberia, a squirrel buried fruits some 32,000 years ago from a plant that had white flowers. Recently, a team of Russian scientists announced that it had dug up the fruit and brought tissue from it back to life. The previous record for regeneration of ancient flowers was with 2,000-year-old date palm seeds at Masada near the Dead Sea in Israel. Within weeks, the regenerated tissue from Siberia sprouted buds that developed into 36 flowering plants —known, for the botanists among you — as narrow-leafed campion plants. 

Scientific research that revives extinct species is fascinating and somewhat controversial. It’s not quite Jurassic Park, but it is the real deal. In Judaism, we have various forms of regeneration. One type of spiritual regeneration is called tshuva. Not literally a rebirth, but a return. A return to Hashem. A return to the very best version of what we can possibly be. And the best time for this spiritual regeneration is right now — just before and during the Yomim Norayim (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). 

Every day provides a chance for a fresh start – to learn, grow, develop our strengths, heal ourselves from past regrets or hurts, and to move forward. However, there is no time quite as opportune as the Yomim Norayim to make great strides forward. The following words of the Midrash alert us to the great benefit of even small spiritual steps: 

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Israel, “My children, open for Me an opening [of tshuva – repentance] like the small size of an eye of a needle, and I will open for you an opening the size of a giant hall [Shir HaShirim Raba 5]. 

Throughout Elul and on Rosh Hashanah, we hear the shofar blast. Historically, the shofar signaled the release of all slaves at the end of the Jubilee year. That sound should make us say, “Time to wake up! What can I change? What is one small, measurable, tangible thing I can do, to begin my new start?” If scientists can regenerate a 32,000-year-old flower, we can certainly be inspired to change. Despite our inertia of the previous year — all the disappointments, frustrations, and failures — we can begin again. 

My Rebbitzen Chani and I wish you, your families, and the Entire Nusach Hari B’nai Zion family a year of abundant Torah blessings, and may you be written and inscribed in the Book of Life. 

Rabbi Ze’ev Smason 

Rabbi Okin’s Message 

My wife and I hope that the NHBZ Community enjoys a year of health, happiness, and an ever-growing closeness to Hashem. 

Rabbi Avi Okin 

President’s Message 

Menachem Szus, Shul President

“Society has become fractured and divided in the USA” has been the refrain for several years. When I compare now to the arisings of the 1960’s – anti-Vietnam demonstrations, the major assassinations, Kent State – “the now” dwindles in comparison. 

Then, everyone had opinions but no effective way to express them publicly. Now, what we do have is the individual’s ability to be heard at an unprecedented level. 

This level of freedom carries huge responsibilities. Besides being our individual selves, we are part of society and need to contribute, cooperate, and compromise for it to succeed. We need to strive to act as a community and to look for the commonalities as we respect and learn from the differences. During the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe), at the beginning of many verses, we state “al heit shechatanu lefanecha…” (“About the transgression that we have committed in front of you”). Note carefully, that we speak of the transgression in the singular that we, in plural, committed. By together admitting our transgressions, we pray that the average of all our actions will place us in the positive and so absolve us as individuals. With our hearts and minds joined and acting as a community, we can overcome those divisions that we are told separate us. 

On behalf of Linda, Micky, and myself, I wish you all a Shana Tova and Gmar Chatima Tova. 

Menachem Szus, Shul President 

About the Holidays 

Selichos is a series of penitential prayers that are recited several days before Rosh Hashanah. It is important to attend synagogue for Selichos, as its text contains several important passages which may be said only in the presence of a minyan. 

Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “Head of the Year.” It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, highlighting the special relationship between G-d and humanity. The primary theme of the day is our acceptance of G-d as our King. G-d not only wants to have a world populated with people, He wants an intimate relationship with each one of us. In addition to the collective aspects of Rosh Hashanah worship, each man and woman personally asks G-d to accept the coronation, thus creating the bond of “We are Your people and You are our King.” 

Fast of Gedalia, usually occurs one day after Rosh Hashanah and commemorates the assassination of Gedalia, Governor of Judah, whose murder ended Jewish autonomy following the destruction of the First Temple. When Rosh Hashanah occurs on Thursday and Friday, the fast occurs on Sunday, since we don’t fast on Shabbos. 

Yizkor, a special memorial prayer for the departed, will be recited following the Torah reading on Yom Kippur and Shemini Atzeres. Yizkor means “Remember” and represents the overall theme of the prayer, in which we implore G-d to remember the souls of our relatives and friends that have passed on. When we recite Yizkor, we renew and strengthen the connection between us and our loved one, bringing merit to the departed souls, elevating them in their celestial homes. The main component of Yizkor is our private pledge to give charity following the holiday in honor of the deceased. By giving charity, we are performing a positive physical deed in this world, something that the departed can no longer do. 

Yom Kippur commemorates the day that G-d forgave the Jewish people for the sin of the Golden Calf. Moses spent 40 days on top of Mount Sinai pleading with G-d for forgiveness. On the tenth of Tishrei, G-d gave Moses the second set of tablets containing The Ten Commandments. From that moment on, henceforth known as the Day of Atonement, we observe this date every year as a commemoration of our special relationship with G-d, a relationship that is strong enough to survive any rocky bumps it might encounter. Yom Kippur also features the Yizkor prayer, asking G-d to remember the souls of the departed. 

Sukkos For forty years, as our ancestors crossed the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into the Holy Land, miraculous “clouds of glory” surrounded and hovered over them, shielding them from the dangers and discomforts of the desert. Ever since, we remember G-d’s kindness and reaffirm our trust in His providence by dwelling in a sukkah – a hut of temporary construction with a roof-covering of branches – for the duration of the Sukkos festival. For eight days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah and regard it as our home. 

Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah are independent holidays that immediately follow Sukkos. These holidays are characterized by joyousness, which surpasses even the joy of Sukkos. Shemini Atzeres features the prayer for rain, officially commemorating the start of the rainy season in Israel, and the Yizkor prayer, asking G-d to remember the souls of the departed. The joy reaches its climax on Simchat Torah when we celebrate the conclusion and restart of the annual Torah-reading cycle. The highlight of Simchas Torah is the hakafos, held both on the eve and morning of Simchat Torah, in which we march and dance with Torah scrolls around the synagogue. 

Holiday Preparations and Customs 

Candle Lighting 

We kindle two candles on Erev Rosh Hashanah (2 nights), Erev Yom Kippur, Erev Sukkos (2 nights), Erev Shemini Atzeres, and Erev Simchas Torah. 

Rosh Hashanah 

ROSH HASHANAH CANDLE LIGHTING 

1. Bo-ruch a-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ho-olom a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mitz-vo-sov ve-tzi-vo-nu le-had-lik ner shel (Sha-bos v’shel ) Yom Ha-zi-karon. 

Translation: Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the light of (the Sabbath and) the Day of Remembrance. 

ROSH HASHANAH CANDLE LIGHTING (con’t) 

2. Bo-ruch a-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ho-olom she-he-che-ya-nu vi-kee-yi-ma-nu vi-hi-gee-an-u liz-man ha-zeh. 

Translation: Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has kept us alive and sustained us and let us reach this time. 

Holiday Preparations and Customs 

ON THE TABLE It is customary to have fish and carrots at the table on Rosh Hashanah. Fish and carrots are symbolic of being fruitful and multiplying. We hope that our good deeds and Simchas will be many during the coming year. 

KIDDUSH is recited on both evenings and mornings of Rosh Hashanah, at home, after services. The Kiddush for Rosh Hashanah is found in the siddur or bencher. 

HONEY is used with Challah. We dip challah into honey after the Motzi prayer is recited. After eating the piece of bread, we pray for a sweet year. An apple is also dipped into honey, the blessing over the fruit of the tree is recited and then, the prayer for a sweet year is offered. The prayer reads: May it be Your will O L-rd to renew for us a good, sweet year. 

SH’HECHEYANU: It is customary to display new fruit or wear new garments on the 2nd eve of Rosh Hashanah and keep these in mind when offering the Sh’hecheyanu prayer. 

Tashlich 

Tashlich is a series of prayers that we say on the shore of a river or body of water that contains fish. We symbolically cast off our sins into the depths on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. 

Yom Kippur 

KAPPORAS: It is customary to shlug Kapporas (swing a chicken around your head) on Erev Yom Kippur. Many Jews fulfill this custom today by placing money for each family member into a handkerchief, twirling it over your head and saying: This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my expiation. this money should go to charity and I should be privileged to have a long & pleasant life of peace”. We will place collection plates in the lobby on Erev Yom Kippur for you to fulfill your pledge. 

YOM KIPPUR CANDLE LIGHTING 

1. Bo-ruch a-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ho-olom a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mitz-vo-sov ve-tzi-vo-nu le-had-lik ner shel (Sha-bos v’shel) Yom Ha-kipurim. 

Translation: Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the light of (the Sabbath and) the Day of Atonement. 

2. Bo-ruch a-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ho-olom she-he-che-ya-nu vi-kee-yi-ma-nu vi-hi-gee-an-u liz-man ha-zeh. 

Translation: Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has kept us alive and sustained us and let us reach this time. 

NOTE: Candle lighting will not be available at NHBZ on Erev Yom Kippur. 

BLESSING THE CHILDREN: A beautiful custom is the blessing that parents give to their children before leaving for shul on Erev Yom Kippur. 

