Just a few weeks ago, at Shabbat service and lunch, we ran into a problem. We ran out of siddurim. But that was the best problem I could have ever asked for. It showed us the direction we were headed in as we approached the High Holidays. So although people had to share siddurim, everyone enjoyed the gourmet Kiddush and lunch. Somehow, with Mussie's magic, there was plenty of food!
This really set the tone for our 6th High Holidays since we arrived in Sioux Falls. And this was definitely the most uplifting and meaningful High Holiday season.
From the services and community lunches on both days of Rosh Hashanah, to heartfelt prayers during the Yom Kippur services, and incredible break fast, together as a community we prayed, cried, sang, and ate.
Transitioning into the Days of Joy, Sukkot with Lulav and Latte each morning, home visits, traveling Sukkah statewide, the special mitzvahs of the holiday were available to everyone in the community who wished. We were also joined in the Sukkah by a bi-partisan group of state legislators and elected officials who learned more about the Jewish community and our holidays.
Capping off the last day of Sukkot with a Sushi in the Sukkah dinner, followed by the traditional Simchat Torah celebrations of Hakafot dancing with the Torahs, the energy in the room that evening, the joyful singing and dancing was uplifting. The many children and young people who joined were the shining highlight!
Of course, our tremendous thanks and appreciation goes to each one of our 153 friends who showed their love for the work Chabad does in the community and joyfully participated in our matching fundraising campaign. Together, you raised $39,564 in just 36 hours!
This feeling of vibrancy, growth, excitement and pride is palpable. We recently welcomed several new families and individuals to the community. More and more people are participating in the various offerings of Chabad, and as always we look forward to welcoming you. There is a place for you and you will always be a treasured part of this beautiful community.
As we conclude this high energy and busy month, I'm reminded of a famous Chabad teaching, that now, after the holidays, is the time for us all to "unpack" the packages of good treasures and great spirituality that we amassed during this season. Throughout the year, we can always look back at this time, be it the solemn prayers of Yom Kippur, the joy of Simchat Torah, or the moments we were surrounded by the Sukkah walls under the sky, and take inspiration from it for our day to day life.
It really is a great time to be a Jew in South Dakota, and this is just the beginning!
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Rabbi Mendel Alperowitz Blog
Serving the spiritual needs of the South Dakota Jewish community. Based in Sioux Falls and travels the state.