Shavua tov! Looking forward to (our second) Shabbat Acharei Mot and a bar mitzvah.

Shavua tov – a  good week to you! This week we are once again reading from the Torah portion known as Acharei Mot.  (Because Reform communities observe only seven days of Pesach, as is the custom in the land of Israel, we adjust our Torah reading cycle slightly in order to remain in sync with the rest of the Jewish world. This year, that meant dividing this week’s Torah portion into two halves. We read from the first half last week, and will read from the second half this week.)

Please join us on Shabbat morning as we call Sasha Rooney to the Torah as a bar mitzvah! If you’re looking for commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, here are a few:

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As we move from Pesach to Shavuot, we enter deeper into the journey of counting the Omer — the days which connect our festival of liberation with our festival of revelation. If you’re looking for Omer-counting resources, there are a few more copies of Rabbi Rachel’s Toward Sinai: Omer Poems available at the synagogue. There are also a variety of places online where one can sign up for daily Omer teachings via email or Facebook — I especially like the Omer teachings at A Way In at Mishkan Shalom.

Don’t forget to register for the Shavuot retreat at Isabella Freedman! As members of an ALEPH Network community we receive a substantial discount; include the registration code VELVETEEN and you’ll get a $150 discount on that retreat.

Blessings to all,

Rabbi Rachel

Shavua tov! Looking forward to the remainder of Pesach and to a bar mitzvah.

Shavua tov – a  good week to you! And chag sameach, a joyous festival. I hope that everyone’s Pesach has begun with sweetness.

CBI is both part of the ALEPH Network, and affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. As a Reform-affiliated community, we observe seven days of Pesach. (All communities in Israel do the same. Outside of Israel, Conservative and Orthodox communities observe eight days of Pesach… but at CBI for the last several years we have followed Reform custom of observing a seven-day festival of Passover.) Therefore, following Reform custom, we’ll divide the Torah portion Acharei Mot into two halves, and will read from the first half this coming Shabbat as we celebrate the bar mitzvah of Jeremy Guy, and from the second half the following week.

Please join us on Shabbat morning as we call Jeremy Guy to the Torah as a bar mitzvah! If you’re looking for commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, here are a few:

return-to-shabbat

May this week of Pesach be meaningful and sweet for all of us!

As we move from Pesach to Shavuot, we enter into the journey of counting the Omer — the days which connect our festival of liberation with our festival of revelation. If you’re looking for Omer-counting resources, there are a few more copies of Rabbi Rachel’s Toward Sinai: Omer Poems available at the synagogue. There are also a variety of places online where one can sign up for daily Omer teachings via email or Facebook — I especially like the Omer teachings at A Way In at Mishkan Shalom.

Don’t forget to register for the Shavuot retreat at Isabella Freedman! As members of an ALEPH Network community we receive a substantial discount; include the registration code VELVETEEN and you’ll get a $150 discount on that retreat.

Blessings to all,

Rabbi Rachel

Shavua tov! Looking forward to Shabbat Pesach!

Shavua tov – a  good week to you! This is the week which culminates in Pesach. There will be no Shabbat / Festival morning services at CBI this coming Saturday morning, but we hope you’ve already RSVP’d to join us at our Second Night Community Seder on Saturday night.

If you’re looking for Pesach resources, here are a few:

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  • The Velveteen Rabbi’s Haggadah for Pesach – free, downloadable, print and bind it yourself! Interweaves traditional text with contemporary poetry and meditations on liberation.
  • Prayer for Dew. On Pesach morning we recite a special prayer for dew; and from now on until the end of the fall holiday season, our daily amidah prayer features a request for God to bring the dew, rather than a request for rains and snow.
  • Matzah; open space; constriction. “To those caught in a constriction which will not let go, I offer this prayer: that this Pesach may offer you an expansive breath through that tiny open space which turns hametz into matzah…”

May this week leading up to Pesach be meaningful and sweet for all of us!

Shavua tov! Looking forward to Shabbat Metzora

Shavua tov – a  good week to you! Join us this coming Shabbat morning for services led by Chris Kelly.

This week we’re reading parashat Metzora from the book of Vayikra (Leviticus)

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: M’Tzora at the URJ.

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

Flourishing Project, Mitzvah 2: Havdalah

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

Some of you have been joining me in a mitzvah experiment this month — trying to remember to bless the food that we eat every day. We are doing this as part of a nationwide project called The Flourishing Project. The Flourishing Project’s goal is to explore a simple question: How do mitzvot function, if at all, to help us live more flourishing lives?

The lunar month is drawing to its close — Adar II will end this Friday. These are the last few days of our month of assessing the impact of blessing regularly before eating.  Once Adar II is over, the Flourishing Project will circulate a survey asking you to reflect on your experiences.

During Nissan (April 9th – May 8th), the next mitzvah we will be testing is Havdalah.  (Here’s a short post I wrote a few years ago explaining what havdalah is, how it works, and why I love it. At the bottom of that post there are links to other havdalah resources, including the text of the blessings and recordings of the blessings being sung.)

If you’re interested in participating in this havdalah experiment, before Nissan begins, we ask that you complete this very short survey (1-2 minutes) about Havdalah.  We encourage you to invite members of your community to participate.  Please pass along the survey to anyone who is interested in partaking.

Wishing you blessings, now and always —

Rabbi Rachel

 

Don’t miss the ALEPH Kallah!

Dear all,

I’m writing to share this Flyer for the 2016 ALEPH Kallah [pdf]!

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The ALEPH Kallah is Jewish Renewal’s biennial gathering. If your summer plans permit travel to Colorado, I hope you’ll consider joining us. The list of courses and workshops is amazing, and it’s going to be an incredible week — and a great opportunity to experience Jewish Renewal learning, community, and prayer. I can guarantee that a week at Kallah will enliven your Judaism and awaken your spirit!

Early-bird registration (5% discount) is in effect until April 14. And if we can gather a minyan of CBI participants, we’ll get a special discount, so if you’re planning to go, let me know.

Take a peek at the flyer, click on the ALEPH Kallah link, and let me know if you might be able to come.

Blessings to all —

Rabbi Rachel

Shavua tov! Looking forward to Shabbat Tazria

Shavua tov – a  good week to you! Join us this coming Shabbat morning for services led by Rabbi Jarah Greenfield.

This week we’re reading parashat Tazria from the book of Vayikra (Leviticus)

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:Tzav at the URJ.

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