september 2017 - Congregation Habonim

Sep 1, 2017 - ties to Habonim lasts to this day. Our monthly Queens services and classes attest to that, as does their attendance at Shabbat morning services.
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SEPTEMBER 2017 ELUL 5777 / TISHREI 5778 103 West End Ave / New York, NY 10023 ph 212-787-5347 / fax 212-595-3542

From the Rabbi Thanks to Facebook's “On This Day,” I was recently reminded of a pre High Holy Day interaction with my daughter, Z, when she was two and a half years old. I had just shown my daughter the shofar. I let her touch it; her eyes got big. I let her smell it; a smile spread across her face. I blew it for her; her smile got BIG. I let her smell it; she fell back on the couch and said, Mommy, that is too scary for me! The same nose. The same shofar. Both different when inhabited by breath. Elul, the Hebrew month in which we find ourselves, is designed as a time of curiosity, awakening and transformation. The blowing of the shofar each day in Elul engages our senses and changes us, over time, from the inside out. The sound of the shofar calls us to wake up and pay attention. It may startle, evoke laughter, cause the hair on our arms to stand on end. Each day's sounds offer a new encounter with self and the divine. Tekiah - what becomes clear cognitively that I want to change? Sh'varim - how might I make a change, then stop, turn inward and re-calibrate? T'ruah - feel your heart beating with anticipation as places within your soul begin to awaken, imagining the many small steps on the road to becoming who and how you will be in the New Year. Elul reminds us that even the familiar may evoke different feelings from moment to moment, a sacred experiential path that tugs at our heart strings, calling up memories and making space for imagination and hope. The path to the holy days may be scary at times. Will our prayers for change be answered? The Talmud reminds us of Rabbi Ami's teaching, "One's prayer is answered only if one takes one's heart into one's hands, as it is said, "Let us lift up our heart with our hands" (Lamentations 3:41)." In just a few weeks we will stand together, vulnerable before the Holy One, embraced by the divine love of community. Holding our hearts in our hands, we can imagine a new year of promise, change, risk, adventure and love. This stance does not happen overnight. And so

we must prepare, taking some time in each of the days leading up to the Yamim Noraim - the Days of Awe - to allow ourselves to experience wonder, to smile, to listen, to feel a bit afraid. I ask each of us, young and old, to take 5 minutes each day from now until Rosh Hashanah to pay attention. Stop to smell a rose each day on your path to work. Notice the way your dog greets you when you enter the house every evening. Listen to the sound of the shofar. Let it shake up your soul, open your heart and motivate you to bring your diving spark into the world as we make way to welcome a year of promise together. I'm honored to take my place at Congregation Habonim. I look forward to greeting you in prayer, song, learning and reflection in the days ahead and to forging this year of new beginnings together. l'Shanah Tovah,

Rabbi Lisa Gelber

SEPTEMBER 2017 Kabbalat Shabbat Services Fridays, 6:30 pm, 9/1, 9/8, 9/15, 9/22 Shabbat Morning Services Saturdays, 9:30 am, 9/2, 9/9, 9/16, 9/23 Torah Tots (age 5 and under with parent/caregiver) Saturdays, 11:00 am, 9/2, 9/9, 9/16, 9/23 Community Dinner Friday, 9/8, register at or contact [email protected] Queens Service Friday, 9/8, 8:15 pm Weekly Study with Rabbi Gelber Tuesdays, 10:00 am, 9/5, 9/12, 9/19, 9/26 Sisterhood, Race for the Cure Sunday, 9/10 Sisterhood Book Group Tuesday, 9/12, 7:00 pm, 4-3-2-1: a novel by Paul Auster Tot Shabbat (age 5 and under with parent/caregiver) Friday, 9/15, 5:15 pm, followed by family-friendly dinner B’nai Mitzvah (at 150 W. 83rd Street) Saturday, 9/9, Samuel Moelis, son of Jeffrey & Deborah Moelis, at 150 W. 83rd Street Saturday, 9/16, Josh Unger, son of Sharyn Ben Zvi and Kenneth Unger, at 150 W. 83rd Street Sunday Morning Minyan Sunday, 9/17, 9:30 am Tour of Upper West Side Art Deco Buildings with Tony Robins Sunday, 10/1, 2:00 pm Sisterhood