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In our High Holy Day Roundtable discussions, one major theme was the need for a sense of peace and hope this holiday season. Addressing these spiritual needs require liturgy, prayers, and English readings that are meaningful and relevant to who we are today.
         Our current High Holy Day prayer book was published in 1978. The Reform movement came out with a new prayer book five years ago, Mishkan HaNefesh, that has been adopted by most Reform congregations. Now is the time for Temple Beth El to join them. The prayer book is the High Holy Day equivalent of what we already use for Shabbat. It includes transliteration so that people who don’t read Hebrew can follow along. It also offers updated translations, readings, poetry and new liturgical innovations. Mishkan HaNefesh breathes new life into High Holy Day services.
        Our transition to Mishkan HaNefesh this year also addresses a challenge of worshipping at home: creating a sense of sacred space. We invite every single congregant to order their very own High Holy Day prayer book set. This will be yours to keep at home. You don’t have to worry about returning it to the Temple after the holidays. We will also be offering a guide for readings and meditations in the prayer book to explore during the High Holy Day season to heighten the spiritual message of the holidays. For guests, those out of town, or anyone who doesn’t order a book, we will still have virtual prayer slides. Worship services will remain accessible to all but we encourage everyone to order a prayer book to have during services and use as a spiritual resource throughout the High Holy Day season this year and for years to come.
With hope and blessings for a new year of health,
Rabbi Luna

Fri, August 7 2020 17 Av 5780