President’s 5775 New Year Note
Thank you for a Good Year.
I often begin Shabbat announcements by welcoming members and friends to Sabbath Services and thanking members, friends and our clergy for providing warm, prayer-full, thought-full and wonderfully musical services. To begin our new year, 5775, I would like to share these same thoughts in print.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Hevrat Shalom, “thank you.”
Thank you to the growing number of members and friends who pray with us and support our Sabbath and holiday services and special and social events. Thank you to those of you who step-up to pour wine, set-up the bema and help with our services. Thank you to those special individuals who give even more of themselves and serve on our committees and our Board of Directors. Thank you to our caring clergy who passionately lead our Sabbath, holiday and life-cycle events. Thank you to my wife, Kay, who actively participates and patiently understands and supports our dedication to Hevrat Shalom.
Only with your continued participation and leadership, active involvement and financial support can we succeed together in our quest to sustain a healthy and supportive Hevrat Shalom community. It takes a team and together we are a mighty force.
We need your help!
Please give some of your free time next Sunday to help grow our congregation.
This coming Sunday is King Farm Day and, as in previous years, Hevrat Shalom has a booth in the area outside the community center from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. We are trying to get the word out that we are the community congregation for King Farm.
Two members, Bonni Dutcher and Jack Goldman, will be there, but we could use at least two more people to man the booth.
If you have some free time next Sunday, please contact Jack Goldman at (202) 744-0179 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you need to bring? A smiling face and enthusiasm. Jack will give you the talking points.
Hevrat Shalom Board of Directors:
Members at Large:
Between the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur
From Rabbi Saltzman
By Rabbi Arnold Saltzman
The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Ten Days of Repentance. During these days we are supposed to approach those we may have offended or wronged in the year that has past and ask for forgiveness. In other words we are to make peace in the family, with our neighbors and friends, and to seek reconciliation with those who may not even wish to be reconciled.
The instruction is that it is upon us to try to have the correct intention so that even if we are rejected for this, we should try again in order to show sincerity. If it happens that it does not work, we have fulfilled the injunction of asking for forgiveness.
These ‘days of repentance’ are more complex. For example, we are given an extension to ask for forgiveness from our fellow humans and from God until Hoshanah Rabbah that is the seventh day of Sukkot, when seven circuits are made around the Temple sanctuaries and the great Hosannah is recited. This liturgical holiday dates from the time of the Temple in Jerusalem when pilgrims making the journey to Jerusalem would carry the Lullav and Etrog as they marched around the Temple seven times, signifying the closing of the Gates.
The gates were not the gates of Jerusalem, although this might have been true as well since there was an overflow of people rushing to pray prior to the closing of the gates. The willow leaves were shaken or beaten on steps until the leaves were off the stems. This signified the end of the penitential season.
Rosh Hashanah does not actually begin the Penitential season. The month of Elul that precedes Tishre and the New Year, begins a month long recitation of liturgy known as S’lichot, prayers asking for forgiveness. In some communities, these are recited at dawn until the S’lichot the Saturday evening prior to Rosh Hashanah is recited in a more public service.
In the 1960s synagogues and Temples looking to revive some of these services that were not attracting many people (except in Brooklyn), began more creative services. One of these was the ‘Hush of Midnight’ by Charles Davidson and synagogue poet, Ruth Brin. This service mixed traditional and contemporary music, with original poems for the service.
More recently, there is a return to traditional forms of S’lichot, yet these prayers asking for forgiveness are woven into the liturgy for the holydays when most people are familiar with the themes and melodies.
These complex prayers seem remote to many people today. There are students I work with who are not familiar with the concept of a het, or sin, while they definitely understand the idea of asking for forgiveness. ‘Sin’ can be defined as violating one of the 613 commandments, or it can be ‘missing the mark’ frequently referred to in the liturgy. The concept of right and wrong, good and evil, require us to make choices, to amend, to find a way back.
In our belief system of Judaism, we are required to have standards and to experience what we believe. In doing this we build the kind of immediate world we want to be part of, yet, we may not be able to build the very world which appears to be eluding us. We are taught that while we are not required to complete or fix everything, yet we are not free from trying. In this context, we approach our ‘Atonement’ and ‘Closing of the Gates’, in sincerity and with the hope that we will be an influence for good in this New Year.
My family joins me in wishing you
L’Shanah Tova Tikateivu V’Teichateimu -
May you and your loved ones be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy, prosperous, and sweet New Year, and may we all rejoice in the coming festival season of Sukkot, a celebration of life and its bounty.
Rabbi Arnold Saltzman
Hevrat Shalom is a small and growing congregation with two outstanding Rabbis and two fantastic Cantorial soloists. Dues cover many of our basic expenses but not everything. We are very fortunate to have members and friends who have generously donated to our various funds.
These donations have allowed us to present many additional services to the congregation and surrounding community such as Chanukah celebrations, Passover Seders, special musical presentations, Bible study, and the Jewish Film Festival.
If you would like to honor or remember a person or event, please consider donating to one of the funds listed below. If appropriate please give the name and address of the person or family member we should notify of your gift.
mail a check to:
P.O. Box 3606
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
- GENERAL FUND
- RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND
- JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL FUND
- PRAYER BOOK FUND
In each newsletter we will mention the most current donations unless otherwise instructed.
Good Neighbor Committee
Hevrat Shalom's Good Neighbor Committee is available to assist sick or healing congregation members. Committee volunteers may help with an errand, prepare a meal, check-in with a phone call or visit members who request congregational support during a difficult time.
If you would like assistance from the Committee, please contact the Committee Chairperson, Elise Ward, at 301-294-2493. You may also contact Rabbi Saltzman at 202-244-6871 and a Committee member will contact you to see how we may be of assistance.
If you would like to become a Committee member, please contact Elise Ward -
SOCIAL OUTREACH OPPORTUNITIES
Hevrat Shalom congregants who would like to volunteer in our community have several options. The J Connect website (http://www.jconnect.org/participate/volunteer or 1-888-246-1818) lists opportunities for volunteers and recipients of all ages. Included are “Meals on Wheels” which is looking for drivers to deliver meals on a weekly or on a back-up driver basis. The “Interages” program requires only 1-2 hours per week to mentor students in the Montgomery County public school system. If your preference is to collect and donate items to shelter residents, the Stepping Stone Shelter in Rockville posts a “Needs List” on its website (http://steppingstonesshelter.org/ or 301-251-0567). The current “Needs List” includes clothing, school supplies, house cleaning products, and food items.
If congregants are interested in volunteering, please contact these organizations. If you are already volunteering and would like to promote your activities, please share your experience with us as what you do may be just the right volunteer opportunity for another Hevrat Shalom congregant.