For Shavuot in May 2020 during Covid we asked students and alumni to submit Torah insights and inspiration to share with others for Shavuot. It turned out to be a beautiful, meaningful and enriching booklet (most got it in PDF format).  Special thanks to Chani Rubin for the beautiful design, formatting and layout! 

We are now trying to do the same for the upcoming High Holidays. This year, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, won’t be the same for many of us, so it is all the more reason to prepare a booklet of diverse, interesting, meaningful material for fellow students, alumni, and extended Shabbos House family to read and enjoy. 

Do you have an idea, insight, story, explanation or teaching to share? It can be on a section of the High Holiday prayers, the effect of the Shofar or Yom Kippur fasting, the symbolic or traditional foods, the vibe and atmosphere, a great sermon you once heard or a favorite family memory. Please email us your submission! 

Why are we titling this series “Archways in Torah?” First of all, everyone who went to UAlbany is very familiar with its ubiquitous myriad of archways. And archways have lots of symbolism. They are supportive yet open, they are entrances and exits at the same time, they are guideposts that draw and raise our eyes upward and frame our perspective. UAlbany buildings have many archways on every side, for all its length and breadth, from every angle. All of this can be a metaphor for Torah.

In his very first public letter (August 31, 1950) the Rebbe wrote, “There is no man or woman in Israel who cannot, in some way, positively impact his or her fellow Jews.” He would often encourage: “If you know Alef, then teach Alef, even if you haven’t yet learned the letter Bet.” The Rebbe was insistent that each of us have a unique mission and contribution, that each of us is likened to the sun and the moon, we each ought to be both a giver and a recipient. Regardless of levels of knowledge or observance, we each have what to give and take, that which we can learn from and what we have to teach each other. Hence this booklet with a smorgasbord of Torah insights from and by our extended UAlbany Jewish community.