Shalom, Chevrei! Shalom Friends!
Just a brief note here, as you will be hearing a lot from me over the next few days.
First off, Rabbi Michael and Karen Zedek, I am happy to report, are "expecting" a grandchild, and are on-call and at the ready to be there for their family. We wish them all b'sha'at tovah. In a good hour, may all go well! We look to next year to welcome the Zedek's for the High Holy Days and embrace Rabbi Zedek's wisdom from the bimah. I've already extended the invitation.
Second, I am thankful for the opportunity to preach and teach during the Yamim Nora'im. There are many things on our collective minds, and I hope to tap into those sensibilities, maybe shine some light and bring a bit of comfort. Perhaps offer some direction and a call to action. Just to give you a sneak-peak into what I'll be talking about during Rosh Hashanah services, I will (in no particular order) focus on (a) the power and spirit of audacious hospitality and its impact on our lives and our congregation; (b) the story of Cain and Abel, inviting the theology that God has enough love for all people always but especially in these troubling times in which humanity doesn't love enough and could use some inspiration; and (c) the American-Israeli relationship since 1967 and the Six-Day War, its triumphs and tribulations, its blessings and curses, its threats and opportunities.
Finally, if you just can't wait for my preview in next week's e-bulletin, Yom Kippur will bring focus to (a) the creative power of words to build up, tear down and build back up our lives; and (b) the search for dignity and discipline in disagreement and dispute, as a prelude to a just, compassionate, and broad-minded Jewish response to immigration and solidarity with our nation's immigrants.
On behalf of my family Betsy, Cara, Jared, and our entire Emanuel professional team, I wish you and yours a shanah tovah m'tukah. May this year be good and sweet, and may it fill your lives with wholeness throughout.
Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good!