Hello Temple Sinai!
WE NEED A MINYAN ON SATURDAY MORNING SERVICES FOR A SHORT TORAH READING AND CHILD NAMING! PLEASE JOIN US!
This Shabbat morning, we will have a slightly longer service with a short Torah reading (Shema and V’Ahavta!) so that we can have a proper child naming Gwen and Vivian Saipe, daughters of Noah and Adriana, newish members of our congregation, so please try to come and show your support.
Elu v’Elu Devarim
Words matter profoundly in Judaism. In many ways, the entire Talmud is one long argument over centuries about the meaning and power of words. We are called the “People of the Book” but it would perhaps be more accurate to call us a tradition that holds words and language sacred.
In Hebrew, the word for “words” is devarim. This week, in our Torah reading, we start the Book of Devarim, also known as Deuteronomy. It is the “Book of Words”.
I hope you are having a great Vermont summer! The swimming hole near us has been bumper to bumper parking. It has been great seeing so many of you at services lately. Keep coming and bringing friends! We are busy working, getting ready for Hebrew School and some of the innovations we are planning there, and budgeting for next year, and planning adult education, and a trip to Israel, and social action, and… … … This email has a few things, so here are quick links for you:
1. Some Comments on the Recent Shootings
2. Tisha B’av SPECIAL SERVICE Saturday at 8 pm
3. Shabbat Services this Week ROCK SHABBAT
4. Changes to Torah Study (We’re also reading Joshua)
5. Come help us plant the Garden! This Sunday at 11:30am. Pizza for lunch!
6. Results of Trip to Israel Survey
7. Save the Date: Shabbat Morning Service August 17
From the time our people left Egypt until they crossed into the promised land, they wandered in the wilderness, a place neither here nor there, a place in-between, a liminal space. In Hebrew, there is a midrash that equate Egypt Mitzrayim, with the phrase min ha-meitzar, or from the narrow-places, from the abyss. In other words, to leave any form of bondage or oppression, we have to pass through a narrow place, through a wilderness, or what in simplest terms might mean “between a rock and a hard place.”
It was great to see so many people at the shindig for Paul and Patti Levi last Shabbat. I tried to bring a taste of Jerusalem’s ”Nava Tehila,” but I think it was too many new tunes for one service. This week is Folk Shabbat, so we’ll be sure to rely mostly on tunes that are familiar. Thank you for your willingness to try out new things, and through trial and error find our own Temple Sinai worship groove.
I’ve been working to bring together rabbis and cantors across the state to create a unified campaign in Vermont to do something tangible and real to help those in detention or seeking asylum…
People ask, how was my time in Jerusalem?
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
These famous lines by Charles Dickens from his novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” in many ways sum up not only my experience in Jerusalem, but I believe in some ways the state of the city that lies at the heart of Israel and the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors and Palestinian residents.
I had an AMAZING time studying at the Hartmann Institute in Jerusalem, but I am very glad to be back at Temple Sinai, and I look forward to bringing what I learned to our adult education programs this year. I want to sincerely thank everyone that helped while I was away, particularly Holly Issenberg, Paula Cope, Dr. Rebecca Kneale Gould, Rabbi Jan Salzman, and Mark Leopold.
It is summer in Vermont, and there is a lot going on…
A MIGHTY REAL DIFFERENT SPIRIT – So I was driving home from work a couple of weeks ago, and I had listened to all my Torah study podcasts, and I had listened to the Daily and Hidden Brain, and so I pulled over to look for something and noticed there was a new season of Making Gay History, and excellent podcast series featuring interviews with a wide variety of people who were pivotal in some aspect of the LGBT rights movement.
This season is all about the Stonewall Riots, so I thought, “perfect,” clicked, started listening and kept driving. By the time I got to Starksboro…
Hello Temple Sinai!
It was another great week at Temple Sinai, with our campfire singalong, Salsa dancing lessons, the Sisterhood End of Year Dinner, and a really fun Friday night service. Thanks to everyone who helped make those events so much fun. This Friday night is the 50th Anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the event that got the modern LGBT rights movement started. Click the title to see more…