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Flying Right, Coming Home--A High Holidays Message from CY President Batya Kagan

Yom Kippur 2015

When I was young I distinctly remember what my New Jersey raised father would say when he thought I needed some “gentle guidance:”

Straighten up and Fly Right, would ya?

I think it is safe to say that most of us have come here because we have heard a call that resembles my father’s words (hopefully in gentler tones). We want to live a life of morality, honesty, courage and joy, to fly right in a world where it is easy to get blown off course. So here is Yom Kippur to help us “fly right” but then there is the question: why did we land here at Chadeish Yameinu in particular?

For some of us, it is just easier to hear air traffic control here, whether it’s the spaciousness in the services that are more contemplative, whether it’s Reb Zalman’s legacy of universalist Torah based teachings, or Reb Eli’s humor, kindness and discernment that weave these teachings into our lives in such a gentle and joyous way—we come here.

For some we come here because we need to re-fuel. Our soul-tank is on empty and we fill up here with the lively singing, dancing and welcoming community. We are then back on the tarmac, ready for take-off.

And where do we go? Some of us come here because after re-fueling we like the travel to new and exciting places in our Jewish Journey whether it’s Sufi inspired dancing, Rumi Teachings, singing the morning blessings to a Bruce Cochburn tune, having a truly unique and heart-opening Bar/Bat Mitzvah experience, or being encouraged to lead a service or read from the Torah for our very first time.

Some know it’s safe to land here because of the supportive community, in times of turbulence; our wings got icy and we can thaw out here; we need a hospital visit or even sometimes, a place to grieve.

For some of us, for many of us, it’s because we need a place to land and call home, some place we can always come back to no matter how beautiful or strenuous the journey. These are the people who understand, who’ve been through some of the same ups and downs, whom we’ve formed relationships with that are unbreakable. So we land here.

We may all have different reasons for coming here, in particular, but here we are and we want this place to land when we need it for ourselves and our family. And Yes, the only way to make sure CY continues, bluntly speaking, is to financially contribute. We must pay for our Rabbi, pay for the use of this space, pay our teachers, keep our website up, you get the idea. We actually and absolutely rely on your generous contribution at this time of the year from members and non-members alike so that we can have a place to receive guidance, to refuel, to reach new heights. A place to call home. It is absolutely up to each of us so please put something worthy of your journey in these envelopes.

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