High Holidays 5783 schedule to begin with Erev Rosh Hashanah services Sunday, September 25

Rabbi Stanley Miles will officiate High Holidays services in the sanctuary at United Hebrew Congregation and via Zoom for the New Year 5783, beginning with Erev Rosh Hashanah services at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25.

Yana Weinstein will return as soloist for Erev Rosh Hashanah and Kol Nidre. This will be her fifth High Holy Days with UHC during the past six years.

We will observe a mask-optional policy that may change depending on local Covid infection rates and CDC recommendations.

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matzoh globe

UHC sets Passover ‘Celebration’ for April 23

Following two years in the wilderness of fully remote Passover seders, United Hebrew Congregation will invite members back to the Vestry Room for an abbreviated hybrid Pesach “Celebration” at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 23.

The date, which falls on the final day of Passover, coincides with Student Rabbi Matt Derrenbacher‘s regular visit. Rabbi Matt will conduct the seder for virtual and in-person audiences.

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For 101 years, Walter Sommers chose optimism over pessimism, hope over fear

By Nancy Sommers

Walter Sommers lived with gratitude for the life he was given. When asked to look back on his 101 years, he beamed, “I have had a good time in life; it couldn’t have been better.”

He lived each day with optimism and purpose, with a strong sense of duty to bear witness to the history he experienced, and to pass this history forward to future generations.

Asked about his optimism, he would smile and say, “Life turns out better if you start each day seeing the glass half-full, not half-empty.” For 101 years, Walter chose optimism over pessimism, hope over fear.

He lived a long, full life, but to Walter’s family and friends, he didn’t live long enough.

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If justice is up to us as God’s people, we must lead with compassion and not anger

By Student Rabbi Remy Liverman

During the Jewish festival of Sukkot, a part of the Jewish High Holy Days, we read from the Book of Exodus where God instructs Moses to chisel new tablets upon which God will engrave the Ten Commandments.

As Moses takes the new tablets up to Mt. Sinai, God reveals His glory to Moses, proclaiming His 13 Attributes of Mercy:

“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…. (Exodus 34:6-7).”

The dilemma we face when interpreting this sacred text involves understanding a God of forgiveness, love and compassion and yet also punitive retribution for the guilty.

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