We are in the home stretch with Shavuot, our summer harvest festival, just around the corner. And to ready ourselves for Kabbalat Matan Torah, for receiving the gift of Torah, we invite you to enjoy a number of inspiring experiences this week.
Sefirat Ha-Omer: Please go to Emanuel’s YouTube page and take a look at the videos for our Sefirat Ha-Omer Project. Currently, we have 18 videos of 18 Jewish middot (virtues) that can help us reflect on what it takes to be ready for our upcoming moment at Sinai, an experience which calls us to impress the wisdom of Torah and the abundance of God’s love in our hearts.
Yizkor: At 10:30 am on Friday, May 29th, we will hold our Shavuot Yizkor service online in support of all among us remembering loved ones. Zikhronam livrakha!
Shavuot Shabbat: For Kabbalat Shabbat, Friday, May 29th at 6:30 pm, we will weave Shavuot themes into our prayer experience, including the reading of the Aseret Ha-Dibbrot (the Ten Commandments.)
Tikkun: This year, our annual JCC Rose and Sidney N. Shure Kehilla/Lakeview/Edgewater Tikkun will take place online. May 30, 9:30 pm to May 31, 1:00 am Central time. The program begins with havdalah, which I am helping to lead. My colleagues and I will then teach, and learning sessions will follow. We are proud to co-sponsor this important virtual gathering. Please see THIS community flyer for more details. To whet your appetite, the Rabbis will be discussing this prompt based on Mishnah Berurah 494:12:
B’nai Yisrael went into the Sinai experience with one set of parameters, and came back
with a different set. They had to take a first step in this new context, they had to figure out each segment of their new life. In our current reality, What do you see as your first steps? The first steps for your community? What do you see as your new parameters, or the new parameters for your community? How far are you willing to push them?
On behalf of Betsy, Cara, and Jared, I wish you a chag Shavuot sameach. And besides remembering our loved ones who have passed away, let us take into our thankful hearts the memories of those who have died defending our country and its precious ideals like freedom and democracy. Zikhronam livrakhah! And for all those soldiers who have survived and/or continue to serve, may we be grateful to them, as well. And, to all our military families past, present, and future, may we be grateful for the powerful sacrifices they must often make.
Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good!
Rabbi Craig Marantz