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A High Holy Days Message

09/07/2022 01:58:27 PM


Rabbi Edward P. Cohn

Dear friends,

Believe it or not, I have already noticed some subtle changes from Summer to early Autumn here in Rockport. I’m keenly aware that the High Holy Days season will soon arrive and my mind returns to special memories from my youth.

            For instance, one crisp September evening, when I was perhaps nine or ten, I was waiting expectantly on the front porch of our home in Glen Burnie, Maryland. I was waiting for my father who had gone to pick up my grandmom who lived only six blocks from our home and I was full of anticipation on that Rosh HaShanah evening for a new Jewish year to arrive.

            Waiting for them, I was able to see the festive dining room table set with candles, wine, and a bowl of sliced applies with honey. I knew that following that family dinner we would all ride together twenty miles or so into Baltimore where our temple was located. We made sure to bring our copies of the Union Prayer Book II! Even then I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the music – the organ and the choir!

            There was one other realization that was forever set on that September evening. Looking up and down our street and surveying the familiar homes of my best friends, I understood that for them this was a “nothing special night.” And THAT knowledge increased all the more my awareness how much our Jewish faith meant to me.

            No doubt, there are memories which each one of you also treasure of precious dear ones, gathered around the festive holiday table, who once you delighted to see in the glowing candles’ rays. In this increasingly perplexing and challenging world, perhaps we need all the more to embrace our memories and our Jewish traditions, and from them, renew our strength, our faith, and our sense of purpose for the next chapter of our life’s journey.

            To each and every one of you in our temple family, Andrea and I send our very best wishes and most heartfelt Shanah Tovah for a sweet and blessed 5783!

Faithfully yours,
Rabbi Edward Paul Cohn

Mon, April 22 2024 14 Nisan 5784