I am sending this week’s Bulletin early so that I can wish all of you G'mar Chatima Tova moments before Yom Kippur begins. I spoke to my sister earlier today and she offered that this year the world should apologize to us. It has been a very tough year for us losing our brother and I know exactly how she feels.
Next week (on the Jewish calendar) is the birthday she and my brother always shared - our first without him. In a strange way, heading into Yom Kippur, I am better prepared because grief is like a warm up for it. I have had many days this year when internally I felt the same way I usually feel on this day. As we all pause for a little more than 24 hours tonight, I hope we all find what is most meaningful for each of us. I hope we come out stronger as individuals and as a collective.
I share with you a meaningful prayer and song featuring many people from our Afula-Gilboa region. Hanoch Albalak, who leads the singers, lived in Beit Hasheetah (near where the prison break occurred last week) and is a true force in this performance of the extraordinary Givatron choir. A couple of months ago I visited my good friend Yonish - a member of the last group from the region to visit New Bedford before Covid. His wife, Ronnie, was there. Ronnie is a singer in the Givatron and is of course on stage in this video. If you’ve ever attended a Yom Kippur service you will have no trouble with the words, but if you do and need inspiration in English there’s always Leornard Cohen’s Who by Fire.