Rabbi's Letter

August 9, 2019
8 Av 5779
Dear Friends,

It’s getting to the point where I dread checking the news or signing onto Facebook. The spiking of violence in our country and in so many parts of the world, the unbridled vitriol, the screaming without listening, the hot rage – perhaps I am getting old and myopic, but I don’t remember seeing this much venom before. I feel my heart close up, pressure in my throat. It is so profoundly unpleasant. How do we remain brave in this strange new world?

I am also aware that we are currently in the three weeks of mourning leading up to Tisha B’Av, which will be observed on August 10 th , this year. Some years, I must confess, this day commemorating the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem feels a little counter-intuitive to me. It’s summer! It’s a time of abundance! And what is this about the Temple? Perhaps I can grasp it as a symbol, but really, why focus on grief and mourning now?

The rituals of mourning that accompany Tisha B’Av can help me surface the grief and loss that is lurking under the despair and anger. There is so much to grieve: the lost lives, the disintegration of civil discourse, the loss inherent in not feeling safe, the daily reality of mass shootings all around us with no end on sight, the fear that all of this evokes. 

When I sit with the grief that is under the other emotions, I can connect back to my heart. I can feel my own vulnerability and humanity. After all, we are so profoundly interconnected.

Tisha B’Av starts us in the thick of the flames and destruction and then moves us from mourning into Shabbat Nahamu, the first of a cycle of readings of comfort and consolation. Tish A B’Av beckons us to choose love and mercy, kindness and peace over the darkness of hatred. 

Our world today is in direct line to become another disaster that is cemented in time by the mourning tears of Tish A b’Av, it says, don’t let it happen, don’t walk blindly down this road. DON’T.

Please Join Us

Saturday evening August 10 th
Come to hear the reading of Eicha
And to dream of a different world, a world of peace.
What a beautiful experience I had this past Friday morning when the clergy members of all of the participating Religious institutions taking part in the HABITAT for HUMANITY FAITH BUILD, all came together to put up the walls of the sweet home being built for Diana, JJ and Liliana. Diana is the children’s grandmother and she has been raising the children alone since the Hurricane. What joy it was to share such a beautiful gesture of building walls to create a loving home with so many devoted clergy friends from this Port City of Wilmington.
Thank you also to Mitch Ratner who came along and helped get the walls up. Wow, in this climate of our world building walls to gather in love instead of building walls as barriers to love, wow, now that felt GOOD.

For those of you who understand just how  NOT political this work is, please join us on Sunday the 25 th at 8:30 AM as B’nai Israel will be covering the house with siding. We’re just the final touch of love. Please call Kate in the office or call Mitch Ratner directly, if you’d like to join us. 
On the same Sunday at 4PM,
please join us for the
Meet and Greet at ART IN BLOOM
Thank you Yves for helping Rabbi get the house ready to put on the market. You are so KIND.
Thank you Dom for being such a wonderful Bar Mitzvah student.
Thank you Hailey for being such a fabulous Bat Mitzvah student.
Thank you Slick Katz for taking Rabbi on a motorcycle ride, it was so much fun. We are so proud of you being sworn in on Wednesday as a Deputy Sheriff, wow, we are all so much safer with you protecting us.

For those of you who would like an honor reading during the high holidays. please call Rabbi Kozlow directly at (864) 404-6893 and she will assign you your specific reading.
Dear Friends,

Please read the following words with an open loving heart. I am so happy that Barry Weiss and I have joined together to bid our beloved Luis, Bianca, Kaylin, Leah and Hadassah on their way to a new home. The Cabillarios have been a part of B’nai Israel long before I arrived here and it has been a beautifully meaningful connection. I have had the honor of being in the delivery room for the births of both Leah and Hadassah. What an amazing experience that was! Luis and Bianca have decided to move to where they have family members in order to build a life somewhere where they have more built-in support systems. We support them in this decision and have decided to raise as many funds as we can to get them on their way and settled. All donations will go into my discretionary fund and I will allocate them directly to Luis and Bianca. It’s costly to move, it’s costly to change lives; but it is the best decision for them at this time, and we want to show our love and support for them by sending them on their way with a little nest egg for a promising future for them and the girls. They will plan to be leaving within a month, so if your heart tugs at you please do this loving gesture and send them on their way with a bit of your love and care as well.

Thank you!
באהבה ושלום

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