- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On July 24, 2020
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, our weekly reflection as we make our way towards Shabbat. You can listen to it as a podcast HERE.
Competent inspiring leaders have an impact that ripples out into eternity. Since the death of Congressman John Lewis one week ago, we have heard of his courage, tenacity, and humanity with the full scope of his integrity revealed again and again. During his life, we witnessed how his moral maturity and authority shined light into the dark places of racism and inequality. He adopted the philosophy of non-violence modeled by Dr. Martin Luther King and stood side by side with him in their pursuit of civil rights and the promotion of voting rights.
In the New York Times podcast on past Monday, they spoke of how Congressman Lewis viewed the Black Lives Matter protests as a continuation of the work he engaged in when he was in his twenties marching on Washington and elsewhere. One aspect that John Lewis described was the willingness to allow violence to be perpetuated upon him and his fellow warriors for justice. Their battleground was the myriad places of segregation and mistreatment of People of Color. They knew they could overcome the viciousness they perpetually faced through their own resistance to violent response even though, as he said, “it’s the hardest thing in the world to carry out.” The podcast shared Lewis’ own words:
“Non-violent suffering affects not only ourselves but it touches and changes around us as well. It opens us and those around us to a force beyond ourselves, a force that is right and moral, the force of righteous truth that is the basis of human conscience. Suffering puts us and those around us in touch with our consciences. It opens and touches our hearts, makes us feel compassion where we need to and guilt if we must… One method of practicing this approach when faced with a hateful, angry, aggressive even despicable person is to imagine that person, actually visualize him or her as an infant, as a baby. If you can see this full grown attacker who faces you as a pure innocent child that he or she once was, it is not hard to find compassion in your heart. Then it wasn’t just a tactic. It was a way of life.( –Transcribed by Rabbi John Rosove from the NY Times Daily Podcast “The Life and Legacy of John Lewis” – July 20, 2020)
The Talmud (Berachot 5a) teaches that a person should always incite the good impulse to fight against the evil impulse. Congressman John Lewis had a front row seat to the evil impulse in those who rejected equality, civility, and righteousness. He sought to find the good impulse in himself and others. He still teaches this idea even in death. May remembering him not only bring blessing but also the peace, compassion, courage, and good will to ensure all are created and treated equally well in this nation and across the world.
- Tonight at 6:00 p.m., we celebrate Shabbat virtually from the TI Garden, where members of the TI Clergy will lead Qabbalat Shabbat “together”, while physically distanced. Please join us as we bless Rabbi Jen Gubitz and Matan BenYishay for their upcoming wedding. We can pray together HERE on the Temple Israel website, or HERE on Zoom, or even HERE on TI’s Facebook page. Or, just find it all on the website www.tisrael.org/TogetherWithTI .
- Riverway Shabbat ReCharge will take place tonight at 7:30 p.m. Join HERE.
- The Village gathers at 5:00 p.m. for a Shabbat story and blessings HERE.
- Torah study engages everyone. We start with a short Shabbat morning service at 9:00 a.m. with Torah reading and then launch into a provocative discussion. BYOBagel! To join the conversation interactively, access HERE to Zoom. You will be amazed by how well and easy it is to participate and comment. You can also watch HERE on Temple Israel’s website or HERE on TI’s Facebook page.
- Celebrate Shabbat as a family with TGIS with Wayne Potash at 10:00 a.m. HERE.
- Mark the end of Shabbat together with Havdalah at 8:00 p.m. Join us interactively HERE on Zoom, or watch along on the website HERE, or on Facebook HERE.