This page offers complete information on High Holy Day celebrations at Beit Sasson. Scroll down for a schedule of services as well as information on reserving seats and renewing annual membership with Beit Sasson.
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What does Rosh Hashanah say to us? How can it transform our lives? The genius behind Judaism is that it takes eternal truths and translates them into time, into our lived experiences. Rosh Hashanah, the anniversary of the creation of humanity, invites us to live and feel the human condition in symbolic ways.
The High Holy Days season is a time for introspection and discovery. Are we taking the time to turn towards ourselves with honesty and open hearts? Our sages ask us to examine the various meanings of ‘teshuvah’, from the root ‘shuv’ meaning to return. What does it mean to turn, return, and be turned? How can we use forgiveness and healing to transform our hurts and disappointments into love? How do we return to what is most central to our lives and reclaim what is whole, good, and godly? What are the stories we tell ourselves that hold us back from being vessels of strength, compassion, justice, and hope?
Here in our beloved Beit Knesset, we are fortunate to practice many Jewish values daily. With the last challenges associated with the pandemic, we have mastered new values. We learned how to accept reality, adjust to reality and appreciate what we have in this new reality.
Rosh Hashanah tells us that life itself, each day, every breath we take, is the gift of G-d. David Hamelekh says, “Kol Haneshama Te-Hallel Yah” –i.e., “Every soul will praise the Lord.” Our sages make a play on words. Neshamah, the soul, is similar to nesheema, breath. One should praise G-d, they say, for every breath that one takes. As the Zikhronot say: “Remember us for life, O King who delights in life and write us in the book of life — for Your sake, O G-d of life.” Life is not something we may take for granted. If we do, we will fail to celebrate it. Indeed we only live once, but if we do it right, once is enough.
The Hebrew verb lehitpalel, “to pray,” more precisely means “to judge oneself.” On Rosh Hashanah, we stand in judgment. We know the good and the less good in our hearts but based on the teshuva concept, G-d sees the best; and when we open ourselves to Him with our optimism, He gives us the strength to become what we truly are. Those who fully enter the spirit of Rosh Hashanah emerge into the New Year charged, energized, focused, renewed, happy, knowing how to accept new realities, how to adjust to them practically, and how to appreciate every moment of it constantly. To be a Jew is to live life to the fullest with self-awareness which allows us to attach ourselves to the Godly source in our lives.
One of the things we should admire and be grateful for this coming year is our amazing community in Beit Sasson. Thank G-d we have such a rare opportunity and conditions in our kehillah to exercise and celebrate our spiritual achievements together.
May the shofar’s sound arouse us to recalibrate and inspire us to return to our core values of truth, righteousness, love, compassion, justice, and self-awareness.
"ה' עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן, ה' יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם"(תהלים כט יא)
“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
May Hashem bless us with internal and external peace.
Rabbi Avinoam Durani
Rosh Hashanah is upon us and it is my pleasure to be addressing you as the President of Beit Sasson. In light of High Holy Days, I would like to take the opportunity to reflect upon Beit Sasson’s achievements/challenges in the past year, explore changes to pave a road to a better future, and look ahead to the coming year with prayers for good health, happiness and fulfillment for ourselves, our families, and our community.
Improvements at Beit Sasson in the past year: Spread of COVID19 slowed things down but did not stop us. Thanks to our donors and the help of many of our members we purchased two tents and built an outdoor sanctuary to slow further spread of the virus. During the cold months we added outdoor heaters to continue our services outdoors. We upgraded our security alarm system to with many new features including panic buttons. Our security cameras were upgraded to a high-resolution sophisticated system. In addition to our heired professional security guard, we have a group of volunteers helping with security patrolling. This created an atmosphere that felt safe and comfortable to our congregants. B”H” Our membership is now stronger than ever.
Adding Personal Touch: You have witnessed my advocacy for open management style. In my opinion the best way to run our beloved shul is to bring all plans and issues to public attention and request everyone’s participation and personal touch to bring our goals to reality. For the past four years this has worked beautifully and B"H" we will continue with the same format in the coming year.
Looking Ahead: COVID19 has placed us facing many unfamiliar challenges. The pandemic was hoped to be over, but the mutations of the virus is wreaking havoc around the world. Safety takes top priority at Beit Sasson. There is no time to rest. There are many issues lying ahead requiring everyone's participation to resolve. At the top of the list is how to Recognize and Meet Our Fiscal Challenges.
Challenges: Beit Sasson has transitioned from hardly a minyan in the basement of another building to a well-established thriving community in just a few years. B”H” our membership is stronger than ever. Yet, membership dues alone are not enough to sustain our synagogue. Last year, due to the pandemic, we did not have live auctions for all the mitzvot during High Holy Days. For that reason, I would like to urge everyone to continue their financial support. Buy the holiday seats although you may not be able to attend the services. Renew your membership, bid high on the mitzvot to show your support, because sustaining Beit Sasson is the only way we can be “The Sephardic Congregation of Newton.”
With help of Hashem this pandemic will be over, and we can soon resume normal operations. In the meantime, you will hear a lot from me requesting help on how to overcome each obstacle we face.
I am always anxious to hear your suggestions and ways you can help improve Beit Sasson. Please contact me at JosephYashar@yahoo.com suggesting how you can get involved and help in whichever way possible.
5782 High Holy Day Services: On behalf of Beit Sasson executive committee, it is my pleasure to invite you and your family to join us for the High Holy Day Services. Rosh Hashanah begins on Monday evening September 6th. Yom Kippur begins on Wednesday evening September 15th. The complete High Holy Day schedule is enclosed.
In keeping with Sephardic tradition, everyone, member or otherwise is always welcome to worship at Beit Sasson. Our space is limited. The pandemic may again force us to limit the headcount to worship at Beit Sasson. However, we highly encourage people to become members, and to buy seats for the High Holy Days just to support our beloved shul. B”H” the pandemic will be over soon and we are to ensure we can maintain our momentum in moving forward. Please see www.sephardic-newton.org to conveniently purchase seats, and to make payments/donations.
I pray that Beit Sasson continues to take a more positive meaning in our lives.
I wish you and your family a sincere and heartfelt Shana Tova.
We have kept our dues low to encourage 100% participation. We would appreciate any help with operation expenses (including the recently hired Rabbi), monthly obligations (utilities, maintenance, Children’s Programs, etc...), and the recent Synagogue Expansion (Handicap ramp, etc...). Thank you.
High Holiday Seat Reservations for Members are:
High Holiday Seat Reservations for Non-Members are: