From the Desk - Rosh Hashana Cards
Shalom Friends! All is busy here in Beth Ora as we get ready for the annual Raffle Draw. Last Sunday, we hosted our incredibly successful annual Mega Fruit Salad Making (see picture below). There was a fantastic turnout of members and non-members of different ages coming together to show others that we care. Fruit salad was delivered to Eldercare, St Moritz, MADA, Auberge Shalom and the local police station! A big thank you to Shari and Irwin Glazer, Sandy Sitcoff, Shirley Pollak, Natalie Lang and all the volunteers and donors who made this possible. We would also like to thank Johnny Esposito for generously donating fruit for this event.
I'm excited to let you know about another event coming up on September 1st, after Shabbat. Every year, we host a special memorial service for those who have passed away and for those for whom a memorial plaque or tablet has been inscribed over the last year. Remembering our past is an important value for us at Beth Ora and I encourage you to attend this short service. This year, we are presenting something new after the memorial service. At 9:15 pm, we will be screening the movie 'Have a Little Faith.' You can check out the trailer here. The screening will be followed by a short discussion. Of course, refreshments will be served! I hope that many of you will join us for this entertaining and thought provoking event which will provide a wonderful start to the High Holiday season. After, the movie, everyone is invited to join us for a beautiful Selichot service led by Heshy Benshimon. As we continue to attract new members and plan for our future, I invite you all to take advantage of the vibrant and stimulating events offered at Congregation Beth Ora. Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami
What's the Deal with... Rosh Hashana Cards? The custom of sending Rosh Hashana cards dates back to the Middle Ages. Remarkably, that predates the practice of sending Christmas and New Year cards which only became popular in the 19th century! German rabbis in the Middle Ages recommended that letters sent during the month of Elul (the Jewish month we are in now which immediately precedes Rosh Hashana) should open with the blessing "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." The custom gained widespread popularity with the invention of the post card in 1869. The period of 1898-1918 is known as "The Postal Card Craze" and, indeed, in this period the Rosh Hashanah card business bloomed in Germany, Poland and America. Even in an age of electronic communication, Rosh Hashana cards remain a touching and evocative way of wishing friends and family the blessings of a good year ahead.