Rabbi Barry Kenter & Rabbinic Student Zach Golden.
A Message from Rabbi Barry Kenter
Bnai Israel Rabbinic Musings
Erev Shabbat Shuvah 5780 Vayelekh
In this week's reading from the Torah, we are taught "That day, Moses wrote down this song and taught it to the Israelites" [Deuteronomy 31:2]. Moses has his song; Miriam had hers at the Sea of Reeds. You and I, we each have a song unique to us. And yet we sing communally as a congregation, a kehillah.
Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz said that thinking you can learn to pray by watching is as foolish as thinking you can learn to walk a tightrope by watching someone else. Kol haneshamah t'hallel Yah," Let every living soul praise God with breath." Ultimately singing (and praying) is a communal activity. So, said Rabbi Pinchas, "Alone I cannot lift up my voice in song. Then you come near and sing with me, our prayers fuse and a new voice soars. Our bond is beyond voice and voice, our bond is one of spirit and spirit."
Here are the two passages from Likutei Moharan [Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810)]:
Know that every shepherd has a unique melody (nigun) according to the grasses and the place where he herds, for every animal has a grass unique to her that she needs to eat. Also a shepherd isn't always in one place, and according to the grasses and the place where he herds, so he has a nigun. For every grass there is a song (shirah) which it speaks, that this is the aspect of Perek Shirah, and from the song of the grasses is made the nigun of the shepherd. And this is the secret of what's written, "And Adah bore Yaval, he was father of all who sit in tents and herd, and the name of his brother [was] Yuval, he was father of all who grab the lyre and the harp." For just when there was in the world [for the first time] a shepherd of cattle, just then there were musical instruments. And so it is with David the king, who "knows music-playing" and therefore was a shepherd...And this is the aspect of "From the edge/wing/kanaf of the earth we heard songs (z'mirot)"--[it means] that songs and nigunim come out from the "wing of the earth", for by means of the grasses growing in the earth/land a nigun is made. And since the shepherd knows the nigun, by means of this he gives strength to the grasses, and so there is something for the animals to eat...and there is pasture for the animals/...And also the nigun is good for the shepherd himself, since the shepherd is always with the animals, [because] it would be possible for them to draw [down] and lower the shepherd...to the aspect of the spirit of animals [if not for thenigun]....And know that the king has every nigun in completeness...for the nigun is made from the growth of the land. ~LM 63
Know that when a person prays in the field, then all of the grasses/plants together come into the prayer, and they help him, and give him strength within his prayer. ~LM 11
What is your song?
Who can help you to sing it?
Shabbat Shalom & Gmar Hatikva Tova
Rabbi Barry Kenter
A Message from the President
Dear Members and Friends,
Yasher Koach, welcome, and thanks go to Rabbi Barry Kenter, who led our Rosh Hashanah services beautifully. Weaving in midrash, Talmud, Torah, and even a little Harry Potter and Danial De Silva into our understanding of our prayers, customs and traditions. Thanks to Zack Golden for so beautifully leading our prayers with a voice that truly came from his heart. Thanks to so many for making our Rosh Hashanah services so meaningful.
Thanks to all those that helped with our first Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner. Its success will certainly lead it to becoming an annual event. Plan on it for next year.
We continue this week with Shabbat Shuvah and prepare for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur next Tuesday night and Wednesday. Yom Kippur ends in the late afternoon with the reading of the book of Jonah and of course concludes with our annual Break Fast. I encourage all to attend as we come together as one community and prepare for our spiritual journey for the next year.
The Shofar has sounded. "Give heed to the sound of the Shofar" its blast is a wakeup call to remind us of what's really important. This is our time to reset and rethink our actions and purpose.
On behalf of our Board of Directors, Pam & I wish everyone a healthy, prosperous, and safe New Year. May you and your families all be inscribed and sealed in that precious book of happiness.
Gmar Hatikva Tova,
Shabbat Shalom and see you in Shul.
Rabbi Focus Group
Bnai Israel Cemetery
Lunch & Learn
for Good Shepherd
Come Build our Sukkah
Friday, October 11. 10:30 am
10:15 am - Noon
**Please make a reservation by calling or emailing the Shul office.
910.762.1117 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Sisterhood Book Club News
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, November 20, from 1-3 PM. Barbara Waxman will host (2815 Cambridge Drive). The book is the highly praised biography of Golda Meir, Lioness, by Francine Klagsbrun. A copy will be ordered for Bnai Israel Library. The book is divided into 4 sections. We will discuss sections 1 and 2 for November 20th.
Mark your calendars, everyone. This promises to be a lively discussion of a Zionist heroine. And please tell other Sisterhood members that all are welcome to attend.