For girls: May you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah. For boys: May you be like Ephraim and Menashe. Conclude for both boys and girls: May G-d bless you and guard you. May G-d show you favor and be gracious to you. May G-d show you kindness and grant you peace. 

FAST OF YOM KIPPUR is a biblical law. In order to fast properly, the Rabbis urge that a good meal be eaten on Erev Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur, men are encouraged to wear a Kittel, a white garment, and do not wear leather shoes. If a physician requires one to take medicine on Yom Kippur, call the Rabbi for proper procedures. 

Sukkos/Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah 

YOM TOV CANDLE LIGHTING 

1. Bo-ruch a-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ho-olom a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mitz-vo-sov e-tzi-vo-nu le-had-lik ner shel (Sha-bos v’shel) Yom Tov. 

Translation: Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the light of (the Sabbath and) the Festival Day. 

2. Bo-ruch a-toh Ado-noi E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ho-olom she-he-che-ya-nu vi-kee-yi-ma-nu vi-hi-gee-an-u liz-man ha-zeh. 

Translation: Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has kept us alive and sustained us and let us reach this time. 

Shul Etiquette 

Conversation with your neighbor is improper during services. Be mindful that our purpose in shul is to converse with and pour out our hearts to G-d. Page numbers will be announced from the Pulpit. Please remain quiet so everyone can hear and follow the service. 

Do not congregate in the lobby. Enter services quietly! Ushers will help you find your seat to eliminate any unnecessary disturbance. 

No one will be allowed to enter during Sermons, Hineni, and Kedusha. It is improper to leave services during these times or during the reading of the Torah. 

Sermons: 10:20 am on Rosh Hashanah, and 11:45 am on Yom Kippur. 

Hineni: 11:00 am on Rosh Hashanah and 12:15 pm on Yom Kippur 

Prayers may be offered in Hebrew or English. G-d hears all prayers that are offered with a sincere heart! Listen to 100 blasts of the Shofar that are sounded before and during Musaf on Rosh Hashanah (at approximately 10:45 a.m.) 

It is permissible to bring your Tallis on Rosh Hashanah. You may bring your Tallis on Yom Kippur only if you live within the Eruv; otherwise, you must bring it before Kol Nidre and leave it in Shul until after Yom Kippur. It is also customary to place charity in the charity plates in the lobby before Yom Kippur begins on Kol Nidre evening. 

Personal cell phones may not be used. 

Married women are encouraged to wear a hat or head covering. All girls and women must wear skirts or dresses. No slacks, please. If you have a medical reason, please contact Rabbi Smason. 

It is customary to make a contribution to the synagogue for honors received during the holidays.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Personnel

Rosh Hashanah 

Pesukei D’Zimra ………………. Menachem Szus
Shachris …………………………………. Elie Needle 
Drasha (Sermon) ……….. Rabbi Ze’ev Smason
Torah Reading ………………………… Elie Needle
Musaf ……………………………….. Rabbi Avi Okin
Shofar ……………………… Rabbi Ze’ev Smason 

Yom Kippur 

Kol Nidre ……………………………. Rabbi Avi Okin
Drashas (Sermons) ………. Rabbi Ze’ev Smason 
Shacharis ………………………………. Elie Needle 
Torah Reading ………………………… Elie Needle 
Musaf ………………………………… Rabbi Avi Okin 
Mincha …………………………………… Elie Needle 
Neilah ……………………………….. Rabbi Avi Okin 

Aish HaTorah Learner’s Services and Programs 

Aish HaTorah will present several Learner’s Services and Programs during the holidays to be held on the lower level of the Shul. The schedule is as follows: 

Rosh Hashanah Day 1, Tuesday, September 7, 10:00 am ……………………………. Rabbi Yosef David 

Rosh Hashanah Day 2, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 11:00 am Special Program …. Rebbitzen Mimi David 

Kol Nidre, Wednesday, September 15, 6:00 pm ………………………………………….. Rabbi Yosef David 

Yom Kippur, Thursday, September 16, 10:00 am-1:00 pm…………………………….. Rabbi Yosef David 

Children’s Programs 

Junior Congregation (ages 7-12), Tot Shabbat (ages 3-6), and Babysitting (ages birth – 2) will be held at the following days and times, except as noted

Rosh Hashanah Days 1 & 2, Tuesday, Sept. 7 and Weds., Sept. 8 ………………. 10:30 am – 1:00 pm 

Erev Yom Kippur (babysitting only), Wednesday, Sept 15 ………………………….. 5:45 pm – 9:00 pm 

Yom Kippur, Thursday, Sept 16 ………………………………………………………………… 10:30 am – 1:00 pm 

Lunch will be provided for all children. We encourage an RSVP to the office at 991-2100 ext. 2. 

Check latest Shul bulletins in event of any time changes for Aish Services or Children’s Programs. 

High Holiday and Yom Tov Complete Schedule