Spiritual Nourishment In Times of Transition with Rabbi Linda
Ten years ago I created a support group for members who were in transition. At that time most of the vicissitudes were professional but some members were dealing with health crises, relationship or family changes and various types of loss. We met for many years until there seemed to be no need. Recently I have wondered if there may be renewed interest in a similar group. If you are going through any kind of significant change in your life and would like some support please join us. We'll engage in personal sharing, mutual respect, helpful learning and prayer and meditation. Please let me know if you are interested as it will help me plan. The first meeting of this monthly group will be held on Thursday May 10th from 4-5pm in my office at BI. Here’s to finding strength through community as we move through life! L'Chaim
HAPPY CHANUKAH by Rabbi Linda Potemken
Chanukah is here! I invite you to embrace these eight nights and to maximize their pleasure and meaning. Here are ten reasons I savor our festival of lights:
Our hearts go out to the victims of the recent mass shooting at the first Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, only weeks after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. The fact that this recent shooting took place in a house of worship further aggravates our sense of vulnerability and loss.
We open our hearts and add our prayers to ask for all healing possible for those suffering the consequences of gun violence. We pray that wisdom prevails and that these senseless murders cease. We raise up the Torah teaching that all human life is sacred, made in the image of the divine and that worlds are torn apart when someone’s life ends violently and unexpectedly. As we pray for peace we ask that our leaders and officials take the steps necessary to reduce future violence. We pray to stay strong in the face of tragedy.
Oseh Shalom Bimromav - May the Creator of Peace nurture us to create peace in our world and hold up light to the darkness.
Rabbi Linda & Rabbi Nathan
Our next holiday, Shavuot, involves a special type of preparation. This major festival celebrates the giving of the Torah and we have been counting toward that observance since the 2nd night of Pesach for 7 weeks, or as we say in Hebrew, sheva Shavuot! (Shavuot means weeks). The premise of Shavuot is that we become vessels for God and Torah. How might we do that?
We were shocked. Saturday night hundreds of gravestones at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery were desecrated. Immediately people of all backgrounds - Jews, Muslims, Christians - ventured out to the cemetery to offer assistance. Yesterday I participated in a gathering of close to 200 faith leaders that culminated in a press conference denouncing the vandalism on the Mount Carmel Cemetery.
The Rev. Jay Broadnax, the president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia who sat at my table, was among the many speakers to issue a statement. He offered: “We must stand together, we are one community here in Philadelphia. I’m reminded of how this community came together after the incident in Charleston, South Carolina, that affected my denomination, and how many of these people stood together with us. We’re proud to stand with you today condemning this act.”