A Message from Our Rabbi
November 18, 2020

As the days get shorter, we feel a greater need for warmth through community; perhaps especially now, as we move into the holiday season when we would normally be planning gatherings around food and shared spaces. The new Hebrew month of Kislev begins, and, with it, come teachings of how we bring warmth and light into our homes as we strive to create new rituals to mark this season. 

For many of us, what has remained a constant has been Shabbat – this opportunity each week that we have to gather together. Whether we were in the Sanctuary, watching through our webcast, or now on Zoom, taking time to welcome Shabbat reminds us of the wholeness and holiness in a world that often feels cold and dark. Shabbat also reminds us that Judaism has long considered our homes to be a mikdash me’at, a small sanctuary in which we can discover what is most meaningful and sacred in our lives.

While the Rabbis of the Talmud may have not envisioned a world with Covid19, in the struggles they encountered, and at times when the outside world felt unwelcoming or unsafe, they found holiness in home rituals and in staying connected to community. The challenge remains for all of us — to not only make connections for ourselves, but to connect to others who are facing the reality of this challenging time too. That’s what being a Family is truly all about.

Interestingly, our Torah portion for this week, Toldot, presents us with a complex family dynamic at play – and maybe even a reminder of how our own family dynamics play out, and our own role within it all.

This Friday evening, join Cantor Harrison and me for our Kabbalat Shabbat service beginning at 6:30 pm. (Zoom; click HERE for online Shabbat siddur)

Shabbat morning, Yossi Afek will lead Torah Study at 9:00 am, and Carl Viniar will lead our Spice Up Your Judaism program at 10:15 am. (Both via Zoom.)

The final session of my Wednesday morning Adult Education Class, “The Spirit and Spirituality of the Psalms,” will be held on December 2 at 10:30 am (please note we will be skipping next week).


Rabbi Jennifer L. Frenkel