Dear WJC Family,
I feel so lucky to live in this country and at this time. I know that this country and this time do not come without their issues, perhaps more at this moment than many of us have ever experienced—rising Antisemitism is no joke, the strain on democracy itself is real, and the pressures facing Jewish communities of every sort are threatening. It makes me as anxious as anyone else. But then I drive down Boston Post Road on a rainy day and I see the line of people from the Town Center stretching with people 6-feet apart all the way to the high school football field and I can’t help but be uplifted. And when I stood on that line for a half-hour on a rainy Monday morning and fed my ballot into the voting machine and watched the counter tick up by one, I couldn’t help but feel a thrill run up and down my whole being.
It is a rare occurrence in the history of our people that we should have an equal say in the way the country is governed and the decisions that are made. Democracy may be messy and this country may be going through its issues, but what would our ancestors in the Pale of Settlement have given for such a right, or in Spain in the 1500s, or in Israel itself under Roman rule. We are a people who share a destiny but rarely in the last two thousand years have we been in control of our own destiny. Now we live in a time when Jews control their destiny in Medinat Yisrael and have a say in the decisions this country makes. We are the most privileged generation of Jews in thousands of years and that kind of privilege is a good thing! Let’s make sure we preserve it by voting – you can vote early through Sunday and of course, you can vote on Voting Day, this coming Tuesday. For information about how to vote click here. To learn more about why voting is a mitzvah and the value of democracy to Jews, join me at Scotch and Study, sponsored by the WJC Brotherhood and open to all, Sunday evening from 8:30-9:30pm.
Also, for after we vote, we have added a service and gathering for next Thursday evening as part of our regular virtual weekday minyan at 7:00pm. For centuries, Jews have prayed for the welfare of the countries and communities in which we have made our homes. This is especially important following a contentious election season. Join the WJC clergy to affirm our commitment to democracy and America’s highest ideals and to pray for the welfare of our country and its leaders. We will also recite our usual evening service including the Mourner’s Kaddish.
This Sunday morning our Israel Committee hosts Daniel Chertoff, author of Palestine Posts, an Eyewitness Account of the Birth of Israel. The book is a collection of his grandfather’s correspondence in pre-State Israel that takes the reader through many of the seminal moments leading to Israeli statehood from an on-the-ground, personal perspective. It is a truly unique way to follow the early history of the State and is delightfully nostalgic. I hope you will join us for what promises to be an uplifting and positive conversation (and has nothing to do with current politics, which may be a nice break!) For more information about the event, check the WJC website or scroll down on this email.
We are looking forward to a restful Shabbat. Our Kabbalat Shabbat service will be virtual-only, starting at 4:45pm Friday.
And stay tuned—we are working towards adding in-person Friday night services in November! Services will begin close to candle lighting time on any given Shabbat. With a minyan present, we will have a full service, including all recitations of Kaddish. (For virtual-only services we include Mourners Kaddish only.) Advance sign-up for Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat will be modeled on Saturday morning sign-up, and Friday services will also be streamed. Be on the lookout for a start date for in-person Friday night services.
This Saturday morning from 8:30-9:00am, I will teach on the Torah portion Lech Licha. The topic is “What Does it Mean to Partner with God?” (click here for the source sheet). Then from 9:00-9:45am Cantor Goldberg will daven the Preliminary “P’sukei D’Zimra” service and the Shacharit service solo in the sanctuary. At 10:00am we will start with the Torah service and a minyan where we will celebrate a bat mitzvah. We conclude Shabbat with Havdalah at 6:40pm. Check the remote service attendance links below.
See you in shul or online,