Must-Know Sukkot Words and Phrases

Key terms for the holidays of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.

Arava — Literally “willow,” one of the four species.

Arba minim — Literally “four species,” a quartet of plants used in Sukkot rituals: lulav, , hadas, and aravah. They symbolize joy for life and dedication to God. The four species are held and shaken during the Hallel service.

Etrog — Literally “citron,” one of the four species.

Geshem 
— Literally “rain,” additional prayer for rain read on Shemini Atzeret in the fall, introduced in the poetic form of an alphabetic acrostic.

Hadas —Literally “myrtle,” one of the four species.

Hakafah — Literally “circuit,” a celebratory processional  around the room done on Sukkot and Simchat . On Sukkot hakafot (the Hebrew plural of hakafah) are done holding the four species, except on . On Shemini Atzeret the hakafot are done while singing, dancing, and carrying Torahs.

Hallel — Literally “praise” this short service is a collection of Psalms and blessings recited on festivals and Rosh Hodesh (the new moon) as a display of joy and gratitude.

Hatan/Kallat Bereishit — Literally “Groom/Bride of Genesis,” this is a designation of honor for the person who is called up to the very first aliyah of the Book of Genesis on the morning of Simchat Torah.

Hatan/Kallat Torah 
— Literally “Groom/Bride of the Torah” this is a designation of honor for the person who is called up to the very last of the Book of Deuteronomy on the morning of Simchat Torah.

Hol Hamoed
 — Literally “the mundane of the festival,” the intermediary days falling between the most sacred days of the festivals of Sukkot and Passover. These days have fewer prohibitions and commandments associated with them than the first and last days of the festivals.

Hoshanah Rabbah 
— Literally, “the Great Call for Help,” the seventh day of Sukkot during which hakafot are made and Hoshanot are recited. According to one tradition, it is the very last day for God to seal a judgment.

Hoshanot — Prayers of salvation that are chanted on Hoshanah Rabbah while holding the four species. At the end of the hakafot, each person takes a bundle of willow twigs and strikes it on the ground for symbolic purposes. Each prayer begins with the word hoshanah, which means, “Save, I pray.”

Kohelet The Book of Ecclesiastes, a collection of wisdom, traditionally attributed to King Solomon. It is one of the five books from the part of the Bible called the Writings (Ketuvim) and is read on the intermediary Shabbat of Sukkot.

Lulav — Literally “palm branch,” one of the four species. It is also the name given to the general bundle of willow, myrtle, and palm branches.

Pitom — Literally “protuberance,” the bulging tip at the blossom end of the etrog. If it falls off naturally, the etrog is considered to be kosher. If it has been knocked off, the fruit is considered to have a blemish and thus be unfit for ritual use as one of the four species.

Shalosh Regalim
 — Literally “three legs,” the three major festivals of Passover, and Sukkot. On these occasions during biblical times Jews went on pilgrimages to Jerusalem to make special offerings at the Temple.

Shemini Atzeret
 — Literally “the Eighth Day of Gathering,” the eighth day of Sukkot, which holds special significance as its own holiday. Jews thank God for the harvest and ask for winter rain to prepare the ground for spring planting.

Simchat Torah
 
— Literally “rejoicing in the Torah,” the holiday that celebrates both the end and renewal of the annual cycle of reading the Torah. Typically, the congregation takes the Torah scrolls from the and parades with them in circles (hakafot) around the perimeter of the sanctuary.

Skhakh — Literally “covering,” the roofing of the , which is made from natural materials such as bamboo or palm branches.

Sukkah — Literally “hut” or “booth,” a temporary structure that is built in order to be dwelt in for the duration of the holiday of Sukkot. Its purpose is to commemorate the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt and to make a symbolic gesture that acknowledges humankind’s reliance upon God. The construction of a sukkah follows a set of specific regulations.

Ushpizin — Literally “guests,” the biblical guests that the Zohar teaches are to be invited into the sukkah (along with the poor) during each night of Sukkot. Traditionally these seven guests are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and David. Today many people add the names of women to the list.

Zman Simchateinu — Literally “the time of our rejoicing,” an expression often used when referring to the days of Sukkot.

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This Week’s Event Schedule!

Friday Service, 9/21, will begin at 5:30 with refreshments & 6:00 service to follow.

Minyan & Tisch this Saturday, 9/22 at 9:00 am
Sunday 9/22 there will be Sunday school beginning at 9:20 with Hebrew as well as Sukkot raising!
The Sukkah decorating will take place at 4:30 on Wednesday, 9/26, and will take the place of Hebrew school classes.
**Please be reminded that if you have not paid for Break-Fast, the Yizkor book, or have not RSVP’d and paid for Sukkot Dinner on 9/28, please see Jan in the office. 
 
