In his previous congregation, Rabbi Jonathan Katz thought that an illuminated Star of David could enhance Yom Kippur services. He wasn’t sure whether they were part of religious tradition, but he thought that congregation members would enjoy looking at it. He brought the illuminated star with him when he became rabbi at Temple Beth Israel two years ago, but just this week, a congregation member taught him something new. According to the Talmud, the collection of writings that constitute Jewish religious and civil law, Jews would bring lights on Yom Kippur to illuminate their places of worship for the holidays.
The star will illuminate this year’s Yom Kippur services as well, but it won’t be the only thing lighting up Temple Beth Israel, while members observe the high holidays.
This year’s events will begin with a Selichot service at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, which will include a screening of “Yippee: A Journey to Jewish Joy,” a documentary directed by Paul Mazursky about his journey to Uman, Ukraine. More than 25,000 Jews, most of whom are Hasidic, make a pilgrimage each year during Rosh Hashana to the tiny town.
According to Katz, one of the highlights of the high holidays at Temple Beth Israel is the music. The temple will host guest Cantor Robert Marinoff, of Fort Myers.
“He really brings a measure of spiritual enhancement,” Katz said. “But I don’t think people realize that in their own backyard of Longboat Key, we have such exquisite music. I’ve been a rabbi in many places, and the music here is simply at the top.”
High holiday services will take place at Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road. For reservations and tickets, call the Beth Israel office at 383-3428.
Selichot — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4
Erev Rosh Hashana — 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8
Rosh Hashana — 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 9
Kol Nidre — 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17
Yom Kippur — 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
Sukkot — 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 23
Simchat Torah — 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 30
Contact Robin Hartill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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