Friday, September 29, 2023

Time to Build the Booths!


I  love this holiday so much, and am looking forward to spending the week ahead in the sukkah (booth).  I thought you might enjoy seeing the different sukkahs we've built over the years.  Just click on the link and then scroll through to see the celebrations and the sukkahs.  Sukkot Blessings

Also wanted to share this new song with you.  I think you will enjoy it as much as I do. We'll be singing it and others tomorrow as we rejoice at the synagogue.   Sukkot Song

One of the joys of my life is celebrating Sukkot in Jerusalem.  I thought you'd enjoy seeing how people build sukkahs there - especially how they build them on upstairs patios.  Enjoy  

Have a wonder-full, worship-full, joy-full Feast of Tabernacles, Gail-Friends.

Chag Sukkot Sameach!!


Friday, September 22, 2023

The Song of Moses



Dear Gail-Friends:

 Here is a song for your enjoyment.  The song is called "The Song of Moses" It is based on this week's parashas - Hazeinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-52.)
Hazeinu is Hebrew for "Listen!".  Moses is preparing to die and he is giving his last message to the people.  This passage is known as the song of Moses and is a perfect meditation for Shabbat and as preparation for Yom Kippur.

Have you prepared for the Most Holy Day?  It begins Sunday at sundown.  I pray for your heart to be soft and open.  You do this by asking Hashem to search your heart for any unconfessed sin.  If sin is found, repent and ask forgiveness.  And if there are hard feelings, go to that person as quickly as possible and make peace.  Your heart will be lifted and you will know the joy of worshiping Adonai in the beauty of holiness.  
Yom Kippur is a time of quietness and reverence - realizing anew the struggle of our flesh as we walk in this world.  But it is also a time of rejoicing for the love and mercy of Hashem in sending His Son, Yeshua to shed his blood for our sin.  We praise Him for forgiveness and also for His power to overcome sin as we journey. Haleluyah to The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and writes our names in the Book of Life for the year ahead !  May we bring Him glory and honor in all we do and say in the year ahead.

 I pray your Shabbat will be worship-full with moments of stillness, tranquility, and peace. May this day be filled with joy from spending time with Hashem, your family and loved ones, and may the atmosphere in your home be filled with coziness and harmony. I pray for Him to bring peace and kindness into your hearts.  I pray that as you light the candles to welcome the Shabbat, that their light will illuminate your path towards prosperity and happiness.*

* prayer based on a prayer by Alex Levin
**  photos are by MiYah on Facebook, used by permission.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

The Ten Days of Awe


We celebrated Rosh Hashanah at the synagogue on Friday evening with greetings of "Shanah Tovah", lots of apples and honey, and shofar blowing! Thus, we began the new year 5784 and the Days of Awe (or Ten Days of Repentance) in preparation for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).  We enjoyed a meal together and then held our traditional service.    
A round, sweet challah is a tradition on Rosh Hashanah!
The blowing of the shofar is an urgent call to awaken from spiritual slumber .  It's a special time for self-examination, repentance, and asking for forgiveness from God and others.  It's a time to prepare for 5784 - the new year ahead.  The shofar has a beautiful sound.  I want you to hear it, so here is a link for you to hear and understand the blowing of the shofar

“Blow the shofar in Tziyon!
Sound an alarm on my holy mountain!”
Let all living in the land tremble,
for the Day of Adonai is coming! It’s upon us! 
Joel 2:1 CJB 
 Entering into the Hebrew year 5784, we pray for God to reveal any sins we have allowed to creep in to our lives.  We also examine ourselves to see if we have any resentments against others or if we have hurt anyone.  If so, we do our best to make peace with them. This is not always easy to do.  If we are afraid to approach someone, we ask Him to make us willing to take the action needed to make peace.  If unable to meet in person, a phone call or a letter can be used.  It's a humbling experience to admit wrong, but it's also healing.  The important thing is to JUST DO IT ! 
These ten days are an opportunity be still, to truly seek God, and to allow Him to move in us so we will be blessed and useful for His kingdom in the year ahead.  
Seek Adonai while he is available,
call on him while he is still nearby.
Isaiah 55:6 CJB

Shavuah Tov, Gail-Friends!  

 May your 5784 be as sweet as apples and honey.