Shabbat Shalom ~ Shavuot 2023

Shalom WJC Family,

This week we are celebrating Shavuot, the anniversary of God’s gifting the Torah to the Jewish people at Mt. Sinai. When you think of a holiday like that, you probably think about God first, but the truth is, revelation continues everyday in so many ways. God may not reveal Godself to us on fiery mountains, but God is revealed in prayer and study, in nature and loving relationships. In other words, the giving of Torah continues through our interactions in the world, especially with the people who teach and support, volunteer and reach out.

We are honoring five such individuals at WJC’s Night at the Riviera event: Jaques Steinberg and Sharon Weinstock, Judy and Howard Zweig and Glenna Lee. Each of these wonderful people enables Torah to continue at WJC in one way or another. I believe the deadline for signing up for the event is fast approaching—I hope you will join me in honoring those who enable our Torah and support our community by signing up to attend and/or saying congratulations in a journal ad.

And of course, we will celebrate Shavuot in more conventional ways as well. One of the great blessings of being a rabbi at WJC is the talented group of people who make up this community. People bring all kinds of talents and skills, and we are lucky to have some amazing teachers among them. I hope you’ll join us for dinner on Thursday evening at 7, followed by a brief service (with a kids activity facilitated by Tami Arnowitz at 8) and then dessert. There is a tradition to eat dairy on Shavuot, which means we can eat cheesecake and ice cream for dessert after services!

After dessert, from 8:30-11:00pm (or maybe a few minutes longer) we will host a Tikkun Leyl Shavuot. Five amazing teachers, Glenna Lee (of Riviera fame), Tami Arnowitz, Seth Scafler, Hazzan Ellen Arad, and Rabbi Menachem Creditor will each offer a 30-minute class, see schedule and topics below. Come for dinner and learning, or just dinner, or just learning, for one presentation or all of them – the combinations are endless and we’d love to see you there. And don’t worry, the desserts will continue to be available all night!

One last Shavuot note—in honor of the holiday we will offer the Yizkor Memorial Prayers on Saturday morning and, with all the extra Torah we will be learning, I will not offer my regular Saturday morning Torah Talk. With a Friday-Saturday Yom Tov, there are lots of extra services to keep track of, so take a good look at the schedule below.

Next week, the Arnowitz’s will be traveling Sunday to Friday—one last hurrah as the six of us together before summer camp and Elijahs’s departure for college. Exciting times! Because we will be away, there will be no video or message from me in next week’s email.

Chag Sameach and see you in shul,

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