Dear Temple Sholom Family, 

Each day, we are grateful for the many gifts of our faith. Yet, a particular gift of Judaism is how it can take seemingly ordinary (even monotonous) days and elevate them. For instance, for many of us in Chicago, today has been fairly ordinary — though the sunshine is a rare treat. However, in the Jewish faith, it is an extraordinary day on which we celebrate the holiday of  Lag Ba’Omer .  What is Lag Ba'Omer ?
Literally, it is the 33rd day in the Counting of the Ome r — the count that began on the second day of Passover and continues for 49 days until Shavuot

On this day, our tradition tells us, a plague that devastated Rabbi Akiva’s yeshiva abated. It is also told that on this date, one of Rabbi Akiva’s disciples, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, departed this earth in splendorous light. Hence, on this day many Jews have celebrated with bonfires, weddings, barbers, and barbecues.   

While we don’t expect the plague of Covid-19 to miraculously abate today (though we wish that it would), we can still fill our days with splendorous light. As we count the days to Shavuot — our commemoration of the revelation of Torah on Mount Sinai — it’s meaningful to notice that seemingly humdrum days are endowed with holiness. Sometimes the holiness is supplied to us by our Jewish history, and sometimes, we have to supply it ourselves to make Jewish history. Below are ways in which we invite you to join with our sacred community in recognizing holiness in this historic time.   

TOMORROW, at 5pm   we will go   Live on Facebook with  Clergy Conversations .   Enjoy an inspiring conversation between Rabbi Singer and Cantor Ben-David and Rabbis Rossoff, Conover, and Gellman as Rabbi Singer shares a Jewish text on joy.    BE SURE TO TUNE IN THIS WEEK TO WISH RABBI SINGER MAZAL TOV — SHE WAS ORDAINED ON SUNDAY!!   

NEW- Shavuot Celebrations -  We have three opportunities to commemorate the revelation of Torah on Mount Sinai through study and prayer.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 5pm-5am- Pull an all-nighter studying Torah with renowned American and Israeli rabbis in the time-honored tradition of Tikkun Leil Shavuot.  Rabbi Conover will teach at 7pm. BYOB- Bring Your Own Blintzes. Look in the Weekly E-Blast for Zoom Link.   

  • Friday, May 29, 2020 - 10:30am- Join with our Community for our Shavuot Festival and Yizkor Service. Click HERE for Zoom Link. 


  • Saturday, May 30, 2020- 8:30pm-12am- Gather with the Lakeview Jewish Community for Havdalah, Discussion and Study for an encore observance of Tikkun Leil Shavuot with some of the areas finest clergy and teachers. Look in the Weekly E-Blast for Zoom Link.   

Beyond Shavuot Celebrations, we have three other upcoming events to look forward to:

  • Kabbalat Torah Graduation Shabbat Friday, May 22nd and Friday, May 29th. These Shabbat Services will no doubt be some of the most powerful of the year as our Crown Family High School Seniors reflect on their identity and connection to our community.  Don’t miss these last two Friday night services in May! 

  • NEW- Summer Sunday Afternoons with Minkyoo’s Piano Music-Beginning Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 1pm.  In partnership with the SelfHelp Home, Temple Sholom will host musical afternoons with beloved pianist Minkyoo Shin. She will play a mix of favorite Jewish melodies and classical music. Look in the Weekly E-Blast for Zoom Link.    

Pray with us this Shabbat!  

  • Tot Shabbat- Join us on Friday at 5:30pm. Click HERE to join us on Temple Sholom’s Facebook Page. 

  • Friday Night Services- Our Service begins at 6:15pm. Click HERE to join us by Zoom (feel free to drop in early to schmooze) or Click HERE to join us on Temple Sholom of Chicago’s Facebook Page. 

  • Shabbat Morning Minyan- Click HERE to gather with us in prayer at 9am or show up at 9:45am for Torah Study. 
Other Opportunities for our Sacred Community to Come Together:  

  • Join us next Monday at 9am for a Musical Meditation with Cantor Ben-David, Rabbi Conover and some of Temple Sholom’s extraordinary musicians. This will be a brief and meaningful way to begin your week. Click HERE for the Zoom Link. 
  • You are invited every Monday through Friday for Kaddish D'Rabbanan at 3pm. These 30 minutes filled with study and prayer provide insights that are both uplifting and centering. Click HERE for the Zoom Link. 
Mitzvah of the Week  
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! This week we invite you to write letters to elders who are in Elder Care Facilities. No need to write to anyone specific, you can just write, “Dear Friend…” Many people are feeling especially alone right now. Words of encouragement and support remind our elders how much they are treasured. Please address your letters to: A RESIDENT THAT COULD USE WORDS OF SUPPORT. We encourage you to write to residents at the following:  
The SelfHelp Home                                    Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation  
908 W Argyle Street                                    9700 Gross Point Road      
Chicago, IL 60640                                      Skokie, IL 60076 
Brookdale Lake Shore Drive                    Brookdale Lake View  
Chicago, IL 60657                                      Chicago, IL 60657 

With all of these offerings, we wish you and yours continued light and the blessings of good health and safety.

L’sholom ,

With the CDC Senate Testimony and the Governor’s 5-Phase Plan for re-opening Illinois, we can imagine that you are curious about Temple Sholom’s plans for re-opening. You will receive an update on our plans in the coming weeks.