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Post Yom Kippur Reflection

Tuesday, 29 September, 2020 - 3:08 pm

Tent.jpgThis Yom Kippur was our 15th Yom Kippur in Sudbury, and while it was certainly the most challenging one as the logistics and planning was complicated and very different than anything we have done before, it was also the most powerful and inspirational one.

Spending Yom Kippur with the hundreds of people who came through the various services (while socially distancing with masks outdoors on the lawn and in the tent) was a very powerful experience. Whether it was the beautiful crowd who came for Kol Nidrei, the many who joined us for a Pre Yom Kippur virtual Zoom Service, the large crowd that was there in the morning and for Yizkor or the many that came for the grand finale of Neila, they all had the same vibe, of a community coming together in a powerful, special and meaningful way.

We stood together as a community, reaching inwards, hearing melodies of hope, prayer and inspiring messages, we remembered our loved ones and those who have perished over time or been murdered in the Holocaust, we thought and touched on all the pain and chaos of the last year, and yes at many times there were tears and emotions shed. Yet as we approached the final moments of Yom Kippur, we ended with a joyous melody right before the Shofar blast, with the knowledge and confidence that G-d willing this year will truly be a better year in terms of our own actions and also in terms of the blessings and healing that the world so needs.

In a sense, we went through the seasons over Yom Kippur, as we allowed the winds of inspiration and prayer to help us shed the leaves in our lives that need to fall off, we thought about what things in our lives and in the world around us we can help color differently, and most importantly we prepared for a new year of personal and communal growth, so that together we can all help make the world flourish the way G-d wants it to be.

At one beautiful moment in the morning prayer as we sang a particularly moving melody, the fresh breeze and light wind rustled the trees surrounding the tents while the words of the song reverberated through the tent. As the wind continued to blow, little yellow leaves started falling all around the tent and added dramatic new color to the scenery. Yet perhaps more importantly than the added color, the leaves that fell off were enabling a new season of growth to begin to come forth, truly the message of Yom Kippur itself.

Thank you to everyone who was able to come in person. Your presence, your emotions, your thoughts, and everything about each one of you, added to the collective experience of us being together in a year like this. A special thank you to my brother Shmuel Freeman for helping lead the services throughout so much of Yom Kippur and doing such a great job, thank you to Yale Zussman for the beautiful rendition of Maftir Yonah and finally thank you to everyone for all being so responsible about how we got together and following all CDC guidelines for safety and wellbeing during these times.

To everyone who stayed home this year, know that in truth we were all in this together, as the spirit of community this year transcended all boundaries, and collectively we were all in the same spiritual space as we observed and prayer on Yom Kippur.

Thank you to Shayna & Sharon Schmidgross and of course my kids for helping prepare such a beautiful break-fast to go!

Thank you to everyone who donated in honor of the High Holidays, Yizkor & Yom Kippur, it helps make such a difference to our work in the community. For those who would still like to donate in honor of Yizkor or the High Holidays you may do so here.

May it be a beautiful and blessed healthy and happy year for all.

Yisroel & Shayna Freeman

P.S Stay tuned for details of our socially distant Sukkot services and programs.

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