Today is May 22, 2024 -

Congregation Sha'arey Israel

A Conservative Jewish Congregation serving the spiritual needs of the Middle Georgia Jewish community since 1904

611 First Street, Macon, GA 31201
Phone: (478) 745-4571

Sukkot Joy — Yesterday (Oct 1) at Shul…

So, I just have to tell you about yesterday at shul. For the Rubinstein crew, there were two seemingly separate programs: I was leading the davenning, and Sharona was teaching Sunday school. Zohar, as always, was most helpful cranking up zoom. Truth be told, I was doubtful about a minyan coming together on the 2nd day of Sukkot but between our zooming davenners and some
Sunday school parents, we had a lovely service. The Awesome finish was a huge group of Sunday schoolers leading the davenning from Eyn Keloheynu through Adon Olam — big smiles and some
wonderful Sukkot energy, smiling parents, too. Cereal in the sukkah continues to be a Big Hit …now an established CSI custom. The sukkah decorations (Awesome! Thank you, Chrissy!) are
terrific. I do hope you consider attending an upcoming sukkah evening (10/2 Wengier Sukkah in Warner Robins; 10/3 Koplin’s Scotch in the Sukkah; 10/4 Vickie’s Sukkah in Milledgeville, 10/6
Shmini Atzeret dinner in the Rubinstein Sukkah), and don’t forget Simchat Torah Saturday night 10/7 dinner at shul.

So, a moment of spiritual/philosophical pondering…The Torah instructs us to be joyous on the pilgrimage festivals, and the Sunday school kids definitely lit up the courtyard sukkah, their classrooms, and the chapel with their joy. And in the festival Amidah we call Sukkot the time of our rejoicing. What is it about? Over the years I have learned that this kind of joy is all about
community. We lift each other’s spirit. Years ago, my Buddhist teachers taught me this as well. In a language called Pali (spoken by the Buddha, now extinct), the word Muddita means sympathetic
joy, the happiness you feel while celebrating someone else’s good news or cause for rejoicing. I share these thoughts in the midst of the month of Tishrei, the first month, densely packed with introspection, repentance, and joy. The coming of Fall, the cooler nights, the falling leaves — and we socialize and dine and dwell in the fragile indoor/outdoor space of a sukkah. This is a joyous
season, a time to celebrate the wonderful gift of being part of a Kehilla. I hope to see you soon!

Rav Aaron

P.S. — Many, many thanks to a whole crew of people who helped make the Holy Day services run smoothly, from meals to aliyot to arranging for a patrol security to switching out siddurim for
machzorim to childcare…