:: Special Holiday Services
The Jewish calendar provides us with several opportunities to observe important holidays with special, celebratory services.
In Ancient Israel, it was the obligation of every Jew to make a pilgrimage three times a year to the Temple in Jerusalem. On Sukkot, Passover, and Shavuot, the entire nation would come together to appear before God and make joyous offerings. After the Temple’s destruction, the Three Pilgrimage Festivals remain among the holiest days in the Jewish calendar. The synagogue service for those days is adorned with special psalms, music, and Torah readings. The Festival Service is an often-overlooked but extremely important aspect of our holiday celebrations. After the first seder—a ritual that fills our homes with warmth and comfort—the Passover Festival Service is a chance to experience awe and exhaltation as part of a congregation and community.
Yizkor (literally, “May [God] Remember”) is a service of memorial prayers. It is recited in the synagogue four times each year: on Yom Kippur afternoon and on the last day of each of the Three Festivals—Sukkot, Passover, and Shavuot. In the Yizkor prayer—which gives the service its name—we ask God to remember our individual relatives, as well as all the departed members of our community. “Eil Malei Rachamim” is chanted, calling on God to sustain and give peace to the souls of the deceased. The Yikzor Service is one of Judaism’s most moving and enduring rituals. On our holiest days, when we feel God’s presence most near, we pay tribute to the deceased and to memory. Please join us for this beautiful and important service.
At our Shabbat service on Friday, October 5 at 7:00 pm, we will call to the bima and bless all students who are beginning their Religious School journey at WHC.
Holiday Family Services
The Jewish calendar provides us with several opportunities to observe and celebrate holidays with special services and festive Onegs. The evenings often include family-style Shabbat dinners which enhance our feeling of community. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us at Temple for these fun and family-friendly holiday services:
Simchat Torah & Consecration — Friday, 9/27 at 7:00 pm
Shabbat Hanukkah — Friday, 11/29 at 7:00 pm
Shabbat Purim — Friday, 3/14 at 7:00 pm