The whole month of Elul is a process of preparing ourselves for the as Yamim Noraim, Days of Trembling or Days of Awe. In some synagogues the shofar is blown after every morning service. Many people also visit the graves of their parents and of other loved ones, recalling those who have made an important impact on us in the previous years, and whose memories we cherish as a source of inspiration for the coming years as well.
As part of the process of preparing ourselves for the coming High Holy Days, we begin to wish each other in person and in writing shanah tovah—a good New Year. The traditional greetings are Shanah Tovah ("A good year"); or Le-shanah tovah tikatevu ("May you be inscribed for a good year (in the Book of Life)"; or Le-shanah tovah u-metukah tikateivu ("May you be inscribed for a good and sweet year").
This year try creating a family plan. Lay out what activities and goals you have with those you love. Parents as well as, children, (kids and adults), can take part in this. Plan your vacations for the coming year. Set economic goals, budgets and savings plans. Assess whether you have met previous goals, and work towards a realistic expectation for what you can accomplish in the coming year and years.
The High Holidays are the time for undertaking this kind of inventory. We should do this type of work individually, but also with those around us, the people who make up our support, our network, our team.
For those of us involved with the preparation of programs and services for Temple Beth Ami we reflect on the previous year, concentrate on our current state of affairs as we also create a vision of tomorrow. Our congregation continues to grow at a rapid pace and our synagogue programming continues to improve dramatically, to meet these needs.
This year we are committing as a congregation to reaching out, as well as reaching in. We realize there are literally thousands of Jews in the Santa Clarita Valley who remain unaffiliated. We need your help in bringing people in. We need to be placed in contact with them, so you can help by making sure that people you meet are on our mailing and e-mail list. We also want to make sure that everyone already part of the Temple Beth Ami family is connected, especially through our very successful Havurah program. If you are not yet a part of a havurah, contact Rena Slabich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This June I celeberated my 13 year anniversary with Temple Beth Ami. I want to thank everyone who has participated and lent their energy to making this such a wonderful community. Like a Bar Mitzvah I feel I am still at the beginning of a journey. Temple Beth Ami’s amazing growth has been made possible through the hard work of so many of our congregants, board members and volunteers, parents and students. The road ahead is challenging and exciting. But with all of our continued commitment, we will assuredly have much to be proud of this time next year as well.
LE-SHANAH TOVAH TIKATEVU -- MAY YOU BE INSCRIBED FOR A GOOD YEAR!