May 2017, from the clergy

Dear Friends

This past Sunday, I was honored to give the introductory remarks at our community Yom HaShoah ceremony. The day is one that is filled with remembrance, with sadness, and with love and compassion, both for the survivors and for those whose lives were lost in the Holocaust. And I felt much darkness as I entered the synagogue that morning knowing what the rest of the day held and the emotions that went along with it all.

But when I walked in the religious school office that morning, I felt the same energy I always do: joy and excitement for all that would take place that morning. Our 5th graders were taking a field trip to Urban Adamah to learn about taking care of our world. Our Kindergarteners were going on a scavenger hunt for ritual objects in the sanctuary. Our 4th graders were learning about the Dead Sea in Israel.

And as I listened to the various conversations amongst the teachers and madrichim, one caught my attention. On of our 3rd grade teachers was telling another that they were making sun catchers that morning as they learned about the value of tikkun olam and repairing our world. “Sun catchers,” I thought to myself, “are the exact opposite of what I am feeling today.”

This day that filled me with such darkness was suddenly filled with rays of light, and I could only hope that I too might be able to catch some light to bring into this dark day. Light is hopeful, cheerful, uplifting, and perhaps we need that light to carry us through the darker days.

As we count the days of the Omer and the weeks leading up to Shavuot on May 30th, may we each find some rays of light to catch and bring into our lives. May that light shine brightly within us, and may we extend that light to those people we touch and the world in which we live day in and day out.

Rabbi Lara

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