Purim is celebrated by the reading of the Scroll of Esther, known in Hebrew as the Megillat Esther, which relates the basic story of Purim. Under the rule of King Ahashuerus, Haman, the King’s prime minister, plots to exterminate all of the Jews of Persia. His plan is foiled by Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, who ultimately save the Jews of the land from destruction. The reading of the megillah is typically a rowdy affair, punctuated by booing and noise-making when Haman’s name is read aloud.
About Simone Dickstein
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Simchat Torah, Hebrew for “rejoicing in the Law”, celebrates the completion of the annual reading of the Torah. Simchat Torah is a joyous festival, in which we affirm our view of the Torah as a tree of life and demonstrate a living example of never-ending, lifelong study. Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times. During the Torah service, the concluding section of Deuteronomy is read, and immediately following, the opening section of Genesis, or B’reishit as it is called in Hebrew, is read.
Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest, as well as the commemoration of the forty years of Jewish wandering in the desert after Sinai. Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur on the 15th of Tishrei and is marked by several distinct traditions. One tradition, which takes the commandment to “dwell in booths” literally, is to build a sukkah, a booth or hut. A sukkah is often erected by Jews during this festival, and it is common practice for some to eat and even live in these temporary dwellings during Sukkot. Read more about the history and customs of Sukkot.
The Torah commands us to circumcise our newborn sons on the eight day of their new lives. This powerful ceremony celebrates new life, and also brings our sons into Judaism’s sacred covenant. Rabbi’s Stone & Smith can put you in touch with a Mohel (ritual circumciser),help the parents understand the ceremony, and co-officiate, along with the Mohel.
Baby Naming/Simchat Bat
We celebrate the great blessing of a newborn daughter with a ceremony that brings her into the covenant, and confers upon her a Hebrew name. Rabbi Smith and Rabbi Stone can help you think through and design this ceremony, which can take place either at home, or at the synagogue, on a Shabbat, or any day the Torah is read (Monday, Thursday, Festivals, Rosh Chodesh).
Bar/Bat Mitzvah students are moving from childhood to adulthood, from learning to be responsible to being responsible. As son or daughter of the commandments, you commit yourself to be proud membership in our ancient people.
Rabbi Stone and Rabbi Smith can help you prepare for this wonderful, joyous occasion, by teaching bride and groom the meaning of the ceremony, from Ketubah (marriage document), to Kiddushin (Engagement) to Huppah (Marriage Canopy) to Nissuin (marriage ceremony) to breaking the glass. We also counsel you, offering Jewish wisdom in preparation for a life dedicated to love and companionship. We also work with you in designing the ceremony, providing our knowledge and experience.
Our tradition offers several powerful end of life rituals – Kriah (tearing of a garment), Levayah (funeral procession), Hesped (eulogy), Kevurah (burial) and Shivah (seven days of mourning). Rabbi Smith and Rabbi Stone will instruct you on these and other rituals. We can also perform the funeral ceremony, and help you understand and implement other meaningful Jewish mourning practices.
High Holy Days 5773
High Holy Days are a time for reflection, introspection, prayer, and re-connection. We welcome you to join us in celebrating and observing these special Holy days. We offer a variety of services to meet the spiritual needs of our diverse community. Please see the Schedule of Services for a list of dates, times, and locations of services.
Come share the spirit and wisdom of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These Holy Days are a time of prayer, music, reflection and learning. Come and join our congregational family for a spiritually deep High Holy Day experience.