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High Holiday Event Registration and Donations

Ruach haMaqom will be hosting a variety of experiences for your journey through the holidays. Most services will be in our new home at the UU Meeting Hall at the top of Church Street and on Zoom. Similar to last year, Tashlich and a short Ma’ariv service will take place at Rock Point Retreat Center in the New North End. Check below for more details.

  • Please arrive on time, so that you can benefit from the entirety of the service and respect the integrity of the experience.

  • If you would like your own copy of the machzor (prayer book) or a PDF, please contact Rabbi Jan.

  • We ask that you make a donation to our annual appeal to fund and to support our amazing community. Please donate generously here

  • Events held at the UU require masks for all. In-person events are restricted to vaccinated individuals.

Erev Rosh Hashanah

Mussar: A self-guided walk through the woods at Rock Point

Anytime Friday-Sunday
September 3rd through the 20th

Friday, Sept. 3rd -Sunday, Sept. 19th, Mussar: A self-guided walk on the path to the “Outdoor Chapel” through the woods at Rock Point. What are the values by which we strive to live? Mussar, the Jewish tradition of ethics and values, will guide you as you walk along a marked path at Rock Point. There will be 13 stopping places, marked by a sign, that will invite you into considering your life from the perspective of values. Family friendly.

Erev Rosh Hashanah  

Monday, September 6th

On your own. Gather with friends for a celebratory dinner. Join your families where they are located around the world. Take a quiet ramble along the lake’s edge and welcome in the New Moon of Tishrei. Light candles and welcome in the New Year with Joy!

Rosh Hashanah

Day 1: Morning Services

Tuesday, Sept. 7th
10:00 am-1:00 pm
Held at the UU Meeting House

Rosh Hashanna 1st Day, Tuesday, Sept. 7th 10:00 am-1:00 pm. We will gather in awe and wonder at the New Year which celebrates Creation and offers us the chance to begin a focused 10-day journey to renewal. Filled with song and stories, new tunes and traditional melodies for this potent Holy Day, we cultivate a spirit of forgiveness, for ourselves and others,  through prayer, open-hearted singing, and times of silence.

You can arrange to pick up a machzor or request a PDF. Please contact Rabbi Jan at rabbijan@ruachhamaqom.org

We will meet in the UU Sanctuary. Masks required for all individuals while in the UU building. Only vaccinated individuals may attend indoor events.

Can’t make it to the UU? Here is the zoom access.

Need a copy of the machzor? Here is the link

Day 1: Tashlich And Shofar

Tuesday, Sept. 7th
4 :00 - 5:00 pm
Rock Point

Join us at “Eagle Bay” behind the “Conference Center” parking lot at Rock Point where we'll engage in the ritual which encourages us to reflect on the poignant memories of last year and enter into the new year. We will ritually cast off, of our regrets,  inviting us to a deepening commitment for a new year of possibility and connection. Bring bad weather gear if necessary; we’ll collect rocks at the water’s edge to toss upon the waters. We’ll blow the shofar, too. Do you have one? Bring it! Guest Rabbi, Lori Shaller, will guide us in a meaningful ritual.

A Mindful Ma’ariv at the Water’s Edge
at Rock Point.

Tuesday, Sept. 7th
5:00 PM  6:00 PM

Following our Tashlich and Shofar blast, we will continue in the same place at “Eagle Bay” behind the “Conference Center” parking lot at Rock Point. We’ll enter the evening at the water’s edge for a contemplative and musical end of the day. Led by Rabbi Lori Shaller and Rabbi Jan Salzman, we’ll experience silence, chant, and prayer to welcome the evening. Cancelled in the event of heavy rain. Masks are optional.

Day 2: Morning Services

Wednesday, Sept. 8th
10:00 am - Noon
Held at the UU Meeting House’s outdoor tent

We are blessed that we have this second day to deepen the experience of the first day, yielding spiritual fruit. We will gather again and build on the awe and wonder at the New Year which celebrates Creation and offers us the chance to begin a focused 10-day journey to renewal. Filled with song and stories, new tunes and traditional melodies for this potent Holy Day, on this second day we will sink more deeply into our spirit of forgiveness, for ourselves and others,  through prayer, open-hearted singing, and times of silence.

You can arrange to pick up a machzor or request a PDF. Please contact Rabbi Jan at rabbijan@ruachhamaqom.org

Masks required for all individuals. While this event takes place outside, RhM requests that only vaccinated individuals attend in-person events. Please contact Rabbi Jan for further info.

