Congregation Shomrei Torah

Tallahassee, Florida

Affiliated with the Conservative / Masorti Movement

Congregation Shomrei Torah

D'var from Rosh Hashanah - 5776

I want to talk about a song for this time in the Jewish year that my wife, Jamie, and I learned when we lived in Gainesville. Through the chavurah we belonged to at the time, we learned a song by a rabbi who was known for his singing and guitar playing, Shlomo Carlebach. This song strongly resonated inside me and helped me develop tools for doing the work that builds toward Yom Kippur. The song goes:

Return again, return again, Return to the home of your soul.

You who have strayed, Be not afraid; We are one in the eyes of the Lord.

Return to who you are; return to what you are; return to where you are –

Born and reborn again.

Return again, return again; Return to the home of your soul.

The words of this song seem simple on the surface, but to me they deliver the narrative of the work we do in preparation for Yom Kippur. We might have been thinking about this work over the past few weeks, but now that we are in the 10 days of awe, it is the time to act on those thoughts. These days are also called the Ten Days of Teshuvah. The Hebrew word Teshuvah is often translated as repentance. For example, in our machzor we read that teshuvah, tefillah, and tzedakah, translated as repentance, prayer, and charity, can avert the evil decree. However, translations often vary and many sources say that the more accurate translation of teshuvah is ‘return’.

Continue Reading

D'var from Erev Rosh Hashanah - 5776

It is great to see all of you here tonight! I do not know if you think of your presence here tonight in this way, but each of us is an integral part of our Rosh Hashanah service. Thinking about the role that each of us plays in this service, I am reminded of the Helen Keller quote, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much“. Almost everyone here made the choice to be part of our Shomrei Torah community on this important day. The reason that each of is here is personal. Some of us are here because we regularly attend services and seldom miss a Shabbat or holy day. Some of love the Rosh Hashanah prayers. Others of us are here because the Rosh Hashanah service is filled with warm memories that are great to connect to. Some of us are here because it is important to someone else that we are here, maybe a mother, a father, a grandparent, a sibling, or maybe a spouse. Some of us are here to be with a friend or family member. Some of us are here because we feel it is our obligation to come to services on Rosh Hashanah. And maybe some of us are here because everybody else at dinner was coming to Shomrei Torah for services and it felt awkward not to join them.

Continue Reading

Congregation Shomrei Torah - 4858 Kerry Forest Parkway – Tallahassee, FL – Phone: (850) 893-9674

USCJ small square

Support Shomrei Torah with Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile logo