by Rabbi Nathan Martin - January 2019
I still can feel the joyful energy as I joined a chain of a hundred other smiling dancers while we snaked our way through the aisles of the Double Tree hotel conference room and belted out Lekha Dodi along with the 500+ Reconstructionist davveners for the Friday night service. This is one image I will hold onto from the Reconstructing Judaism convention - an image that helps me to remember that we are indeed part of a larger movement of joyful, creative, soulful Jews and allies seeking ways to infuse Jewish meaning into our lives.
This sacred season is replete with holy days, each unique yet wedded to one another through the theme of teshuvah - turning, returning, repenting, and renewing. As we step into each holy day we encounter opportunities to celebrate; to contemplate life, eternity and forgiveness; to raise up harvest, hospitality and spiritual protection; and ﬁnally, to dance as we celebrate Torah and the gift of new beginnings. This month is an invitation to ﬁnd meaning and inspiration through sacred time. Let's clear a path for these occasions and open ourselves up to discovery as we embrace them. Wishing you sweetness and blessing as we step into this new year - 5779 - together.
Shana Tova U'metukah, Rabbi Linda
As we move into September and the Jewish month of Tishrei, we enter into our most liturgically intensive time of the Jewish year. This can be a dizzying few weeks, moving from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to Sukkot and Simchat Torah. This is a movement also from the solemnity and humility of the Yamim Noraim (the awe-ﬁlled days) to the celebration of the joyfulness and abundance of Sukkoth and Simchat Torah.
Our ancestors’ metaphors for the Divine at these different moments seem to shift as well. On Rosh Hashanah, God is envisioned as sovereign and judge,
We are proud to announce that our Board voted to co-sponsor a Tisha b’Av service and protest that will be held outside of the Philadelphia ICE field office at 2nd and Chestnut. The service will be on Tisha b’Av morning, July 22nd from 11:00-1:00, and will include prayers, songs, brief speeches, and the chanting of Eichah. The purpose is to raise a Jewish communal voice around the message of ahavat ha-ger, (love the stranger), of our own people’s experience of marginalization and demonization, and a refusal to remain silent in the face of injustice. May our observances bring us nearer to personal teshuva and to societal justice and healing.