All posts by MCJC Leslie

MCJC 5779 High Holy Days Schedule

Erev Rosh HaShanah
Sunday, September 9, 7:30 p.m.

Rosh HaShanah—Day 1
Monday, September 10, 9:00 a.m.
Children’s Service (ages 4-8) 10:15 a.m. (see below)
Tashlich Service 1:45 p.m.
Main Beach, 300 Lakeshore Dr., Crystal Lake, IL
Family Service with Tashlich 4:30 p.m. (see below)
Main Beach, 300 Lakeshore Dr., Crystal Lake, IL

Rosh HaShanah—Day 2
Tuesday, September 11, 9:00 a.m.

Kol Nidre
Tuesday, September 18, 7:00 p.m.

Yom Kippur
Wednesday, September 19, 9:00 a.m.
Children’s Service (ages 4-8) 10:15 a.m. (see below)
Mincha Service 4:30 p.m.
Neila Service 6:00 p.m.
Break-the-Fast 7:15 p.m. (see below)

Sukkot
Sunday, September 23, 9:15 a.m.
Sukkot Services with the Religious School

Monday, September 24, 8:30 a.m.
Sukkot Morning Services with Lulav & Etrog

Wednesday, September 26, 4:30 p.m.
Pizza in the Hut—Sukkot Program with the Religious School

Yizkor
Saturday, September 29, 9:30 a.m.
Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion with Yizkor

Simchat Torah
Sunday, September 30, 9:15 a.m.
Simchat Torah Celebrations with Religious School (see below)


Rosh HaShana & Yom Kippur Children’s Services
Monday, September 10 and
Wednesday, September 19 at 10:15 a.m.
Bring your family to our High Holy Day Children’s Services on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, as well as on Yom Kippur. These are wonderfully engaging, musical and fun services, and geared to younger children ages 4 through 8.


Family Service with Tashlich
Monday, September 10 at 4:30 p.m.
MCJC will be hosting a musical, family-friendly, High
Holy Day service. We’ll share songs, stories, a shofar blowing Shofar-palooza, and much more. This program is open to the public, so bring friends and family, Jewish or not.


Break-the-Fast 2018 at MCJC
Wednesday, September 19 at 7:15 p.m.
Join the entire MCJC community at
Break-the Fast after Yom Kippur Services:
$10 per person, $5 per child, $30 max per family
To register, please contact the MCJC office at 815-455-1810 or office@mcjconline.org
You can also pay securely on this site.


Simchat Torah
Sunday, September 30 at
9:15 am: Religious School
10:30 am: Hoshana Rabba & Simchat Torah Service & Celebration followed by light lunch and joining the Crop Walk

Simchat Torah is a joyous celebration when we end the last book
of the Torah and start again from the beginning.
Young and old, dor v’dor, generation-to generation,
we’ll sing and dance, together with the Torahs.

Pssssst . . . Don’t Miss The Next Diamonds Event: Food, Fund, Friendship

What? Next Diamonds Event

When? Sunday, October 21, 2018 – 1:00  pm

Where? The “Shul”

Why? Because it is time.

Join your Diamonds group for an afternoon of
Fun, Food, Film & Friendship . . .

Featuring our unlimited Salad, Pizza, & Dessert.
As always this event is open to all MCJC members, friends,
and anyone who cares to join us.

Suggested donation $7.50 pp.

Please help our chefs with your early response:
RSVP to Lois: loisshar@gmail.com

QUESTIONS?
Call Lois . . . 847-854-0584 or Burl 847-777-8119

Torah: The Certainty of Death — Judaism’s Embrace of the Cycle of Life

Ha’azinu

Please join us for Shabbat worship and Torah study, 9:30 am.

Rav Kook was famous for saying that you have to chew over a single word in the Torah at least 400 times before you can start to learn that word.

THE TROPE

Torah: Deuteronomy 32:1 – 32:52 – Click here.
Haftarah: II Samuel 22:1 – 22:51 – Click here.

