From PSALM 27 (Robert Alter translation)
13.If I but trust to see the [Eternal One’s] goodness,
in the land of the living –
14.Hope for the [Eternal One]!
Let your heart be firm and bold,
and hope for the [Eternal One].
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/chol-hamo-eid-sukkot
Holidays Exodus 33:12-34:26 from Pasha Ki Tisa (כִּי תִשָּׂא — Hebrew for “when you take”)
Moses said to the Eternal, “See, You say to me, ‘Lead this people forward,’ but You have not made known to me whom You will send with me. Further, You have said, ‘I have singled you out by name, and you have, indeed, gained My favor.'”- Exodus 33:12
On the Shabbat during Sukkot, we are reminded of the age-old desire to know God. Moses implores God to let him see God. While God will not allow Moses to see God’s face, God tells Moses, “I will make My goodness pass before you…” Perhaps we experience the divine presence through the goodness we create in the world. The Torah then sets forth the thirteen attributes of God, among them that God is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. By emulating these very attributes, we create the goodness which allows us to know God.
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chol_HaMoed
Chol HaMoed (Hebrew: חול המועד), a Hebrew phrase meaning “weekdays [of] the festival” (literal translation: “the secular [non-holy] (part of) the occasion” or “application of the occasion”), refers to the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot. As the name implies, these days mix features of “chol” (weekday or secular) and “moed” (festival)…. On Sukkot, Chol HaMoed consists of the second through seventh days (third through seventh in the Diaspora)…. Although it has a unique name, Hoshanah Rabbah, the seventh day of Sukkot, is part of Chol HaMoed. Prayer services that day combine some usual practices of Chol HaMoed with practices of both Yom Tov and the High Holy Days. Shabbat Chol HaMoed, a Sabbath that occurs during Chol HaMoed, is observed like any other Sabbath in almost every respect.
Ezekiel 38:18-39:7, The Book of Ecclesiastes is read
Book of Ezekiel
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Ezekiel
According to the book itself, it records six visions of the prophet Ezekiel, exiled in Babylon, during the 22 years from 593 to 571 [BCE], although it is the product of a long and complex history and does not necessarily preserve the very words of the prophet.
The visions, and the book, are structured around three themes: (1) Judgment on Israel (chapters 1–24); (2) Judgment on the nations (chapters 25–32); and (3) Future blessings for Israel [prophecies of hope and salvation] (chapters 33–48). Its themes include the concepts of the presence of God, purity, Israel as a divine community, and individual responsibility to God. Its later influence has included the development of mystical and apocalyptic traditions in Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism and Christianity.
Book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes)
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastes#Judaism
In Judaism, Ecclesiastes is read either on Shemini Atzeret (by Yemenites, Italians, some Sepharadim, and the mediaeval French Jewish rite) or on the Shabbat of the Intermediate Days of Sukkot (by Ashkenazim). If there is no Intermediate Sabbath of Sukkot, Ashkenazim too read it on Shemini Atzeret (or, in Israel, on the first Shabbat of Sukkot). It is read on Sukkot as a reminder not to get too caught up in the festivities of the holiday, and to carry over the happiness of Sukkot to the rest of the year by telling the listeners that, without God, life is meaningless.
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH
The Torah Readings For Sukkot Chol HaMo’ëd Shabbat includes two verses toward the end of the reading, which are called the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy.
THIRTEEN ATTRIBUTES OF MERCY
Abridged from Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteen_Attributes_of_Mercy
The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy (י״ג מִידּוֹת) or Shelosh-‘Esreh Middot HaRakhamim (transliterated from the Hebrew: שְׁלוֹשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵה מִידּוֹת הַרַחֲמִים) as enumerated in the Book of Exodus (Exodus 34:6–7) are the Divine Attributes with which, according to Judaism, God governs the world.
According to the explanation of Maimonides [Moses ben Maimon (1138–1204) also called Rambam], these attributes must not be regarded as qualities inherent in God, but as the method of His activity, by which the divine governance appears to the human observer to be controlled. In the Sifre, however, these attributes are not called “middot”, which may mean “quality” as well as “rule” and “measure”, but “derakhim” (ways), since they are the ways of God which Moses prayed to know and which God proclaimed to him.
The number thirteen is adopted from Talmudic and rabbinic tradition. There are divergent opinions as to with which word they begin and with which they conclude. According to some, the Thirteen Attributes begin with the first “Adonai”, in verse 6, and end with the word “ve-nakeh” in verse 7.
From My Jewish Learning https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-13-attributes-of-mercy/
The kabbalists introduced the custom of also reciting the 13 Attributes of Mercy before taking the Torah from the ark during the three pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. This was followed by a silent prayer beginning, “Master of the universe, fulfill my heartfelt requests for good,” demonstrating an understanding that all too often one’s personal goals are not for his or her benefit. Like all personal supplications, the 13 Attributes of Mercy are not recited on the Sabbath or on festivals that fall on the Sabbath.
SUKKOT (Festival of Booths) – September 20-27, 2021
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/sukkot
Sukkot, [the last of the three biblical pilgrimage festivals along with Pesach and Shavuot,] is one of the most joyful festivals on the Jewish calendar. “Sukkot,” a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. The holiday has also come to commemorate the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai.
Sukkot began Monday evening, September 20, 2021. In the Reform Movement, as in Israel, it lasts until Monday, September 27, followed immediately by Shemini Atzéret/Simchat Torah. The greetings for the Intermediate days of Sukkot are Mo’ëd Tov (a good festival) or Mo’adim L’simcha (a happy festival period.)
From “MISHKAN T’FILAH / A Reform Siddur”:
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence especially against all minority communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, the 19th through the 25th of Tishri, we lovingly remember:
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SUKKOT SHAZOOM
Al sh’loshah d’varim ha’olam omëd – The world is sustained by three things: Torah, worship and loving deeds. We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this Friday evening, September 24, 2021.
Zoom continues being updated for security and performance features. In some cases, there are extra steps to go through in order to join a meeting. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this Friday evening:
Topic: Torah Study – Exodus 33:12-34:26
Time: Sep 24, 2021 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Sep 24, 2021 07:30 PM Arizona
To join the Torah Study and/or Sukkot Shazoom Meeting click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]:
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom and Mo’ëd Tov (a good festival),