Rabbi Irwin Kula serves as scholar in Residence at Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation in Mercer Island, WA on March 27 and 28th. The congregation’s theme for the weekend is “Re-Imagining American Jewish Life,” and topics include “What is Shabbat’s Job?” and “Beyond the Tribe: Judaism as a Path of Human Flourishing.”
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From Clal 03/26/15
How about this:
At your service
Service to others marks our celebration of freedom from almost the moment the Seder begins...Customs, traditions, etiquette — they all send messages.
The custom that at the Seder each person's cup is filled for them by another guest sends a powerful message indeed.
"...Soon we’ll sit around our tables turning toward one another as we re-tell our sacred story by way of questions and answers exchanged between the generations of our families and community. The mitzvah of the Seder is to teach and learn from all who are present at our tables, all the archetypes and all the paths of Torah we represent. We contribute our divergent perspectives so that we can collectively envision the biblical redemption as relevant to us, here and now..."
"...service to others marks our celebration of freedom from almost the moment the seder begins, where we fill the cups of others and rely on them to do so for us. Customs, traditions, etiquette — they all send messages. The custom that at the seder each person’s cup is filled for them by another guest sends a powerful message indeed: Serving others, not self-service, is actually the highest expression of freedom..."
"My teacher, Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of CLAL, asked a group of Rabbis Without Borders fellows recently: Do people see us as necessary – conduits, guides, connectors for them in their Jewish life? Do people come to rabbis and ask deep questions they are struggling with? Do they seek us in times of need and celebration?
Mazal Tov to Rabbis Without Borders Fellows Elyssa Auster, Shefa Gold, Amy Wallk Katz, Michael Knopf, Carnie Rose, and Kaya Stern Kaufman who have been selected to appear in The Forward's Most Inspiring Rabbis of 2015!
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From an article by Anne Cohen and Maia Efrem from The Forward
"When does time begin? What does time measure? What came before the beginning? Such mind-bending questions evoke timeless truths especially relevant at this very moment in the Jewish year.
"Trans-denominationalism and post-de-nominationalism are great words. They sound big and important. “We are entering a new post-denominational age,” the Jewish pundits declare. Often this declaration is meant to scare people. We are entering uncharted water; the great Jewish institutions of the 20th Century are crumbling. We don’t know where we are headed. Ahh! Watch out! Okay, reality check: we have been here before. We are masters at navigating change.
"...So the burial custom may be dying. But that means, in a time of cultural change, planning a funeral is a moment of genuine opportunity. As the "how" of saying goodbye shifts, we can connect to a series of shared "whats" to help us navigate the moment of change with greater wisdom and compassion for all those saying good-bye..."
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Maybe you'll be deep in the work of the external cleaning for Passover, but how about pausing to take a day, just for yourself, to focus on internal cleaning? If this is something you know you also need, come join us at a pre-Passover Spirituality Retreat with Clal Resident Reb Drew (Kirtan Rabbi), Rabbi Elyssa Joy Auster, and vegan nutritionist, Doron Petersan.