This week our readings and Torah discussion focus on:

Torah:

  1. Deut. 32:1-6, p. 1185
  2. Deut. 32:7-12, p. 1186
  3. Deut. 32:13-18, p.1187

Haftarah:

II Samuel 22:1-22:51, p. 1197

Upcoming at MCJC Week of September 18, 2018

For more information about any of these listings, please visit our website, either the provided links or the MCJC Calendar at mcjconline.org/events.

Tuesday, September 18
7:00 pm: Kol Nidre Service

Wednesday, September 19
9:00 am: Yom Kippur Morning Service
9:30 am – 10:30 am: High Holy Day Discussion Group
10:15 am: Children’s Service (ages 4-8)
4:30 pm: Yom Kippur Mincha Service
6:00 pm: Yom Kippur Neila Service
7:15 pm: Break-the-Fast

Friday, September 21
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat Potluck & Services

Saturday, September 22
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion

Sunday, September 23
9:15 am: Erev Sukkot Services with the Religious School.
Sukkah Building with the Building & Grounds Committee
11:00 am: Adult Education with Rabbi Tom

Monday, September 24
8:30 am: Sukkot Morning Services with Lulav & Etrog

Wednesday, September 26
1:00 pm: Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Pizza in the Hut – Sukkot Program with the Religious School

Friday, September 28
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat Potluck Dinner and Services

Saturday, September 29
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion with Yizkor

Sunday, September 30
9:15 am: Hoshanna Rabba/Simchat Torah Celebrations with Religious School


SAVE THE DATES
Oct. 1: Shemini Atzeret
Oct. 2: Simchat Torah (see below)

Upcoming at MCJC Week of September 5

For more information about any of these listings, please visit our website, either the provided links or the MCJC Calendar at mcjconline.org/events.

Wednesday, September 5
1:00 pm: Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Religious School
4:30 pm: High Holy Days Set-Up

Friday, September 7
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat Potluck

Saturday, September 8
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion

Sunday, September 9 – Erev Rosh Hashanah
No Religious School – High Holy Days Set-Up
7:30 pm: Erev Rosh Hashanah Service with Yom Tov Kiddush to follow

Sept. 10: Rosh Hashanah – Day 1
9:00 am: Rosh Hashanah Morning Service
9:30 am – 10:30 am: High Holy Day Discussion Group
10:15 am: Children’s Service (ages 4-8)
1:45 pm: First Tashlich Service at Main Beach, 300 Lakeshore Dr, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
4:30 pm: Tashlich Family Service at Main Beach, 300 Lakeshore Dr, Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Tuesday, September 11
9:00 am: Rosh Hashanah Morning Service – Day 2

Wednesday, September 12
1:00 pm: Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Tom
4:30 pm: Religious School

Friday, September 14
6:30 pm: Community Shabbat Potluck

Saturday, September 15
9:30 am: Shabbat Morning Services & Torah Discussion

Sunday, September 16
9:30 am: Religious School
11:00 am: Adult Education with Rabbi Tom

Tuesday, September 18
7:00 pm: Kol Nidre Service

Wednesday, September 19
9:00 am: Yom Kippur Morning Service
9:30 am – 10:30 am: High Holy Day Discussion Group
10:15 am: Children’s Service (ages 4-8)
4:30 pm: Yom Kippur Mincha Service
6:00 pm: Yom Kippur Neila Service
7:15 pm: Break-the-Fast


SAVE THE DATES
Sept. 23: Sukkot – Erev
Sept. 24: Sukkot – Day 1
Sept. 25: Sukkot – Day 2
Oct. 1: Shemini Atzeret
Oct. 2: Simchat Torah

High Holy Days Tickets for Non-Members

The High Holy Days at MCJC are unique and special. Our own members lead the services, making these co-creative and empowering experiences for all. Make this the year you become part of what makes the High Holy Days such a special time at MCJC.

We welcome non-members and guests to share the High Holy Days with us,  but ask that you RSVP in advance and consider making a donation to MCJC. You can purchase your non-member High Holy Day tickets below.

​For more information, please contact Rabbi Tom rabbi@mcjconline.org.

HIGH HOLY DAYS TICKETS

High Holy Day services for non-members:

FOR SECURE CREDIT CARD & PAYPAL PAYMENTS
Other Amount: USD

Thank you for supporting MCJC and sharing the High Holy Days with us this year.

