Rabbi's Letter

March 14, 2018
27 Adar 5778
Dear Friends,

What a Shabbat we shared last weekend. Celebrating each others joyous life moments truly binds us to each in the bond of life. We experience each other in such transcendent ways when we watch with our hearts, life unfold around us.

We were able to celebrate together, as an extended spiritual family, both, the conversion to Judaism of Elizabeth Burgess as well as the Auf Ruf of Harrison and Elizabeth as their wedding date approaches.

Watching each other, sharing each other’s joys, allows us each to be drawn into our own emotionally textured inner worlds.

It would have been impossible not to feel something deep within, as you watch the rising joyful tides of emotion sweep through our sanctuary. Each time we see someone join our Jewish family after months and months of study, their devotion and commitment can only inspire ours.

Whose soul could remain unmoved when Elizabeth stood before the opened Aron Kodesh next to the Torah and sang out the Shemah, her sole(soul) voice piercing the heart of our beautiful sanctuary. Wow! Or who could not want to shed a tear of joy when she was called up to the Torah and sang out her blessings with such confidence and grace?

And as if that wasn’t enough, how about the emotional tenderness of weddings, and how the very sight of such love and hope tears at everyone’s heart strings. Universes of hope and love, memory and time, all come alive when we see how two beloveds look at each other and dream out loud for all to see. The love between Elizabeth and Harrison let every onlooker know that love IS real, and it DOES exist.

For those of you who were present, you saw the birth of a new minhag (a custom) for us here at B’nai Israel. Traditionally brides are seen as being fountains of blessings and so it is customary for people to come before the bride on the wedding day to receive a blessing from her. And seeing as I see everything through very egalitarian eyes, for this Rabbi, both Elizabeth and Harrison are fountains of blessings at this sacred time. So instead of throwing candy at the two of them after their Aliyah, I had a basket of chocolate kisses ready for them to throw at the congregation! It was so wonderfully sweet and memorable. Chocolate kisses soaring through the air bringing blessings to the congregation from Elizabeth and Harrison.

Please enjoy the photos of Elizabeth and Harrison on the day of Elizabeth’s Beit Din and Mikveh. 
Welcome to the family! And Mazel Tov on the wedding!
Israel trip almost ready to book

We have close to 15 participants for our Israel trip in October 10-21 st 2018. I will ask JJ to price it out and let everyone know the cost. When I get the thumbs up from everyone, I will start looking for flights. This is very exciting. All are welcome to join this fun and meaningful trip.
Call Rabbi Julie for details 864-404-6893
Sometime in the 1950s, synagogue life took on a very “American” flavor. Many Jews started going to dinner on Friday evening and heading over to their Synagogues afterwards. Some services started as late as 8:30 PM. This was a huge shift from the traditional way in which Shabbat dinners were had. Shabbat on Friday night is mostly a home celebration while services on Saturday mornings are seen as the highlight of the week. On Shabbat morning, the Torah comes out and we gather to listen for the messages that God would have us learn.

Yet Friday evenings are meant to foster family and food, home and love, and above all, the revolt against the banal demands of time. Services are mostly to welcome the arrival of Shabbat with song and prayer, only to get home quickly to enjoy family, friends and the sanctuary of peace that engulfs our souls once Shabbat arrives. I am committed to bringing back a bit of the tradition to our beloved Synagogue and that is the hidden impetus for our “Guest Chefs” series.

For us 21 st century Jews, we need to combine the two, both a delicious homemade dinner as well as an earlier spiritually nourishing Kabbalat Shabbat service. “VIOLA” The Guest Chef Shabbat is born .

Thank you so much to the Compass Point B’nai Israel Contingent for signing up to make us a homemade Shabbat dinner that will follow an earlier, 6:30 service. The point is to offer our prayers, take a deep breath and get ourselves off of the spinning wheel so that our souls may breathe, reflect, imagine and again, dream. And then enjoy a delicious and lovingly made meal together among friends. Now that’s a perfect Shabbat and that is what we are striving for.

Thank you to our “Compass Point” congregants for being our Guest Chefs this Friday evening March 16 th at 6:30 PM.

Feel free to sign up for one of our open dates to be our Guest Chefs of the month.
On the18th of March the One Room Shul House will be enjoying our yearly, Before Passover, Popcorn and viewing of the movie
“The Prince of Egypt.”
To get us all ready for Passover!
We will meet at 10 AM Sunday the 18 th at the One Room Shul House . Everyone is to bring, blankets, beach chairs and POPCORN. (Be sure that it has a hecksher on the popcorn, and ask Rabbi Julie if you have any questions.) Parents must be with their children and are invited to enjoy this wonderful family movie together. It is a One Room Shul House TRADITION! If anyone else wants to join us, there’s plenty of room and plenty of popcorn too!
Thank you to all who joined us for our Mincha Minyan out at Davis with Dr. Reuben Silver. We will be holding another Minyan today Wednesday the 14th at 2:30pm out at Davis. Please join us!
Please help me welcome to our congregation our newest members to join, Warren and Phyllis Rosenberg. They are busy building a home in Brunswick Forrest. They are both retired educators, Warren at the elementary level in the Bronx, NY, and Phyllis at the high school level in Morris County, NJ, with deaf and hard of hearing learners. They lived in Fair Lawn, NJ, for 35 years, and now love their new lifestyle of volunteer work, play time, and the friendships that we're discovering by living in the Wilmington area.

We are excited to welcome them into our B’nai Israel family. Please make them feel welcomed when you see them.
We are so excited to celebrate the Men of B’nai Israel at the Men’s Club Shabbat this Saturday. Please join us to show your support for our most wonderful men of B’nai Israel.

They are known for their generosity, kindness and constant support for the building of our beloved congregation. Let’s show them our appreciation.
 See you there! Saturday the 17 th of March in the B’nai Israel sanctuary 9AM.
I have gladly accepted to be one Good Shepherd's Center "Celebrity servers" at this Friday morning's biannual EMPTY BOWLS event at First Baptist Activities Center (1939 Independence Blvd.). This is an amazing program that simulates a food line that everyone has to participate in. The goal is to raise awareness of hunger in our world and the resolve comes from each participant picking an artist made bowl to symbolize our individual needs to fill ups the bowls of those who are vulnerable and hungry. An empty bowl is a call to fill ALL empty bowls. Please stop by this wonderful event and join in the struggle to bring food to all who are hungry.
On a personal note, today is the 33rd birthday of my beloved son Zak. My heart is overwhelmed with pride, joy and blessing. What a gift he has been in my life. May your life continue to expand and bring you through to ever opening doorways of peace. Happy Birthday son!
 Love, Mom
In the tempestuous ocean of time and toil there are islands of stillness where humanity may enter a harbor and reclaim one’s dignity. The island is the seventh day, Shabbat. Six days we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the seventh day we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to God. The seventh day is the armistice in man’s cruel struggle for existence; a truce in all conflicts, an exodus from all tension.

May you each be blessed to know the sacredness of time enough not to waste it.
באהבה ושלום

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