Today is the 8th of Elul! Rosh HaShannah is just three weeks away! Shul's back in action, to say the least. We didn't quite slow down this past summer, with Rabbi Steven Greenberg as our scholar-in-residence, Bnei Mitzvah, engagements, losses, marriages, conversions, CNS Preschool-camp, affirmations, births, and the inspiring Yeshivat Lev Shalem, at which over 50 people participated in a week of studying our new Machzor, Lev Shalem. (Look for articles and pictures in the upcoming CNS Newsletter and check the CNS website soon for audio files from the sessions!)
The dynamism of Netivot Shalom's journey will continue this year in our community through experiences including:
It's going to be an incredible year, and we're starting if off with strength! My teacher and friend, Craig Taubman, invited me to join a project of his called "Jewels of Elul" six years ago, which was to be collections of short stories, anecdotes and introspection from some fascinating people (here's my piece on Elul 1 from that year). But this year we can celebrate two CNS contributors! Rachel Brodie is the contributor for the 7th of Elul and our very own Dan Schiffrin is the author of a forthcoming reflection. Nofrat Frenkel, the Israeli Masorti woman arrested for wearing a Tallit at the Kotel, is also a contributor this year. I encourage you to join the 17,000 person distribution list for the rest of Elul's Jewels - click here to join the email list. A few free copies of this year's Jewels will be available at shul this Shabbat.
Chevreh, this is going to be a year of deep growth, of serious fundraising, of sacred learning, and of new friendships. And it's all based on the exquisite sacred community we've always been becoming.Our membership is surging, which increases both our capacity to meet obligations but also makes welcoming much more important. One member summed-up, in my heart, the dream that brings us together: We should never become too big to recognize when one of us isn't there. May the strength of Netivot Shalom be a healing and affirming presence in each of our hearts, for each one of us is truly a Jewel.
Looking forward to sharing Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur with you all!
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…