Shabbat Shalom ~ Behar Behukottai

Dear WJC Family,

I hope that everyone is watching John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” or “SGN” shows on Youtube. The odds are pretty good that you are watching them – a lot of people are. The most recent episode has been viewed over ten million times! You can watch it here. This show is a mitzvah—seriously! First of all, I can’t get through one episode without crying—good tears though. They are the kind of joyful, sad, emotional dump tears that are worth $1,000 in therapy bills. And second, the philosophy of SGN is brilliant, spiritual, and sorely needed right now. It can be summed up pretty well in his sign off, “…no matter how hard things get, there is always good in the world.” Throw in a bunch of superstars for entertainment value and you’ve got one incredibly valuable piece of performance art!

SGN makes a great point: there is always good in the world even if it at times it is a struggle to see. Struggle is not always a bad thing though. A lot of the meaning we find in life can come from the times when we struggle. It is a point I make in my weekly Torah Talk video entitled, “Our Time to Find Happiness is Now,” which you can watch by clicking the video link below. Indeed it can be a struggle to find the things to be grateful for these days, to find ways to connect with the people we love, to feel productive, or even to get through the day. We have to work harder for these things now, but the reward we reap is commensurate to the toil we put in. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. And don’t forget the words of Psalm 126 as made famous in our Renewal Service, “Those who sow in tears, shall reap in joy.”

We are here to help. One of the gifts of Judaism is that we never have to toil alone. This past Wednesday I shared a lesson to help couples “Strive and Thrive” under these difficult circumstances. The feedback was so positive that I will offer a version of the class with a broader focus, to provide something helpful to anyone who is interested. The class, “Striving and Thriving: Judaism’s Toolbox for Life in Quarantine,” will meet Wednesday night June 3 at 8:00pm. Mark your calendars.

And of course, we have all the ways of gathering virtually, daily for services at 8:00am and in the evenings for our Community Gathering at 7:00pm. Both are opportunities for saying the Mourner’s Kaddish, but they are also opportunities just to be together and that’s a lot right now.

I also hope I’ll see you tonight at our Ta’am Shabbat – Taste of Shabbat Service at 6:00pm, or tomorrow night Havdalah this week at 9:00pm. It may take more work now to find the joy and wonder all around us, but many hands make light work. Let’s find joy together.

See you online,





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