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News & Shmooze 

1851 Noriega Street San Francisco, CA 94122 ● (415) 564-5665
The Rabbi's Blog: Living Jewish in San Francisco

With Sukkot beginning Friday night, I would like to share two articles with you about how to appreciate the deeper meaning of this holiday. The first piece is by R. Benjamin Blech, which explains how Sukkot is meant to teach us “The Difference Between Success and Happiness.” The second article, by Rabbi Eli Belizon of Young Israel of Fairlawn, NJ, focuses on understanding “The True Beauty Of The Esrog.” Read more.

Shabbat Sukkot
Friday, October 2- Sunday, October 4
Friday, October 2
7:45am    Shacharit 
6:32pm    Candlelighting
6:35pm    Mincha/Ma'ariv 

Shabbat, October 3
9:30am     Shacharit 
6:25pm     Mincha/Ma'ariv
7:28pm     Havdalah/Kiddush
Sunday, October 4
Sukkot II

9:30am    Shacharit 
6:30pm    Mincha/Ma'ariv

7:27pm    Havdalah

Monday-Thursday, Octber 5-8
Sukkot III-VI
7:45am    Shacharit
6:25pm    Mincha/Ma'ariv
Adath Israel Zoom World

Freida Greenspan for the Yahrzeit of her beloved husband, Henry Greenspan
Ava Brand for Yom Kippur Yizkor
Gloria Mendelsohn for the Yahrzeit of Chanina Mendelsohn
Adam & Carrie Dove for the Yahrzeit of Susan Dove
Velvel & Irina Brodskiy towards the building of the backyard women’s deck
Anatole Zelkin in memory of Isaak Zelkin, Dora Rivina, Gersul Zelkin, Mina Rivina and Valery Pasynkov
Ben Shapiro for a Shana Tova
Abraham Zeif for a Shana Tova
Estelle Monderer & Harry Lenczner in appreciation for the Rosh Hashanah packages
Alex & Boruch Kilunov for Yom Kippur Yizkor
Alex & Boruch Kilunov in honor of Rabbi Landau, for his dedication to the community, walking 7 miles to blow the shofar for members of the community
Rivka & Gershon Shif for Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund
Abe Newman for Yom Kippur Yizkor
Adam & Gabi Tabak for the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund

Diane Assayag & John Banner for a Shana Tova
Daniel & Natalie Kaplan for a Shana Tova
Keiko & Malcom Berman for a Shana Tova    

Lloyd Klein in honor of his grandson, Cayden Fox Klein-Orminsky
Bina Mitchell for the General Fund
Sally Weiss, Amy & Barry Greenberg for Yom Kippur Yizkor
Eugenia Zelkin for Yom Kippur Yizkor
Corinne & Elad Vaknin and family for Yom Kippur Yizkor for Corinne’s beloved father, Menachem Kurzbard
Pinky Kurzbard for Yom Kippur Yizkor for her beloved husband, Menachem Kurzbard

Yom Kippur Thank Yous To:
Jonathan Lebo and Ya’akov Helwani for setting up the outdoor lighting
Daniel Benchetrite for organizing and leading a Sefardic service
Ya’akov Helwani for obtaining Sefardic machzorim from Magen David
Vivian Beniflah Rosenberg from Magen David, who provided the machzorim
Rabbi Yisroel Zaetz for leining for the Sefardic service

High Holiday Newsletter
Looking for some High Holiday inspiration? Check out our High Holiday Newsletter and Insights for the High Holiday Season. Thank you to all of our generous donors! For the most up-to date details on this year's High Holiday season, please see the Adath Israel website
Enjoy Metropolitan Sushi
Something new is cooking at Metropolitan Sushi. Check out the new Mexican themed menu, or the classic sushi and Shabbat menus. 
Sukkot Torah Reading in a Nutshell

The reading begins with an injunction that a newborn calf, lamb, or kid must be left with its mother for seven days; one may not slaughter an animal and its offspring on the same day.

