Praying for Rain

Over the past months (couple of years, really) we’ve all been praying for rain. As our state suffers from an intense drought, we’ve cut our water consumption, changed our landscaping, adjusted our lives, and prayed for rain. This past weekend, our prayers were answered with 2+ inches of rain from Friday through Sunday. Yes, it put a bit of a damper on our Sukkot party on Sunday. But I think we still had a fun time, enjoying dinner together, singing, painting pumpkins and visiting.

This Sunday/Monday is the holiday of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Shemini Atzeret is like the 8th day of Sukkot with a few changes. We still eat our meals in the sukkah, but we no longer shake the lulav and etrog. In addition, there is a special prayer for rain that is said on this holiday. It’s a long prayer, the translation is below:


I love the imagery in this prayer. It provides a story of life and prosperity that comes from the water that God gives us as rain. Take a minute to read the prayer and just think about what it means to you. This marks the beginning of the rainy season in Israel. We pray for rain in the land of Israel so that it may prosper and grow bountiful crops. We also pray for rain for our precious state of California so that we too may benefit from the life that rain gives. I like to pray that the rain will not only wash away the dustiness of a dry summer, but also cleanse my heart and make me ready to start this new year off right. I find it to be a fitting end to the High Holy Days.

Plus, Shemini Atzeret concludes with one of my favorite holidays, Simchat Torah! If you were not with us last year, you MUST come this Monday for this wonderful celebration of the Torah. We will sing and dance, and unroll (and re-roll) the Torah to begin the new year of reading again. The party begins at 6:45pm. See you there!

+++++++++++++ Announcements +++++++++++

Wednesday, October 19 @6:45pm –  Hebrew School and Teen OR

Friday, October 21 @ 10am – Gan K’tan with special guest Diane Rauchwerger, author of Dinosaur on Shabbat books. For kids 4 and under. $10 drop in rate.

Friday, October 21 @ 6pm – Tot Shabbat – Join us for a special Tot version of Shabbat. It’s super fun!

Sunday, October 23

  • @ 9am – Religious School
  • @ 9:30am – Answering our Children’s Questions… and Our Own – with Rabbi Rabishaw. Sometimes kids ask really difficult questions… about life, death, God, relationships, etc… and instead of feeling confident we can provide an answer, their questions leave us confused or tongue tied, or unsure of what we believe ourselves. Join this conversation with Rabbi Rabishaw as we explore appropriate responses.
  • @ 2pm – TASTY Bites Sukkot Party (grades 6 and 7) at Mary Frank’s house. Please Click Here to RSVP via Evite.
  • @ 5:30pm – TASTY Sukkot Party (grades 8-12) at Mary Frank’s house. Please Click Here to RSVP via Evite.

Monday, October 24 @ 6:45 – Simchat Torah – come dance and sing as we celebrate the Torah and our connection to Jews around the world. Program will finish by 8pm.

Help Needed! – We need help to finish sorting through the food donations from Yom Kippur. If you are here on Wednesday evening with your Hebrew School student, please lend a hand.

If you haven’t signed up on our volunteer page yet, please click here!

+++++++++++++++ School Update +++++++++++++

I’m sorry, I never went back and gave everyone an update from our October 9th session. I assure you, fabulous things are happening in these classrooms. Our PreK – 5th grade students had art on the 9th and their cool projects can be found hanging in the temple Sukkah. Check them out.

Our 5th and 6th grade students are continuing to work on Hebrew instruction in the computer lab and are having a good time reviewing and learning with our madrichim.

The 1st and 2nd graders learned about saying I’m Sorry on Yom Kippur and what the holiday of Sukkot is all about. And our 3rd -5th graders finished a unit on Teshuvah with their interactive Shalom Learning curriculum.

I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we continue to experience the magic of the High Holy Days and the month of Tishrei together. I hope to see each of you soon!