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Shabbat Message from Rabbi Aft

06/12/2015 10:21:49 AM



Dear Friends,



First of all, once again, I want to remind you of the very special Musical Concert on Saturday night at 7:30pm at Adat Reyim (preceded by Wine and Cheese at 7pm).  Last night when I was at the synagogue for a meeting, I had the privilege of hearing our choir and folk group rehearse.  In the Psalms, we are taught to sing unto G-d a new song, and in subsequent commentaries are taught the power of sincere prayer and song from the heart.


I hope you will feel the comfort, inspiration, and special spirituality that music can provide when you join us tomorrow night.  When I think back on meaningful Jewish moments in my life, I remember when the choir was singing in the synagogue in which I grew up.  My mother turned to me with tears in her eyes and at that moment, knew that something had touched her heart.  We are so privileged to have so many talented musicians who volunteer their time to inspire us and to help us connect to our Jewish spirits.


I need to share four anecdotes as I reflect on the role of music in my life at Adat Reyim.  First of all, in November of 1991 when I was installed as the rabbi of the congregation (similar to a light bulb, I guess:-) I believe there is a sermon there somewhere!!).  I had shared the ups and downs of being a rabbi during the interview process and how challenging it was (and is) to be available for congregants and others while having to balance being a dad, husband, and being present for one's family.  The choir took the time, under the leadership of Mitch Bassman, to prepare Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle" which is my favorite song and talks about parent child relationships.  I can never forget that moment and their desire to touch my heart.  Also, when I told Mitch that my mother loved Jerusalem of Gold, they made a cassette tape (remember those???) of this very special song which I gave to my mom and was always very special to her.  I also remember when the choir first sang "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" because somehow they had an idea that I liked baseball!!!


I also remember an interfaith program where the choir and folk group sang "Eye on the Prize" which reminds us all to never abandon our idealism.  I guess I am saying that I hope you will be there tomorrow night since Mitch, Larry Kugler, Russell Nadel have worked so hard with their groups to make this evening meaningful. 


Tomorrow after Paul Jeffers becomes Bar Mitzvah at our Shabbat morning services, there will be a Lunch and Learn, which will address a vision of Jewish education in 2015.  We will discuss ways in which we have been personally affected by special educational moments in our lives and how we can meaningfully transmit our heritage to our children.  I know that Rabbi Weiner recently convened a meeting to begin to discuss how we can make our religious educational programming impactful and respond to the changing needs of American Jews.  Education is a life long venture and I hope you will join us around noonish tomorrow for our Lunch and Learn!


Finally, tonight at the Young Family Service at 7pm, Jessica and Jeff Schwab will be naming their daughter and I hope you can join us for this simcha.  Jessica has made such a difference in the lives of our teenagers and it will be very special to celebrate this joyous event.  At the 8pm service, we will be discussing ideals for which we are willing to stand up, based upon the Torah reading for this Shabbat from Shelach Lecha.


I look forward to seeing you a lot over this weekend and Shabbat Shalom,



Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Bruce Aft


Congregation Adat Reyim


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