Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
Likewise, my wife has had a very similar experience each Rosh Hashanah since we moved to Harrisburg. However, her trip down memory lane occurs well before HaYom HaRas Olam. Layala grew up in Brooklyn, where she greatly enjoyed listening to her father lead the davening each Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur. From the get-go, my father-in-law’s melodies are different from those sung by our shul’s chazzan. As such, while following along in her Machzor, my wife softly sings all of her father’s tunes to herself.
For Layala, these familiar melodies evoke the wonderful memories of her loving family, a very happy childhood, and Yom Tovim spent in the company of her dear grandparents.
I would wager we each have familiar tunes for various parts of the Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur davening that can transport us back to meaningful times and places in our lives.
Where did you travel this past Rosh Hashanah?
Rabbi Akiva and Layala Males recently spent their fifth Rosh Hashanah together with Kesher Israel Congregation in Harrisburg, PA.
About the Author: Kesher Israel Congregation’s Rabbi Akiva Males can be reached at email@example.com.
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On the first day of this past Rosh Hashanah, I visited Milwaukee while my wife, Layala, traveled back to the shul of her youth in Brooklyn. When we met up later in the day for Yom Tov lunch at our Harrisburg, Pennsylvania home, we had a number of experiences to share with each other.
As a synagogue rabbi I try to keep my eyes open to see how or if I can incorporate personal experiences into my weekly Shabbos sermon. Recently, I represented my shul at the Orthodox Union’s (OU) annual mission to Washington, DC (June 14-15). On my way to one of the first events, I joked with a rabbi friend from Charleston, South Carolina that I was hoping to return with some good material for that week’s sermon.
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