5778 High Holy Days Sermons And Teachings

Rabbinic sermons are meant to be heard, so Rabbi Glazer thoughtfully recorded all of his High Holy Days sermons and teachings for your listening edification. If you missed any of the Beth Sholom High Holy Days services this year, or if you just want to revisit some of your favorite teachings, we invite you to spend some time with the audio archive below.

Additionally, we began a large, communal conversation about practicing Hesed (Compassion) during Yizkor this Yom Kippur, and Rabbi Glazer asked the question: "As we gather at the moment of Yizkor – of recalling and rebirthing the sacred memories that make for community — I wonder what our future CBS yizker-bukh ("communal book of memory" in Yiddish) should look like, and what recipe for compassionate community should it hope to pass on to those who come after us?" As we engage this process of self-reflection within our families, our friendship circles, and our communal family, Rabbi Glazer encourages everyone to read a 2015 manifesto for compassionate community built on Hesed. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (z"l) and Netanel Miles-Yépez describe an ancient-new paradigm for community, what they call the "Fourth Turning of Hasidism." All Beth Sholom members and friends are invited to read and reflect further upon the manifesto Foundations of the Fourth Turning of Hasidism: A Manifesto and to let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page.


  • Be-longing In Jerusalem -- Drash, Erev Rosh Hashanah 5778
    Finding a way to long for both Klal Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael in our "American Jerusalem."[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/1_5778-ERH-Be-longing-In-Jerusalem.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Being Born In A Nutshell Of Time -- D'var Torah, Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5778
    Breaking the vessel to create more loving and sustaining society.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2_5778-RH1-Being-Born-In-A-Nutshell-Of-Time.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Do Someone Else A Favor -- Drash, Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5778
    Why we are all street sweepers – how we can put our faith into action.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/3_5778-RH1-Do-Someone-else-A-Favor-Why-we-are-All-Street-Sweepers.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Coming Together, Falling Apart -- D'var Torah, Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5778
    Breaking the vessel to create more loving and sustaining society.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/4_5778-RH2-Torah-Intro-Coming-Together-Falling-apart.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Generative Versus Coexistence Pluralism: Depends On Your Point Of View -- Drash, Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5778
    What is the effect of pluralism on peoplehood? On being Jews – not just Jew-ish – together?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/5_5778-RH2-Generative-Vs-Coexistence-Pluralism-Depends-On-Your-Point-of-View.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Can A World Without Mind Reclaim Free Will? -- Drash, Kol Nidre 5778
    Technology and human majesty, humility, and responsibility.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/6_5788-YK-KN-Can-A-World-Without-Mind-Reclaim-Free-Will.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Along The Silk Road Of Prayer -- A Yom Kippur Kavannah, 5778
    Unanswered questions...from the Middle Ages and today.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/13_5778-YK-Along-The-Silk-Road-Of-Prayer.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Reprogramming Return From Distraction -- A Yom Kippur Kavannah, 5778
    How can we find the energy to "reboot" this Yom Kippur?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/14_5778-YK-Reprogramming-Return-From-Distraction.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Casting Lots To See Your Life's Mission Clearly --
    D'var Torah, Yom Kippur 5778

    What essential questions should we ask amidst chance, chaos, and more of "life happening"?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/7_5778-YK-Torah-Intro-Casting-Lots-To-See-Your-Lifes-Mission-Clearly.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Living A Life Of Hesed & Building Its Song -- Drash, Yom Kippur Yizkor 5778
    What is Yizkor for, and what are the key ingredients of a song of remembrance? [audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/8_5778-YK-Yizkor-Living-A-Life-Of-Hesed-building-its-song.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Unetane Tokef: Hope In Hopeless Times? Perhaps! --
    A Yom Kippur Kavannah, 5778

    The solidarity and hope that can be found in holy speechlessness.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/12_5778-Tane-Tokef-Hope-In-Hopeless-Times-Perhaps.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • I Shall Be Released From The Seaweed -- D'var Torah, Yom Kippur 5778
    On seeing ourselves through the "weeds" of the Book of Jonah and Exodus.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/9_5778-YK-Jonah-I-Shall-Be-Released-From-The-Seaweed.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Avodah: On The Choreography Of Kneeling -- A Yom Kippur Kavannah, 5778
    Considering why we kneel when we pray together on Yom Kippur.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/11_5778-Avodah-On-Choreography-Of-Kneeling.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Can The Divine Judge Self Pardon? -- Drash, Yom Kippur Ne'ila 5778
    What is the meaning of judgement or justice in contemporary Judaism?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/10_5778-Neila-can-the-divine-judge-self-pardon.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged Recap

This past Saturday evening, Jews from all over the city visited Congregation Beth Sholom to mark our entrance into the final days of preparation for the Yamim Noraim ("the Days of Awe"). A joint production of Beth Sholom, The Kitchen, Kehillah San Francisco, and Congregation Anshey Sfard, Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged made for a special night (and early morning!) – the spirited service didn't end until almost 2 a.m.!

