Jew in the suburbs


FYI High Holy Days Servies

 

 

Hello Blog Readers,

 

I was reading a blog post from Jew in the City, and found some information that I had been looking for in order to give you. Wondering where to go for The High Holy Days? Click on this website to find services.  You can also contact a Chabad.  Remember, all of us can make a difference.     

 

http://nomembershiprequired.com/

 

Please let me know if this in any way helped you find a  service.

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High Holy Days: self-improvement and HASHEM’s Love

 

 

Hello Blog Readers,

 

I was so disappointed to miss Selichot services after Shabbos this week.  Simply put Selichot are special prayers for forgiveness as the month of Elul begins to close.  The time period of these services usually begins the Sunday very early morning hours before Rosh Hashanah.  These prayers are about committing to do better and be better in the upcoming year.  I know I have been talking about self improvement all month.  So, what sets the time period for selichot apart from the rest of the month of Elul?  I believe the answer lies in urgency.  Yes, it’s true we should use all of the days in the month of Elul to prepare for the High Holy Days but I believe that Selichot is a warning, a signal, a reminder that Rosh Hashanah.  is quickly approaching and Yom Kippur is not far behind it.  These prayers serve as yet another opportunity for forgiveness and personal growth. 

 

I was sitting in Shul, Synagogue Saturday morning, listening to the rabbi speak when I realized that  after midnight Selichot services would  begin.  My breath caught and I thought to myself, I have a problem. Depending on how you look at it these services are either very late into the night or very early in the morning.  This particular service was scheduled for 1 AM.  Of course, another service was scheduled later in the morning for those who would be sleeping through this service.  I knew I could not be at Shul at 1AM in the morning and that I had conflicts later in the morning making it impossible for me to make it to the second service.  I really didn’t want to miss this; after all, I have been writing about self improvement and digging deep in my own Teshuvah, repentance process.  What was I to do?  I asked a rabbi who understood there was no way for me to make it to either Selichot service.  He told me that I didn’t have to be there, I told him, I know that but I really want to be there.  I wanted to know what a person like me who knew she could not be at a service could do to make up for it.  The idea that I didn’t have to attend these services and I would still be all right should have made me feel a lot better, but it didn’t. I felt terrible I knew that this rabbi was right but I still chose to look up the subject in a very handy and user friendly book entitled Halichos Bas Yisrael   A Woman’s Guide to Jewish Observance Volume II published by Feldheim. 

 

All week I felt as if I did something terrible by not attending these services, then yesterday I was writing something on a different subject matter, I got frustrated because the word count wasn’t exactly as it should have been.  For a brief moment, I thought to myself, I failed, I can do nothing right but then, thank G-d, the knowledge that Hashem loves me and all human beings, and all the creatures He created, hit me once again, like a lightning bolt, at exactly the right time.  Preparation for the High Holy Days, self improvement, and personal growth are of extreme importance.  However, yesterday when I was writing and it wasn’t going the way I wanted it to, I lost sight of the fact that if I make a mistake, or a project I am working on doesn’t come out exactly they way I want it to, It doesn’t mean that I am a failure.  Yes, I missed the service last week and even though I was told that I was free from the obligation, I felt it was a mistake but I am trying, I am working on my Teshuvah process and Hashem knows it.  Hashem wants us to come close to Him, we should never forget the reason He wants us to come close to Him is because He loves us.

He knows that we can do better and wants us to have faith that we can. He is aware we are imperfect and loves us despite our imperfections.

May the New Year bring you all blessing upon blessing!



Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur: The Call to Self-Improvement Part 2

 

 

Hello Blog Readers,

 

 

We are still in the Hebrew month of Elul, the Seventeenth day of Elul to be exact and preparations for the New Year, Rosh Hashanah and the day of repentance Yom Kippur are well underway.  If you feel you have gotten off to a slow start, or have not started at all as of yet, don’t worry.  It is alright, you still have time.  As I said previously in Rosh Hashanah the call to self improvement, the month of Elul is a special time for prayer.  This is not to say that once the month of Elul passes, the doors of prayer are closed.  The doors of prayer are never closed.  Hashem, G-d, always listens.  My personal interpretation is that the month of Elul is a time that G-d pays extra attention to what our prayers are. I asked you to examine, as I am examining the answers to some questions including what it is you want out of life Some of you may be thinking, that is very nice but how do I ask for what I want, and how do I know what it is that I truly desire? I. can’t give you all the answers and I will never claim to be able to but I can give you some suggestions based on my own experience.

 

  If you have an idea of what you want, sit in a quiet room and write these things down.  Don’t be concerned with how silly you think some of the things you write might be, write until you feel you can’t write anymore about what you want or think you want.  Then read through your list, depending on how long the list took, you might want to leave it for awhile, before you go over it.  This all depends on how tired you feel.  When you read through the list, ask yourself if every goal is important.  If you read something you find to be unimportant or superficial put a line through it.  Read through your list a second time to make sure that everything on it is a goal you wish to accomplish. 

 

In the case you need to ask for help knowing what you want, I suggest that when you have time you go into a room by yourself,  it must be a room where you can have privacy. Once you find this place, get comfortable and begin to talk.  No, you will not get a verbal answer, but this exercise may give you an answer, all the same.

  When I am feeling confused I do this. The best time I find is at night when everyone is sleeping, I think, and then I start talking until the situation I am dealing with begins to become less confusing to me. I pray to G-d without asking him anything yet.  I just pour out my heart, like I would with a best friend who is greatly trusted.  This communication process helps me to understand myself in ways I don’t think I could otherwise. It makes me feel that Hashem is very near.

 

Rosh Hashanah is a time we can allow ourselves to return to Hashem and during the month of Elul Hashem is begging us to come closer to him, to return to him and to what is most important in life. Sometimes a person can’t find the words to express all that they feel.  In this situation, I look up at the ceiling or sky and say “Hashem, there is so much I want to say to you but the only word I can think of is Help”.   Just saying that one little word, “Help” helps me with whatever situation I am in.  Again, I do not get a verbal response, and the problem may not be immediately solved, but I can feel a difference many times the instant that I do this.

 

Over the years, I have heard some stories of married couples renewing their wedding vows.  These couples have been together for years and have barely been separated since the beginning of their married life and love each other.  These couples were all already legally married.  So why did they choose to renew vows?  They did this act because they have deep love for each other.  It was important to these couples that they express that love and commitment in front of people but most importantly in front of each other.  These couples promised to be good spouses and to be better spouses than they had been over the years.   Rosh Hashanah is a time that we can very effectively, through a process, recommit ourselves to Hashem, and make new commitments to him to be better people who have better relationships with him and the important people in our lives.  Hashem brings himself closer to us and we help to bring ourselves closer to him during this time.  This is why the month of Elul is a particularly special time for prayer. Elul is often the right time for our heartfelt prayers to be answered with a yes.