We are two weeks away from Rosh HaShannah! Unbelievable! Many of us heard
Ruth Messinger deliver an impassioned drasha at shul this past Shabbat morning, calling us to action. She had called personally to ask if she could speak at Netivot Shalom - just let that sink in. Ruth is a modern prophetess, leading all of North American Jewry forward through the amazing commitments of American Jewish World Service, and she asked to speak at Netivot Shalom.We are so blessed. And so obligated to gather up our strength within our community, so that we can be strong enough to answer her call.
Many of us gathered this past Sunday for our 9/11 Ten Year Memorial, organized by Karen Juster Hecht and cosponsored by our friends at the Pacifica Institute. We
stood, remembered, and learned each other's names. We prayed, and our Muslim sisters and brothers prayed in our Preschool room. Just let that sink in. We have built, during these past years, a textured relationship with our Turkish Muslim friends, enough of a relationship that they knew their prayers and ours were aligned. We are so blessed. And so obligated to be strong as a shul so that our loving, safe space can be many Peoples' home.
Here are some of the ways our creative potential will be manifest this coming year. These efforts are reminders of the power of the Netivot Shalom community:
1) Nov. 19th, 8pm: Josh Kornbluth performs "Love and Taxes" (interspersed with clips from his upcoming film release) at CNS
2) Dec. 4th, 8pm: Release concert of my new CD "Within" (a collaborative shul effort with Cantor Jennie Chabon, Liz Creditor, Julie Batz, Rabbi Kelman, Alison Jordan, Claudia Valas, Nina Meigs, Nadine Samuels, Karen Friedman, Justin Garland, Helen Schneider, and Willa Mamet)
3) Dec. 10th, 10am: a special brunch to celebrate the Publication of Netivot: Paths of Torah, our professionally-published collection of 20 years of CNS Drashot, edited by Peter Strauss and Judith McCullough with contributions from over 50 shul members and a foreword by Rabbi Kelman
4) February 11, a Night at CNS with Anat Hoffman, director of Women of the Wall
Please mark your calendars, and fill your sails with wind - these events are more than simply events. They will each empower us to fulfill "the mitzvot for which there is no measure", as Rabbi Kelman championed from the earliest days of our shul's life. Feel the power of belonging to such a special community! Let that sink in! And then harness it for the sacred work ahead!
It is our duty to generate the power to make miracles real. Two weeks until Rosh HaShannah. The world is about to be born anew. May it be blessed by conviction and strength, and may Netivot Shalom be a channel for these blessings to spread throughout the world.
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&…