Shavua tov, chag sameach, and looking forward to Shabbat Shemini (1)!

Shavua tov — a good new week to you. And chag sameach, happy festival of Passover to all! I hope that everyone’s sedarim were high and sweet.

Join us on Shabbat morning at 9:30am for Shabbat services. Following Reform custom, as a community we observe seven days of Pesach (see Is Passover Seven or Eight Days? on the URJ website), so the coming Shabbat will be the first day after Pesach for us — therefore we will read from the first part of the Torah portion known as Shemini. (The following week we will read from the second part of Shemini, and then we’ll be in synch with our Conservative and Orthodox cousins who observe 8 days of Pesach.)

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, here are a few:

And here are commentaries from the URJ:

This is the first week of the Omer, the week of chesed (lovingkindness.) Here are 49 poems for the Omer. There are a bunch of good Omer-counting apps to help us remember to count and to reflect on the qualities we’re invited to cultivate each day; I recommend MyOmerCounter and the Omer app from NeoHasid. The 49 days of the Omer count lead us from second seder to Shavuot. During these seven weeks, we prepare ourselves to receive Torah anew. I hope you’ll join us at our Hudson Valley Shavuot Retreat on May 18-20 at the end of the Omer count — read all about it and register now!

Blessings to all —

Rabbi Rachel

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