Reconstructing Judaism's Statement on the Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre

Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association mourn the devastating losses that a white nationalist domestic terrorist inflicted upon the Jewish community this past Shabbat morning at Tree of Life - Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh. Included among the dead and wounded are members of our affiliate, Congregation Dor Hadash, which meets there.

High Holy Days at Congregation Beth Israel - 2018

By MathKnight [<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0 </a>], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shofar-16-sky-Zachi-Evenor.jpg">from Wikimedia Commons</a>Beginning on Rosh Chodesh Elul (August 11), the blasts of the shofar will herald the new year and call us to the task of looking inward as we prepare to do teshuvah – to repent, to return, to make positive change.  Our services during these Days of Awe (Yamim Nora’im) gather the entire community together to engage with this important spiritual work.

To promote that engagement, we encourage you to review in advance the information below:

Being Open to Discovery

This sacred season is replete with holy days, each unique yet wedded to one another through the theme of teshuvah - turning, returning, repenting, and renewing. As we step into each holy day we encounter opportunities to celebrate; to contemplate life, eternity and forgiveness; to raise up harvest, hospitality and spiritual protection; and finally, to dance as we celebrate Torah and the gift of new beginnings. This month is an invitation to find meaning and inspiration through sacred time. Let's clear a path for these occasions and open ourselves up to discovery as we embrace them. Wishing you sweetness and blessing as we step into this new year - 5779 - together.

Shana Tova U'metukah, Rabbi Linda

The Month of Tishrei - From Metaphor to Practice

As we move into September and the Jewish month of Tishrei, we enter into our most liturgically intensive time of the Jewish year. This can be a dizzying few weeks, moving from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to Sukkot and Simchat Torah. This is a movement also from the solemnity and humility of the Yamim Noraim (the awe-filled days) to the celebration of the joyfulness and abundance of Sukkoth and Simchat Torah.

Our ancestors’ metaphors for the Divine at these different moments seem to shift as well. On Rosh Hashanah, God is envisioned as sovereign and judge,

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