I have to tell you that recently on a Shabbat it really hit me… When I heard that Marcy Siegel Burkom, the first congregant to read from our Torah from Sedl?any, would be attending the rededication ceremony on Sunday, December 8 at Adat Reyim and would be speaking about what it meant to read from the Torah… Well, I was overwhelmed by what we are doing.
Can you imagine what the residents of Sedl?any would think if they knew that we cared enough to restore their Torah, read from it, and eighteen years later celebrate its Chai Anniversary of being reborn? I can’t believe how precious the reading of that Torah has been to so many. When people ask what we can do to combat hatred and bigotry, I believe we are doing it right here at Adat Reyim. Every time we read from that Torah, we are saying that love can triumph over hatred and that caring can make a difference.
I hope you will join us later this week on Friday, December 6 and Sunday, December 8 to truly celebrate a unique contribution to tikkun olam, repairing our world. I know I am a better person, a better Jew, and a better rabbi because we have shown so much devotion to the Torah and to people that we never knew, and I pray that somehow they know what we are doing in their memory.
On Friday, December 6, we will begin the celebration with an hors d’oeuvres reception at 6:00 pm followed by a special Erev Shabbat Service at 6:45 pm. On Sunday, December 8 at 11:00 am, we will host a Rededication Ceremony that will include Holocaust survivors, students who have participated in the Holocaust Twinning Program during their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and the young woman who was the first student to read from this Torah. The ceremony will be followed by a reception.
L’dor v’dor, nagid gadlecha, from generation to generation, we declare G-d’s praise. Let us all join together in the Rededication of Our Holocaust Torah. Please take a moment to RSVP to the office at (703) 569-7577 and let us know that you will be in attendance for this special celebration. Give us the present of your presence on this sacred day.
Rabbi Bruce D. Aft
As we celebrate Thanksgiving and Chanukah this evening and tomorrow, I hope that all of you are safe and together with someone with whom you are close.
If you are not going to be with someone, please let me know because we receive offers from people to host others over the Holidays. Please call my study line at (703) 866-5531 and let me know if you need somewhere to go.
Although Chanukah and Thanksgiving will not coincide again for thousands of years, the messages of both holidays coincide every year. On Thanksgiving, we give thanks for the blessings we enjoy and on Chanukah we enjoy the blessings of religious freedom. As members of our Adat Reyim , we are very thankful to be surrounded by a very caring community of friends. I hope that each of us will pause for a moment to share things for which we are thankful during our celebrations tomorrow and continue to appreciate our freedom to practice our faith openly and freely.
One of the special ways in which we are celebrating and giving thanks for our blessings is through our celebrations next weekend. As we celebrate 18 years of reading from our Torah which survived from Sedl?any, we are demonstrating our gratitude for our blessings by keeping alive the memories of the members of a community who were not so fortunate. I hope that everyone will participate in this wonderful congregational celebration.
Finally, last night we had a wonderful Thanksgiving service with Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus gathering together to celebrate our gratitude for life’s blessings. I am paraphrasing Reverend Beth Braxton’s remarks when she said, “I am what I am, because we are who we are.” May we continue to be grateful for our blessings and may we all go from strength to strength in helping others.
I have shared the following a number of times, but hope you might read this at your Thanksgiving dinner since it means so much to me.
Happy Thanksgivukkah and an early Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Bruce D. Aft
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
© Max Ehrmann
Wow! Monday, November 18 was an unbelievable evening. Each year the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sponsors a concert against hate. The ADL was founded 100 years ago in response to the Leo Frank incident (use a search engine and learn more about it!). This year many individuals were honored including Representative John Lewis, Jose Antonio Vargas, Daniel Pearl, and Matthew, Judy, and Dennis Shepherd. Each of these individuals has contributed to trying to lessen the hatred in our world related to civil rights, immigration, the war against terror, and homophobia.