Sukkot Dinner will be at 6:00 pm on Friday 9/28 with 7:30 Service to follow.

High Holidays Schedule of Events

Erev Rosh Hashanah: Sunday, September 9, Service at 7:30 pm with ONEG to follow

Rosh Hashanah Day 1: Monday, September 10, Service at 9:30 amChildren’s Service with ONEG at 4:00 pm

Rosh Hashanah Day 2: Tuesday, September 11, Service at 9:30 am

Shabbat Shuva: Friday, September 14, Service at 7:30 am

Memorial Service: Sunday, September 16 at 12:30 pm at Greenlawn Cemetery

Kol Nidre: Tuesday, September 18, Service at 7:30 pm

Yom Kippur: Wednesday, September 19, Service at 9:30 am; meditation & discussion at 2:00 pm, afternoon service at 4:00 with Yizkor & Neilah to follow,children’s service at 6:00 pm. Break-the-fast: 7 pm. Please RSVP.

Sukkot Setup: Sunday, September 23

Sukkah Traditional Dinner: Friday, September 28 at 6:00 pm with 7:30 service Yizkor Service: Tuesday, October 2 at 5:00 pm

September 2018 Worship Schedule

 

August 31 & September 1

Friday: 6:00 Kabbalat Shabbat-Dinner Out After

Saturday: Morning Service 9:30

September 7 & 8

Friday: 5:30 Refreshments 6:00 Kabbalat Shabbat

Saturday: Morning Service 9:30

September 9

Erev Rosh Hashanah Service at 7:30 pm

September 10 & 11

Rosh Hashanah Services at 9:30 am

September 14 & 15

Friday: 5:30 Refreshments 6:00 Kabbalat Shabbat

Saturday: Morning Service 9:30 Minyan Tisch

September 18 & 19

Erev Yom Kippur Service at 7:30 &

Yom Kippur Services beginning at 9:30 am

September 21 & 22

Friday: 5:30 Refreshments 6:00 Kabbalat Shabbat

Saturday: Morning Service 9:30

September 28 & 29

Friday: 6:00 Sukkot Dinner 7:30 Service

Saturday: Morning Service 9:30

Selichot: A Spiritual Warm-Up for the High Holy Days

Creative concept image of a woman profile with a bright sunset appearing as though its inside her head

My first experience with Selichot occurred during my first year of rabbinical school in Israel.

In the wee hours of the morning, we boarded a bus to a Sephardi synagogue in Jerusalem. The service, in the Sephardi custom, was held before sunrise. Forced to take anti-nausea medication before the bus ride, I remember little of that service, except for the warm, spiced tea that was shared with us during the service. Ever since, though, I have had a fondness for Selichot.

There are a variety of points during the summer that could mark the coming of the High Holidays – Shabbat Nachamu after Tishah b’Av, the full moon of Tu b’Av (a minor Jewish holiday that celebrates love, observed primarily in Israel), the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul – but it is Selichot, more than any other moment in our calendar, that tells me the High Holidays are near.

Typically, Selichot occurs at the close of Shabbat just prior to Rosh HaShanah, but when Rosh HaShanah occurs within close proximity to the Shabbat that precedes it, as it does this year, Selichot is observed a week early.

It seems to me that this adjustment in the timing of Selichot tells us something of its importance. The word “s’lichot” means “forgiveness” or “pardon.” We know it from modern Hebrew in Israel, where s’lichah means, “Excuse me,” (or sometimes, “Out of my way!”). In the context of the High Holidays and the lead-up to them, S’lichot are prayers asking for pardon from God. They first appear at Selichotat the close of Shabbat before Rosh HaShanah, but the S’lichot prayers appear throughout Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur and even into the remaining fall holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah.

The presence of these prayers before, during, and after the High Holidays are a reminder that the path to forgiveness extends beyond the High Holidays themselves. We are encouraged to begin early, work earnestly, and take a little extra time, if we need it, to remedy whatever went wrong in the year that has drawn to a close.

For me, the key to Selichot is the early start it offers.

In reality, each and every day, no matter the time of year, is the right time to seek forgiveness, but Selichot encourages us to jumpstart our cheshbon hanefesh (the accounting of our souls) that the High Holidays demand of us. Regarding this early start, Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, in Michael Strassfeld’s The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary, shares this teaching:

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi said that during Elul the thirteen midot—attributes of mercy—are shining. While this is also true on Yom Kippur, the difference is that during Elul the King is on the road; therefore, you are more comfortable addressing the King if He stops at your house. By Yom Kippur, the King has returned to His palace, and even though the thirteen attributes of mercy are still shining, you feel intimidated in approaching the palace without even knowing how to get past the palace guards.

