Rabbi's Weekly Message

Rabbi's Message

As has been announced, Heather Chesterton is retiring this week from her many years of exemplary service to our congregation.  I hope you will join us on Friday night, where we will have the chance to formally thank her and enjoy a festive oneg in her honor.

Heather’s organizational skills and compassion have made her an invaluable part of our staff.  In her role in the rabbis’ study, she has become the first point of contact for many families and community members in need.  In her own special way, she provides emotional support and guidance as we experience life cycle moments and as we pursue the opportunity to learn, pray, and grow.

Heather came to TBK after working at the JCC for many years, so she has been intimately connected to the Jewish community for a very long time.  We are all in her debt for the very special way that she believes in us and enables us to flourish.  Heather’s approach to work, and to life, is to live with an open heart and an open mind.  In this way, she serves as a role model for all of us.

Even before I began my work at TBK, Heather was a patient, focused, and flexible guide.  She asked the right questions and didn’t hesitate to offer her own perspective to help me begin my tenure with success.  I am incredibly grateful to her, as I will share on Friday night, for all she has done to help me flourish in the first five years of my tenure as senior rabbi of Temple B’rith Kodesh. 

In Jewish tradition, we offer a familiar wish at moments of transition: may you go from strength to strength. For Heather, I know you join me in praying that she will go from strength to strength, into a retirement that is filled with satisfaction  and joy and many years of good health and happiness with family and friends.  Mazel tov and thank you!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Stein


Parashat Balak
July 20, 2019

In this Torah portion, Balak, the king of Moab, asks Balaam to curse the Israelites after he sees them defeat various nations in battle. Balaam’s donkey sees an angel of God and refuses to move any further. Balaam hits the donkey. God speaks through the mouth of the donkey to tell him not to curse the Israelites. Instead of cursing the Israelites, Balaam blesses them.