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and prepare for the High Holy Days with us during Elul.

The month of Elul allows us to prepare our entire selves for the New Year. Please read below for all the ways you can take part in this transformation.

Elul Book Club

Wednesdays
September 4, 11, 18 & 25
6:30-8:00 PM
Star of the Sea

Every soul needs to express itself. Every heart needs to crack itself open. Every one of
us needs to move from anger to healing, from denial to consciousness, from boredom to
renewal. These needs did not arise yesterday. They are among the most ancient of
human yearnings, and they are fully expressed in the pageantry and ritual of the Days
of Awe, in the great journey we make between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

–This is Real…p. 9

Overview
Step into the sacred rhythm of Elul, (the month preceding the High Holy Days) a time
steeped in introspection and spiritual readiness. Embark on a journey of self-discovery
and transformation with the Elul Book Club as we delve into the timeless wisdom of
Rabbi Alan Lew's masterpiece, This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The
Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation
.

*Each of the four sessions will build upon each other but can also stand alone–you may
sign up for any or all of the four sessions. Please register for each session you plan to
attend.*

Book
Purchase of the book is highly encouraged. Please support your local
independent bookseller! PDFs of the selected chapters will also be made
available to participants.

Title: This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of
Awe as a Journey of Transformation


Author: Rabbi Alan Lew


https://www.greenapplebooks.com/book/9780316830201

Schedule

Meeting One

Wednesday, September 4

Topic: Understanding the task of spiritually preparing for the Days of Awe. In this session we’ll sketch out the journey and begin to make inroads on what is being asked of us.

Read: Chapter One, “The Soul Stretches Out to Contain Itself: A Map of the Journey”

 

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Meeting Two

Wednesday, September 11

Topic: Translated as return or repentance, teshuvah is the underlying principle of the season. In this session we’ll unpack what it means, how it has been understood, and how to perceive it today.

Read: Chapter Two, “Everywhere He Went, He Was Heading for Home: Teshuvah”

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Meeting Three

Wednesday, September 18

Topic: During the month of Elul the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown each day, an alarm clock that is meant to tell us to wake up and get ready.

Read: Chapter Four, “The Horn Blew and I Began to Wake Up: Elul”

 

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Meeting Four

Wednesday, September 25

Topic: Selichot is the name of the service that takes place on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah. It contains prayers and songs asking forgiveness and healing. With less than one week to go before Rosh Hashanah, this concluding session will prepare us to enter through the gates of the Days of Awe with integrity and humility.

Read: Chapter Five, “This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: Selichot"

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Organ Meditation

Friday, September 6

5:00 - 5:45 pm

Main Sanctuary

Please join us as we have a quiet opportunity to sit in our magnificent sanctuary and listen to the tradition High Holy Days melodies as performed by our organist, John Hirten.

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Stroll Through the Redwoods

Friday, September 13

4:45 - 5:45 pm

Presidio

Please join us for a time of meditation and music, reflection and preparation for the Holy Days ahead of Shabbat services with Rabbi Sydney Mintz, Rabbi Noah Westreich and Cantor Marsha Attie. 

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Selichot

Saturday, September 28
11:00 pm - 12:00 am
Main Sanctuary
 

Selichot is the first major ritual to transition us into a High Holy Day mindset. Tradition teaches that midnight through dawn is a time of God's mercy, that is why Selichot is customarily done late in the evening. As we pray, we'll change our Torah covers to white.

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High Holy Day Mikvot

The High Holy Days are a time where we open ourselves up and look deep inside our souls to examine who we have been and who we want to be. We confront who we are and what we can change, as well as what we cannot control. 

Men's Mikvah with Rabbi Ryan Bauer 

Friday, October 4, 7:00 - 8:30 am

Meet at Baker Beach

Please join us for our beautiful annual ritual of mikvah including meditation, chanting and immersion in the incredible Pacific Ocean at Baker Beach. Please bring warm clothes, a towel and an open heart. Our 7:00 am mikvah is for male community members.​

REGISTER HERE

Women's Mikvah with Rabbi Sydney Mintz

Friday, October 4, 8:00 - 9:30 am

Meet at Baker Beach

Please join us for our beautiful annual ritual of mikvah including meditation, chanting and immersion in the incredible Pacific Ocean at Baker Beach. Please bring warm clothes, a towel and an open heart. Our 8:00 am mikvah is for female community members.​

REGISTER  HERE

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