Kabbalat Shabbat Within Passover
Mystical Chanting Service
Holocaust Memorial Weekend, April 20-22
Community Holocaust Memorial Commemoration at MSU Ballroom
Hazon Bike Ride
Torah Portion: Pesach
Joyful Sukkot Celebration & Pot Luck This Friday
Life is highly revered in Judaism, but apparently not so much by our political leaders. Rather than revere gun rights, we must first learn to revere human life.
I am a person of faith, with a real prayer practice. I also know the limits of prayer. Contrary to what many of our leaders seem to think, we cannot pray our way out of the endless cycle of death and devastation most recently experienced in Las Vegas with 59 (so far) senselessly murdered and hundreds injured. Although the murderer may be a coward, prayers and staged moments of silence, with no action to change things, are the greater cowardice. The only way out is collective spiritual/ political action. As the Chicago Sun Times said, “if we continue to do nothing on guns, our tears are a fraud.” My colleague, Rabbi Sharon Braus, said it this way: “That means saying NO to the diversionary tactics, NO to the empty excuses, NO to the bald-faced lies that will inevitably follow on the heels of this tragedy, as they always do. We have to use our voices, our resources, our connections, whatever public platform and political capital we have, to call out the insanity of easy access to deadly weapons. This will not end until we end it.”
Tomorrow, we enter the eight day holiday of Sukkot, which continues the High Holiday season. We move from the weightiness of Yom Kippur to the fresh air of the sukkah, reminding us of the fragility of life. The Las Vegas massacre drives the point home. But Sukkot also reminds us that we are all responsible for one another. We are called upon to invite ushpizin (guests) — especially the needy — into our sukkah. And the four species of the lulav and the etrog are all said to represent different sorts of people, and by binding and waiving them together, we learn that we are all in this life together. These are but some of the teachings of Sukkot, which we will celebrate together in our Temple sukkah this Friday, October 6, at 6:00 pm. The short service will be followed by a vegetarian pot luck. Thanks to Jim Nallick and the host of helpers who helped construct our sukkah this year.
There is NO Torah study this Saturday, but the following Friday evening, October 13, also at 6:00 pm, we will celebrate Simchat Torah with the consecration (celebration of the beginning of Jewish education) of our newest religious school students. Torah study will return on Saturday, October 14, at 9:30 am. With the new year, it’s the perfect time to jump in as we begin again with Genesis.
This Wednesday, October 4, at Noon, the Interfaith Panel meets at the Temple, with a fascinating discussion of the Protestant Reformation and its impact on other faith traditions, such as Judaism, Islam, and Catholicism. Join us for the always lively discussion, questions, and answers. Finally, for those interested in learning some Hebrew, we begin again on Monday, October 9, at 10:00 am, and beginners are welcome.
Hope you can join us for Sukkot and Simchat Torah as the Holidays wind down.