Dallas Doings: Eclipse watch, preparing for High Holidays

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Data of Plano’s Soul Shift will inspire for the High Holidays

If you read Rabbi Yogi Robkin’s biweekly TJP column, you know this is a guy who loves to teach Torah and Judaism. The DATA of Plano co-director has been busy preparing his latest set of classes in preparation for the High Holidays. The three-part series will run from 8 to 9 p.m. on consecutive Wednesdays beginning Aug. 30 at DATA of Plano, 3251 Independence Pkwy. in Plano.
Robkin explained that sometimes it’s disappointing that we enter into the High Holidays with the intention of transforming ourselves but that oftentimes we are left wanting because the change doesn’t last for very long. The question is how do you create change that will take root. “The goal of the class is that the change you make through the wisdom of the class will last beyond the High Holidays,” he says.

Rabbi Yogi Robkin
Rabbi Yogi Robkin

The class is accessible to everyone from the secular Jew to the Torah-observant.
“Regardless of where we are on the religious spectrum, there are things we all want to change that we aren’t comfortable with. Whether it’s character traits, self-image, anything that we’ve noticed that we want to change about our lives.”
To engage those considering the class, Robkin has produced three short videos tackling some of the basics of change to whet the appetite. They can be viewed on YouTube by searching Soul Shift with Rabbi Yogi or at Facebook.com/rabbiyogirobkin. “There is a dearth of really high-quality videos on Jewish wisdom. What I want people to think about whether it’s a column or a video is that it should be fun, dynamic, meaningful and hopefully transformational.”
Rabbi Robkin hopes that his class will be engaging and transformational. He said this is not a class about halachah. The class is based on two key sources: Rabbi Reuven Leuchter, who has a new book called Teshuvah: Restoring Life, and the Mahahral of Prague (often credited with creating the Golem), who also wrote a book on teshuvah.
“My classes are taught in a way that’s really understandable for the beginner, but also challenging for a person who’s not a beginner. If it wouldn’t feel fresh and compelling to me, I wouldn’t teach it.”
Cost of the class is $18. To sign up, email yrobkin@dataofplano.org. He’ll be thrilled to hear from you.

Enjoying the eclipse at The Legacy Willow Bend

The Legacy Willow Bend had an amazing solar eclipse watch party Monday. The community hosted a viewing of the eclipse for residents to commemorate the event, and attendees used NASA-approved eclipse glasses or pinhole viewing devices to safely watch the sun disappear.

Suzanne Mayo, Gilda Hesdorffer and Stephanie Jones
Suzanne Mayo, Gilda Hesdorffer and Stephanie Jones

Win and Joanne Smith
Win and Joanne Smith

For one resident of The Legacy Willow Bend, Dr. Roger Rian, the moment was of particular interest as he viewed a solar eclipse for the first time. With a lifelong interest in astronomy, the former radiologist even led a presentation in advance of the eclipse, to provide fellow residents with background information about the astronomical event and what it means scientifically.
Rian believes this eclipse was incredibly impactful for the scientific community, and he’s excited to see what discoveries and observations will be made. He explains that the sun’s corona was visible for almost two hours as the path of totality moved across the country. That’s an astounding amount of time for scientists to make observations about the sun, which they normally don’t have the opportunity to see. He is looking forward to poring through the photos and data compiled after the eclipse.

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