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On this blog, you will find words of inspiration from our clergy to help you through these challenging times. The three most recent posts appear on this page. Click "next" at the bottom of the page to see earlier posts.

Shavuot: Climb With Us to Experience Sinai

Rabbi Freedman

April 22, 2020

I Miss Your Smile

Last weekend, Lori and I decided to do a small amount of grocery shopping by actually going to Central Market. For several weeks now, going to the grocery store has been an anxiety-provoking experience but somehow this past week was worse.  After leaving the store, I was wondering why was this trip particularly anxious and then it struck me--it was the deli counter! My favorite part of shopping is going to the deli counter.  The folks behind that counter have been among the friendliest people that I encounter. But something was sad about our encounter this past week and it finally dawned on me what that was.  There were no smiles. Because of the masks (which are most necessary), both theirs and ours, there was no exchange of smiles. Orders were spoken loudly from a safe distance and "thank-you's" were muffled. It made for a dreary and businesslike encounter. We tried to say greetings with our eyes but its not the same. I miss their smile and yours but, most of all, I miss giving you mine.

Rabbi Freedman

Rabbi Freedman

April 8, 2020

Traditionally, my practice has been to send a message extending Passover as well as Easter greetings on Erev Pesach. This has been so because the twin seasonal messages of redemption and hope are shared by the Jewish and Christian communities. How much more powerful are these messages this year!  We celebrate and observe in physical distance from one another, plagued by fear not only about our physical well-being but also with concern for every aspect of our lives.  It is within our current reality, that we must heed the hopeful message that the narrowness of our current state of being is not permanent; that there will soon be a way forward to a better place together. 

It is traditionally understood that the fact that the Hebrews were willing to leave Egypt without having baked bread was a testament to their trust in God to provide for the journey. A minority opinion, however, holds that the fact that the Hebrews fled with only matzah, was a testament to their lack of faith because they had not prepared themselves for their promised release.  The lesson for us is to take advantage of this hopeful time to begin to prepare ourselves to re-shape our lives for the better days ahead.  Let us not remain solely in the space of anxiety but also to prepare ourselves spiritually and emotionally not only to resume our normal lives but, in fact, to resume lives which are enhanced by the lessons we have learned in this difficult time.  We now know more about our ability to prioritize what is really important in life.  We now know much more about technology as a source of connection.  More importantly, we will never again take for granted the ability to hug one another, to enjoy true presence and freedom of movement.  We will celebrate walking freely into a grocery store and visiting our doctor.  We have learned much that will enhance our lives when this is over; let us begin to prepare to do exactly that.  Let us prepare for the shared journey that lies ahead. 

On behalf of our clergy and professional team and our families, Lori and I wish each of you good health, a Happy Passover and, for the non-Jewish members of our community, a joyous Easter. 

Fri, May 14 2021 3 Sivan 5781