HIGH HOLY DAYS 2017 (5778)





The Santa Monica Synagogue

1448 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404


  • Erev Rosh Hashanah — 7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 20 $40/36 member
  • 1st Day Rosh Hashanah — 9am Thursday, Sept. 21 $80/75 member
  • Tashlich by the Sea with Rabbi Shefa Gold at Temescal Canyon, 3:30PM-FREE
  • 2nd Day Rosh Hashanah Chant and Meditation — 10am Friday, Sept. 22 $80/75 member
  • Erev Yom Kippur/ Kol Nidre —6 pm Friday, Sept.  29 $50/45 member
  • Yom Kippur — 9am-2pm, Sept. 30 $90/80 member
  • Yizkor 4:30 followed by Mincha and N'eila.
  • Yom Kippur break options after morning services —  restorative yoga followed by Yiddish mysticism.

Community Break-the-fast 7:30 — 8:30pm Sept. 30 (with vegan and gf options) $20

All services tickets: $280 members/ $300 non-members. All advance reservations and payments will be handled through online registration.



I write to you today at the time of the New Moon of Elul and on the day of the solar Eclipse that has spread a band of shadow across this land. As we prepare to celebrate the High Holy Days together in just one month, I am reaching out to you through these shadowy times to begin creating together an intention for Renewal and Rebirth.

What is special about Metivta is that it is a community of practice. We’re not just “going to services.” We are collaborating in a project of transformation. The High Holy Days can be a time to deepen our spiritual practice and connect it to the challenges we face.

Whenever I am confronted with a challenge I ask, what is the practice I must do? What are the qualities I must rise to and embody? What is the most expansive response in this moment and what is the long-term strategy? And what treasures from my inheritance might be helpful?

The eclipse and new moon of Elul that just happened comes at the perfect time to meet the challenges of now. The play of light and darkness in the sky mirrors that drama within us. Elul is the time to “up” our practice, in preparation for the holy possibilities of our time together. I want to suggest the following practice. Chant these words or meditate upon them:

Even in the darkness a light shines for the upright, gracious, compassionate and just. (Psalm 112:4)

The light that we shine sustains us through the Darkness, through difficult times. That light awakens in us (and in others) the qualities of Grace, Compassion and a Passion for Justice. This 3 part round is a practice of affirming and strengthening that shining inner light, as we face hard challenges, and scary times.


In this practice, we journey through the confluence of light and darkness and in the breakdown of this duality, we invoke the middot (the Qualities) of Chanun (Grace), Rachum (Compassion) and Tzedek (Justice). The time of an eclipse is an opportunity to hit the re-set button, to emerge from our own darkness and doubt into the possibility of Grace, into the possibility of Compassion' where we birth our passion for the work of Justice.

I am looking forward to being with you, practicing together, learning together and opening in Awe and celebration.