• Tikkun Olam
    Tikkun Olam Members worked with Habitat for Humanity
  • You are Welcome Here
    You are Welcome Here
  • Youth Kallah
    Youth Kallah Teens from the whole Northeast gathered at TBK
  • Family
    Family Pray and stay--a perfect summer Shabbat
  • Tikkun Olam
    Tikkun Olam Our youth learn to work for social justice.

 Rabbi Stein's Annual Meeting Report

Thursday July 9
RPO@TBK - 
7:30 pm
A Pops & Classical concert conducted by Ward Stare.
Tickets are $25 and up in the office or online here

See our Announcements page for more information

Friday July 10
Summer Supper provided
by the rabbis’ colleagues in celebration of their 1st Anniversary at TBK!
Stay following 6:00 pm Shabbat Service.
RSVP to Terri Richardson
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 244-7060 ext. 229.

 

Stock a Shelf in June
A Program of Jewish Family Service

The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester has asked the entire Jewish community to support the Brighton Food Cupboard as it prepares for the summer rush and high demand when school is not in session. TBK is in charge of collecting macaroni & cheese.

Please help! Bring your contribution to TBK during the month of June and drop it in the box outside the Sanctuary.

It’s always a question…
When a member of the TBK family dies or loses a family member, you may want to reach out in sympathy and support. How do you hear about the loss? Some people hear from their network of friends and family. Some people read about it in the newspaper. Some people want to know right away. Some people would rather hear more later.

TBK posts the information to our website (TBK.org) at the time of passing, as soon as we have details.  We also distribute a notice of a death to the Board of Trustees, Religious Practices Committee members and the WRJ/Sisterhood office.

If you would like to be added to the email list to receive notices, please send your name to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You may also opt to check Brighton Memorial Chapel’s website (BrightonMemorialChapel.com.) which has information on all Jewish deaths that they are handling. 

 

Friday, June 26, 2015

From Rabbi Peter Stein

This week’s Torah portion is one of several that deal with the subject of purity.  In each of these sections, there are instructions for physical actions that will transform someone from a state of impurity to a state of purity.

These physical rituals are sometimes hard for us to understand today…after all, none of us are taking a “red cow without blemish, in which there is no defect” and slaughtering and burning it.  For us in the modern world, we can still conceive of purification, but it is oftentimes a spiritual transformation, not a physical one.

There is an element of the physical act that is powerful to me.  Jewish tradition holds that one should wash hands before eating a meal.  This is not simply a hygienic act.  Rather, the ritual of handwashing is a way of stating, “I am ready to do something holy.”  The rituals of eating elevate the act of feeding ourselves to a much higher level.  After all, all animals need to eat.  When we eat, we do so in response to our physical needs.  If we pause to recite blessings and perform the handwashing, we respond to the much higher abilities that we human beings possess.

Interestingly, the blessing for the handwashing doesn’t mention washing the hands!  The blessing concludes, “vitsivanu al netilat yadayim” which literally means “commanded us regarding the raising of the hands”.  We make this blessing, pour water onto our hands, and hold our hands up.  We are stating that we are ready to do sacred work, that our hands are ready to serve and honor God.  We will gain sustenance from the food, but we will also gain the strength to do good in the world.  It is a simple action that holds profound possibilities.  May we each find ways to lift up our hands and bring forth beauty and peace.

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Stein