By Rabbi Joel Mosbacher

You’re going back to school. You’re starting a new business. You’re contemplating running for office. You’ve decided to audition again. You’re standing up for yourself at work or in a relationship. You’ve decided to convert to Judaism after many years of living a Jewish life.

These are just a few of the stories you have shared with me, inspired by my Rosh Hashanah sermon on being willing to fail. I am so moved by your willingness to take a leap of faith, and also by your openness to share that journey with me. I would love to hear your story if you haven’t yet shared it with me.

I made a public commitment on Rosh Hashanah about a risk I would take, and this Friday night, as a part of our Chanukah service, I will share the song I have written. I only ask that you be patient with me; as I said in the sermon, I was told that I might have to write 100 bad songs before I write a good one. DISCLAIMER: this is only the third song I’ve ever written – but I’ve been working hard, and I hope you’ll enjoy it!

(UPDATE: Jump to the 50:20 mark in the recording of our Friday, December 7 Erev Shabbat service to check out Rabbi Mosbacher’s song »)

This is a beautiful week of celebration for the Jewish people in general, and Shaaray Tefila in particular. We are lighting the menorah in the lobby together each evening at 6:15pm through Thursday, and I hope you’ll come by. Last night City Councilman Ben Kallos and State Senator Liz Kruger joined us!

I also hope to see you Friday night at 6:00pm with your favorite menorah as we light the Chanukah candles together in the Davis Auditorium then move to the sanctuary for our festive Chanukah service at 6:15pm. All of our choirs will sing, we’ll celebrate December birthdays, and I’ll share my willingness to fail with you. Will the song be a success? I guess you’ll be the judge!

What’s for sure is that it’s going to be another beautiful Erev Shabbat service, so please please bring friends who are not yet members of the congregation to join you, and make sure you introduce me to them. Exciting things are happening here; there’s so much to be proud of in your sacred community.

May this be a season of light and joy for you and those you love, and may you be willing to fail so that you may rise!

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