Shavua tov and chodesh tov! Looking forward to Shabbat Shoftim & Shabbat Across the Berkshires

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

Shavua tov / a good week to all, and chodesh tov / a good new month to all — happy new lunar month of Elul!


This weekend brings Shabbat Across the Berkshires. Join us at CBI at 7pm on Friday night (note: not our usual time) for a Kabbalat Shabbat service which we hope will be attended by congregants and clergy from throughout Berkshire County. This is the first time that Shabbat Across the Berkshires has happened in North County: join us! After davenen there will be a celebratory oneg hosted by the CBI Board.

Join us also at 9:30am on Saturday morning for Shabbat morning services where we’ll read from parashat Shoftim.

return-to-shabbatIf you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, some links follow:

And here’s the URJ’s compilation of commentaries on this week’s Torah portion: Shoftim at the URJ.

During the month of Elul it’s customary to pray psalm 27 every day. We’ll be singing different excerpts from the psalm over the course of this month and the Days of Awe — the song “Achat Sha’alti,” which we’ve sung here for many years at this season (and here’s a beautiful instrumental version), and also the verse “Lach Amar Libi” to a melody from Nava Tehila, the Jewish Renewal congregation of Jerusalem, which we introduced last year:

Here’s an embedded mp3 of that melody so you can listen to it at home:

And here’s sheet music, for those who find sheet music useful: Psalm 27,Lakh Amar Libi notes [pdf] The words translate to “You [God] called to my heart, saying ‘seek My face;’ Your face, Source of All, is what I seek!”

Many thanks to our shamashim, the members who host our Shabbat services each week. If you would like to join that group, please contact the office.

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