Friday, September 28, 2018

Shabbat-O-Gram for September 26


TBE's embrace of diversity knows no bounds - at Sunday's Blessing of the Animals

Several have asked about the essay by Elie Wiesel's son, read at Yizkor.  Here it is

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Sukkot

Today's Senate testimony has undoubtedly opened wounds for many people.  To those who are feeling most vulnerable at this time, I offer the prayer below.  Understanding the need to come together at times like these, we will add a special focus on healing to our service on Friday night.  Anyone who is in need of safe space or a quiet moment, our doors are wide open to you.
Be with me, God. I feel so lost. I can't seem to escape the dark cloud
that is hanging over me today. Help me, God. Give me strength
to combat despair and fear. Show me how to put my pain
into perspective. Teach me to have faith in the new day
that is coming. Thank you, God, for today's blessings,
for tomorrow's hope, and for Your abiding love.
Teach me always to believe in my power to return to life, to hope, and to You, God,
no matter what pains I have endured, no matter how far I have strayed from You.
Give me the strength to resurrect my weary spirit.
Revive me, God, so I can embrace life once more
in joy, in passion, in peace.
When I feel tainted, God, remind me that I am holy.
When I feel weak, teach me that I am strong.
When I am shattered, assure me that I can heal.
When I am weary, renew my spirit.
When I am lost, show me that you are near.
May God heal you, body and soul.
May your pain cease,
May your strength increase,
May your fears be released,
May blessings, love and joy surround you.
-Rabbi Naomi LevyTalking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle and Celebration
Meanwhile, there are so many reasons to join us over the next few days! Among them are:

1) Hoffman Lecture tonight. Who knows what Bret Stephens will have to say about today's events, as well as the changing Middle East. Stephens was a Hoffman Lecture once before, exactly ten years ago, and is the first "second timer" in the history of the series.
Listen to his prior appearance. The topic then was, "Will Israel Survive?" But the real question, now as much as then, is whether Israel can survive as both a Jewish and democratic state.

2) Join us for Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday night, and then, on Shabbat morning, we'll celebrate Hank Silverstein's 80th birthday.  Hank will be leading much of the service and delivering the d'var Torah, and he and Meryl are sponsoring lunch for everyone.  Hank has brought so much to our community - please join us to honor him.

3) You can have Steak and Scotch at the Temple Sukkah on Saturday night, and then on Sunday from noon to 1:30, hop on over to the Hammerman Sukkah for some lunch and - just possibly - a peek at the new puppy.

4) And last but definitely not least, in addition to Shmini Atzeret (and Yizkor) and Simchat Torah morning services on Mon. and Tues. at 9:30, we will be celebrating Simchat Torah big-time on Monday evening at 6:30, with Torah processions, a jazz band, candy, flags, fun for all ages, and the chance to honor two very special people with the final aliyah of the Torah - Lael Shapiro and Judy Aronin.

And then, at long last, the holiday season will be over...just in time for the baseball playoffs to begin!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

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