The centerpiece of Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged was a communal singalong featuring brothers Yehuda and Nahman Solomon. (Yehuda is the frontman of the Israeli-American folk-rock band, Moshav, as well as founder of Los Angeles' Happy Minyan.) Yehuda and Nahman were joined by prayer leaders and hazzanim from all of the participating communities – together, they led the crowd in giving voice to Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and penitential piyyutim (liturgical poems). According to Ashkenazi tradition, the recitation of Selichot begins after midnight on the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah and, although our service didn't wind down until the wee hours, there was no shortage of energy and ruach in the Beth Sholom Sanctuary! Even at the end of the service, attendees danced, stomped, and swayed with the music and piyyut, awakening to the urgency of this moment and our need for teshuvah.

Before the main service began, attendees gathered for a lovely Havdalah ceremony and a community Selichot beit midrash co-led by Rabbi Aubrey Glazer and Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan. The study session compared our traditional High Holy Days liturgy and selected lyrics of recently departed songwriter, Leonard Cohen (z"l). The takeaway from the session was the value of wrestling with the difficult personal work of teshuvah and cultivating a relationship with the divine (a struggle reflected in Cohen's poetry and lyrics).

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, the need for a commitment to teshuvah becomes increasingly urgent, but it is likewise important to balance the moments of reckoning with moments of joy. Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged provided both.

Thanks to the rabbis, performers, and prayer leaders who made the evening so moving and fun. Thanks, too, to all of the friendly folks from The Kitchen, Kehillah San Francisco, and Congregation Anshey Sfard who participated, making a memorable evening that much better. Todah rabbah, and l'shanah tovah u'metuka (for a good and sweet year)!

A selection of photographs and videos are included below. Please visit our Facebook page for more.

Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged
Sing in the "Season of Awe"!

Congregation Beth Sholom,
The Kitchen, Kehillah San Francisco, and Congregation Anshey Sfard
co-present a rollicking musical exploration of the traditional Selichot liturgy.


September 16, 2017
9 – 10 p.m.,
Special "Heart Opening" Havdalah
   w/ Moshav (for young adults)
10 – 11:30 p.m.,
Broken Prayer & Its Repair: A Communal Selichot
   Beit Midrash
On The Prayerful Songbook of
   Leonard Cohen
11:30 p.m. – 1 a.m.,
Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

At 9 p.m., we invite young Jewish singles, couples, and friends to join us for scotch and a rousing musical Havdalah with Yehuda Solomon (frontman of the popular Isareli-American band, Moshav), Nahman Solomon, and our community leaders.

At 10 p.m., all ages are invited to join us for Broken Prayer & Its Repair, a deep dive into the songwriting of the late, great Leonard Cohen (z"l) and its Selichot significance.

Then, at 11:30 p.m., we’ll open our hearts, dance, and prepare for the work of redeeming our world in 5778! After the incredible success of last year's Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged, we're super psyched to again raise our voices together. Yehuda, Nahman, Hazzan Avyatar Alfassi, Rabbi Glazer, and other friends will lead us in the joyous communal sing-along experience, one that features appearances by many special guests – musicians, singers, and rabbis – it’s a neo-Carlebach kumzitz meets The Last Waltz mash-up! Singing and moving together with communal leaders and singers from CBS, Kehillah San Francisco, The Kitchen, and Congregation Anshey Sfard, we’ll rediscover the power of the Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and meaningful penitential piyyut (Jewish liturgical poems).

All parts of this special evening are free, but pre-registration is required. Please register below!

The High Holy Days At CBS

Web_MachzorCBS looks forward to sharing the High Holy Days with you this fall.

The High Holy Days provide us with an unparalleled opportunity to take stock and reconnect with our deeper selves. Importantly, the spiritual drama and possibility of the "Days of Awe" are matched by the pleasure of spending time with so many friends, both old and new!

With support from the outstanding lay leaders in our community, Rabbi Aubrey Glazer, Ph.D., Rabbi Dorothy Richman, and Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell will guide us through the two main services that occur in the Sanctuary and Koret Hall.

SANCTUARY SERVICES
Our Sanctuary services balance traditional liturgy with familiar and innovative melodies so that the classic character of the High Holy Days is experienced in a contemporary context. Guided by Rabbi Glazer with support from Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell and a cast of wonderful lay prayer leaders, the services include much interactive singing and reflection.

