A Special Message From Rabbi Joel: 

We’re making our lists, and checking them twice… for it’s the season!   No, not like Santa… it’s wedding season!   In a few days, my son Aaron and his fiancé Shana are (finally) getting married!  The two of them, Shana’s parents, Harriet and I - we are all in the final days of planning this blessed event. There are, of course, a multitude of things to finalize.  But soon, under the Chuppah, Shana will consecrate her commitment to Aaron by placing a ring on his finger, and reciting the traditional words from the Song of Songs:

         Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li

         I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. 

Our Sages remind us that this month before the High Holidays – the month of Elul  - is a time for each of us to make our own lists:  lists of successes and regrets of the past year, and priorities, commitments, hopes and dreams for the New Year.   Some say that the name of this month — Elul — is derived from the verse in Song of Songs.   It is an acronym of the first letter of each word in a bride’s commitment statement:  Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li…  I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.   (Trust me, it works in the Hebrew.)   Just as a bride is committing to her groom, so too are we about to consecrate our relationship with the Holy One.  So too are we promising to dedicate our future actions in the service of goodness, and of healing, and of love.

I encourage all of us to spend some time this month, preparing for the holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur so that we will enter the New Year with a renewed sense of dedication to our family, our friends, and our communities –  local and global.

Harriet and I wish all of you a l’shanah tovah u-metukah, a good and sweet New Year!   We look forward to seeing you for services, either in-person or on Zoom.