- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On May 14, 2021
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we make our way toward Shabbat. You can listen to it as a podcast HERE.
This morning I participated in the program organized by CJP and JCRC to connect Boston with Israel during these troubling times. I offered these words of prayer:
Some of the best moments in Jerusalem are not scenes of the diverse mosaic of peoples who populate its streets, it is the sounds of prayer, of calls to worship a God known by different names of varied traditions yet whose presence in the universe somehow connects us all.
But if we listen carefully now, it is the sounds of peace disturbed and broken for Palestinians, and Arab and Jewish Israelis. These past days have been terrifying with the screeches of sirens, the Iron Dome capture of missiles in the sky voiding their destructive force, children and parents crying, violence erupting in communities that have worked tirelessly to build bridges, and the groans of impatience and disrespect.
Too many lives have already been lost and we pray for a ceasefire and an end to thinking conflicts are solved by missiles, stones, or guns. We pray no one should have to live in fear even as we recognize that Israel has the right and responsibility to defend itself. And we also hope that there are righteous people who live in the midst of this destruction of tranquility and safety who know that it takes the hard work of peace to build relationships with one another as fragile as that may be.
This week we open the book of Numbers, called this name in English because it begins with a census. The language of the text provides a clear message in the way it directs the counting: each person should lift their head. שְׂא֗וּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ֙This means that each individual counts. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks commented that it is another reminder by our tradition of the value of each person, separate and unique, that makes up the whole.
War and violence thrive on animosity and unfettered nationalism. Peace and reconciliation thrive when we recognize the humanity of each person.
We pray that the leaders will lead, the people can bring peace again and sounds of prayer will replace the cries of violence.
Mikveh Yisrael, Hope of Israel,
Spread a Sukkat Shalom
A shelter of wholeness and healing
A sanctuary of calm and goodness.
May the watchword of our faith-
Listen. Pay Attention. Heed.
Allow the pain to be heard
And solutions to be reached
Throughout the land of great promise.
And may the sounds of children playing
And people rejoicing
Come speedily and soon in our day.
- Join us for Qabbalat Shabbat at 6:00 p.m. as we celebrate our tenth grade Confirmation students. 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.
- Tot Rock Shabbat gathers HERE at 5:00 p.m.
- Riverway gathers at 7:30 p.m. Register here.
- Torah Study will begin at 9:00 a.m. To join the conversation interactively, access Zoom HERE. You can also watch HERE on Temple Israel’s website or HERE on TI’s Facebook page.
- Thank Goodness It’s Shabbat takes place in person at 10:00 a.m.
- Riverway Havdalah will take place at 7:00 p.m. in person.
- Join the Clergy for Havdalah at 8:00 p.m. HERE.
- Beginning on Sunday at 5:00 please join us for Tikkun Zoom Shavuot: 25 Hours of Virtual Learning. We celebrate the revelation of Torah at Mount Sinai by learning together, often in what is called a Tikkun Leil Shavuot, a yearly Torah all-nighter. This year, we go even bigger as dozens of teachers, artists, and facilitators lead us in study, prayer, art making, music and more over a full 25 hours in the zoomosphere. Join us for an hour or two, or brew a pot of coffee and stay up for a full day of learning, connection, and celebration. Learn more and join us here.