I have just returned from vacation today and I look forward to reconnecting with all of you. CyberTorah will more formally resume in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to share three things with you.
First is gratitude. I feel so blessed to be among the Rabbis here and to be part of this community. At a time of fragmentation and crisis, of isolation, we at Kol Emeth have found ways to be present for one another, to strengthen our community, to learn, and to support Jewish life in this area. You inspire me. I am amazed by how many people participate in our classes and activities, by how many people reach out to check in and express caring, by how people have stood up to support the shul. I believe we will emerge from quarantine strengthened on practical, ethical, and spiritual levels. Nothing is too marvelous for God. I feel the Divine inspiring us that this can be a time of growth and reflection.
Second is celebration. As you may know, we received our certificate of occupancy for our new building. While we cannot yet open or celebrate as we would like, we do want to sanctify and use that new space. This Shabbat, Carol and I will lead zoom services from our new Sanctuary beginning at 10:30 (link on the sidebar). This is the first time I am streaming on Shabbat. Our new Sanctuary has tech installed that enables me to do this without directly engaging any of the tech. (You can also read Rabbi Joshua Heller’s teshuvah on streaming services.) Join us for lovely interactive Shabbat service that will include a brief tour of the new Sanctuary. (And thank you to Peter Wexler for making it possible!)
The following two weeks we will also stream from the courtyard of our new Synagogue as we celebrate the bat mitzvah of Talya Afar and the bar mitzvah of Sam Kafka. For each of those services, we will gather with just a minyan of family so we can call these amazing young people to the Torah. For that service, we will be wearing masks and not singing so the gathering meets Covid guidelines. I am thrilled we can again celebrate. It’s time for a simcha!!
Finally, is travel. We could not go physically to Israel this year so we have instead created an incredible virtual tour of Israel unlike anything you have done before. We will spend five evenings next week getting to know five unique and amazing Israelis exploring issues of their Jewish identity. It will take place Sunday – Thursday from 7-9pm. If you cannot make all the sessions, you are still more than welcome. Our connection to Israel comes from knowing people and understanding an emerging and rich Jewish Israeli culture. This tour will illuminate, educate, and inspire future in-person travel.
I look forward to celebrating and “travelling” with you over the next few weeks!! May this time bring us wisdom to grow morally, quiet to connect spiritually, and connection to remind us how dear community and Synagogue are in our hearts.
With love and wishes for a joyous Shabbat-
Rabbi David Booth