June 22nd: CREATING PERSONAL KEDUSHA, BUILDING A COMMUNAL KEDUSHA JEWISH LEARNING-JEWISH LIVING- JEWISH LEADING-LAUGHING AND LOVING.

CREATING PERSONAL KEDUSHA, BUILDING A COMMUNAL KEDUSHA

JEWISH LEARNING-JEWISH LIVING- JEWISH LEADING-LAUGHING AND LOVING.

MY CHILDREN GREW UP ON SESAME STREET. MY CHILDREN ARE MARRIED AND I HAVE 9 GRANDCHILDREN. SESAME STREET IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY A NUMBER AND A LETTER. THIS PRESENTATION IS BEING BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE LETTER L AND THE NUMBERS 4 AND 5.

FOR CENTURIES JEWISH PEOPLE, JEWISH COMMUNITIES AND JUDAISM ITSELF WAS PASSED ON TO OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS AND TO THEIR CHILDREN WHO FOLLOWED BY FOUR IDEAS EACH OF WHICH BEGINS WITH THE LETTER L. FIRST, WE COULD CHARACTERIZE OURSELVES BY JEWISH LEARNING ON A REGULAR BASIS. THE TALMUD SHIUR IN POLAND, THE CHEVRA MISHNAYOT IN HUNGARY, AND THE CRITICAL STUDY OF BIBLE IN GERMANY WERE FEATURES OF THE COMMUNITY. THE ENLIGHTENED LEARNING AND THE TRADITIONAL TEXTS SAT TOGETHER AND OFTEN STOOD IN TENSION WITH EACH OTHER. IN JEWISH COMMUNITIES, IN URBAN CITIES, IN DISTANT SHTEIBLACH AND IN INTELLECTUAL LEHRAUS SETTINGS, JEWS CLOSED THE DOORS TO THE WORLD AND LEARNED ANOTHER PAGE, ANOTHER PEREK, ANOTHER DAF , ANOTHER MESECHET, ANOTHER SEFER.

 

AND, THE JEWISH LEARNING LED TO JEWISH LIVING. WE ACTED OUT THE TEXTS THAT WE ABSORBED. IF THE TORAH SAID TO TAKE THE FRUIT OF THE GOODLY HADAR TREE, THE MYRTLE BRANCH AND WILLOW NEAR THE STREAM AND THE PALM BRANCH TO ACKNOWLEDGE GOD’S PRESENCE, NATURE’S BEAUTY AND THE HISTORICAL JOURNEY IN THE WILDERNESS AFTER THE EXODUS FROM EGYPT, WE LIVED THE LULAV AND THE ETROG EXPERIENCE AS A DIVINE IMPERATIVE, A MITZVAH, A MOMENT THAT HAD HUMANKIND REACHING FOR HA-SHEM. IT WAS HUMANITY IN SEARCH OF DIVINITY.

 

IF THE TORAH STATED SIMPLY,”LO T’VASHAYL G’DEE B’CHALEV EMO”,

WE TOOK THAT LEARNING AND MADE IT VIBRANT AS A LIVING PATTERN OF DIET AND DISCIPLINE. KASHRUT BECOMES A CORNERSTONE OF DAILY JEWISH EXISTENCE IT GUIDES EACH MEAL, DETERMINES EACH MENU, CURTAILS MY APPETITE AND DIRECTS MY FREEDOM IN A PATTERN OF DIGNITY AND CULINARY DELIGHT.

 

THE JEWISH LEARNING  ALSO LED TO A JEWISH LIVING BEHAVIORAL PATTERN IN RELATIONSHIP TO HOW I DISCIPLINE MY CHILDREN, TO HOW I CONDUCT MY BUSINESS PRACTICES, TO MY CONCERN FOR SOIL AND WATER, TO MY DECISIONS ON CONTRIBUTING MY  INCOME TO OTHERS LESS BLESSED, TO MY VOCABULARY WITH MY FRIENDS.

 

BUT I WOULD LIKE TO ADD TWO NEW L’S BEFORE I PROCEED.NO LESS CRUCIAL TO US, AS JEWS, IS JEWISH LOVING AND JEWISH LAUGHING.

 

WE LOVE GOD. “V’AHAVATA ET ADONAI ELOKECHA

WE LOVE OUR SPOUSES AND CHILDREN. WE SHARE A LOVE OF MISHPACHA. WE LOVE PEACE AND WE ACTIVELY PURSUE IT.  WE LEARN FROM MOSHE’S BROTHER AHARON IN PIRKE AVOT THAT HE WAS AN “OHEV SHALOM, V’RODEF SHALOM. HIS LOVE EXTENDED TO ALL OF HUMANITY AND HIS SINCERE DESIRE WAS TO BRING ALL PEOPLE CLOSER TO THE VALUES EXPRESSED BY GOD IN THE TORAH WITHOUT EXPECTING OTHERS TO DEVALUE THEIR TRADITIONS. AHARON WAS THE QUINTESSENTIAL KERUV, OUTREACH MAN. HE WAS AN “OHEV ET HA-BRIYOT, U’ME’KORBAN LA’TORAH”. A LOVER OF ALL OF CREATION,

 

OUR NOTION OF JEWISH LOVING KNOWS NO PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES. OUR LOVE OF OUR FELLOW JEWS HAS CARRIED US TO CAMPAIGNS OF REUNIFICATION OF OUR PEOPLE WHEN THEY CALLED TO US FROM THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS OF POLAND, FROM THE PALES OF RUSSIA, FROM THE DESERT OF ETHIOPIA, FROM THE DEPTHS OF YEMEN AND MOROCCO AND SYRIA AND FROM OUR BELOVED ERETZ YISRAEL.

