Our holiday season began in mid-September and ended early this month. I am referring, of course, to the Jewish High Holidays and the ones immediately following. It is a platefull.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.
Shemini Atzeret, the Eighth Day of Meeting.
Simchat Torah, the Rejoicing of the Law.

I had the honor and privilege of leading services during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Under the best of circumstances, these are lengthy affairs requiring an enormous amount of vocal and spiritual energy. This year, our rabbis and synagogue staff made sure that accommodations were in place to enable me to function. It was a most gracious gesture that allowed me an opportunity to deliver what I knew to be my valedictory.

On Simchat Torah, both Dee and I were honored by being called to recite the blessings at the end of Deuteronomy and the beginning of Genesis. For our cycle of reading the Torah never ends: as we finish we begin anew. And seeing Dee standing on the bimah as the story of Creation was read will be one of my sweetest memories.

For extra fun, fully one-third of the congregation was wearing colanders. Those of you who know me will understand.


  1. An honor and a privilege, indeed. Did anyone upload video? Including a pan across those in attendance? I'd have loved to see and hear the recitations, not to mention catching a glimpse of those colanders.

    1. A video or photo would have been a nice souvenir of the occasion. Alas, it is our tradition to abstain from photography on religious holidays. The memories are the only record.

    2. Understood. Judaism is nothing if not a tradition that affirms the power and holiness of memory.

  2. Ah! I wish you had a photo of the colander crew!

  3. This one.
    This post moves me, Steve.
    This is how I feel like I know you! <3


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