On To The Next! (October 2020/5781 KOL Article)

On to the Next!

It’s no understatement to say that, from the moment my time at TBS began in July, and when I became a full-time resident of the Commonwealth in August, we have been focused on the High Holy Days.  In a most unusual year, the staff, leadership, volunteers, and I worked diligently to create a meaningful, spiritual experience that would help us all feel connected to our TBS community.  I am tremendously proud of this team and how we enabled the congregation to mark this High Holy Day season in ways that were new and different, but also were comfortable and familiar and heartening.

As I write this, we are days away from celebrating Simchat Torah and concluding our fall holidays.  And then what?  I’ll confess that, in the midst of the High Holy Day planning, sometimes it was a challenge to remember that there is a whole year ahead of us.  Despite that, Lynn Richmond and Ellen Wolynec kept the congregation on track for all of our beginning-of-the-year details.  Miles Roger and Rebecca Reed prepared and launched a fantastic start to our Religious School year online.  Our committees and auxiliaries have begun activities and programs.  We are in high gear and it’s just barely October!   This will be a different kind of year, to be sure, but one filled with enriching education, meaningful worship, actions that make a difference in our world, and opportunities to knit ever closer the bonds that connect us.

In a similar fashion, the values and teachings of the High Holy Days also continue beyond their fall focus.  Treating each other kindly, using our words for good, working for justice, recognizing the potential inherent in every moment, holding onto hope, making amends, striving to be the best we can be – these don’t stop because the holiday season is over.  Rather, they carry us forward into each experience of the year ahead.  Jewish living and learning is a year-round opportunity to make manifest our beliefs.

Our TBS programmatic year is off to a great start.  We are ready, after a full holiday season, to jump into this new year to live our values.  Combine these and we are excited to see what our congregation life will be like this year.  Different, sure, but meaningful and fulfilling and soul-enriching, as always.  Despite the current circumstances, I am confident we will make it a great year ahead.  On to the next!


Rabbi David S. Widzer