While attending this meaningful concert, I kept thinking about the significance of so many things that our congregation does. This Sunday we are participating in the CROP Walk, Tuesday night, we are hosting the 30th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, and on Friday, December 6 and Sunday, December 8, we are celebrating the rededication of the Torah which survived the Holocaust/Shoah.
These events won’t make the headlines and won’t get us honored at the Kennedy Center, but they do make a difference. I can’t begin to express how inspirational it is whenever a Bar/Bat Mitzvah reads from our Torah. It is our own way of testifying to the importance of what we can do to honor the memory of those who lost their lives. When I participate in the CROP Walk, I am inspired that so many residents of Northern Virginia want to help provide food for the less fortunate. When I think of all the positive energy that results from our Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, I am indebted to Reverend Beth Braxton for her vision and for all those who have been responsible for us coming together over the years. And when I think about the place where I belong, I dream of what we can accomplish with the programs and facilities we could have due to the devotion and generosity of our congregants. Please make every effort to join us for the 30th Anniversary of the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, the CROP Walk, and most importantly, please be present on Friday, December 6 and Sunday, December 8.
To the families with B’nai Mitzvah alumni, please remind them to bring their twinning plaques and submit the names of their twins. We want you to recite their names on Sunday, December 8!
Finally, as I mentioned last Friday night at services, on November 22, 1963, I remember seeing my mother cry for the first time when I arrived home to hear Walter Cronkite tell us that President Kennedy had died. Whatever out political affiliations, when people reflect on President Kennedy’s legacy, they speak of a time of hope and idealism. Please see the item from Illinois Wesleyan and may each of us rededicate ourselves to that hope and idealism which inspired the creation of the Peace Corps and the often quoted line, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” May we all be inspired to do what we can for our country!
“It’s unfortunate that the Kennedy administration has been called Camelot, because it more accurately represented the golden age of democracy in classical Athens. They (Jack and Jackie) both were completely taken with the Athenian democratic ideals of eternal optimism and confidence, the potential of the country to do great things and lead the world by working together, which is what democracy is all about.
“The ancient Greek concept of a hero is not the white hat wearer who saves the day and represents nothing but good. For the Greeks, the hero modeled extremes. One type of Greek tragic hero is the talented youth who is cut down in his prime. Achilles is perhaps the best example. And in that sense, you have JFK – the youngest president, dashing, handsome, charming, intelligent – he’s cut down before he could reach his full potential.
“Jackie’s actions after the assassination – refusing to change her bloody clothes to show the world the injustice of her husband’s murder, wearing the black veil at the funeral, insisting on walking behind the coffin, the little salute of her son – all of these actions were meant to dramatize the tragedy that a man of such great potential to blossom as our president was cut off at the roots. That’s what makes a Greek tragedy – the loss of a leader’s great potential to do good for his country.”
–Nancy Sultan, professor and director of Greek and Roman Studies, and author of the journal article “Jacqueline Kennedy and the Classical Ideal”
Rabbi Bruce Aft
During the Torah reading this week, we find that before Jacob meets with Esau, he wrestles with an angel, a man, his conscience, or even G-d and his name changes. As we all wrestle with various issues, I was inspired by an article which one of our children sent me (see below). I think that as you will hear of some of the innovations to our worship schedule, you should know that many of our lay leaders, congregants and I recently wrestled with many important issues at our Religious Practices Committee meeting. We are trying to reach as many people as we can as we respond to the varied spiritual needs which were presented. A schedule of these worship experiences will be forthcoming and we look forward to your participation.
Tomorrow morning at services, I will read excerpts of this article and then we will discuss whether we are servants of children.
Finally, you all have received the invitation for our Torah Rededication Celebration on Friday, December 6 and Sunday, December 8, which is a very important event for all of us. I remember the importance of dedicating our Torah the day after Yitzchak Rabin had been assassinated in November of 1995. We were all inspired by the devotion of keeping the memory of the Jewish community of Sedlcany alive. Now, eighteen years later, we are celebrating the Chai, or “Life”, Anniversary of the reading of the Torah. Next week a note will come from Andrea Cate and me to explain the importance of our fundraising efforts and to clarify for what your generous donations will be used.
We do want to clarify one issue, which is that our weekend celebration is open to everyone in the community, since the Torah was given to everyone at Mt. Sinai and we all share in its teachings and inspiration. There is no cost for attending our celebration. WE WANT ALL TO JOIN US AND CELEBRATE THE POWER OF TORAH TO INSPIRE ALL OF US!!!!
Rabbi Bruce Aft
In the Parshah: Who wants to be Jewish?
This week we read (in Genesis 32) how Jacob acquires a new name, “Israel,” after wrestling through the night with an angel representing the spirit of Esau. “No longer shall your name be called Jacob,” proclaims the defeated angel, “but rather Israel, for you have contended with G-d and with men, and have prevailed.”
And yet, Jacob continues to be called “Jacob” in the Torah, though he’s also called by his new name, “Israel”; from this point onward, the Torah alternates between the two names. The same applies to the Jewish people as a whole: we’re generally referred to as “Israel” or “The Children of Israel,” but there are also numerous times in the Torah when the Jewish people are collectively called “Jacob” or “The Seed of Jacob.”
The chassidic masters point out that the name Jacob is used when we’re referred to as G-d’s “servants” (as in Isaiah 44:1: “Now, listen, My servant Jacob”), while the name Israel is employed when we’re called G-d’s “children” (as in Exodus 4:22: “My firstborn child, Israel”).
The difference between a servant and a child can be understood on many levels. A most basic distinction, however, is the motivation behind the relationship. Both a child and a servant serve the parent/master and fulfill his will. The difference is in why they do it. When a child does something for his father or mother, he does so with love, pleasure and joy. The servant, on the other hand, does these actions not because he desires to, but because he must.
This difference will affect the quality of the relationship on all levels. While the “child” and the “servant” may be doing the same actions technically, there is a tremendous difference in the nature, quality and impact of an action if it is done out of love and desire, or because one feels compelled to do it.
These prototypes-the “child” and the “servant”-exist in all relationships: in a marriage, in the family, in the workplace, etc. There can even be a child who in his feelings and actions towards his parents more resembles a servant, or a servant whose service of his master is suffused with a child-like love and desire.
In our lives as Jews and our relationship with G-d there are also these two prototypes. Our Jewishness can be the Jewishness of a “servant”-one who has no choice in the matter and simply accepts the fact that this is what he is and these are what his duties are. Or we can be “children” of G-d who rejoice in their role, who desire it and celebrate it and revel in it.
The “spirit of Esau” with which we all grapple is our own material self. It’s the part of us that just wants to be like everyone else-make a living and get through life with the least hassle possible. It’s the part of us that “accepts” our Jewishness as something that’s been imposed on us: we do our bit, but without the love, joy and desire that comes from doing something we truly want to do.
This is our “Jacob” personality-the self that’s still locked in the struggle with the spirit of Esau. But we each have our moments of triumph over the angel of materialism and apathy. Moments when we rise to our “Israel” self-the self that rejoices in our relationship with G-d and our special G-d-given role as Jews. Times when we experience a mitzvah not as a duty, but as an act of love and personal fulfillment.
But the Torah knows that it’s not simply a matter of defeating the angel and “graduating” from our Jacob personality to our Israel self. Rather, we remain both Jacob and Israel, alternating between these two modes of our Jewishness. Some of us may be Jacobs most of the time, while in others the Israel self predominates. But in truth, we each have our Israel moments, as well as the times that we regress to the Jacob mode.
That is why, even after Jacob defeats the angel and acquires the name “Israel,” the Torah continues to call him-and us-by both names. The message is twofold: firstly, that G-d continues to value our Jacob self as well, cherishing every good deed we do, even-and perhaps especially-when we lack the joy and desire and need to force ourselves to do our duty; and secondly, that the opportunity is always there to access our inner Israel, and experience the joy and fulfillment that comes from desiring and rejoicing in who and what we are and our mission in life.
Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory
What a big weekend for Adat Reyim! On Sunday night the choir is participating in a special musical program at Swarthmore to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Krystallnacht, the night of broken glass which occurred in Germany in 1938 at this time of year and was one of the earlier events that led to the Holocaust. I hope that you will try to attend this meaningful program.
We also want to thank all the veterans who have made a difference in our lives by serving our country and keeping us safe. We are grateful this Veteran’s Day weekend for your efforts and for your sacrifice.
Many of us have been following the story in the National Football League about bullying on the Miami Dolphins. On Mike and Mike’s sports talk show this week, there was a discussion about the scene from the movie A Few Good Men where Colonel Jessup, played by Jack Nicholson, gives his famous “You can’t handle the truth!” speech which we will discuss tonight at services. Well what is the truth about what is acceptable behavior to make someone stronger, to break someone in with good-natured teasing, and what is inappropriate bullying? In my opinion the truth is that bullying occurs throughout our world and when it makes the headlines, we think about it. I hope you will join us tonight as we explore just who is responsible when these incidents occur.
This weekend, we will be welcoming Northern Virginia Council B’nai B’rith Girls (BBGs) to our synagogue for BBG Shabbat and are excited to have teenagers in our community present. Many thanks to Michelle Brener for being one of the advisors and to Joanna Fink, the Council Director, for all her hard work serving our teens and providing a great role model.
Finally, I hope you saw the announcement in this week’s ChaiLights regarding an expanded Religious Practices and Policies committee meeting, which will occur this Tuesday, November 12 at 7:00 pm to discuss the ways in which we at Adat Reyim celebrate Shabbat. All are invited and encouraged to attend and be heard.
We wish to explore ways the synagogue can help enrich, enhance, support, and encourage our members’ Shabbat observances, and so we will be discussing the content of our services, the time and length of services, the development of opportunities for creative worship, and whatever else those present at the meeting wish to discuss with regard to Shabbat. If you can’t be present, please let Andrea Cate, our interim president, Carolyn Kaplan, our Religious Practices chairperson, or me know your thoughts.
I look forward to seeing many of you at this very important meeting where we will listen to you and work together to try to implement the positive suggestions which are made.
Rabbi Bruce Aft
As we read the weekly portion about the ongoing conflict between Jacob and Esau, I continue to wonder whether Isaac and Rebecca ever sat down with Jacob and Esau and honestly discussed with them their strengths and weaknesses. We know that each of them had things they did better than the other and yet we see that Esau becomes the bad guy and ultimately significant tension develops between the descendants of Jacob and Esau which leads to wars and destruction. The descendants of Esau become the people of Edom who become the Romans and the descendants of Jacob become the people of Israel. Later we see conflict between Romans and Jews and ultimately between Christianity and Judaism. But it didn’t have to be this way…
Steve Rakitt, the Federation Director for the Washington DC area writes the following in his weekly blog:
“Once Isaac mistakenly blesses his younger son, we wonder why he can’t just “take back” his words. There is a story of a man, who shortly before Yom Kippur, consults the rabbi on how to atone for spreading gossip about his neighbor. The rabbi instructs him to take a bag of feathers and place one feather on each doorstep in the village. Mission completed, he comes back to the rabbi for further instruction and is then told to retrieve the feathers. He solemnly returns to report that the wind had blown the feathers all over the village and he could not collect them. The rabbi said, “Yes, that is the nature of our words. Once we have spoken them, we cannot take them back.”
Words are powerful. They heal, they hurt; they soothe and they stir up. In Ecclesiastes we read, “Let thy words be few.” More importantly, let them be true”.
Words can have a great impact and once spoken can change the way we look at each other and treat each other. How many disagreements and fights have emerged because of misunderstandings that emerged because of negative speech? How often have we used our words harshly and hurtfully? When we offer criticism, how many of us are careful in the ways in which we say things and how many of us just blurt out words that change relationships?
