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Credit: Elaine Halpert

A Whole New Level of Positivity: Shaarey Zedek High Holy Day Perspective

By Rabbi Aníbal Mass Aug 8, 2017

Jump to 50% Off Seat Promotion by clicking here.

A Rabbi waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned the Rabbi toward a vacant pump.

“I’m so sorry about the delay”, said the young man. “It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.”

The Rabbi giggled, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”


We are less than two months away from the High Holy Days (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), and although the spirit of this Holiday starts to manifest during the month of Elul (last month of the Jewish year), this is the time when hundreds of families start planning what kind of Service they want to experience.

Meanwhile, at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, we are working hard to be sure that these High Holy Days will offer an unforgettable experience - reflecting our vision to provide a Service that is vibrant, fun, exciting and full of life.

When I grew up in Argentina (and from what I was told, the same thing happened here in Winnipeg), High Holy Day services were a time of year where people would pack the synagogues only to finds themselves blamed for not coming the rest of the year, to be censored for not being able to guarantee the continuity of the Jewish people, to be rebuked for not giving their children a proper Jewish education, etc. A “good Rabbi” was the one who was able to make people feel guilty. You could see people coming in with a smile on their faces and going home without that same smile…

I assure you, we are not going to do that! We believe most people are already stressed, discouraged by life challenges and feeling guilty enough - they don't need to come to a place to be judged and criticized.

We want you to come to Shaarey Zedek to listen to a message that will simply motivate you to keep moving forward, to find encouragement in Jewish teachings to inspire you, to lift you up. We want to help you recognize that the year 5778 could be a new beginning in your life, where you can let go of the old and get ready for a new year with new opportunities to grow and improve.

This year’s service will take you to a whole new level of positivity.

As you might have heard, over the last couple of years we have made some important changes.

For starters, you will find exciting liturgy enhanced by the Shaarey Zedek quartet conducted by Justin Odwak and stimulating messages from Rabbi Green, Rabbi Leibl and myself.

The Services now run for no more than 2 and a half hours.

We designed and produced new Machzorim (Prayer Books) with transliterations for every prayer, together with a modern English translation and insights, explanations and meditations to expand your prayer experience.

The Torah Service now includes a “play-by-play” commentary by Rabbi Leibl so you can understand and relate to what is read from the Bimah (raised platform in the synagogue) instead of being a passive listener.

We are presenting once again a Family Service oriented to families with young children, conducted by Leslie Emery.

Interestingly, we are not really “changing” the Services, but simply adapting the way to communicate a millenary message in a modern, more exciting and meaningful way. As one might say, we are changing the outside of the package, not the contents.

I’m looking forward to celebrating the High Holy Days with you and your family and hope to have the opportunity to wish you a “Happy New Year” in person. Please come and join us - have a look at our special promotion on this page for first time attendees and others who have not come to High Holy Day Services at Shaarey Zedek for 3 or more years, members and non-members alike. We hope to see you here!

Please contact Lara London, High Holy Day Seating Coordinator, at 204-975-3481 or to arrange for your seats. Click here for service information.

Shanah Tovah!

Experience High Holy Days at Shaarey Zedek

Members and Non-Members
50% off Standard Seat Prices
If you haven’t attended in 3+ years or ever
Rosh Hashanah Days 1 & 2, Kol Nidre, and Yom Kippur

Shaarey Zedek has made significant changes over the last few years to enhance our High Holy Day services. We want as many people as possible in the community to experience Yom Tov with us and enjoy the shorter, more meaningful, inclusive and lively services to kick off the Jewish New Year.

Shaarey Zedek is offering an exclusive deal of 50% off ticket prices for Members and Non-Members who have not purchased or attended High Holy Day services with us for 3 or more years.

Check out the fine print below or contact our High Holy Day Seating Coordinator, Lara London, at 204-975-3481 or for more information or to book your seats.

The “Fine Print”

  • Members and Non-Members of Congregation Shaarey Zedek (CSZ) are welcome to take advantage of this offer.
  • In order to qualify for this offer, you must not have purchased HHD tickets or attended Shaarey Zedek HHD Services in the past 3+ years.
  • Shaarey Zedek Members will receive 50% off Member Priced ticket(s).
  • If you are a Member of another Synagogue and want to try our services this year you will receive 50% off Member Priced ticket(s).
  • Non-Synagogue Members will receive 50% off Non-Member Priced ticket(s).
  • All seats subject to availability

Hope to see you at Shaarey Zedek this Yom Tov!

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