It is fascinating that while, in some ways, 'place' has ceased to hold meaning. And yet, in a moment of communal loss, being
'away'is palpable. I return tomorrow night from celebrating Thanksgiving with my family in New York, and during the time I've been away our community has suffered many losses. I was able, thanks to our shul's technology, to witness and participate in our communal responses to each situation, but being away from home is very hard, especially during difficult moments. Technology allows us to skype with our relatives during Thanksgiving dinner (as we did in New York with my sister in Tel Aviv) and enables us to offer comfort across a continent, but it just isn't the same as being home.
We just began the month of Kislev, the month of Channukah,
which commemorates the rededication of our home, the Beit haMikdash/Holy Temple in Jerusalem, by the Maccabees. In those days, and in ours, we believe home is worth fighting for.
Consider the moments we share in our precious home on University Ave. In addition to our ongoing Shabbat and Learning rhythms, the programming at CNS is stunning (and dizzying!). Coming up we'll hold our new Minyan Lev Shalem (this Friday at 6pm), a P.J. Havdalah for Preschoolers and their families (this Saturday at 6:15pm), and this Sunday at 7:30pm we will be hosting a moderated political conversation entitled "Has the Obama Administration Been Good for Israel?"
On a personal note, I'm very excited to celebratethe release of my new CD "Within" at a concert at shul on Saturday Night, Dec. 10th at 8pm! The CD is a paradigm of our community's participatory spirit, with artwork by Karen Friedman, Project Design and Management by Claudia Valas and Alison Jordan, photography by Nadine Samuels, and harmonies by Liz Creditor, Cantor Jennie Chabon, Julie Batz - and Rabbi Kelman! I look forward to sharing music, and supporting our shul with sales of the CD, all of which will be directed to strengthening our shul's home and future.
Mother Teresa once taught that "Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action." What a blessing to share our sacred home at Netivot Shalom and to fill it with our lives and our love and our dreams. May we be blessed to continue seeing joy and comfort flow in our community, preparing for Channukah by banishing the darkness and igniting each other's lights.