December 2016, from the clergy

Dear Friends

I love the festive feel of this time of year – the light, the joy, the time together with our community.  And while I am filled with that joy, I am constantly reminded that the holiday of Chanukah is a season of dedication, of looking to recognize that which might need repair and working to recognize the holiness in our lives and around our world.  The word Chanukah literally means “dedication,” as we celebrate the time of the dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem.  What is it that we dedicate ourselves to year after year?  How can we dedicate ourselves as individuals and as a community to work together to help make the world a little better, one mitzvah at a time?

I would like to invite you to Rodef Sholom’s first ever Mitzvah Fair! The event will take place this Sunday at 10:30am-12:30pm in the Social Hall.  Now more than ever, as we enter this holiday season, we need to think about how to perform acts of tikkun that will improve the lives of those in our community who are struggling.  Come learn about volunteer opportunities for adults, kids, families (there’s something for everyone!) at Rodef Sholom and the larger community.  Meet representatives from over 20 local agencies and organizations in the county and learn about how you can get involved.

When we light our Chanukah candles, we sing the blessing, “she’a-sah ni-ssim l’a-vo-tei-nu ba-ya-mim ha-hem ba-z’man ha-zeh,” “Blessed are you God who made miracles for our ancestors in their days at this time.”  Let’s work together to dedicate ourselves to making this a season of mitzvot – of giving of our time and purpose to performing acts that will heal our community and our world in our days now at this time.

~L’shalom,
Rabbi Lara

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