A Message from Our Cantor
April 7, 2021

Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Sovereign of the universe, who makes us holy through mitzvot, including the mitvah of counting the Omer. This Shabbat will mark the 13th day of the Omer.

We’ve counted for millennia, and still we count:
… the days of the month until the next new moon
… the 49 days of the Omer
… the 30 days of shloshim
… the 11 months of Kaddish Yatom
… the 10 Days of Awe and in-between
… the 7 days of shiva
… the yahrzeits
… the days until the next time...

We count so we too will be counted…amongst our people in war, in peace, in health and in sickness and in-between Limnot u’l’hitmanot / count and be counted.
 
—Excerpt from the poem, The Countesses Do Count by Ann Ellen (Chana) Dickter, published on www.ritualwell.org
 
Judaism is traditionally a text-based religion. There are a myriad of texts that inform and guide us while also bringing us together in chavruta, in fellowship and community. Torah, Talmud, Mishnah, Midrash, The Siddur, Responsa, and all the volumes of commentary. Sometimes, however, texts, words fail us. This week our congregation mourns a tragic loss. Many of us struggle to find the words to express what we are feeling. We find it even harder to know what words could possibly console those closest to the loss. The Rabbinic tradition of counting during periods of uncertainty and waiting reminds us that our patient, even silent, presence during these tender days of loss is as important, if not more important than our words. During these days when in-person visits are challenging, a message saying, “Hineini- I am here,” may be enough.
 
At the same time as we experience broken hearts, we are reminded that life continues – that we keep counting, one day at a time.
 
Please join us for our Annual Organ Donor Kabbalat Shabbat service this Friday evening, April 9 at 6:30 pm arranged by Gaby Fish. Avie Bertaccini, daughter of our members Linda and Larry Robinson, will share her experience as an organ donor with our community, and Gaby Fish will share important information from the Gift of Life Donor Program, an organization that works to save lives through matching donors and recipients. (Zoom; click HERE for our Shabbat siddur)
 
On Shabbat morning, Torah Study, led by Larry Berger will begin at 9:00 am, and Spice Up your Judaism, led by Scott Kushner, following Torah Study at 10:15 am, Scott will help us explore the “Kabbalah of Happiness.” (Zoom for both study sessions)

L’shalom,

Cantor Rhoda Harrison