TESHUVAH / RETURN (KORET HALL)
The Teshuvah / Return services in Koret Hall are both traditional and creative, inspired by our beloved teacher, Rabbi Alan Lew (z”l). They are an invitation to "go deep" and connect with our prayer, with each other, and with the Divine. Led by Rabbi Richman and supported by a number of CBS lay leaders including Zoketsu Norman Fischer, these services engage active participation through group aliyot, lots of singing, traditional and creative ritual, and poetry, prose, and kavanot/intentions to inspire our prayer.

RENEW OUR DAYS: THE HIGH HOLY DAYS UNBOUND
We are also delighted to welcome back Aviva Chernick, shaliach tzibbur (prayer leader), musician, and teacher, to lead Renew Our Days, a special, two-part service occurring on Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur. Renew Our Days is open to all ticket holders, but space is limited and advance registration is required. (Details about Renew Our Days can be found here.)

YOUTH & FAMILY PROGRAMMING
Age-specific children’s programming is offered for ages newborn – Grade 8. This year, we're introducing Kadima Klub, a unique program specifically designed for Grades 6 – 8. Our ever-popular Family Service (for families with children ages newborn – Kindergarten) and Days of AWEsomeness programming (ages newborn – Grade 5) provides an opportunity for your little ones to connect with the rituals, music, and stories of the High Holy Days in a warm and fun context. (Full descriptions of our children's programming is available here.)

If you have any questions, please contact us via email or call 415.940.7092.

Nonmembers, please scroll to the bottom of this post to place your ticket orders online. Alternatively, you can download the ticket order form and drop off at Beth Sholom.

CBS members, please click here to reserve your tickets and/or purchase guest tickets via EventBrite. (Please note that online purchase is only possible after you renew your CBS membership; the CBS office will supply you with the online access code upon request. If you do not already have an EventBrite account, you will be walked through the steps of creating one at "checkout.")

5778 HIGH HOLY DAY SEASON SERVICES & PROGRAMS
Below, we provide you with a comprehensive overview of our service and program times for the 5778 High Holy Day season. Details about some of the special services are provided in other posts on the CBS blog, as well as all CBS calendar listings.

SelichotSELICHOT
Saturday, September 16
9 p.m.Selichot study w/ Moshav (for young adults)
10 p.m. — Communal Selichot Beit Midrash
11:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. (next morning)Hardly Strictly Selichot
   (featuring Yehuda Solomon, Hazzan Avyatar Alfassi
   of Anshey Sfard, Rabbi Glazer, and other friends)

HIGH HOLY DAYS
Sunday, September 17
4:15 - 5:45 p.m.Aviva Chernick's Renew Our Days
   Song Workshop


high-holy-daysWednesday, September 20
6:15 - 8:30 p.m. — Erev Rosh Hashanah service

Thursday, September 21
8:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sanctuary Service
10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Koret Hall Service
10 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah Family Service
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
10 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah Family Service
4:30 p.m.Mincha minyan
at Ocean Beach 5 – 7 p.m.Ctrl + Alt + Del: Tashlique at Ocean Beach (w/ Reboot)

Friday, September 22
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Sanctuary Service

KolNidreFriday, September 29
6 – 9 p.m.Kol Nidre Sanctuary Service –
   Mincha (6:05 p.m.); Kol Nidre (6:15 p.m.)
6:30 – 9 p.m.Kol Nidre Koret Hall Service

Saturday, September 30
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Sanctuary Service
   (Yizkor, ~11 a.m.)
10 a.m. — Yom Kippur Family Service
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Koret Hall Service
   (Yizkor, ~11:30 a.m.)
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
   (Yizkor, ~12 p.m.)

2 – 4 p.m. — Special Afternoon Teachings w/ Ephraim Margolin, Henry Hollander, & Michael Loebs
2 – 4:45 p.m. — Open Meditation in Makom Shalom
4:45 – 7:30 p.m.Mincha, Ne’ila, Ma’ariv, & Havdalah
7:35 p.m.Break-the-Fast

SUKKOT
Thursday, October 5
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 1 Service
12 – 1 p.m.Kiddush Lunch & Learn 1: Kohelet Chapters 1–6 (in CBS sukkah)
6 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan

Friday, October 6
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 2 Service
12 – 1 p.m.Kiddush Lunch & Learn 2: Kohelet Chapters 7–12 (in CBS sukkah)
HoshanaRabbah2 6:30 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan

Wednesday, October 11
7 – 9:30 a.m.Hoshana Rabbah Service
9:30 a.m.Kiddush in CBS sukkah
6 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan

SHEMINI ATZERET & SIMCHAT TORAH
Thursday, October 12
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Shemini Atzeret Service, w/ Yizkor
12 p.m.Kiddush
6 p.m.Mincha & Ma'ariv minyan
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. — Simchat Torah Hakafot, featuring Veretski Pass

Friday, October 13
9 – 10 a.m. — Simchat Torah Service
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.Kiddush (concurrent w/ service)

High Holy Days Sermons And Teachings

Web_Chen_9177Many congregants have requested copies of Rabbi Glazer's High Holy Days sermons and teachings. Sermons are meant to be heard (not read), so we're delighted to report that Rabbi Glazer has recorded each and every one of his Yamim Noraim service contributions for your listening edification. As a bonus, we've included Rabbi Glazer's thoughtful drash for Parashat Beraysheet.

If you missed any of the High Holy Days services, or if you just want to revisit some of your favorite teachings, we invite you to spend some time with the audio archive below. Listen to the recordings by clicking the play button under each title and description. (If you prefer to download the file so that you can listen to it while on the go, click the relevant download link.)


  • Finding Space To Love -- Drash, Erev Rosh Hashanah 5777
    Ruminating on Jefferson Airplane's Somebody To Love and our individual and social want for connection.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ErevRH_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Bonobos, Sarah, & the Great Mother -- D'var Torah, Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5777
    Spiritual evolution: Can the survival of the fittest also be the empowerment of the pacifist?[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RH1DvarTorah_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Falling To Get Back Up -- Drash, Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5777
    On finding the resilience to rise again after falling.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RH1Drash_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • "Brace For Impact" in Sully's Akedah -- D'var Torah, Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5777
    Emunah, kehillah kedoshah (sacred community), and preparing ourselves to confront trials of uncertainty.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RH2DvarTorah_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Why I Don't Believe -- Drash, Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5777
    On the 50th anniversary of the State of Jewish Belief (1966), contemplating faith versus conviction.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/RH2Drash_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • What The Seal Of Truth Is Good For -- Drash, Kol Nidre 5777
    On distinguishing between lies and truth.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/KNDrash_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Sitting In The Belly Of The Whale: Part I -- D'var Torah, Yom Kippur 5777
    On "soul-making" in HaNeshama Lakh.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/YKDvarTorah1_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • "Ghosting" Vs. Bidding Adieu In The Last Kaddish --
    Drash, Yom Kippur Yizkor 5777

    On letting go and intimately marking the passing of a loved one.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/YKYizkor_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Sitting In The Belly Of The Whale: Part II -- D'var Torah, Yom Kippur 5777
    On "soul-making" in the Book of Jonah.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/YKDvarTorah2_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God – And Has Even More Compassion --
    Drash, Yom Kippur Ne'ila 5777

    Choosing compassion to ensure that the door of the bus remains open for all.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/YKNeila_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • Prayer For Israel -- A Yom Kippur Teaching, Yom Kippur 5777
    Putting together the ultimate "prayer package" for the State of Israel.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/PrayerForIsrael_HHD5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

  • The Genesis of Murder: New Exegesis from Saramago to Levinas --
    Drash, Beraysheet (27 Tishrei 5777)

    The story of Cain, the genesis of murder, and the importance of gratitude.[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/GenesisBeraysheet_5777.mp3"][/audio] (Click here to download.)

Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged Recap

facebook_yehudasolomonduvidswirsky_hardlystrictlyselichotunplugged_september2016Almost two hundred people visited the CBS campus this past Saturday evening to mark our entrance into the final days of preparation for the Yamim Noraim ("the Days of Awe"). A joint production of CBS, the Mission Minyan, and The Kitchen, Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged made for a special night (and early morning!) – deeply affecting, joyous, and fun.

The centerpiece of the night was a communal singalong featuring Yehuda Solomon and Duvid Swirsky of the Israeli-American folk-rock band, Moshav. Yehuda and Duvid were joined by prayer leaders and hazzanim from CBS, the Mission Minyan, and the Kitchen – together, they led the crowd in giving voice to Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and penitential piyyutim (liturgical poems). According to Ashkenazi tradition, the recitation of Selichot begins after midnight on the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah (or the Sunday prior, if Rosh Hashanah falls on a Monday or Tuesday, as it does this year) and, although our service didn't wind down until 2 a.m., there was no shortage of energy and ruach in the CBS Sanctuary! Attendees danced, stomped, and swayed with the music and singing, awakening to the urgency of this moment and our need for teshuvah.

