The Three Yoms: The Weeks End, May 3
May 3rd 2024

Every year, but particularly in a Jewish leap-year, I am struck by the confluence of reading the Torah portions of Acharei Mot (this Shabbat) and Kedoshim (next Shabbat) in the period that we mark and then celebrate the three modern “Yoms” – Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron (Remembrance Day for Israel’s fallen soldiers) and Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day). Doom and peril, repentance and expiation, rebuilding, sanctification, hope, restoration and celebration. We see it in both the Torah reading and in the haftarot. The theme of a land that has become defiled and is restored by living a moral and ethical life is particularly poignant at this time.

It is ten days from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur. It is likewise ten days from erev Yom Hashoah through Yom Ha’atzmaut. I urge you to read an influential and now revised essay by Rabbi Donniel Hartman: From Yom Hashoah to Yom Ha’atzmaut: The New ‘High Holidays’ of Israel. As well, there is a podcast with Rabbi Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain discussing their own experiences of the annual Israeli experience of moving, in the space of a few hours from a day of mourning to a night of celebration. To listen to that episode, click here>>

All three of the participants have been guests at Beth Tzedec in the past.

We are excited that Yossi Klein HaLevi will be joining us again on May 14 at 7:30 p.m. to speak on unpacking October 7 and its aftermath as a turning point in Jewish history, followed by a celebration of Yom Haatzmaut. Please register for this event. To register, click here>>

On the evening of Monday, May 6, between Minchah and Maariv, we will light the Yom Hashoah candelabrum with appropriate readings. On Tuesday, May 7, between Minchah and Maariv, our ShinShinim will speak about the Yom HaZikaron installation that they are creating in the foyer. To register for this event, please click here>>

On Wednesday night May 29 at 7:30 p.m. please join us for a special concert of music from the Shoah: Silent Tears and Thieves of Dreams. Payadora’s Silent Tears: The Last Yiddish Tango is an award-winning concert program based on testimonies of women in Canada who survived the Holocaust. Lenka Lichtenberg's Thieves of Dreams: Songs of Theresienstadt's Secret Poetess is a Juno Award-winning album based on poetry that Lenka’s grandmother had written while imprisoned at Theresienstadt concentration camp during the Holocaust. After touring the world, these two award-winning projects come together for this rare concert event with special guest Aviva Chernick. Come together for an evening of exquisite music, moving from the delights of falling in love to the horrors suffered at the hands of tyrants. Celebrate the survival and resilience of the women whose stories and poetry are the basis for these projects. (Please note: "Silent Tears" contains graphic and violent content.) This program is sponsored by the Singer Family, in loving memory of Sylvia and David Singer z"l. There is cost for the program. To register, please click here>>