The Jewish month of Tishrei is a very special month in the Jewish calendar. No other month has as many “holy days” one following the other. The students of Ohr Chadash had an opportunity this year to both learn and experience the holidays of Tishrei. Students and Rabbis brought in their shofars and blew then for all the students. Each shofar blower tried to coax the strongest, clearest and longest sounds from their shofar. The longest Tekiyah Gedolah-final solid sound-in school history lasted an amazing 45 seconds.
For slightly over three weeks, from Rosh Hashanah-the Jewish New Year-until Simchat Torah-the joyous celebration of the completion of the Torah reading cycle-the children had many opportunities to experience and put into practice what they learned in school. Beginning with attending services and praying along with their families and hearing the shofar, symbolically ridding themselves of their “sins” at Tashlich, fasting all or part of the day on Yom Kippur for the first time, shaking the lulav and etrog at services and in the Sukkah and eating some meals in the Sukkah and finally dancing with the Torah at hakafot, our students experienced some of these mitzvoth and many of the children experienced all of them.
On the Wednesday of Hol haMoed-intermediate day-of Sukkot, Rabbis Kogan and Romano conducted the “Wednesdays with the Rabbis” in the HJC Sukkah. Enjoying the unusually warm day, Rabbi Kogan asked the children to think about the difference between a house and a home and what it means to them. Rabbi Romano taught the children the names and characteristics of the 4 parts of the lulav and etrog.
On Sunday, which coincided with Hoshana Rabba- the final day of Sukkot, the children bundled up in winter clothes shook the lulav and etrog for the final time and enjoyed cupcakes, potato chips and juices in the Sukkah. The children learned first-hand the extremes that we endure while sitting in the Sukkah.
It was a wonderful month and despite the many days off, the children learned about Tishrei and the many holidays we have the opportunity to celebrate.