Speaking of teshuvah and the related seasonal demand for chesbon hanefesh (a rigorous "accounting of the soul"), Rabbi Peretz Wolf-Prusan shared some moving words during the film panel that occurred earlier in the evening. Following a screening of Fire On The Water, a short film dealing with the Akedah (the binding of Isaac) that Rabbi Aubrey Glazer made during his days as a student filmmaker, Rabbi Wolf-Prusan spoke earnestly of his anxiety about the lack of communal sacrifice experienced by Jewish Americans in the last 50+ years. What loss has our society felt, he asked, as we wage an ongoing war in Afghanistan? Too many families lose their sons and daughters, of course, and our federal coffers are steadily drained, but the majority of Americans are insulated from the war – it remains a background abstraction, and there is little to no sense of communal commitment, contribution, or sacrifice. Even during the Vietnam era, Rabbi Wolf-Prusan argued, despite the anti-war movement and the greater public awareness of the body count (on both sides of the conflict), our culture experienced the 1960s and early 1970s as a period of economic growth and general prosperity. He contrasted this with the American experience during World War II, when all citizens were required to ration foods, fuel, and many consumer goods. We haven't experienced anything like that since the 1940s. "When will the bill come due?," he asked the audience.

Rabbi Dorothy Richman responded to Rabbi Wolf-Prusan and quoted the 20th century sage, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: "Some are guilty, but all are responsible." With so much racial strife, ongoing overseas wars, ugly partisanship, and reactionary politics, she said Rabbi Wolf-Prusan's anxieties about our lack of sacrifice hit her hard. Doubtless, many people in the room were similarly stirred.

This sort of earnest, challenging soul-searching is what the High Holy Days are all about. Observant Jews devote the entire Hebrew month of Elul – which began on September 4 this year – to the spiritual heavy lifting of teshuvah. And what exactly is teshuvah? Depending on which Jew you ask, you'll get different answers. Most resources translate teshuvah as "repentance," but many rabbis scorn this translation, and instead frame teshuvah (which literally translates as "return") as the work of returning to relationship with God. Given contemporary Jews' varied conceptions of deity, that's too vague a formulation for many. However you translate or characterize it, though, teshuvah is about working to develop and improve our character – and it's meant to be hard.

As Rosh Hashanah approaches, the need for a commitment to teshuvah becomes increasingly urgent, but it is likewise important to balance the moments of reckoning with moments of joy. Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged provided both.

Thanks to all of the panelists, performers, and prayer leaders who made the evening so moving and fun. Thanks, too, to all of the friendly folks from the Mission Minyan and The Kitchen who trekked out – in some cases, carpooling (kol hakavod!) – to the Richmond to make this memorable evening that much better. Todah rabbah, and l'shanah tovah u'metuka (for a good and sweet year)!

A selection of photographs snapped during the event are included below.

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Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

HardlyStrictlySelichotUnplugged_PosterHardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged
A Communal Soul-singing Experience

Congregation Beth Sholom, the Mission Minyan, and the Kitchen co-present a communal Selichot experience like none other.

September 24, 2016
9 – 11 p.m.,
Fire on the Water short film screening & forum
11 – 11:30 p.m.,
Coffee, dessert, & schmooze
11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.,
Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

At 9 p.m., following a musical Havdalah with Yehuda Solomon and Duvid Swirsky of the Israeli-American folk-rock band, Moshav, we will stretch our spiritual and intellectual muscles with a screening of Rabbi Aubrey Glazer's short film, Fire on the Water. The 30-minute film uses a father-son fly fishing trip to grapple with divergent notions of sibling rivalry, parental love, trust, reconciliation, and sacrifice. This special screening will be followed by a panel discussion exploring the themes of the film as they relate to the spiritual journey of the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe – featuring many of our CBS High Holy Days spiritual leaders, including cantorial soloist Aviva Chernick, filmmaker Jonathan Crosby, and Rabbis Aubrey Glazer, Peretz Wolf-Prusan, Dorothy Richman.

Then, at 11:30 p.m., we’ll put those limber muscles to work as we usher in “the season of awe” with Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged. Yehuda and Duvid will lead us in a joyous communal sing-along experience that features appearances by many special guests – musicians, singers, and rabbis – it’s a neo-Carlebach kumzitz meets The Last Waltz mash-up! Singing and moving together with communal leaders and singers from CBS, the Mission Minyan, and the Kitchen, we’ll rediscover the power of the Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and meaningful penitential piyyut (Jewish liturgical poems).

Both parts of this special evening are free, but pre-registration is required.
Please click through to register.

