Services, IJSS Annual Meeting, and the ‘R’ Words

Melanie Einbund

On Dec. 16, the Institute for Judaic Services and Studies (IJSS) held the IJSS Annual Meeting. Annual reports and elections for 2023 board members were part of the agenda. Because this article is submitted prior to Dec. 16, election results and action items aren’t listed here.

IJSS begins the New Year with services that will be held on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. Rabbi Seltzer and our liturgical staff will be leading our congregation. An oneg (social gathering) will follow. If you wish to sponsor an oneg, reach out to Sam Horowitz at [email protected].

Services on Dec. 16 were officiated by Rabbi Sanford Seltzer. Eliyanah Powers, our cantorial soloist, and Harrison Sheckler, accompanist, have shown their religious and musical abilities to complement our prayers and thoughts.

Chanukah came two days after our Dec. 16 services; beginning on Dec. 18 and ending Dec. 26. Our early celebration included lighting Chanukiahs (menorahs) and eating foods fried in oil. Fried foods symbolize the oil that burned in the synagogue for eight nights when it was expected to last for one.

A Tradition: Resolutions

On Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), Jews ask how they could have lived up to their better selves during the previous year, and for forgiveness from God and those they have wronged. Jews are not required to make New Year’s resolutions, but a lot of them do anyway. Many just do it because it feels right. The tendency is to look inward and try to be a better person.

To some—and not always the most traditional of Jews—the practice seems a bit un-Jewish, a little too reminiscent of the quickly abandoned resolutions that spur couch potatoes to dig out their workout gear and join a gym in early January.

But many Jews who make Rosh Hashanah resolutions, also make resolutions on Jan. 1, the secular New Year. These tend to vary from eating more healthy foods, keeping an organized house, and more.

Choosing to make a New Year’s resolution bears some weight on your thoughts, where you are and mindfully and where you want to be. How you follow through is up to you.

When thinking about resolutions, I also thought about several ‘R’ words that describe the chance to begin again, including “refresh,” “renew,” “rejuvenate,” and “reset.” These words share ‘re’ in the beginning of the word. So I looked up ‘re’ to get a better understanding of its function before the noun. ‘Re’ is a prefix used to describe doing it again. So, I guess we look to renew ourselves through our resolutions to reset, rejuvenate, and refresh once again. Am I making resolutions? Frankly, I need to rethink it.

IJSS is a small and welcoming congregation. We value our members and their needs. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, please feel free to contact Joan Elder at 520-360-1478 or Seth Eisner at 520-818-6340 for information.

With wishes to all for a happy holiday season and a new year to renew and refresh. May we resolve to do so.