Wounds: Parashat Ha’azinu/Yom Kippur

Dandelion flying

Parashat Ha’azinu/Yom Kippur
Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52

This year the Torah reading for this first Shabbat of the new year, the Shabbat between Rosh Ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur, is Ha’azinu. This is not always the case. Sometimes it is the Torah reading preceding this one, Va-yelekh. But the one constant reading is the prophetic portion that gives this Shabbat its name – Shabbat Shuvah – for the first word of the haftarah is “Shuvah – Return!” (Hosea 14:2)

The theme of teshuvah – returning, repenting – is central to this period, the Ten Days of Repentance. Whether the Torah reading is Va-yelekh or Ha’azinu (as it is this year) we can find connections to this essential concern. We are urgently called to return to God and abandon our transgressive ways. What do we wish to receive from God in return? The most obvious answer is “forgiveness.” Indeed, we ask God to forgive us over and over again in the prayers for this season. But another response or result is also presented to us by our Torah reading and haftarah. In addition to forgiveness we seek healing.
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Musicians Wanted for Our Zoom Simchat Torah Celebration


I know we have not fasted yet, nor have we built our Sukkot. But we can definitely use some extra joy these days so why not fast forward to Simchat Torah?

This year Shomrei will be celebrating the holiday virtually on Sunday, October 11 at 7:30 PM. As we mark the completion AND the beginning of reading the Torah, we would like to fill the occasion with live music.

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The Little Minyan That Could

minyan_at_homeOur monthly Wednesday night minyan will resume on October 14, 2020. Thereafter, it will be on the first Wednesday of the month. This year, however, we are making one change. Like everything else during the pandemic, we will be Zooming “Maariv” into your homes.

For those of you who are new to Shomrei, or have never attended this casual, ½ hour evening service, Andy and I welcome and encourage you to join us.  And for those of us who have been physically attending this service in our living room, on the deck, or in our Sukkah for the past 12 years, thank you for keeping this intimate service flourishing. Continue reading

RBG: A Tribute

RBG funeral

On Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah evening when we heard of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, cries of “Oh, No!” rose from the Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah table. We had just moments before been discussing her role in keeping some balance on the Supreme Court and her qualities of maintaining friendships even with those whom she often did not agree.  Continue reading

Additional Things to Make and Do


Return overdue library books to Shomrei or Aileen’s front porch (no mask needed). Just place the books preferably in a plastic bag into the marked box on the front porch. 204 Park Street, just a couple of minutes up from Shomrei.

Marcia Falk’s  Days Between  looks at liturgy from a feminist point of view, breaking new ground with poems, prayers and meditations. On September 23 from 3-4, this well-known poet will lead you into the season in this session presented by the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. Click here for the link to register. Continue reading

Full Circle: Parashat Nitzavim / Vayelekh / Rosh Ha-Shanah

Man Fire Show on the beach

Parashat Nitzavim/ Vayelekh/ Rosh Ha-Shanah   
Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30

“For this commandment that I charge you with today is not too mysterious for you or alien (- literally: far away). She is not in the heavens, for you to say, ‘Who shall ascend for us to the heavens and take it for us and teach it to us so that we can fulfill her (la`asotah – literally: to do it, to make it)?’ And she is not across the sea, for you to say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us and take it for us and teach it to us so that we will fulfill her (la`asotah)?’ But the matter is very close to you – in your mouth and in your heart – to fulfill it (la`asoto).” (Deut. 30:11-14) Continue reading

A Few More Things to Do

9 10outside-screenshot

Help us clean up the library’s records and recover over 100 overdue books. Elul is a perfect time to clear your book conscience.  To simplify the process –  drop books off on my front porch (there will be a labeled container) when you stop at Shomrei to pick up your holiday bag: 204 Park Street (map) just a couple of blocks up the street from Shomrei.  Continue reading