The reading then lists the annual Callings of Holiness — the festivals of the Jewish calendar: the weekly Shabbat; the bringing of the Passover offering on 14 Nissan; the seven-day Passover festival beginning on 15 Nissan; the bringing of the Omer offering from the first barley harvest on the 2nd day of Passover, and the commencement, on that day, of the 49-day Counting of the Omer, culminating in the festival of Shavuot on the 50th day; a "remembrance of shofar blowing" on 1 Tishrei; a solemn fast day on 10 Tishrei; the Sukkot festival — during which we are to dwell in huts for seven days and take the "Four Kinds" — beginning on 15 Tishrei; and the immediately following holiday of the "8th day" of Sukkot (Shemini Atzeret). G-d declares the fifteenth day (and the subsequent 6 days) of the seventh month to be a holy convocation, no work shall be done during that time. The reading then describes the Sukkot offerings which were brought in the Holy Temple. (

Sukkot Thought
By Rav Mordechai Kamenestky

Something is very special about Jewish Holidays. Of course, the atmosphere is unique, the rituals are delightful, and the warmth and spirit are inspiring. However, there is one particular aspect about every Jewish Holiday that makes it different than Shabbos. Hashem gave the ability to declare the dates of the holidays specifically to His people. The months of the year are determined exclusively by the Bais Din (Jewish Courts) who establish when a month begins and when a month ends. Thus, the Bais Din actually controls the destiny and timing of the holidays. If Rosh Chodesh is determined to be on a particular day, then the holiday that is to fall on the 15th day of the month is determined by Bais Din’s initial Rosh Chodesh declaration. In this week’s portion, the Torah states this enormous power clearly and emphatically as it enumerates the holidays and details many aspects of their observance. The Torah defines the Yomim Tovim as, “Hashem’s appointed festivals that you are to designate as holy convocations” (Leviticus:23-2). Clearly, the Torah states that it is us, the human court system that is to designate the holidays. In fact the Talmud relates that Rabbi Gamliel had declared the first of Tishrei on a particular day and was challenged by Rabbi Yehoshua who would have had declared Rosh Chodesh (the new month) on a different day. Tishrei is the month in which Yom Kippur occurs and the discrepancy in the Rosh Chodesh date raised major ramifications. So important was the concept of a unified declaration as to when the month begins and ends, that in order to authenticate the ruling of his Bais Din, Rabbi Gamliel asked Rabbi Yehoshua to visit him on what should have been the latter’s Yom Kippur with his staff and money belt. So Hashem declares that it is we, who declare the holidays. Yet the verse that says, “Hashem’s appointed festivals that you are to designate as holy convocations” ends with the words “these are My appointed festivals” (Leviticus: 23-2)

What does the ending, “My appointed festivals” mean? Why is it necessary? Didn’t Hashem just tell us that we declare the Yom Tov?

After Israel liberated Jerusalem in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, it found itself with additional territory. One particular parcel, a Jordanian military base that overlooked the capitol and was used to shell the civilian population, was purchased by a real estate magnate. He decided to allow an educational institution to use the large parcel until he decided what he would do with it.

The dedication ceremony was full of pomp and circumstance. Everyone was delighted that the very place that was once a bastion of terror was now becoming an institution of education. An Israel Army general named Ben-Uzi was the guest speaker. After discussing the virtues of the philanthropist and the institution, he ended his speech with the following impression. “Imagine,” he exclaimed, “only a few weeks ago all of this land was theirs. And now, “he paused and added triumphantly, “it is ours!”

All of a sudden, a voice interrupted. It was none other than the philanthropist himself. “Ben-Uzi!” he declared, “Oh, no. It is not ours. It is mine!”

G-d Almighty gave the sages tremendous power in establishing the Yomim Tovim. They could change the dates and fate of Passover or Yom Kippur by declaring the New Moon either a day earlier or later. Yet Hashem still wanted to re-affirm one point. No matter how much power the Bais Din might have, they were to remember one simple fact. The Holidays are Mine. When humans take too much control, they may tend to give an all-too-human character to the holiness of the festival. Passover may become the festival of liberation from physical bondage with no mention of the spiritual liberation we also experienced. Sukkos may be rendered the holiday of the homeless and the meaning of the spiritual clouds may be totally ignored. Shavuos may become a celebration of intellectual acquirement and not a celebration of our bond to the holy Torah. Even as we revel in the fact that we declare the holidays, Hashem is there to remind us, albeit gently, “No, Ben-Uzi, they are mine!”

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