Friday, January 30, 2015
From Rabbi Peter Stein
Our weekly Shabbat worship and study continues along, with enthusiastic participation. I enjoy the chance to gather together each Friday night and Saturday morning to relish in that time of sacred peace, truly a respite from the frenzy of the week. In particular, I look forward to this Friday night’s gathering, a joint service with our friends from Temple Sinai, when we will host ARZA National President Rabbi Bennett Miller. It will be an opportunity to strengthen our personal connection to the land and people of Israel, and through our actions, to impact the pursuit of justice and equality. On Saturday morning, we will read and study the famous chapter of Torah, Beshalach, that tell of the climactic moment when the Israelites escaped from Egypt and journeyed toward Mt. Sinai in freedom.
Beyond Shabbat, there is a growing excitement for our annual celebration of Purim. Please plan to join us on Wednesday evening, March 4, the night of the holiday of Purim, as we rejoice in this festive day. There is lots of fun planned, and all the details will be forthcoming. For today, I write to extend an invitation. If you would like to chant or read part of the Purim story, please contact me. There are parts in both Hebrew and English, parts for reading and chanting.
The primary mitzvah of Purim is to hear the story contained in the Megillah, the biblical book of Esther. You can help bring this to life by helping to tell the story to the congregation. I know that a number of you have helped in the past, and I hope that you will volunteer again. If you have never taken part in this special tradition, please speak with me about the opportunity to be involved.
We are planning lots of silliness and fun for Purim…it is one of my very favorite days in the year! And, best of all, we will actually have two Purim gatherings this year. In addition to the Purim service on March 5, we will hold our traditional carnival on Sunday, March 8. Both of these assemblies will help us pursue our goal, of expanding our community in joyful ways.