I often read the following reading that talks about words that can make a difference. (See below) May we use our words in kind, constructive, and caring ways and strive to be a mensch ( a gentle, caring person).
Rabbi Bruce Aft
ALL I GOT WAS WORDS
When I was young and fancy free,
My folks had no fine clothes for me.
All I got was words:
Gott Zu Danken – Thank God
Gott wet Geben – God will provide
Zoll men nor leben un sein Gezunt.
We should only live and be healthy.
When I was wont to travel far,
They didn’t provide me with a car.
All I got was words:
Geh Gezunt – Go in health
Geh Pamelach – Go carefully
Hab a glikliche reize – Have a safe trip.
I wanted to increase my knowledge,
But they couldn’t send me to college.
All I got was words:
Hab Seichel – Have common sense
Zei nicht ken nahr – Don’t be a fool
Toire is die beste achoire.
Learning is its own best reward.
The years have flown, the world has turned,
Things I’ve forgotten, things I’ve learned,
Yet I remember
Zag dem emes – Tell the truth
Gih Tzedakah – Be charitable
Hab rachmonus – Have compassion
Zei a mentch – Be a “mensch”
This Sunday at 9:30 am at Adat Reyim, we will be having an important discussion about the recent Pew study that examines how people identify with their Jewish identities. The program is being sponsored by the Men’s Club but is open to the ENTIRE congregation.
Part of our discussion will be based upon an article written by Rabbi Art Green who used to be president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. (Please print the article and bring it with you on Sunday if you wish.) We will be discussing many issues and our conversation on Sunday will be the beginning of what I hope will be an opportunity to look at the types of services and program we offer at Congregation Adat Reyim.
Please take some time to read the article which raises fundamental theological issues with which many of us grapple during our lives. The article also challenges us to think about what will make Judaism attractive as a religion to younger people and gives us much to think about and upon which to reflect and perhaps act.
Rabbi Bruce Aft
Link to the article: http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/from-pew-will-come-forth-torah/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Ejewishphilanthropy+(EJewish+Philanthropy)
It is not the High Holidays but I wanted to include the words to a song anyway. When I was younger and played the piano, it was one of my favorite pieces to play. I am sure you will recognize it as a classic oldie! (see below)
Many of you will remember when I spoke about how troubled I am by the silence which characterizes the three days that Abraham and Isaac spend together as they prepared for the binding of Isaac. (Chapter 21 of Genesis which is part of this week’s Torah portion). Last weekend when Sue and I were at a family celebration, we treasured the opportunity to talk to all of our children and how special it was that we were able to communicate with each other. I would have hoped that as Abraham and Isaac prepared for a major event in both of their lives that they had talked about what faith meant to a father as he was about to teach his son the importance of his faith. How many times do we share with our children how we feel about some important events in our lives and how we feel about them? How many meaningful conversations do we have with our dear ones about issues that challenge us and with which we are wrestling.
I believe that Simon and Garfunkel have captured the negative impact of the sounds of silence and hopefully whether in our personal relationships or in our relationship to tikkun olam, repairing our world, we will make opportunities to fill the silence with meaningful dialogue and action in order to create more meaningful connections to our loved ones and our world. I also hope we will not be silent when we see negative things happening and particularly as we follow the story of the bullying incident in Florida that led to a suicide, we will do our share to ensure that we not stand silently when we see bullying occurring. (see below)
Rabbi Bruce Aft
(from Fox news)
The Florida sheriff investigating a girl’s suicide allegedly prompted by online bullying said he’s considering charging the parents of one of the two girls arrested in the case because they’re in “total denial.”
Polk Country Sheriff Grady Judd told Fox News Thursday that if evidence indicates the parents of one of the two girls knowingly allowed the girl to post the bullying comments online, they could be charged with contributing to the dependency or delinquency of a child.
