- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On March 9, 2018
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, a weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat.
While you may be buried beneath snow and ice in Boston and we, in Israel, continue to grapple with the multiple layers of complexities that weave the tapestry of this country, new life has emerged. On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, our wonderful Syrian family welcomed Salam Ahmad into loving arms of an expanded village. As we learned of his first and middle name (and the fine health of both mother and child) hope filled our hearts. Perhaps this newest member of their family will be part of a generation that could bring peace and understanding to every corner of the earth.
When our Temple Israel community agreed to join the humanitarian effort organized by the Jewish Family Service of Metrowest in the summer of 2016 to settle Syrian families, we did not know exactly what would happen. The Presidential election had not yet occurred. The limits on immigration had not yet arrived. We just knew it would take a village to welcome, and assist a family led by values of welcome and care and respect for the other. Our members and friends jumped forward by the hundreds. On the eve of January 19, 2017, a few of us representing the larger TI community stood by baggage claim at the airport with signs in hand to usher the Syrian family into a new life. Refugees no more, this family has been surrounded by love and diligent attention by our various TI teams.
And now another new chapter begins for them with the arrival of Salam Ahmad. We can all feel great joy with them and for them. Sanctifying new life lifts us all.
We are entering a season of hope as we move from Purim to Passover. The story of Esther is replaced by one that moves us from degradation to dignity, from slavery to freedom. Underneath the layers of snow, the earth is preparing for spring. And we can, too. As part of the festival celebration, we will sing the words from Song of Songs:
Lo, the winter has past. The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth. The time of singing has come. (2:11)
May the joy of Shabbat bring us a special kind of happiness that elevates our souls and reminds us of the power of hope as we celebrate the birth of a child into our community with the name of Salam, peace.
Tonight will be a wonderful night of singing and celebrating Shabbat together.
Qabbalat Shabbat begins at 6:00 p.m. Live stream HERE.
Shabbat Mishpacha (family Shabbat), which includes dinner begins at 5:00 p.m.
Tot Rock for families with children 5 years old and younger begins at 5:00 p.m.
Soul Food Friday for the Riverway Project (20s and 30s) begins at 7:00 p.m.
We continue in the morning with Torah study at 9:00 a.m., which begins with a short service followed by an engaging discussion.
Connect with me to share thoughts and reflections directly HERE.