16 Av 5775/August 1 2015
Shabbat Shalom all,
I hope everyone has had a wonderful week. I certainly have. I am beginning to settle into the wonderful rhythm of being your rabbi. It is a great joy for me. There were many highlights to the past week but one of the highest was to see the 20 some folks who showed up for our first in the series of "Lunch and Learn." Anyta with the help of Leigh made a delicious lunch for everyone while I did what I love most to do and that was teach Jews about how the magnificent spiritual discipline of Judaism. The dialogs that followed the teaching were wonderfully inspiring, from what happens to us after we die to the claims of Quantum physics. Judaism celebrates the questions much more than it does, the answers. I was inspired by all of you. We will be meeting again next Wednesday the 5th for the second of the "Ten most brilliant ideas" that Judaism has brought to the world.
I also had an impressive tour of the "Good Shepherd" homeless shelter and am already crafting ways for B'nai Israel to build a strong alliance with them so that we can bring alive the most often stated command in the Torah, to care for the vulnerable and feed the hungry. I am excited about our future possibilities to bring Tikkun Olam, repair and love to those in need in the Wilmington area. I hope you will all join the Tikkun Olam task force here at Bnai Israel.
On August 13 we will be holding our first Rosh Hodesh meeting. Rosh Hodesh is the day every month that celebrates the new moon and it has always been a place where women gathered together to pray, learn and bond. Our first Rosh Hodesh meeting will be on the 13th of August at the home of Meira and Sam Warshauer, 16 Palmetto Dr. Wrightsville Beach. We will meet at 7PM. These gatherings consist of a short service, friendship making, a walk to the beach to see the sliver of the new moon and a bisel Torah (learning). Please RSVP directly to Rabbi Julie at 864-404-6893 or Anyta in the office at 910-762-1117.
If any of the men of Bnai Israel feel left out, please call your Rabbi and I will gladly create a special gathering for the men as well.
What is quite special about this first Rosh Hodesh gathering is that it will welcome the month of Elul, which is a very special month in the Jewish calendar. Elul serves to prepare our souls for the approaching High Holidays. It is a powerful time that lends itself to doing the true human work of self assessment, self betterment and self discovery. I will be speaking a lot about this as the weeks go on so please join us at shul to be inspired by the sacred nature of the month of Elul.
Also please mark your calendars for Shabbat Re'eh, Friday the 14th, when we will be honoring some of our very devoted congregants who are moving out of positions where they served this congregation for years with kindness and care, Carol Wallace who has crafted the weekly Newsletters for more years than she remembers is moving to Nashville to take a new job. We will miss her terribly. We will also be honoring Gayle Ginsberg and Roz Lazar for their 30 plus years of teaching in the Bnai Israel Religious school. I will certainly turn to the both of them for advice and feedback as our new One Room Shul House begins to take shape. Please join us at Shabbat services on the 14th to honor these wonderful women.
I am so excited to welcome Shabbat tomorrow evening at the Beach. If you haven't RSVP'd, there's still time. We will be meeting at 6:30 PM to light the candles. From there we will head to the ocean front (no rain please) for services. Bring seats and a contribution to the dairy dinner and a heart ready to pray. Thank you to the Mintzes for offering their home to all of us. Your generosity is so appreciated.
This Shabbat of Va'etchanan is extremely meaningful for we hear in the Torah the recitation of the Eser Ha'debrot, the ten commandments. These powerful ideas take us to our ethical core, they are our center and it's a very good place to be. I hope you can join us for services on Shabbat to hear these ancient and completely relevant words as they dance through our beautiful sanctuary.
Shabbat shalom B'nai Israel Congregation, may love surround you and bring you peace.
Rabbi Julie Kozlow