Today is DAY FIFTEEN, which makes TWO WEEKS and ONE DAY of the Omer.
As we come to the end of another week, I hesitate to generalize how we all might be feeling. For some this week was a bit easier, finally starting to settle into a new routine. For some this week felt like a step backwards; things that had been getting easier got harder again, and emotional reserves ran low. Others had a week that was up and down. And many, I suspect, experienced all of these in some way or another!
We are going through this all together, and yet each of our roads is so utterly individual. Adversity tightens the bonds of community, and yet isolation and loneliness are everywhere.
Into this paradox Shabbat arrives. Shabbat is our chance to get back in sync. It's been wonderful to hear from so many of you that our live Shabbat candle lighting and blessings have become part of the rhythm of your home. If you haven't joined us yet, I encourage you to try it out tonight. Seeing those faces—even in little boxes on a screen—is an important reminder that we're not in this alone.
However this week felt for you, I hope that next week is a better one. And first, I hope you have a Sabbath day of peace and renewal. Stay safe and patient, and I look forward to seeing you tonight or soon.
Torah for Today Rabbi Noah
"A Man in His Life"
Yehudah Amichai, trans. Chana Bloch
A man doesn't have time in his life
to have time for everything.
He doesn't have seasons enough to have
a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes
was wrong about that.
A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment,
to laugh and cry with the same eyes,
with the same hands to throw stones and gather them,
to make love in war and war in love.
And to hate and forgive and remember and forget,
to arrange and confuse, to eat and digest
takes years and years to do.
A man doesn't have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves,
when he loves he begins to forget.
And his soul is seasoned, his soul
is very professional.
Only his body remains forever
an amateur. It tries and misses,
gets muddled, doesn't learn a thing,
drunk and blind in its pleasures and its pains. He will die as figs die in autumn, shriveled and full of himself and sweet, the leaves growing dry on the ground, the bare branches pointing to the place
where there's time for everything.
Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000), one of the greatest Hebrew poets of the 20th century, loved to twist and tease the Bible and any traditional Jewish text. Here he offers a counterargument to the famous opening passage of Ecclesiastes 3, "To everything there is a season..." Amichai disagrees—in fact, our time is so limited that we must do and feel many things at once, even when they are contradictory.
This poem could be an extension of what I wrote about Shabbat above. Not only does each of us have a very distinct experience from week to week—we experience diverse and contradictory things at the same time! We can be, for example, both content and unsettled, busy and bored, discouraged and hopeful. We don't have a separate "time for every purpose"—especially not under the present circumstances. And so our souls become "seasoned" and "professional," as we navigate being, doing, and feeling so many things at once.
*LIVE* Candle Lighting and Shabbat Blessings
Friday, 4/24, 6:00pm
Check your daily email for details on how to join.
Friday Night Shabbat Service Video
Watch Any Time!
Pre-recorded by Rabbi Noah, Rabbi David, and Cantor Sarah. Will be posted on Kol Dorot's Facebook and distributed by email immediately following the live candle lighting.
Shabbat Morning Torah Study
Saturday, 4/25, 9:00-10:00am
Check your daily email for details on how to join.
A thought-provoking, interactive way to engage with Judaism's foundational text. There is no wrong time to check out Torah study. But now is a great time! All are welcome, and no experience necessary.
Havdallah with Cantor Sarah and Family
Saturday, 4/25, 6:00pm
Join Cantor Sarah for the blessings that conclude Shabbat. Havdallah will be pre-recorded and posted on the Kol Dorot Facebook page.
Coming Next Week
Check your daily email for details.
Join the entire Reform Movement as we mark the transition between sadness and joy as we move from Yom HaZikaron – Israel’s day of mourning for its fallen, and Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day. Join with Reform Jews across the world in helping the State of Israel mark the anniversary of its historic founding in 1948. Together we will offer reflection, song and prayer to observe this modern Jewish holiday, which in Israel begins with a Memorial Day – Yom Ha-Zikaron – and culminates in a day of national celebration – Yom Ha’atzmaut. Our virtual observance will begin by a transition ceremony – a Tekes Ma’avar – from memorial to Israel’s fallen into a joyful reflection of Israel’s impact on what it means to be a Jew today.
Managing Anxiety During the Pandemic
with Dr. Tara Sager
Wednesday, 4/29, 8:30pm
Check your daily email for details on how to join the meeting.
Come join us for an informal and interactive discussion about managing anxiety during the pandemic. Dr. Tara Sager will discuss symptoms and ways to cope with anxiety during these challenging times. An interactive Q&A and discussion will follow. Dr. Sager is a member of Kol Dorot, mom of three young boys, and parent in both our Religious School and Early Learning Center. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Cresskill (and currently via telehealth). Check out her website at www.drtarasager.com.