Can’t make it to the UU? Here is the zoom access.
If you need a copy of the machzor, here is the link

Yom Kippur

Kol Nidre

Wednesday, Sept. 15th
6:00-7:30 pm
Held at the UU Meeting House

Please arrive a little early, to get settled so we can begin promptly at 6:00 pm. (Doors will open at 5:30) We enter into our most purposeful prayer on the eve of Yom Kippur. A quiet, sacred time that initiates some of the deepest probing of who we are as individuals and as a community, it is filled with what might be called real soul music. It is a tradition to wear white clothing during Yom Kippur, as well as to refrain from wearing leather. See what you can do!

Parking is onsite, behind the Meeting House, and at various City parking spaces as well as street parking.

You can arrange to pick up a machzor or request a PDF. Please contact Rabbi Jan at rabbijan@ruachhamaqom.org

We will meet in the UU Sanctuary. Masks required for all individuals. Only vaccinated individuals may attend indoor events.

Can’t make it to the UU? Here is the zoom access.

If you need a copy of the machzor, here is the link

If you need a copy of the supplement, here is the link

Yom Kippur Morning Services

Thursday, Sept. 16th
10:00 am- 1:00 pm
Held at the UU Meeting House

This, the highest/deepest Holy Day of our calendar, we note where we as individuals and as a community, look within to see where and how we  have 'missed the mark' and not lived up to our most elevated ideals. We  are invited to divorce ourselves as completely as humanly possible from the mundane world in which we live, in order to devote ourselves with all our hearts and minds to our relationship with the  Flow of Blessing. Refraining from eating or drinking, this is the quintessential sacred 26 hours of embodied mindfulness.

You can arrange to pick up a machzor or request a PDF. Please contact Rabbi Jan at rabbijan@ruachhamaqom.org

Masks required for all individuals while in the UU building. Only vaccinated individuals may attend indoor events.

Can’t make it to the UU? Here is the zoom access.

If you need a copy of the machzor, here is the link

If you need a copy of the supplement, here is the link

Yiskor

Thursday, Sept. 16th
As part of our Yom Kippur morning service, we’ll enter the sacred time of Yiskor, remembering all who have died in our lives. Please join us.

Masks required for all individuals while in the UU building. Only vaccinated individuals may attend indoor events.

Conversation with the Book of Jonah

Thursday, Sept. 16h,
4:00 - 5:00 pm
Held at the UU Meeting House in their outdoor tent

At the dimming of the day, we are in many ways, Jonah. We have been fasting; we have confronted the way we act in the world, and we are yearning to change parts of our lives; we have spent Holy Day in the belly of a big fish, so to speak,  in the womb of possibilities and unanswerable questions. We come together at this quiet time, to expand on the story of Jonah, which is so much more than being 'swallowed by a big fish'!

Masks required for all individuals. Only vaccinated individuals may attend indoor events. Please contact Rabbi Jan for more information.

Can’t make it to the UU? Here is the zoom access.

Neilah: the ending of Yom Kippur

Thursday, Sept. 16th
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Held at the UU Meeting House in their outdoor tent

As the sun slowly sets, we usher Yom Kippur out with uplifting song and the final exuberant plea for a fruitful and full year. Weather permitting, we’ll move outside to witness the sun setting. We complete our journey with a long blast of the shofar. If you have a shofar, or even a trumpet, bring it!  If you are so inclined, bring a little to eat, to break our fast. We’ll provide wine and challah.

You can arrange to pick up a machzor or request a PDF. Please contact Rabbi Jan at rabbijan@ruachhamaqom.org

Masks required for all individuals. Only vaccinated individuals may attend in-person events. Please contact Rabbi Jan for more information.

Can’t make it to the UU? Here is the zoom access.

If you need a copy of the machzor, here is the link

If you need a copy of the supplement, here is the link

Holiday Reflections

A Joyful Celebration!

According to the Sages, Rosh Hashanah is supposed to be celebrated in Joy. What do I mean by that? It is a New Year’s celebration without the party hats (though it does have a shofar!)  The New Year offers us a time to experience a joy that is grounded in the work of getting to know ourselves, examining our lives through the lens of our ethical and spiritual aspirations, and re-stating our commitment to live our lives according to our highest aspirations of what it means to be a kind and compassionate human being. We participate as individuals by coming together as a community; the liturgy is in the third person; we experience it in the first person.

Beneath the surface.

