By Rabbi Alicia Magal
Sedona News – Shalom and greetings from the Rabbi, Board of Directors, and congregation of the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley for the New Year 5783 which began on the Hebrew calendar last week
All the services, classes, and programs are listed on the synagogue website. Visitors are welcome to attend services.
On Friday, October 14 a Friday evening Erev Shabbat service, led by Rabbi Alicia Magal, begins at 5:30 pm both in person and on Zoom, and live-streamed for members and their invitees. Congregants participate by lighting candles, doing a reading, or having an Aliyah for the Torah service. Verses from the Torah portion will be chanted: the special readings for the week of Sukkot. Blessings for those who are ill, and a Mazal Tov for those celebrating a birthday or anniversary will be offered at the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Kaddish, the Mourner’s prayer, will be recited in memory of those who passed away either recently or at this time in past years. Shabbat offers a time out from work and worry, an opportunity to be grateful for our lives and the bounty with which we are blessed.
The High Holy Day services continue with Sukkot, the Harvest Holiday when people build a temporary structure called a sukkah in their synagogues around the world as well as in their backyards or on balconies. The huts are decorated with fruits, vegetables, autumn leaves and posters of the Land of Israel or calligraphed quotes from the Sages. It is a time of joy and gratitude for our bounty. American Founders patterned Thanksgiving after this biblical holiday. It is a mitzvah, commandment, to wave the lulav and etrog and say a blessing over these very different kinds of plants – a palm frond, myrtle and willow branches, and a citron. Put together they represent unity of diverse characteristics in our body and in our community. People are welcome to visit the Sukkah behind the synagogue during the week of Sukkot, October 10 – 16.
Erev Simchat Torah will be observed on Monday, October 17 at 5:30 pm beginning with a brief Yizkor memorial service. This is the holiday when the congregation sings and dances around the sanctuary with the Torah scrolls, the very last verses of the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, are read, after which the first verses of Genesis are chanted, and a blessing is offered to the congregation.
Meditation class resumes on Wednesday, October 19 at 4:00 on zoom.
On Thursday, October 20, at 4:00 pm, Torah study will focus on the very first verses of the Torah, recounting Creation in parshat Bereishit.
The Social Action Committee is continuing to collect food for the local Sedona food pantry. Please drop off cans or boxes of non-perishable foods in the bin provided for collections at the stairs leading to the synagogue sanctuary.
The Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley, located at 100 Meadow Lark Drive off Route 179 in Sedona, is a welcoming, egalitarian, inclusive congregation dedicated to building a link from the past to the future by providing religious, educational, social and cultural experiences. Messages to the office telephone at 928 204-1286 will be answered during the week. Updated information is available on the synagogue website – www.jcsvv.org.