THE ISAAC AGREE
Invites the Community to Observe
THE HIGH HOLIDAYS
The Holocaust Memorial Center
28123 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, MI
(Less than a block North of the Orchard Lake Road Exit of 1-696)
PLEASE NOTE NEW VENUE
A Warm, Friendly Environment.
No Admission Charge. No Tickets Required.
ROSH HASHANAH SERVICES
Wednesday Evening, September 28: Maariv
Thursday Morning, September 29:
i t Thursday Evening, September 29: Mincha/Maariv
Friday Morning, September 30:
SHABBAT SHUVAH SERVICES
Friday Evening, September 30: Mincha/Maariv/Kabbalat Shabbat
Saturday Morning, October 1:
YOM KIPPUR SERVICES
Friday Evening, October 7: Kol Nidre
Saturday Morning, October 8•
Blowing of the Shofar
For further information, call: (313)962-4047
invite you to join them at their
SECULAR HIGH HOLIDAY ASSEMBL.
to be held at
ORCHARD LAKE MIDDLE SCHO
6000 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloom "
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011 (10 AM-12 NOON)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2011 (8 PM-9:30 PM)
Featuring an Assembly of Readings plus music by:
Bloch, Bruch, Chafes and others with Edward Benyas (oboe),
Kara Benyas (piano), and Guest Cellist.
SAMNA OCTOBER 8, 2011 (10 AM-12 NOON)
As Always No Ticket Required
Membership inquiries welcome. Call Institute Office (248) 423-4406
September 22 • 2011
ur tradition teaches us: Al
tifrosh min ha-tzibur — do
not separate yourself from
Our ancient rabbis were very wise.
They knew that we needed to be part of
a community for the most significant
moments in our lives and also for the
It is why we need a
minyan to pray. It is why
we belong to business
associations. It is why we
create circles of friends for
leisure time and pleasure.
We depend on people in
our community in times of
sadness and mourning; we
celebrate with these same
people at our weddings, at
our children's b'nai mitzvah.
In the Torah portion, we
stand together as a community to enter
into the covenant with God. The por-
tion begins, "You stand here this, all of
you, before your God ..."When it says
"all of you',' it literally means all of us.
This group comprises the entire
community — men, women and chil-
dren — from tribal heads and officials
to the stranger in the camp; from the
elders and leaders to the wood chop-
pers and water drawers.
What strikes me as particularly
meaningful is that in this moment, as
we stand before God, we are all equal.
There are no societal barriers or ques-
tions of status. It doesn't matter who we
are or what we do for a living. We are
all present in that moment, and we all
belong to the same community.
As I write this, I reflect upon the
program that we held last week for our
"Monday Nights at Temple Israel" teen
experience. As we gathered for the first
time for the new academic year, we
asked our students to study this text, to
consider not only what it means to be
part of a community, but what it means
to be part of a holy community.
Some students suggested that
because we were in a religious place
(our Temple building) that made it
holy; others proposed that we were
a holy community because we came
together for the purpose of studying
Jewish texts and themes; still others
offered the idea that we were a holy
community because of our similarities
and like interests.
In the end, we decided that we were a
holy community because we've created
connections with one anoth-
er, because of the work that
we do as a community —
acts of tikkun olam (repair
of the world), volunteerism,
tzedakah, prayer. And most
of all, we're holy because
we're available for each other
both in good times and bad,
because we support each
other, help each other and
take care of each other.
I like to think that we are
holy because, like the people
of Israel who stood before God in that
moment of the covenant, we, too, stand
before God as we come together as a
community of equals.
Last night, I left Temple Israel on
a "high." I was truly inspired by our
students who served as exemplars of
what it means to be a holy community,
perhaps without even realizing it.
They showed themselves to be wel-
coming to each other, accepting, non-
judgmental and kind.
These teenagers have shown us
the potential for each of the groups
we belong to. As we prepare for the
upcoming High Holy Days, let us recog-
nize how important it is to be a part of
a community and let us work to make
them holy communities, places of con-
nection, and hospitality, places of good-
ness, kindness and peace. II
Marla Hornsten is a rabbi at Temple Israel
in West Bloom field.
Why is it important to belong
to a community? What
communities are you a part of?
What makes your community a