What lays beneath the daily-ness our lives? What informs our attitudes, actions, behaviors, emotions? When do we give ourselves the time and space to examine our lives?  Yes, we have this opportunity every day, every minute.  But the Holy Days, which begin with the first of the month of Elul and culminate as Yom Kippur draws to a close, specifically gives us the time, tools, and focus to dig beneath the surface of our lives, to reconnect with meaning and intention, to try and heal the places where we have hurt others, and to dissipate the hold that our own pain has on us. Moving through the ancient ‘spiritual technology’ of the prayers through a contemporary lens, we give ourselves the gift of renewal and reconnection. 

It's about realignment

It’s hard to walk into High Holidays cold. What do I mean, cold?  I was raised to attend synagogue only on the High Holidays, and I was struck by the severity of liturgy.  The face of GD that we meet in these services is one of Judge, Jury, and even Executioner!  (“who shall live, and who shall die, etc.”). What kind of religious tradition was this? It seemed discordant with the idea of a loving, forgiving face of GD.  Yet our tradition actually invites us to begin our self-evaluation a full six weeks before the holiday commences. The Midrash (ancient improvisational  rabbinic stories that interpret and expand our texts) teaches that, during the month of Elul (which is the month before Tishrei, in which the Holy Days occur), GD is ‘in the fields’, close to us, accessible to each of us, to go and walk with and have that opportunity discuss the meaning of our lives. At the end of Elul, GD returns to the throne, and once again assumes the image of King and Judge.  Taken as a full time sweep, from Elul 1 to Tishrei 11, we have about 6 weeks to feel that we can be honest with ourselves within a LOVING and COMPASSIONATE relationship.  This is not about severity; it’s about realignment, a yearning to be the best that we can be. 

Teshuvah... means "return"

Judaism doesn’t really have a solid concept of sin. I know, I know,  the language of the ‘al chet’ /sins that we committed’  part of the service, it sure seems as if we focus on the word, sin.  But we don’t. That’s just the best word the English translators have used in the context of the Holy Days.   Know that if we mess up, in our relationships with others or with ourselves, it is not the Jewish way to feel that we are damned, or that our very beings are polluted or that we are irrevocably stained. The ‘al chet’ has more of the feel of the image of an archer: I aimed my arrow to act in a certain way, according to my highest self; I went off target. The antidote is teshuvah, a word that means RETURN.  A Yearning to return to the path., to return to my highest self.  To return our community to the  highest moral imperative.  That is why there is so much in the liturgy in the service about having neglected the poor, the orphan, and the widow (in the language of our ancient poets).  That is why there is so much in the liturgy about being stiff necked and obstinate and callous.  That is why all the language is in the 3rd person: WE have strayed, not just as individuals, but as a community.  And, as individuals.

Our inner dowsing stick trembles

 The path of the Holy Days is a dowsing stick. Through the time we spend together, our inner dowsing stick trembles when we strike the deep waters of our soul. It can happen when a familiar melody vibrates with memories of our youth and our forbearers; it can happen when in call and response, a particular transgression rocks us, plumbing to the truth about how we have conducted ourselves this past year; it can happen in the silence between the words, in the stories in the Torah that are read, in the thought of a friend with whom we’ve had challenges.  When we respond to that pull of the dowsing stick, we have the opportunity to  find the hidden waters that course through our beings, and we can clear out that which has clogged the waterway.  Let the waters run free! This is what we are to do at this time of year. 

The holy conversation

The task of our generation, like each generation before us, is to enter into the holy conversation of our tradition. We do this by reaching in to Torah, into the treasure of our inheritance, in search of answers to the questions of our time, to deal with the crises of body, heart, mind and soul that so urgently call. And here is where the misunderstanding lies: We think that receiving is a passive thing, that the truth is already formed, that someone else’s Torah will speak to us, that the Torah of the past will be enough. Or we think that our tradition is something fixed, and if it doesn’t fit our sensibilities, we’ll just look elsewhere.

No one is doing your prayers

The holy days are not a passive experience.  No one is doing your prayers, your work, for you.  You are part of the conversation; you bring your questions, your pain, your excitement, your joys, your sorrows, to the experience.  During these days of teshuvah/turning, we are invited to turn to ourselves with compassion and ask: How can I make my life holy, moment by moment? How can I tap into that underground river that flows beneath my feet?  Personally, we ask, how will I loosen my self-judgment so that I can open to my dreams, the music within my soul, the call of the natural world that needs so much attention?  As a community, we ask, how will we correct the systemic corruption of justice in our world; how will we care for those who need support; how will lessen our impact on the planet?

In our collective journey through the High Holidays there is so much potential for healing. May we all have a vibrant and exciting year. 

- Rabbi Jan Salzman

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