Monday, October 24, 2011

One last celebration

Highlights of this issue
  • Please vote for me in the Jewish Community Heroes contest - just CLICK HERE
  • Special class on Happiness and Success Tuesday Night
  • Memorial Prayer (Yizkor) on Thursday morning
Once again the Boca Raton Jewish Experience (BRJE) held a special beginner service for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and more than 200 people participated from our community. It was a huge success and I can't wait for next year. The following week BRS and the BRJE hosted a Sukkot dinner and more than 100 people attended the magical experience in the beautifully decorated Sukkah. And just when you think it's all over, there is still one more holiday taking place this week called Shmini Atzeret / Simchas Torah. Why do we need another one?
Imagine for a moment that you hosted a huge party and invited everyone you knew. But this is no "regular" party: its one solid week of food, music and fun. Eventually things wind down and people begin to leave. As the host, you quietly go over to a few of your best friends and whisper: "Stick around after everyone else leaves - that's when I'm breaking out the good stuff."
Each year God has a weeklong celebration called "Sukkot." In ancient times in Jerusalem, the service in the Holy Temple during the week of Sukkot featured a total of 70 bull offerings. This, the Talmud explains, corresponds to each of the 70 nations of the world. The Temple was not just for Jews. When King Solomon built the Temple, he specifically asked God to heed the prayer of non-Jews who comes to the Temple (1-Kings 8:41-43). And the prophet Isaiah refers to the Temple as a "House for all nations" (Isaiah 56:7).
The Temple was the universal center of spirituality, a concentrated point where God-consciousness filtered down into the world. In fact, the Talmud says that if the Romans would have realized how much benefit they themselves were getting from the Temple, they never would have destroyed it!
And then, at the end of Sukkot, God added a special day. It's called Shmini Atzeret, literally the "Eighth Day of Assembly." On that day, only one bull was offered - representing the Jewish people. It is a day of great intimacy with our Creator, as He asks His Jewish children to remain with him for extra personal time together. (Talmud - Sukkot 55b).
What a special opportunity to get close to God and experience something new. I encourage you to read about the different celebrations that are taking place in our community and please contact me today if you have any further questions.
Next week we are starting a new semester of "beginner" classes and we are honored that Rabbi Efrem Goldberg, the Sr. Rabbi of Boca Raton Synagogue will be giving the first class on Tuesday night about success and happiness. Just CLICK HERE to register and read more about the class below. If you have a friend that you think would be interested in hearing this exciting class from a true superstar in our community, please forward them this email. The following week we will be kicking of our new season of crash courses and I hope that you can join us for these FREE programs, with different options every night of the week and learn something exciting and new.
Please don't forget to vote and help spread the word... it will only take a few seconds of your time, remember all you need to do is CLICK HERE.
Finally, please see the new film below from Jewish Pride Films, featuring our very own Dr. Steve Lemberg discussing Shabbat.
I hope that you enjoy the final festival of the holiday season.
If you would like to join us for Yizkor on Shmini Atzeret or you know someone that doesn't have a place to go, please forward them the information in this email. The details for Shmini Atzeret are all listed below. As far as Simchas Torah, the celebration will begin on Thursday night at Boca Raton Synagogue and also at the Boca Jewish Center Shaaray Tefila at approximately 7:15pm. Its an incredible evening of singing and dancing with hundreds of people from our community as we celebrate the completion and beginning of a new cycle of the Torah.
Inspire yourself to inspire others...
Rabbi Josh Broide
Boca Raton Jewish Experience
(561) 702-3864

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