The High Holy Days At CBS

The "Days of Awe" are almost upon us – again! As another year draws to a close, we look forward to the next. We also look forward to sharing the High Holy Days with you this October!
Facebook_JWeekly_HHDAvertisement No matter how “late” they may seem this year, the High Holy Days are always a good time to reconnect with old friends and to make some new ones. All of our services are conducted with joy, deep feeling, and humor, and they preserve the classic character of the High Holy Days while authentically connecting with contemporary Jews and their friends and family.

With support from cantorial soloist and rabbinic intern, Amanda Russell, and a cast of wonderful lay leaders, Rabbis Aubrey Glazer and Dorothy Richman will lead inspiring services in our acclaimed Sanctuary and Koret Hall. In addition, CBS offers a completely new prayer experience: Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound, a special, two-part prayer lab occurring on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur. This a special opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual substance of Jewish liturgy. Led by Aviva Chernick, teacher, hazzan, and frontwoman of Jaffa Road, the celebrated world music group, Renew Our Days is open to all ticket holders, but space is limited & advance R.S.V.P. is required. (Full details on Renew Our Days can be found here.)

Age-specific children’s programming is also provided from Newborn – Grade 5, and we're introducing Launch Kadima 5777, a unique program specifically designed for Grades 6 – 8. (Full descriptions of our children's programming is available here.)

Let’s put chalk to board and write the next chapter together!

Below, we provide you with a comprehensive overview of our service and program times for the 5777 High Holy Days. Details about some of the special services are provided in other posts on the CBS blog, as well as all CBS calendar listings.

If you have any questions, please contact us via email or call 415.940.7092.
Nonmembers, please click here to access the High Holy Days Nonmember Ticket Request Form, which can be printed and mailed to the CBS office or scanned and emailed.

5777 HIGH HOLY DAY SEASON SERVICES & PROGRAMS

SELICHOT
Friday, September 23
6:30 p.m. — "Neo-Carlebach" Kabbalat Shabbat (guest-led by Yehuda Solomon)

Saturday, September 24
9 a.m. — Shabbat morning service (co-led by Yehuda Solomon)
1:30 p.m. — Mincha gedolah minyan (replaces our normal, evening minyan service)
9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. (next morning) — Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged (featuring Yehuda Solomon, Duvid Swirsky, Hazzan Avyatar Alfassi of Anshey Sfard, and other friends)

HIGH HOLY DAYS
high-holy-daysSunday, September 25
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. — Aviva Chernick's Renew Our Days Song Workshop

Sunday, October 2
6:15 - 8:30 p.m. — Erev Rosh Hashanah service

Monday, October 3
8:45 – 9:30 a.m. — Rosh Hashanah Family Service
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sanctuary Service
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Koret Hall Service
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
4:30 p.m. — Mincha minyan at Ocean Beach (near Fulton, just across from Beach Chalet)
5 – 7 p.m. — Ctrl + Alt + Del: Tashlique at Ocean Beach (w/ Reboot and others)

Tuesday, October 4
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — Rosh Hashanah Day 2 Sanctuary Service

Tuesday, October 11
6:00 – 9 p.m. — Kol Nidre Sanctuary Service – Mincha (6:05 p.m.); Kol Nidre (6:15 p.m.)
6:30 – 9 p.m. — Kol Nidre Koret Hall Service

Tuesday, October 12
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Sanctuary Service
8:45 - 9:30 a.m. — Yom Kippur Family Service
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Aviva Chernick’s Renew Our Days service
12 – 2 p.m. — Yom Kippur Koret Hall Service
2 – 4 p.m. — Open Meditation in Makom Shalom
2 – 4 p.m. — Special Afternoon Teachings w/ Ephraim Margolin, Henry Hollander, Ovid Jacob, & Michael Loebs
4:45 – 7:30 p.m. — Mincha, Ne’ila, Ma’ariv, & Havdalah
7:30 p.m. — Break-the-Fast

SUKKOT
Monday, October 17
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 1 Service
12 – 1 p.m. — Kiddush Lunch & Learn 1: Kohelet Chapters 1–6 (in CBS sukkah)
1 p.m. — Mincha gedolah minyan

Tuesday, October 18
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Sukkot Day 2 Service
12 – 1 p.m. — Kiddush Lunch & Learn 2: Kohelet Chapters 7–12 (in CBS sukkah)
1 p.m. — Mincha gedolah minyan

Wednesday, October 19
6:30 p.m. — Community Sukkot Dinner in CBS sukkah (to be followed by dessert at Congregation Chevra Thilim)

Sunday, October 23
8 – 10:30 a.m. — Hoshana Rabbah Service
10:30 a.m. — Kiddush in CBS sukkah

