This year is special for us. 

Can you believe that this will be 20 years of Jewish unity, Torah study, and spiritual growth in the Jack and Miriam Shenkman Building? 

This is a year of celebration, starting with the special event at The Shul with David Babinet, the legendary “baritone bartender.”

Did you know that the celebration is actually taking place all around the world, as thousands of communities and individuals gear up for a year of Hakhel. 

“What is Hakhel?” I hear you asking.

Every seven years, following the Shemitah (Sabbatical year), all the people of Israel—even the little babies—would gather in the Temple in Jerusalem to hear the king read aloud from the Torah. 

This act of unity gave the people the inspiration they needed for the next 6 years of plowing, tilling, planting, and reaping–which today would be equal to commuting, shopping, and stressing over the stock market. In a word: Life. 

Today, the Holy Temple is not with us and Jews may not ascend the Temple Mount. The Lubavitcher Rebbe of righteous memory shared a unique idea that the Hakhel experience lives on. 

Over the course of this coming year, whenever Jewish people get together and share words of Torah and inspiration, they have performed an act of Hakhel. 

It’s that simple. It can happen anywhere, at any time, under any circumstances. 

Share an inspirational story or Torah thought (we have hundreds at ) and make sure to have some tasty kosher refreshments on hand.

“It’s not for me. I’m not the type. My friends aren’t into that kind of stuff.” I hear your thoughts again:) 

And you are absolutely right! 

But not this year. This is the time to set aside our reservations, dig deep into our souls, and reach out to our fellows. It may be awkward at first, but you’ll be amazed at how natural it will soon become. 

On Hakhel, every Jew is the king who can provide leadership and every home is a Holy Temple. Of course you’re going to host a Hakhel—it’s your special mitzvah!

Let’s make it a Hakhel year!