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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 8/18/17

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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