The two girls, ages 12 and 14, were identified by police as the main culprits in the bullying they say led to 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick’s suicide. Judd said the 14-year-old girl showed a “total disregard for life” and continued to post comments online after the girl’s death.
The family of the 14-year-old girl said her computer account was hacked and that she was not posting anymore. The girl’s mother told ABC News that she checked her daughter’s Facebook status every time she used it.
Judd, however, has questioned that account.
“You tell me that there’s not parents, who instead of taking that device and smashing it into a 1,000 pieces in front of her child, says, ‘Oh, her account was hacked?’ We see where the problem is,” Judd said.
Judd has been criticized by some for his handling of the case. One Tampa Bay defense lawyer told MyFoxTampaBay.com that “he’s doing an awful job of pre-judging.”
“I don’t understand why he can’t let the system play out, why he can’t let the people who are the lawyers – not the sheriff – investigate the case, look into what’s going on here, and then have a judge decide what the appropriate penalty or sentence is, and see about the proper way to handle this in a courtroom,” attorney Jeff Brown told the station.
Judd said his office had to step in because the bullying continued and others could have been endangered.
Sedwick was “terrorized” by as many as 15 girls who ganged up on her and picked on her for months through online message boards and texts, authorities said. One of the suspects had been dating Sedwick’s former boyfriend. The two had gone to the same school where, at one point, there was a physical confrontation between the girls, authorities said.
The girl who had been dating Sedwick’s former boyfriend went to friends around the school and tried to have them turn on Sedwick, Judd said. The girl posted comments on the Internet saying Sedwick should “drink bleach and die,” authorities said. The second girl arrested was a former best friend of Sedwick’s who was influenced by the other girl to turn on her, authorities said.
Sedwick climbed a tower at an abandoned concrete plant and jumped to her death on Sept. 9, authorities said.
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence
As we look forward to our family celebration this weekend in the midwest, I wanted to share with you a reading which I offered to a couple last week at their Aufruf (ceremony where the bride and groom are called up in order to be blessed before their wedding).
As I mentioned last Shabbat, my mother read this to Sue and me at our wedding and a number of people have asked for copies of it after I read it.
I hope you find it to be as meaningful as we have and that it will inspire you to live each day to the fullest.
Rabbi Bruce Aft
Live Each Day to the Fullest
Live each day to the fullest. Get the most from each hour, each day, and each age of your life. Then you can look forward with confidence, and back without regrets. Be yourself, but be your best self. Dare to be different and follow your own star. Don’t be afraid to be happy and enjoy what is beautiful. Love with all your heart and soul. Believe that those you love, love you. When you are faced with decision, make that decision as wisely as possible, then forget it. The moment of absolute certainty never arrives. Above all, remember that G-d helps those who help themselves. Act as if everything depended on you and pray as if everything depended on G-d. –By S.H. Payer
During the Torah service this week, we read about Noah and the Ark and talk about the violence that led G-d to want to destroy the world. Noah and his family survive and G-d puts a rainbow in the sky in order to remember that the world will not be destroyed again through Divine wrath.
This past Tuesday in the Washington Post there was an article about the contemporary Jewish community. I am attaching a link to the Pew Research study upon which the article was based, the article in the Post, and a link to a response to it by Jonathan Tobin. Tonight at services I will begin a discussion about the important findings and what they mean to us as members of Congregation Adat Reyim. This will be the beginning of a series of discussions about how we can best respond to the recent congregational survey.
I think we are in a unique position to shape the future of our Jewish world which became our responsibility after the Flood. What kind of Jewish world to we wish to create? Perhaps the rainbow is a reminder to us to do what we can to ensure our Jewish future.
Finally, please join us tomorrow for Shabbat morning services when Shoshannah Nambi will join us and share some of her melodies and traditions. Also, don’t forget about her presentation tomorrow evening at 7:30 pm at Adat Reyim and the viewing and discussion of the movie Bully on Sunday evening at 5:30 pm, also at Adat Reyim. What a busy and educational weekend for all of us!
Rabbi Bruce Aft