The High Holidays 2020 were an unprecedented collaboration in unprecedented times. It was the discovery of a worldwide mishpucha — a connection to a family you didn’t know you had. New faces coming from new places in the United States, Canada, and Israel.
Indeed, this year was unlike any other. Yes, we have been saying that for many months. But because of Rabbi Gadi’s leadership, these High Holidays were truly inspiring as well as spiritually enlightening. I will always remember that first glimpse of our beautiful sanctuary on Erev Rosh Hashanah. Because we had not been there in so many long months, it felt like high drama as we entered the Zoom room…our sanctuary. The unusual hush of the chatty early arrivals was palpable. There were gasps and comments on the beauty and holiness of our sanctuary amid expressions of longing for that place. And now we were there.
As subsequent High Holiday services began, the experience was similar — a gasp at the overwhelming beauty and sanctity of the place, the sense of a family coming home. The mournful prayers and sacred texts brought a heightened awareness of the holiness of the holiday to me as a reader. Somehow the words had new meaning, as though I had not seen them or heard them before. Rabbi Gadi and Cantor Oded were just magnificent. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchas Torah 2020 will always live in my memory.
If you were similarly moved, and maybe just a bit grateful for an unprecedented High Holiday experience, I would like to remind you that if you have not yet contributed to our High Holiday Matching Gift Campaign, we are waiting for you. Remember, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar. Make this a blockbuster initiative; we need you to make that happen. Thank you.
—Judith K. Weiner