© 2014 Temple Beth Torah, Fremont, CA

A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 8/18/17

August 18, 2017

The violence in Charlottesville this past Saturday and its aftermath have strongly impacted everyone. People feel fear, anger, horror, and disgust.

 

Over the years, Temple Beth Torah has become a place where we can share with one another in a safe, trusting environment. On occasion, during a Shabbat service, we hold a communal conversation where people can express themselves without engaging one another in debate or personal attack. This Shabbat evening we will create a sacred space for sharing our responses to Charlottesville. 

 

On a completely different note, millions of people are anticipating the solar eclipse taking place on Monday, August 21. According to Biblical and Rabbinic texts, a solar eclipse is a sign of heavenly displeasure.  As the prophet Isaiah declares:

 

Lo!  The day of the Lord is coming

With pitiless fury and wrath,

To make the earth a desolation,

To wipe out sinners upon it.

The stars and constellations of heaven

Shall not give off their light;

The sun shall be dark when it rises,

And the moon shall diffuse no glow.  (13.9-10)

 

Instead of torment, let us look to Monday’s solar eclipse as a sign of God’s mastery of the universe and the splendor of nature. In place of the prophet’s curse, let us offer this blessing:

 

Baruch Atah, Adonai Eloheinu,

Melech Ha’olam

Oseh Ma’asei V’reisheet

Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the universe, Source of creation and its wonders.

 

 

 

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