Over the past few weeks we joined together first in the serious tefillos of the Yomim Noro’im, and then in the beautiful simchah of Sukkos. We are told that all the Yomim Noro’im are interconnected, like one long Yom Tov. We begin with the tefillos of the Yomim Noro’im, which represent teshuvah miyiroh, when we beg forgiveness for our misdeeds committed during the year, but we do so out of fear of the din, judgment. Immediately following Yom Kippur we proceed to build our sukkah for the Yom Tov that represents the ability to get close to Hashem. We move out of our homes and into the sukkah to show that we believe totally in Hashem. The Nesivos Sholom comments that over the course of Sukkos we have the ability to get especially close to Hashem and then we culminate our Yom Tov with Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah, a Yom Tov whose sole goal is to celebrate with the simchah of Torah and to try to gather together all the inspiration from these Yomim Tovim, encapsulating all the spirit into one time-release pill, as it were, that will allow us to carry the inspiration of Sukkos until the next Yom Tov and throughout the year.
Over Chol Hamo’ed, I davened at the school minyan and saw the large number of students participating in the davening and voluntary learning. In the evening we celebrated the community-wide kollel simchas bais hoshoaivah at the school and I could not help but notice the many alumni, as well as all our students who joined together in organized song, dance, and celebration in honor of Yom Tov. A member of the community remarked to me that this celebration only grows from year to year and how impressed he was with the sincerity of our students in their celebration.
This coming week I begin my annual fundraising travels to Los Angeles and will be out of school from October 9–18. Although I will not be as accessible as usual, please feel free to leave a message on my phone or send an email, which will be checked daily. The entire administrative team also remains ready to assist you with any questions you may have in my absence. Please also feel free to reach out to my executive assistant, Ms. Pereira, who can also contact me as needed.
I look forward to carrying forward the uplifting spirit of Yom Tov in our teaching and in our day-to-day activity at school.
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman