It captures our experience of the pandemic. Of suddenly staying at home for months. Of supporting our children with remote learning. Of supporting our parents from a distance.
It articulates our reaction to new stresses, fears and isolation – and then the power going out!
It also leaves a small but vital opening for gratitude, insight and joy.
Originally, Rabbi Alan Lew penned This Is Real and You Are Completely Unpreparedas the title for his guide to the High Holy Days, which I return to every year and am keeping especially close this year with all we’re navigating and needing.
This year we can’t mark the Jewish New Year in our most classic ways: with hundreds of people packed in each seating of services, with friends wishing one another a sweet new year sealed with a hug and a kiss, and with extended family all around one table.
We will miss the comfort of these traditions, AND…if we’re open to it, we can see this year as an invitation to not only try something new but also feel something new during these days of awe.
At Sanctuary, we’re excited about the possibilities before us.
As we plan different paths through the High Holy Day season, some are quiet and contemplative. Some are set in nature. Some are loud (tekiah)! But all draw on Sanctuary’s core principles:
Building community through small, intimate cohorts.
Empowering individuals and families to bring Jewish life into their homes.
Placing Jewish wisdom in dialogue with modern questions, so that we might live more fully as humans and create a better world.
In the boxes below, please find the list of offerings with titles linked to more details. You don’t need to commit right now, but it would be very helpful to know who is interested in doing what as we finalize plans and manage group sizes. You can reply directly to this email or fill out this super quick form.
With all the stress and uncertainty that surround the month of September, the High Holy Days are truly here to hold us, support us, and move us forward with intention.
Because this year needs to be different. 6 Thursdays (starts Sept 3) 7:00-8:30p on Zoom
Guided by Rabbi Alan Lew's book, we'll explore the rituals of the Jewish new year, and prepare together for this season of contemplation and inner change.
Family Nature Circle Because there are so many connections to find in nature. Rosh HaShanah (9/19), Yom Kippur (9/28) & Sukkot (10/10) A small cohort of families (kids ages 5-9) will join for 3 outdoor holiday celebrations at different nature centers in Westchester (within 30 mins of Larchmont).
Backyard Shofar Gatherings Because the sound of the shofar wakes us up to life. Sanctuary has shofars from Jerusalem ready to share with families who want to learn a new instrument and hold their own shofar services on Rosh HaShanah.
B Mitzvah Family Circle Launch Because we’re ready for a new way to experience this ritual. A small cohort of families will begin their 2-year journey of learning and exploration with an outdoor Rosh HaShanah celebration. We have room for 1-2 more families. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tashlich Gathering Because rivers teach us about change. Families with young children (babies to age 5) will gather to hear the sound of the shofar, listen to a story, and throw pebbles into the water on the 2nd Day of Rosh HaShanah.
Yom Kippur Outdoor Gathering Because we stand as one on this holiest of days. We’ll meet in nature for an afternoon of meditation, prayer and reflection.