3rd week: Before we can save our children…


We are in the third  of seven weeks of consolation, journeying toward Rosh Hashanah.  This Shabbat we overlay this special time by marking the last Hebrew month in the Jewish calendar, Elul.  Held within a vessel of comfort and consolation, we step up our preparations for the new year.  The shofar, blown daily (except on Shabbat) calls us to awaken to our lives as they are lived.  How have we treated others, ourselves and the earth itself?  Can we recall moments when we were at our best… and at our worst?  This inner work is solely for the purpose of ensuring continued spiritual, ethical, moral, emotional, intellectual, creative and communal  evolution.

Reading Psalm 27 daily, numerous levels of connection and truth surface.  All for the purpose of reflecting, responding and returning to Presence.  Wherever we find or take ourselves during the Days of Awe, the reality is the same – Jewish tradition creates space for rediscovery, renewal and reconnection with a life of purpose and meaning.  Every stop along the way is filled with potential.  The Torah says, “Choose life, that you may live.” This time is already set aside.  It is up to each of us to choose to enter it fully and purposefully.

Opening our hearts, minds and souls to the mysterious energy that  enlivens and connects us to one another, we come to understand that there is nothing but Presence.  And here, in this world, Happiness awaits our discovery.                                                                                   Rosh Chodesh tov,                                                                                                                                                 Rabbi Nina

3rd week of comfort: Before we can save our children…   

Shabbat R’eih (Dt. 11:26-16:17); Rosh Chodesh Elul

“And great shall be the happiness of your children 

V’rav shalom banayich (Is. 54:13)

Before we can save our children

We, the “unhappy, storm-tossed …, uncomforted!” (Is. 54:11)

Must save ourselves

Believe “You shall be safe from oppression” – Rachaki mei’oshek (Is. 54:14)

“And shall have no fear” – Ki lo tira’i (Is. 54: 14)

Parched from the wilderness of terror

     “Come for water” – L’chu lamayim (Is. 55:1)

Revive your wearied soul

     “Eat well” –Ichlu tov (Is. 55:2)

To sate your hunger for…

     R’eihUse your heart to open your eyes to joy

To choose otherwise is to curse ourselves with hopelessness

Seeing takes practice and requires full presence of being

Embrace the fullness of what is as it is

Gather in a harvest of joy – simcha

Set out as a cornucopia of blessings

Celebrate the bounty of your love

Make time for rejoicing

Pursue happiness

Calm the storm before it overcomes you

Breathe comfort into your suffering

     V’rav Shalom – Abundant peace and well-being

Will return you to life


     V’samachta -“You shall rejoice… with your son and daughter” (Dt. 16:14)

     “And great shall be the happiness of your children”

     V’rav shalom banayich (Is. 54:13)

Rabbi Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi

26 Av 5776/ 29 August 2016

**Rosh Chodesh Elul begins at sunset on Friday, 9/2/16 and continues through sunset on Sunday, 9/4/16.


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