The festival of Shavuot, which has just concluded this evening, has given me an opportunity to try to absorb the utter senselessness of the mass carnage in Orlando before communicating with you, since we do not routinely send temple emails out on a major holiday (though one that was prepared by our office last week did inadvertently go out yesterday, for which I apologize).
In its pre-Shavuot episode, the biting Israeli satire "The Jews are Coming," ran a skit where, following Ruth's supreme gesture to Naomi, Israeli immigration officials jump out of the bushes and demand to see her papers. But all joking aside (why is no one laughing?), the message of this book is that the only way to confront tragedy is though steadfast kindness, by standing shoulder to shoulder with those who are bereft, by restoring hope to the hopeless.
We are fortunate that the calendar will allow us to do just that this Friday night, as we welcome the LGBT community to TBE for our Pride Shabbat. Our guest speaker will beIdit Klein, Executive Director of Keshet, the foremost national organization working for LGBTQ rights in the Jewish community. The cantor and I will also be joined by three truly extraordinarily talented young guest musicians, Gon Halevi, Yomit Spiegelman and Ella Joy Meir.
Please invite your LGBT friends - and everyone else - to join us for an evening of uplifting music and healing words. As we shift away from this festival of Shavuot, this year falling on the auspicious secular date of 6/13, we take with us the spirit of the Covenant of Sinai, a Covenant of Love. No one should be alone this Shabbat. And no one should feel alone, ever.
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman