Shalom & Welcome to
Rabbi Dina-Hasida Mercy's Website!
Where Judaism is relevant, meaningful and joyful.
Welcoming the Shabbat
You may ask why the first mitzvah of Shabbat is the kindling of lights. That is because Shabbat is actually a celebration of the Creator and His Creation. G‑d’s creation of the world follows a seven-day cycle, which peaks each Shabbat and begins anew. At Creation, the first thing that was brought into being was light. Therefore, it is appropriate to kindle lights at the start of Shabbat in commemoration of the first light that was created.
Blogs, Information, News, History, Community & More...
Our Most Recent Blogs
Sukkot is a weeklong Jewish holiday that comes five days after Yom Kippur. Sukkot celebrates the gathering of the harvest and commemorates the miraculous protection G‑d provided for the children of Israel when they left Egypt. We celebrate Sukkot by dwelling in a foliage-covered booth (known as a sukkah) and by taking the “Four Kinds” (arba minim), four special species of vegetation. Sukkot also means “booths” or “huts” in…
Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement.” It is the holiest and most solemn day of the Jewish year and is a fast day. According to tradition, at the end of Yom Kippur, God “seals” our fates for the coming year (i.e., whether we will be inscribed in the Book of Life). The main themes of this day are sin, repentance…
The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is blowing the shofar (ram’s horn) on both mornings of the holiday (except on Shabbat), which is normally done in the synagogue as part of the day’s services. Rosh Hashanah feasts traditionally include round challah bread (studded with raisins) and apples dipped in honey, as well as other foods that symbolize our wishes for a sweet year. Other Rosh Hashanah observances include candle lighting in the evenings…
Felonious Monk is celebrating Tu Bishvat with a (daydream) hike in the Holyland! He is resting against an olive tree that is hundreds of years old. He reflects on how peaceful it is here with an ancient symbol of peace (remember the dove and the olive branch from the story of Noah?). He says a quiet prayer asking peace for…
Important Upcoming Dates
Our Next Major Holiday(s)
Begins: sunset Friday, September 15, 2023
Ends: evening Sunday, September 17, 2023
According to traditional Jewish law, no work is permitted
Rosh Hashanah, first of the High Holidays and is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and a day of judgment and coronation of G‑d as king. Rosh Hashanah means “Head of the Year”. It is a day of celebration as well as reflection about the previous year and changes we want to make in the year ahead.
Begins: sunset Sunday, September 24, 2023
Ends: evening Monday, September 25, 2023
According to traditional Jewish law, no work is permitted.
Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement.” It is the holiest and most solemn day of the Jewish year and is a fast day. According to tradition, at the end of Yom Kippur, God “seals” our fates for the coming year (i.e., whether we will be inscribed in the Book of Life). The main themes of this day are sin, repentance (teshuvah) and atonement.
Begins: sunset Friday, September 29, 2023
Ends: evening Friday, October 6, 2023
According to traditional Jewish law, no work is permitted during the first 2 days.
Sukkot means “booths” or “huts” in Hebrew and is named for the temporary structures in which Jews “dwell” during the holiday. Meals are eaten in the sukkah, and many choose to sleep, read and hang out in them as well. According to a tradition from the Talmud, the sukkah represents the portable huts or tabernacles in which the Israelites lived during the 40 years they wandered the desert.
Sukkot combines themes of joy and vulnerability. It is a joyful holiday, a time when we focus on the simple pleasure of being close to nature and with family