Opening Thoughts: Last Call for High Holiday Plans


The taste of apples dipped in honey. The sound of the shofar blasts. The smell of the special High Holiday prayer books that come out only once a year. There are countless sense-memories one may
associate with the High Holidays.

For me as a young child, a major part of the High Holidays was the excitement of staying at my grandparents’ apartment and attending the big synagogue down the road. Growing up in a neighborhood that only boasted a single minyan, hosted frequently in my parents’ living room, the soaring height of the sanctuary and the echo of hundreds of voices in prayer was awe-inspiring. Every year, we made our way to the back of the women’s section where the guests would sit. Even though the chairs looked like they were lined with the pelt of an orange Muppet (very retro), I was grateful every time the ark housing the Torah scrolls would close and we would get to sit down!

If you are wondering where you will be gratefully sitting down this Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, you should check out our amazing list of High Holiday services for under $100. Some include special children’s programming or low-cost admission to communal meals; others take place in the park or under the stars. A few of the free ones require advance registration though, so if you are interested you should register soon!

In local news this week, we have feats of teen athleticism as well as a longstanding synagogue that has in fact stood in many buildings. In advance of the holiday rush, community leaders and police are investing time and resources in ensuring the safety of worshipers in the Greater Baltimore area. And Chabad of Hunt Valley announced it is holding high holiday services at a venue that might surprise you.

In international news, the elections in Israel turned out to be another nail-biter, with headlines about a close race echoing those that came in April. To the victors will go the challenge of leading a country beloved to many within and without, but also facing many challenges. I wish them hatzlachah rabbah (great success).

Shabbat Shalom.

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