Rabbi's Letter

August 1, 2018
20 Av 5778
Dear Friends,

Well, I feel as though I have just stepped over that old summer line in the sand and today I can sense the rhythm of time shift towards the High Holy Holidays. We are turning the corner towards the Days of Awe, the days of deep soul focus. It is the way of our Jewish road through time. The air we breath gets a little more intense, the heart begins to sense itself and the minds games are viewed with suspicion. The real is about to enter.

It is true that not everyone understands the deep effect of the raw realness of the Yamim Noraim and it’s impact on the rhythm and unfolding of our lives. The 10 days of the High Holy Days are reminders that life is far more nuanced and meaningful than our banal lives hint at.  As your Rabbi, I begin now to weigh and measure the ways of the world as they crash into the ways of our elegant and morally sophisticated Jewish tradition. What lessons of our world are screaming for our attention? What is the state of our human condition? Where have we fallen off track and what voices from our traditions past are calling through time to be heard?
These sacred Ho ly days that are 6 weeks away, ask of us to begin the work of self reflection, of rising, now. Each day of each year we are called to rise to new heights, to be more, to be better, to give more, feel more, to reach out, to cultivate compassion, patience and true love for one another.

As you begin the work, I offer you the gift of the four words that begin this letter. May they guide you and keep you centered on what’s important. This short list are our stops along the way towards inner growth as you work to rise to even greater heights of your humanity. 

1)     God is indescribable, invisible and beyond human, yet without God we are nothing more than god imposters ourselves and that is a very dangerous place for the human race to be.
2)     The smile on your face is the human language of kindness and it transcends all other human action. It is the great equalizer. Use it!
3)     Faith can be grown, it requires setting oneself aside for just a moment in order to find a place to believe in more than your eyes can see.  Without it we are lost.
4)     And love , as trite as our world often treats this magnificent gift, it is the weapon of power that can change the world.

Please join us to feed the homeless at the Good Shepherd on August 8 th at 4:30 . Come and make someone’s day. 
Beatles Shabbat is just around the corner. Mark your calendars, August 10 th 2018 . We will meet at 5:30 for a Pre-neg with food and drink and then begin our service at 6:30 . This evening promises to be inspiring. I hope you join us.
Our parents planning meeting has been changed to August 23 rdat Noon at Rabbi Julie’s home. I will have lunch, a calendar, curriculum and together we will set our intentions for the year to come.

Friends, I have sent an advertisement to the Hillel at UNCW for a student who would be interested in assisting as a teacher with our One Room Shul House. If you hear of anyone with interest, please have them contact Rabbi Julie.  THANK YOU!
Our sanctuary recovery is coming along quite well. The great care with which Barry Weiss, Harold Eichenholz and Murray Sherman have shown toward the effort of getting us back safely into the sanctuary is nothing short of inspiring. I also had the great honor today to join the “Decorating” team. Lyne Glazer is our team leader, with Pam Sender, Diane Gerberg, Dotty Freedland, Carolyn Moskowitz and myself. We will be dedicating our efforts to insuring that our very calming and beautiful sanctuary will only be enhanced through the renovation.

I have great confidence in this group of decorators that the end result will be exquisite. Please remember that we are looking at a two-part renovation, the first part is solely temporary and focused on getting the space in order to receive our beloved community for the High Holidays. Once the holidays have passed we will be focused on part two, the complete renovation of our sanctuary. Please be sure to offer your help, your time, your generosity or just your kind support.  They say that if you build it, they will come. Well, it is being built so please come and see and be a part of the rebuild.
Please be sure to come and see the wonderful ISRAELI SCOUTS this coming Thursday evening at the Hannah Block CAC Theater at 7PM . It is always a very special event that you won’t want to miss. Thank you B’nai Israel Men’s Club for hosting this event!

Looking forward to seeing you all soon,
באהבה ושלום

Shabbat Shalom to all!
הרב אלישבע בת דוד ודבורה
Rabbi Julie Kozlow
(910) 762-1117 ~ B'nai Israel phone