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236 Kane Street / Brooklyn, NY 11231 / 718 875-1550

“Bayom Hahu!” – “On That Day!”

August 24, 2020

L’Fi Dati: As I See It

A Message from Rabbi Sam Weintraub

“Bayom Hahu!” – “On That Day!”

Dear Friends,

This was a phrase used by the prophets of ancient Israel as they reassured the people of the coming of a better and more just time.

So, for us now, Bayom Hahu! On that day we will re-gather in intimate and soulful services. Our children will return in joy to full classrooms. Our parents and grandparents will live in senior communities unafraid.

In the meanwhile, our tradition in its wisdom gives us a way to learn and grow even when our reality is constrained.

That way is the path of t’shuva, repentance, which helps us to re-gain equanimity, hope and even joy as we confront the darker side of ourselves and our societies. To aid in this effort, which is concentrated around Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we have a whole arsenal of texts, ethical practices, confessional aids, prayers, meditations, stratagems for self-improvement and inter-personal forgiveness, and family and community rituals.

Over Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, in four separate teachings, I will draw from this wisdom to address the moral and spiritual challenges of Covid-19 and systemic racism, the two pandemics which have destroyed so many lives and rattled our faith and confidence. Please join me. These will include:

  • Saturday, September 19, First morning of Rosh Hashanah:
    After the Vaccine: How should Synagogues change when this is over?
  • Sunday, September 20, Second morning of Rosh Hashanah:
    When the sin is old, massive and entrenched: What do Torah and Jewish history say about reparations for African-Americans?
  • Sunday evening, September 27, Kol Nidre:
    ‘He shall provide atonement for all the contaminations’ : Using the ruptures of the past year for positive growth
  • Monday morning, September 28. Yizkor:
    ‘I can’t do this anymore!’ : The seeds of freedom that lie in despair

I look forward to virtually sharing prayer, study and community over the High Holidays, and to our eventual reunion at 236 Kane Street.

Shana Tova Um’vo’rechet, a good and blessed year,

Rabbi Weintraub

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