Temple Newsletter for October 6th, 2023
There are so many issues that concern us Jews at the present time. Responding to anti-Semitism is crucial. Support for Israel, especially at the present complex time, remains critical. But so too are we liberal Jews facing a great challenge; one that concerns our finding meaning and relevance in our ancient heritage of Torah.
So often I hear something like “I’m not very religious but I strive to be a good person.” When I speak with such people, I try to convey that for us, the highest definition of a good Jewish person lay in the values and ideals of Torah. Tzedakah, acts of loving-kindness, the pursuit of justice, both in our society and in the larger world—these are the values that are at the heart of Judaism and what the Torah is really about. And of course, recognizing that we are co-partners with God in continuing the Creation of our world. (Even as we are now much concerned with saving our world.)
For me, to be a Jew in the truest sense is to affirm these teachings and values through distinctively Jewish observances and rituals that remind us of those values, and link us to other Jews, both in time and in place. Being Jewish is “doing,” and I hope you and your family will join us this evening as we celebrate Simchat Torah. Our festival of opening up the Torah and reading again from the end, even as we also begin anew, is especially impressive to all ages, and deepens one’s appreciation for the Torah and its very relevant messages for all of us.
We hope you will join us for the wonderful celebration of Torah and the values we hold dear.
Wishing you Shabbat Shalom.
Rabbi David Greenberg