For many of us, myself included, the spiritual work of the High Holidays can be overwhelming. I often find myself caught off-guard by the liturgy, wondering if I can be better in the year that comes. Selichotoffers us the opportunity to prime the pump, to get our t’shuvah juices flowing before the big day.

I know that’s what I’ll be doing this Selichot; perhaps, you will, too.

And We Begin our Preparation for the High Holidays

ROSH HASHANAH is the Jewish New Year marking the anniversary of the creation of the world. Rosh Hashanah is also called the Day of Judgment. God is said to inscribe the fate of every person for the upcom- ing year in the Book of Life. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe, during which time Jews seek forgiveness for their transgressions.

TESHUVAh – The Hebrew word for “sin” is “chet,” derived from an old archery term used when an arch- er “misses the mark.” Teshuva is the process by which Jews atone throughout the Ten Days of Awe.

MITZVAH OF THE SHOFAR – The essential mitzvah (commandment) of Rosh Hashanah is to hear the sounding of the shofar.

APPLES AND HONEY- There is many Rosh Hashanah food customs but the most common is the dipping of apples into honey to signify our wishes for a sweet new year. A special round loaf of challah symbolizes the cycle of time.

“L’SHANA TOVAH” -The traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting appropriate for Jewish friends on Rosh Hashanah is “L’Shana Tovah” or simply “Shana Tovah” which loosely translates as “Happy New Year or “L’Shana Tovah u’Metukah,” wishing someone a “good and sweet year.”

TASHLICH – On Rosh Hashanah, many Jews may follow a custom called Tashlich (“casting off”) symboli- cally cast off their sins into the water by throwing pieces of bread into the stream.

YOM KIPPUR – DAY OF ATONEMENT was instituted long ago Leviticus 23: And the Eternal spoke unto Moses, saying: “Howbeit on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement; there shall be a holy convocation unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls; and ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the Eternal. ……to make atonement for you before the Eternal your God.” It is our last chance to change God’s judgment of one’s deeds in the previous year who decides our fate in the coming year. In the Bible, Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shabbaton, “Sabbath of Sabbaths. “Abstention from work and solemnity characterize the Sabbath as most complete.

In the days of the Temple in Jerusalem, the high priest conducted an elaborate sacrificial ceremony on Yom Kippur. Clothed in white linen, he successively confessed his own sins, the sins of priest, and the sins of the people, and then entered the Holy of Holies in the Temple to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice and offer in- cense. The priest then sent a goat (the “scapegoat”) into the wilderness, where it was driven to its death, to symbolically carry away the sins of Israel.

OBSERVANCES OF YOM KIPPUR – On the eve of Yom Kippur, the Kol Nidre is recited. The Kol Nidre (“all vows”) annuls all vows made throughout the year. But the Kol Nidre actually refers only to vows made between oneself and God, and especially frivolous vows made to God or those made under duress. Even so, obligations towards other people must be upheld. God will forgive sins one commits, but if one has wronged another person, he must seek forgiveness from that person and try to make it right. The Mishna teaches, “Yom Kippur does not atone until one appeases his neighbors.” In the Yom Kippur synagogue ser- vice the confession is recited in the first person plural to emphasize communal responsibility for sins. The concluding service N’ilah is the last chances to get in a “good word” before God’s judgment are sealed. At nightfall, the Yom Kippur service concludes with one last long blast on the shofar.

HAPPIEST TIME OF THE YEAR – There were no days as happy for the Jewish people as the 15th of Av [when marriages were arranged] and Yom Kippur. It brings about reconciliation with God and other peo- ple. Thus, if they have observed it properly, many people feel a deep sense of serenity by the end of the fast.

Upcoming Events: Dates to Remember for August!

 

3  Kabbalat Shabbat

4  Saturday Service

10  Kabbalat Shabbat

11  Saturday Service

14  Temple Board Meeting

15  Breakfast Schmooze

17  Kabbalat Shabbat

18  Saturday Service

24  Kabbalat Shabbat

25  Saturday Service

26  Sunday School Registration

26 Sisterhood Fun Run

29 Hebrew School Starts

31 Kabbalat Shabbat (Last of Summer Schedule)

Please Join Us For A Traditional Break-the-Fast

Wednesday, September 19, 7:00 pm

Traditional Menu

Lox, Bagels, Kugel, Tuna & Egg Salad, Fruit Salad, Doughnuts & More!

$12.50/Adults (11 and up) $5/Children 5-10 FREE 5 & under

PLEASE RSVP BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 TO THE TEMPLE OFFICE

You MUST have a paid reservation! ***$15/Adult at the door or after September 7

Groups of 10 can reserve a table