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Dear Sha’are Shalom family,

 

During these middle days of Sukkot we greet each other by saying, “Mo’a’deem le’Simcha!” (The holidays are for joyfulness!) and the response is, “Chagim, uzmanim le’sasson!”(The holidays and holy times are for celebration!) 

 

These days are definitely full of moments to celebrate. This Shabbat we’ll be singing prayers both of Shabbat and Sukkot, and our students in RUJEC and the religious school are continuing the start of a wonderful new year of learning. 

 

(Please follow the link in the weekly newsletter to vote for Sha’are Shalom in the “Best of Jewish Washington area” from the Washington Jewish Week. We’re nominated for best preschool, best religious school and in other categories.) 

 

On Sunday during religious school tefillot (prayer time) I’ll demonstrate the custom for the end of Sukkot that marks the closing of the fall season of repentance. We take the willow branches on the 7th day of Sukkot (this year, Monday 9/27) from our lulav/etrog and hit them on the ground 5 times. According to Rabbi Arthur Waskow, beating the willows is symbolic of “casting off our old sins”.

 

On Monday evening and Tuesday we’ll celebrate Shemini Atzeret, the one-day festival that falls right after Sukkot ends, and then Tuesday evening and Wednesday we celebrate Simchat Torah – the celebration of completing our Torah reading for the year and of starting again.

 

Please join us as we finish up the fall holiday season with enthusiasm, spirit, and with hope for a New Year full of blessings.

 

There are so many people to thank for making possible the High Holidays, Back to Shul Day, our preschool and religious school programs, Sukkot, and the other holidays, and everything we do at CSS – Todah rabah! Thank you for all your efforts and dedication to our community!

 

Mo’adeem le’simcha & Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Tow