Earlier this week, Rav Will Keller, our Director of Jewish Life, started our New Student Orientation with this inspiring pasuk (liturgical phrase):
זֶה הַיוֹם עָשָׂע יהוה נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בו
This is the day G-d made, let us celebrate and be glad. (Psalms 118:24)
At Barrack, we mark the beginning of our school year with celebration and joy. Joy in being reunited and joy in new beginnings. At yesterday’s opening day pep rally led by our seniors, our Barrack Cougar mascot welcomed our students into the gym. Dressed in my traditional newspaper attire, I inquired “What’s New?” and our students chorused back in Hebrew “?מה חדש (Mah Chadash?)” Amidst singing and dancing, we introduced our 63 new students and 11 new staff members and ended our pep rally with a grand shofar blast.
I explained that the daily sounding of the shofar during this Hebrew month of Elul, the last one in the Jewish calendar, (which, interestingly, always coincides with the first month of school) serves as a reminder of the passing of time, that nothing ever stays the same, and that as we celebrate each day we must look toward what lies ahead.
Elul is our prelude, a time of reawakening and of preparation. As we are celebrating the start of school, we are thinking about the future and the potential of the new year. I hope that you all had a wonderfully restful and restorative summer, and I wish you and your families a celebratory and peaceful שבת שלום Shabbat Shalom. We are looking forward to a successful and joyful 2019-20 academic year.
Sharon P. Levin
Head of School