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Hoshana Rabba, Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah

10/07/2020 10:36:54 PM




Hoshana Rabba, Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah


Greetings Friends,


Our first days of Sukkot were magnificent. We are especially grateful to Choni Bellino for his flawless Torah reading, to David Lessman for his preparation of our beautiful sukkot, and to Vincenzo Aiosa and staff for their dedicated support inside and outside of our building.


Hoshana Rabba Shacharit will be held this Friday morning at 8:00 AM in the Main Sanctuary. Hoshanot bundles will be made available. Hoshana Rabba on Sixth Street is surprisingly efficient and always beautiful. Please consider joining us.


Sadly, the final days of the holiday will look very different this year. Our absolute insistence upon social distancing - especially indoors - precludes us from observing many of the Simchat Torah practices that we are used to. The recent Covid uptick has only strengthened our resolve to act boldly (and creatively) to protect our community, our neighborhood, and beyond.

Please be aware of the following holiday modifications:

  • No evening services will be held.
  • Morning services will meet at 9:00 AM on both days. They will run quicker than usual. Yizkor on Shemini Atzeret will be recited at approximately 10:15 AM.
  • The scroll of Ecclesiastes will not be read.
  • Daytime Hakkafot will be performed by one person. The rest of us will observe/participate from our seats.
  • No extra Aliyot will be given.
  • Simchat Torah honors will be given to those who have prepared the readings.
  • Choni and his father will perform every Hagba/Gelila, unless another father/son duo is available.
  • A modest To-Go Kiddush will be made available outside.

As always: Anyone who is feeling unwell or is immunocompromised is religiously prohibited from participating in public prayer services. Anyone who is even nervous about exposure is released from the general obligation of public prayer.


We share your disappointment. We have now canceled or significantly modified our three Sixth Street Pilgrimage Festivals - Purim, Lager Ba'Omer, and now Simchat Torah. That said, we are proud of our decisions to rethink these events and confident that our vigilance and foresight have saved lives.


Thank you for your continued interest, flexibility, and support. We look forward to experiencing Simchat Torah in this new way and we wish you continued good health and a joyful (albeit modified) holiday season. 


Gavriel Bellino, Rabbi
Elie Yudewitz, President

Sun, July 14 2024 8 Tammuz 5784