Cantor’s Column – November 2020

Mar Heshvan – A Month of Gratitude

Cantor Ilan Davidson

Does anybody know what important Jewish holidays take place in the month of Heshvan? That’s right, you got it, the Holy Day of NOTHING!!!

Yes, the month of Heshvan, the month following Tishrei, when we celebrate the High Holy Days, Sukkot, and Simhat Torah, is the only Jewish month devoid of holidays. That doesn’t mean it needs to be devoid of community. In fact, I have always found Heshvan to be a month for gratitude.

During the previous month, we have spent time taking stock of our lives, recognizing where we need to improve, and perhaps even making our Rosh HaShanah New Year’s resolutions. (I still haven’t lost my Covid 10 pounds) Next month, Kislev, we will focus on Hanukkah and re-dedication. So why not spend this relaxed month focusing on gratitude, after all, as Americans, it often leads us to Thanksgiving. So, here goes:

This difficult time over the past eight months would not have been nearly as successful for our community, were it not for many, many special people. Rabbi Kail has been such a blessing in my life and in our temple’s life. She has been a true clergy partner, for whom I am so grateful. I don’t know where any of us would be without Carrie and Shoni in the Temple offices, keeping everybody connected and informed, and always greeting everybody with a smile. Adam and Ron have continued to care for our building, even without us there, overseeing repairs and deep cleanings, so that it will be ready for us when we are ready to reenter. Bob Remstein continues to provide musical support and direction, even through recordings. Our presidents, both past and current, have been ably guiding us through this pandemic, with our community’s safety at the forefront of every decision, along with our incredible board and committee chairs. Our choir members recorded their beautiful music for the High Holy Days, including our outside volunteers and our professional singers, bringing an even deeper beauty to our services. And you, our congregation, have supported our programs and services, often volunteering to lead us in prayer, meditation, and learning.

I feel so very blessed to be leading this incredibly generous, spiritual, and committed community. As we begin to prepare for Thanksgiving, I am filled with such gratitude, and although the limitations on size of this article only allow me to scratch the surface, I know that we are all feeling the same. May this be a special Thanksgiving, where we include in our gratitude list, all that our unique community has offered all of us over this past year.