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KD Daily - Rabbi Pomerantz Message

Today is DAY TWENTY-NINE, which makes FOUR WEEKS and ONE DAY of the Omer.


This Shabbat it seems we may experience record cold temperatures and a rare May snowfall, to which I respond...REALLY?!? Are you kidding me?

Friends, we have reached a point in this experience where many of us are feeling depleted. Without our usual emotional reserves, minor annoyances (like bad weather) upset us disproportionately.

Now more than ever is a time for Shabbat. In the song "V'shamru," words directly from Torah, we sing that on the seventh day, God "shavat vayinafash"—"rested and was refreshed." "Vayinafash" is a wonderful word, which has the root "nefesh"—"soul," "spirit," or even "life." On Shabbat our souls are recharged, our spiritual power renewed. Quite literally, Shabbat gives us life.

I look forward to seeing many of you tonight for our live Shabbat blessings and our live Shabbat service. May this Shabbat refresh us and renew our strength to face the challenges of this moment.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Noah


Torah for Today

Rabbi Frederic Pomerantz, Rabbi Emeritus, Kol Dorot

Note: Rabbi Pomerantz has shared with us an audio Shabbat message he prepared for Congregation Agudas Achim, a community he serves in Livingston Manor, NY. I have transcribed a portion of the message below, but I encourage you to listen to the recording, which conveys the warmth and depth of Rabbi Pomerantz's teaching better than the text. \ — Rabbi Noah

Hevre. It's Erev Shabbat. And I'm thinking about you folks. I have the picture now in my mind, of all of us gathered for the High Holidays, filling our sanctuary to the brim. The energy of the prayers overflowing and splashing and touching one another, to feel not simply God's presence in the abstract, but I believe God manifest through other people, through each other. And so to feel God's presence by feeling the power of the praying congregation, by feeling the power of presence, even those who are not praying from the prayer book, even sitting and meditating, simply being. That's the power I feel. That's the power I hope you can tap into as we each are in our separate bunkers.

Yes, the reality is, though we can look out the windows and see the trees and the grasses and the shrubs. I'm thinking up in Sullivan County that the blooms are out now or are about to be out. Remember, at our place the daffodils in brilliant yellow, coming up against the emerging green. All of that is present and yet still, we are in a bunker of sorts, each of us. And so because of that, we need to look to other sources of comfort. For those of us who are not simply getting antsy. Well, in truth a few people have told me, "Can you believe this?" They welcome this respite because they're doing things they didn't have a chance to do for years. Well, that might be just a few, and God bless them. Others of us are, by now, rankling up against the shelter in place, and we do feel that we're in a bunker….

To us now in our own bunkers, we can do this. We can do this; we have the implicit strength. God has already given it to us to move through whatever is necessary. The advantage we have… is the ability to connect to each other even from our bunkers. So that's so important. Yes, of course, family members. Not all of us, though, sadly, have family members to connect to. And so that's why it's so important to reach out to the members of our community. You know, you don't have to be best friends with a fellow congregant, to give a call and simply say, "How are you?"

I'm thinking of some that I've been wondering about, been worried about. And we can make those calls. I've found it very helpful for me personally, to make those connections when possible. And so for you as well, to reach out from your bunker to just check on other folks to see how everyone is. Well, we can't cover everyone in fact. But even a few calls, and a few calls to neighbors, even neighbors they hardly speak to, just to say "hello" and check and see if they need anything, if you can help them with procuring anything that's necessary. That's how God works. See, that's really, particularly on Shabbat. That's how God comes into the world.


Celebrate Shabbat

*LIVE* Candle Lighting and Shabbat Blessings

Friday, 5/8, 6:00pm

Check your daily email for details

*LIVE*Friday Night Shabbat Service

Friday, 5/8, 7:30pm

Check your daily email for details

Our live service was a success last week, so we're doing it again! Please join us virtually to celebrate Shabbat all together "in the same room." (Note: Use the same Zoom link for the Candle Lighting and Shabbat Service.)

Shabbat Morning Torah Study

Saturday, 5/9, 9:00-10:00am

Check your daily email for details

Havdallah with Rabbi Noah and Family

Saturday, 5/9, 6:00pm (Pre-recorded)

We can't compete with Morah Anat's Star Wars costumes, but we'll have a few special things planned for the ceremony to end Shabbat... Look for the Havdallah video on the Kol Dorot Facebook Page


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