HAZZAN NOTES

After Pesach we move into a variety of special days in May and June! April 30 is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. There’ll be a special community service at Shirat Hayam that evening. Please come and represent Beth El with significant numbers. More information wlll be forthcoming. In Israel a siren sounds midday to remember the Six Million victims. Everything stops for those moments. People stop working, traffic stops and people get out of their cars. Everyone is quiet and stands in solemn commemoration. May 8 is Yom HaZikaron where we remember the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism in the State of Israel. A special siren again sounds midday in Israel and the country again comes to a halt. In the evening after Yom HaZikaron is complete, Israel parties as the day morphs into Yom HaAtsmaut – Israel Independence Day which goes thru the 9th. In our community there will be a special event in the evening of the 9th for Yom HaAtsmaut. More information will be forthcoming. The countdown is on towards Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks connecting Pesach with the Giving of the 10 Commandments at Mount Sinai. This is one of the three Shalosh Regalim, the Pilgrimage Holidays. It’s called Pilgrimage because in the days of the Holy Temple people from all over the land of Israel would bring a large portion of their farm goods to the Temple in Jerusalem. For us it’s a celebration of the Giving of the Law. We have two days of Yom Tov on June 9 and 10. Yizkor will be approximately 10:30 a.m. on the 10th. We eat Dairy because traditionally when the laws of Kashrut were given at Sinai, there wasn’t enough time to decipher the laws concerning meat so the Israelites ate dairy. Another theory states that the giving of the law was so profound that no killing should take place, even the slaughter of animals. While two of the days mentioned are solemn, the other days are festive, so enjoy the season as we move closer to summer!

Cantor Ralph Goren