A Message From Rabbi Tom: Breaking The Torah

September/October 2018 – Elul/Tishrei/Cheshvan
Volume 5778-5779

Rabbi Tom SamuelsRabbi Harold Schulweis, may his memory be a blessing, tells a beautiful story of a 19th century Chassidic rabbi by the name of Rabbi Mordecai.

Rabbi Mordechai was the poor rabbi of a very poor village. Before Sukkot, the Holiday of the Booths, the villagers gathered together some money for their rabbi to purchase an etrog, a ritual lemon used on Sukkot. Rabbi Mordecai set out of the village to purchase an etrog at the market in the adjacent main town.

Along the way, he came across a wagoner, who was on his knees, sobbing. “My horse is dead!” cried out the wagoner,“ I have nothing. Who will pull my wagon?” Rabbi Mordecai, without hesitation, gave the man the money his villagers had given him to purchase the etrog, turned around, and returned to his village empty-handed.

The townspeople were aghast. What shall we do? How will we fulfill the commandment of lulav (the frond of a date palm tree also used on Sukkot) and etrog on Sukkot? We have no more money to purchase one.

Rabbi Mordecai paskened a din, made a rabbinic legal decision, that the villagers would instead bench etrog (say the blessing over the etrog) over a dead horse. The etrog is a symbol for our hearts, or symbol for our compassion. Rabbi Mordecai substituted the purpose of the symbol for the symbol itself. “To do otherwise,” Rabbi Schulweis teaches, “to make the symbol an end unto itself, to replace compassion and loving kindness for an etrog, to ascribe inherent holiness to this object, would be making a ritual into a kind of idolatry. This is not the Jewish way.”

This is not the Jewish understanding of what is holy, kadosh. Our Torah teaches that holiness is available to us in every moment, in every place. It is the continuous, ongoing acts of mindfulness, consciousness, and creativity which originates in all of Creation. The opposite of holy in Hebrew is chol, which does not translate into “profane,” but rather as “empty” or better yet, “not yet filled.”

In the Talmud (Gittin 45b) we learn that a Torah scroll written by a heretic is to be burned. Imagine that. Place two identical Torah scrolls in front of yourself. One is written by a pious scribe, a sofer in Hebrew, the other by an atheist. One is to be sanctified, the other to be burned. In other words, “holiness is not a property of objects. It is a property of human acts and intentions,” writes Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. “There is no such thing,” he continues, “as ontological holiness or intrinsic sanctity.”

The great 20th century Torah commentary, the Meshech Chochmah, Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, Latvia, was famous for throwing a wrench into assumed understandings of even the most basic Torah text. He re-imagines the story of Moses breaking the first set of tablets, the ones written by the Hand of God, when he returns with them from the mountain and witnesses the Episode of the Golden Calf. We assume that Moses sinned, and that he lost his temper and broke the tablets.

The Meshech Chochmah flips the narrative on its back and teaches that Moses did not in fact lose his temper. He did not sin. Rather, upon seeing the Israelites worshipping the Golden Calf, Moses realized that the Israelites built the Golden Calf, not as a thing to be worshipped in itself but as an object of holiness that might summon the Divine down upon it. Moses fears that they could just as easily worship the tablets, even Moses himself. The Meshech Chomah imagines Moses scolding the Israelites: “Did you think that I (Moses) had any holiness without God’s command, so that when my presence was gone, you made this calf? I am just a man like you! Do not think that the Sanctuary or the Tabernacle themselves are holy things, God forbid. These things are mere vessels. And even more so, the tablets, with the writing of God – these too have no holiness in themselves, but only for your sake.”

“Moses did not break the tablets out of mere rage, but in order to  teach the people a profound spiritual lesson: that religion itself can become an object of idolatry,” writes Rabbi David Kasher. Moses broke the Torah, God’s Torah, in order to make a nuanced point about the purpose of Torah: that sometimes we have to challenge and even shatter our assumptions, our learned understandings of what is Torah, what is Judaism, and what is our purpose in life.

“You can’t make a Torah, it seems,” Rabbi Kasher concludes, “without breaking some tablets.”

B’Shalom,
Rabbi Tom