SHEMINI ATZERET & SIMCHAT TORAH
torah_iconMonday, October 24
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Shemini Atzeret Service, w/ Yizkor
12 p.m. — Kiddush
6 p.m. — Mincha minyan
7 – 11 p.m. — Erev Simchat Torah Street Party, featuring Veretski Pass

Tuesday, October 25
9 – 10 a.m. — Simchat Torah Service
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. — Kiddush (concurrent w/ service)

Rabbi Glazer's High Holy Days Drashot

cfde8820-d953-48d6-8915-d48578b87f8eWe're realistic. We understand that not everyone can make it to services, classes, or special programs at CBS. Work, travel, family commitments, ill health, a flat tire, or a Netflix binge -- so many things can prevent us from in-person attendance.

Going forward, CBS will digitally archive all of our classes, sermons, and lectures. We feel that whether you make it to shul or not, "shul school" should be open for your enjoyment and edification!

We're kicking this project off with recordings of Rabbi Glazer's High Holy Days 5776 drashot (sermons) and divrei torah ("words of Torah"). You can listen just below or visit our Audio Resources page to listen!

Rosh Hashanah Day 1:
Drash -- Homecoming & Displacement
A reflection on teshuvah, diaspora, imagination, memory, and place.
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/RH1_5776_Sermon_HomecomingDisplacement.mp3"][/audio]
D'var Torah -- Genesis 21
Poet Mary Oliver, the birth of Isaac, and Jewish practice creating opportunity for renewal.
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/RH1_5776_TorahReading.mp3"][/audio]
Rosh Hashanah Day 2:
Drash -- Heroes vs. Heroism
Contemporary Jewish crisis, the Iran Deal, and true heroism.
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/RH2_5776_Sermon_HeroesHeroism.mp3"][/audio]
D'var Torah -- Genesis 22
Leonard Cohen, sacrifice, awareness, and the Akedah (binding of Isaac).
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/RH2_5776_TorahReading.mp3"][/audio]
Kol Nidre:
Drash -- Recovering the Lost Art of Rebuke
The value of toch'acha, defined as constructive rebuke or "sacred nagging."
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/KN_5776_Sermon_RecoveringLostArtOfRebuke.mp3"][/audio]
Yom Kippur, Yizkor:
Drash -- To a Life of Forgiveness
Daily rites of forgiveness, with Michelangelo, Abraham Lincoln, Joseph, and Immaculée Ilibagiza.
[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/YK_5776_Sermon_ToALifeOfForgiveness.mp3"][/audio]

Simchat Torah Block Party!

Congregation Beth Sholom's Simchat Torah Block Party is a chance for you to shake more than your lulav!

Dance with us in the streets on Monday, October 5!

SimchatTorahBlockParty_5776
It's Sukkot again, and we're eating (or sipping a scotch) in our backyard booths, gazing up at a super blood moon through the s'chach, and contemplating the fragile vitality of the structures, both physical and mental, that we create for ourselves. This rumination is appropriate and completely understandable -- we're still reflective following the Yamim Noraim. But Sukkot is also a joyful holiday, a time to celebrate the harvest and shake your lulav. And, importantly, Sukkot is is a warm-up to one of the year's greatest parties, Simchat Torah.

Simchat Torah, which closely follows Sukkot, translates as "rejoicing with the Torah," and the holiday marks the conclusion of our annual cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle. Festivities begin with the evening service, when all of the synagogue's Torah scrolls are removed from the ark and are paraded -- danced, really! -- around the sanctuary in a series of seven hakafot, or circuits. As a Hasidic master once remarked, "On Simchat Torah the Torah scrolls wish to dance, so we become their feet." We dare you to try to be a wallflower! After the hakafot, the party often overflows onto the city streets around the synagogue.

And that's exactly what will happen this coming Monday! Our Simchat Torah Block Party will feature live music by Veretski Pass -- a trio described by Hadassah magazine as a "veritable Old World klezmer supergroup" -- and delicious Israeli food!

We invite you to join us for services in the Grownoski Family Chapel (6 p.m.). The party will follow.

Kol Nidre & Yom Kippur @ Beth Sholom

yom_kippur
We invite you to join us for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services at Congregation Beth Sholom.

The two services are the communal culmination of the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe), our 10-day period of spiritual self-examination, repentance, and renewal. Together, through prayer, song, and self-reflection, we’ll close the book on 5775 and enter 5776 renewed and recommitted.

