"A RICH BLEND" of the Greatest Piano Classics featuring Pianist, Christopher Tavernier...Sunday, September 25, 2 pm at the Flat Rock Playhouse Theater, Downtown Hendersonville. Tickets are $35.00 each. Click on the PayPal button to purchase your tickets today! (Hint: if you do not have a PayPal account-check in as a guest...important to print the receipt from PayPal or record your receipt number--your ticket will be at Will Call in the Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown.)
September in a synagogue often means only one thing…the High Holy Days are just around the corner, if not already upon us. This year, the chaggim start at the beginning of October, which indicates that this month of September, corresponds to the Jewish month of Elul. This magical and mystical month in our calendar affords us the opportunity to get ready for the hopeful spiritual transformation of the High Holy Days. Such transformation can seem like a daunting task for those who are unprepared, and for those prepared. Our tradition recognizes this difficulty and gives us the month of Elul to help. One of the activities and symbols which mark this month is the sounding of the shofar each day. We can think of that blast like an alarm clock. And for thirty days, we hit the snooze button. Come October 2, we can no longer hit the snooze button. On Rosh Hashanah, during our morning services, we will hear the sound of the shofar one hundred times! A poem from the new machzor, High Holy Day prayer book, which brings together the individual and the community with the sounds and emotions of the shofar:
Blessed are we, blessed our gathering as we open our hearts to the voice of the shofar. Happy are we who hear its call to return— the sacred trumpet of t’shuvah. Blessed are we held close by an ancient sound that echoes l’dor vador— from generation to generation. Happy are we, rising to the joyful cry of a new year. Blessed are we who hear in these blasts of sound the voice of community. Happy are we who know its embrace, its season of celebration, its quest for connection and purpose. Holy is this gift of community, blessed the act of belonging.
May we feel called to change—ourselves, our community, our world. We may do so by introspection of ourselves. By engaging at all levels with each other in our synagogue. By participating in the food drive, volunteering, any way we feel pulled to affect change. May this month of Elul provide us with the gift of focus and lead us gently into the chaggim, the High Holy Days.
Warmly and with many blessings,
Rabbi Rachael Jackson
August culminated with the highly successful 2nd Mountain Jewish Festival. There are special thanks that need to go out to those that were the driving force behind the event; Carol Leaman, Event Chair, Sherry Harris, and Bonnie Cooper. Beyond these three individuals are the scores of individuals who have worked for months to make this event a success; all the cooks and bakers, those that set up the building, arranged transportation, repaired and beautified the synagogue, made signs, wrapped silverware, sold our wares, counted our heads, no job too big or too small. And, what about those in the community who have lent a hand with food stored in freezers all across town and friends of members who arranged a refrigerated truck for us. The list goes on and on. I watched the work go on for so many months and am amazed at what we, a small congregation, are doing. We have come together for a common cause to make our synagogue stronger - stronger financially and stronger as a community. I find myself wondering what it is that makes us come together with such strength to accomplish such a major project. We as Jews are accustomed to volunteering. The first volunteers were the Israelites who built the Mishkan, desert sanctuary. Following God’s words, Moses said to the Israelites, “Let all among you who are skilled come and make all that Adonai has commanded” and “everyone who excelled in ability and everyone whose spirit moved him came until their efforts had been more than enough for all the tasks to be done” (Exodus25:8;35:10:22;36:7). We certainly did that and more over these many months. In organizational life, there is often frustration and not being able to find those willing and eager to help. I like to think that we are able to come together to accomplish our goals because we realize that, as a group, we understand the need to support and sustain our congregation. But in our case, I think there is more to it. I believe that here at Agudas Israel, we share a unique bond; a bond of belonging and friendship, an esprit de corps. It is this bond that moves us to work for the greater good. And, beyond that, we have fun together! I wish I had some special way to thank each of you individually for the gifts you bring us, the gift of your time and expertise, your enthusiasm and willingness to participate. Your engagement helps to shape and nurture the synagogue and the future of the community. Your ongoing commitment helps to assure the continuation of a dynamic congregation that will continue to fulfill its mission as the center of Jewish life in Henderson County.
Dr. Linda Perkel, President
Read the our Newsletter "Chai Lites" for June by clicking Chai Lites September 2016
See what books we have in the Agudas Israel Library for you to check out by clicking here: AGUDAS ISRAEL LIBRARY
See photos of our Mountain Jewish Festival from August 21, 2016 by clicking here: Mountain Jewish Festival photos 2016.
See photos from our Annual Sisterhood Fashion Show, August 2, 2016 by clicking here: Sisterhood Fashion Show 2016