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High Holy Days at the Synagogue

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Despite a somewhat anticipated bleak outlook on tourism in Crete and Greece in general as a consequence of the economic ‘crisis’ that has affected us all, for the High Holidays we had blessings… This year we were doubly blessed by the appearance of Lior Asher along with Gabriel Negrin who lead services for the 70+ congregants who came to our Synagogue. Lior came from Tel Aviv as he has done for several years now to blow the shofar. And Gabriel came from Athens to lead the service. Immediately after the service we all gathered for the traditional fish dinner, at a local restaurant.

The following day Lior left for Tel Aviv and then, on the eve of Yom Kippour he unexpectedly  returned in order to lead the Kol NIdre and remained until after the Fast had ended when he left by car to Heraklion to catch the midnight flight back to Tel Aviv. Whether through fate or accident his presence and unobtrusive leadership for the services marked by significant and relevant silent pauses in the services fit well into our spirit.   Especially so this year, as on the eve of Neilah Mr Stavroulakis had a fall in the street that left several (initially ignored) ribs broken.  Lior is the person who once said to me that what he loved about our synagogue is the fact that his prayers soured up to heaven out of it.  All of the High Holidays were well attended with the Synagogue filled to almost capacity for both.

SUKKOT – The supports for the Sukkah were brought into the courtyard as usual after Yom Kippour, and  Alex and Besnik put it up. The blessings over the Sukkah were by read by Roger Yayom and with the help of Ahouvah Amar and some members of the Havurah, lavish quantities of food were prepared for a buffet dinner after.  This year, for the first in several the thatched roof of palm branches had to be re-placed by some acquired from neighbor’s palms as ours sadly died this year. Lulav and Etrogim were provided by the Athens Jewish Community.  By this time Mr Stavroulakis was in the clinic from which he emerged on Simhat Torah.

We wish all our friends every blessing for this coming year – which at this juncture appears to anticipate no relief. YOUR HELP will be most deeply appreciated during it.

N Stavroulakis

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