Dear Friends, Shalom Chaverim!

I am very excited about these High Holy Days.  As you are already aware by now, we will be joined by one of the wonderful cantors of the reform movement, Cantor Yvon Shore.  Her voice and her presence will no doubt bring new beauty, meaning and yes, joy, to our services.  I hope you will come and bring your family and friends to experience our services this year.

There are some people who don’t come because they are not ‘in the mood’ to pray. Maybe things have not been going so well in life or there is a sadness that is sapping their motivation to be at the temple with all those ‘happy people.’ 

Rabbi Art Green writes in his book, Tormented Master, about Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, "Sometimes when people are joyous and dancing, they grab a man from outside their dancing circle, one who is sad and melancholy, and force him to join with them in their dance. Thus, it is with joy: when a person is happy, his own sadness and suffering stand off on the side. But it is a higher achievement to struggle and pursue that sadness, bringing it too into the joy, until it is transformed…. you grab hold of this suffering, and force it to join with you in the rejoicing, just as in the parable.  

There is a considerable amount of research addressing the question of whether religious people are happier than non-religious people.  The lion’s share of the data on this topic suggests that the answer is yes. That being said, the next question is "Why?”  Religion may promote happiness for a number of reasons as studies show that religion gives people a sense of purpose and order and serves as a resource for coping with negative life experiences and existential fears (e.g., the fear of death). However, a number of studies really seem to suggest that the magic ingredient in religion that provides happiness is social connectedness. Though people, especially in individualistic nations like the United States, talk about religion as an internal or personal belief system, the truth is that religion is rarely done in solitude. Instead, religion is typically a social activity and research indicates that social ties are one of the most important contributors to happiness.

The High Holy Days are filled with opportunities to come be "with your people.”  The shmoozing that is done before and after services and at the Rosh Hashanah Oneg, the Yom Tov dinners, the tashlich bread tossing and the Sukkot Picnic, are religious experiences that contribute to our happiness.  So, come join us.  And as I said before, make sure you bring your family and your friends, even if they don’t want to dance.  At the very least, it will be a great way to kick off what we pray will be a very happy year. 

 

L’Shanah Tovah,  Rabbi Jordan


PDF FORMS - print and mail the individual forms
HIGH HOLY DAY SERVICES SCHEDULE
BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE
ROSH HASHANAH ONEG DONATION
WCBI MEMBERSHIP
MEN'S CLUB MEMBERSHIP
YOM TOV DINNER RESERVATIONS
DIRECTORY UPDATE

ONLINE FORMS - you can submit online by the following links:
BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE
ROSH HASHANAH ONEG DONATION
CLUB MEMBERSHIP - WCBI / MENS CLUB - ONE FORM
YOM TOV DINNER RESERVATIONS

   

 

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