Labor Day Letter From Rabbi Eva

09/04/2017 10:02:00 AM

Sep4

Dear Shul Family and Friends,

On this Labor Day, as we make the transition from Summer adventures to our Autumn routines, let us take a few moments to honor the contributions of all the workers who have helped to bring prosperity and strength to our country. Our nation is dependent on the interconnectivity of our labor forces. Everyone counts!

I invite you take an extra moment the next time you are breaking bread to say a blessing and think about all the people who have contributed to bringing that bread to your table: from the farmers who planted the seeds to those who harvested the wheat, from those who processed it at the mill to those who rose in the dark to deliver it to the baker; and from the bakers who toiled through the night to the vendors who offer you a loaf to bring home.

While walking yesterday, I saw a sign outside the Ethical Culture School that read: ‘Fair Wages for All.’ What can we do to insure that all workers are paid appropriately for their labor in safe working environments? Are the people who tend to our needs and provide us with tangible goods treated fairly? As you navigate through your day, do you express gratitude to those who have contributed to your well-being and comfort?

Today, I am especially concerned for those who have qualified for DACA, the deferred action for childhood arrivals. These are innocent young people, committed to bettering themselves through education and receiving legal work permits so that they can give back to our country. Let us include them in our prayers as they face a threat of deportation. May they continue to learn and prepare to be productive contributors to our society.

Only one week ago, I wrote to you of the urgency of supporting our brothers and sisters who have been displaced and adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey.  I share with you this storm prayer, written by my colleague, Rabbi David Seidenberg.  

This year, Labor Day also signifies that we are only two weeks away from Rosh Hashanah.

As the full moon bears her shining light on us in the middle of the month of Elul, we are gifted with a time in the Jewish cycle to concentrate and reflect on who we are, where we have come from and who we wish to be. It is a time to review not only our successes and strengths, but also our shortcomings and the ways we have missed the mark, in order to improve for the coming year. This is the essence of t’shuvah: of turning, repairing, and renewing ourselves.

Labor Day also means ‘back to school’ time for the students and teachers in our community. I invite all students and teachers to join us this coming Shabbat at our ‘Back to Shul’ service for a special blessing.

We will also launch our Shul Wishing Project. This past summer, I visited Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree Garden in Copenhagen, an extraordinary communal art installation featuring thousands of tags with handwritten wishes. In the spirit of hope and love, I invite each of you to join me this year in creating our own Shul’s Garland of Wishes.

 

     

Cards will be available at Friday services and during the High Holidays for you to share your wishes, dreams and blessings. My grandmother taught me that when you really want something, write it down and share it with others so that you give them the opportunity to share in your dreams. As a community, let us support one another in the spirit of helping to make our wishes for ourselves and our world come true! We will continue to add to this magical community project throughout the year and display it for our Chai (18th) High Holidays in 5779.

Please continue to check our website for updated program and class information and registration. Some of the offerings include:

~ Monthly Holiday workshops and classes.

~ Wise Aging 1: an 8 month journey of self-discovery and life planning.

~ Writing Your Ethical Will: a three part series.

~ Spiritual Direction: offered individually.

~ Spiritual Growth Circle:  an intimate setting, we will explore our spirituality through meditation, writing, mussar (soul traits).

 

With blessings for peace, compassion and love,

Rabbi Eva

 

Tue, November 21 2017 3 Kislev 5778