Kol Nidre services (Tuesday, September 22) begin before dark with the recitation of Kol Nidre, or All Vows. This powerful chant dissolves vows made in the previous year between each Jew and the Divine -- it's a spiritual "reset" button, an opportunity to clear the slate and start the new year in fresh relationship with G-d and ourselves. The sun sets and our Torah scrolls are removed from the ark. The imagery we associate with Kol Nidre is that of an opening gate, and we stand with humility before the All Knowing, confronting both the unfathomable and ourselves -- our hopes, our sorrows, our dreams, our missteps.

Yom Kippur (Wednesday, September 23), or the Day of Atonement, is considered by many to be the most sacred day on the Jewish calendar. It is a time of deep personal encounter with the Divine, the opportunity to restore our holiness, atone for our failings, and to perform teshuvah -- to return to relationship with G-d and our better selves. On Yom Kippur, we symbolically abstain from mundane human behavior in order to devote ourselves fully to the spiritual work of the day — for example, we fast from food and drink and forgo bathing, sexual relations, and the wearing of leather.

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At Congregation Beth Sholom, we offer two main services.

Our SANCTUARY SERVICES will have many familiar melodies for the High Holy Days — intentionally without a cantor — to carry forward the interactive spiritual journey through music that has been underway at Beth Sholom.

KORET HALL SERVICES are participatory, engaging, and accessible davening experiences interspersed with teachings.

Additionally, we offer FAMILY SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES. These are led by Beth Sholom’s Director of Congregational Learning, Michael Lederman, Director of Early Childhood Education, Katherine Friedman Barboni, and our Music Director, Jonathan Bayer. Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell and Rabbi Aubrey Glazer will also make special guest appearances.

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We're also pleased to offer three options for your Yom Kippur afternoon.

OPEN MEDITATION IN MAKOM SHOLOM
Makom Sholom is a program dedicated to enriching Jewish practice with spiritual depth, promoting Jewish study, prayer, and ritual within a meditative environment. All are welcome, regardless of background, knowledge, or experience.

46TH ANNUAL EPHRAIM MARGOLIN TEACHING
Ephraim Margolin’s annual Yom Kippur talk is consistently informative, erudite, surprisingly unusual, and intellectually rewarding. This is a Beth Sholom event not to be missed. The title of his talk this year is “The Iran Deal and The Jewish Future in America.” Mr. Margolin served as Secretary to Menachem Begin, leader of the IRGUN. He is a Hebrew University and Yale Law School graduate. As a lawyer, he represents the Israeli Consulate of San Francisco, and has served as President of the San Francisco JCRC, The California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

“WALKING THE WALK OF SHAME”
This breakout session will explore the role of raw emotion in the process of sober self-transformation known as teshuvah. Through words and deeds we embarrass others and we shame ourselves, but we can find our way back. Join us as we explore these issues through select texts in Torah and Talmud. Henry Hollander is a bookseller and a Torah and Talmud student.

Visit our HaRuach High Holy Days guide for all the details!

If you aren't a member of Congregation Beth Sholom and you'd like to obtain tickets, please click here.

May you have an easy fast! G'mar Hatimah Tovah!

kol_nidre

Join Us For Rosh Hashanah!

rosh_hashanah
As the holiday’s name suggest, Rosh Hashanah, or “head of the year,” marks the beginning of a new Hebrew year. We’ve taken another spin ‘round time’s spiral and 5776 is just two days away!

But Rosh Hashanah doesn't just mark a new calendar year; it is also a holiday of renewal that commemorates the creation of the world and designates the start of The Ten Days of Repentance (aseret y’mei t'shuvah), better known as the Yamim Noraim, or the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of spiritual self-examination, repentance, and renewal that culminates in Yom Kippur.

We invite you to join us for Erev Rosh Hashanah and Rosh Hashanah services this Sunday evening, Monday, and Tuesday, September 13, 14, and 15. Together, we’ll hearken to the sound of the shofar, welcome the new year, take stock, and rededicate ourselves to our ideals.

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At Congregation Beth Sholom, we offer two main services.

Our SANCTUARY SERVICES will have many familiar melodies for the High Holy Days — intentionally without a cantor — to carry forward the interactive spiritual journey through music that has been underway at Beth Sholom.

KORET HALL SERVICES are participatory, engaging, and accessible davening experiences interspersed with teachings.

Additionally, we offer FAMILY SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES. These are led by Beth Sholom’s Director of Congregational Learning, Michael Lederman, Director of Early Childhood Education, Katherine Friedman Barboni, and our Music Director, Jonathan Bayer. Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell and Rabbi Aubrey Glazer will also make special guest appearances.

Visit our HaRuach High Holy Days guide for all the details!

If you aren't a member of Congregation Beth Sholom and you'd like to obtain tickets, please click here.

L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem!

RH_graphic