 

 

A JEW IS A JEW ALWAYS.

A JEW IS TO BE LOVED REGARDLESS OF THE QUALITY OR QUANTITY OF JEWISHNESS.

A JEW IS TO BE WELCOMED IRRESPECTIVE OF THE LEVEL OF LEARNING OR LIVING.

A JEW IS TO BE LOVED.

AND WE UNDERSTAND THAT ALL OF HUMANITY ARE OUR FELLOW JOURNEYers IN LIFE. EACH OF US IS CREATED “B’TZELEM ELOHIM”, IN THE SPIRITUAL IMAGE OF HA-SHEM.

 

AND IN ADDITION TO JEWISH LEARNING, LIVING AND LOVING, WE HAVE ALWAYS LAUGHED. THE LAUGHTER WHICH I REFER TO IS THE SIMCHA LAUGHTER AT A JEWISH WEDDING, THE SIMCHA LAUGHTER AT THE TIME OF A BABY GIRLS’S NAMING OR A BOYS’ BRIT CEREMONY. JEWISH LAUGHTER IS THE FREILACH THAT ACCOMPANIES THE MEGILLAH READING ON PURIM AND THE DANCING ON SIMCHAT TORAH.

 

LOOKING AT OURSELVES IN A MIRROR AND NOT TAKING OURSELVES SERIOUSLY ALL OF THE TIME IS PART OF THE JOY OF JEWISHNESS.

 

THERE IS A 5THL FOR JEWS AND JUDAISM. LEADERSHIP HAS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF THE FORMULA FOR JEWISH LIFE, CONTINUITY AND CHANGE.

 

I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION A LEADERSHIP AGENDA IN PROCESS. A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT DIRECTIONS FOR EACH OF US AS A JEW AND FOR ALL OF US AS A COMMUNITY OF JEWS TO BE SHARED WITH INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES WHO HEAR OUR VOICES AND WHO CROSS THE THRESHOLD OF A SYNAGOGUE AS WELL AS ANYONE WHO IS PASSIONATELY OR MARGINALLY CONCERNED WITH BEING A JEW.

 

WHEN SHOSHANA CARDIN WAS THE CHAIR OF THE UNITED ISRAEL APPEAL, SHE SAID. “LET’S ADMIT IT, WE’RE AFFLUENT AND SUCCESSFUL, BUT OFTEN JEWISHLY ILLITERATE”.

THERE IS A MIDRASH THAT RELATES THAT THE JEWS WITHSTOOD EGYPTIAN ASSIMILATION DURING THEIR SLAVERY BY MAINTAINING THEIR JEWISH CUSTOMS OF FOOD, DRESS, LANGUAGE AND NAMES.

YOU AND I HEAR THAT MIDRASH IN A CONTEMPORARY WAY. WE HAVE ENGLISH AND HEBREW NAMES. KASHRUT, KIPOT AND HEBREW DO NOT ALWAYS DEFINE THE JEWS OF OUR DAY.

 

IN 2019 HOWEVER,OUR IDENTITY SHOULD NOT BE DEFINED BY ANTI –SEMITISM. IT REQUIRES THE GLORY OF SHABBAT.  WE MAKE JUDAISM BEAUTIFUL BY OUR “GEMILUT CHESED”, THE LOVING KINDNESS WE LIVE AT A WEDDING, AT A HOUSE OF SHIVA, FOR A PERSON WHO IS IN NEED OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, BY A CALL OR A VISIT TO SOMEONE WHO IS NOT WELL.

 

THE CALL TODAY IS NOT THE BIBLICAL “SHELACH ET AMI” LET MY PEOPLE GO.

THE BATTLE CRY OF 2019 IS “LET MY PEOPLE KNOW” …DAH LIFNAY MEATTA OMED”. WE MUST UNDERSTAND AND CREATE A SPIRITUAL AND VITAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

 

THE REVERED REFORM RABBI, ABBA HILLEL SILVER MORE THAN 70 YEARS AGO SAID, “NO RELIGION IS WORTH ITS SALT WHICH DOES NOT MAKE GREAT DEMANDS UPON ITS ADHERENTS. TOO MANY OF OUR PEOPLE, HE SAID, WANT AN EASY GOING RELIGION WHICH DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH LEISURE, WITH SLEEP WITH TELEVISON. A RELIGION WHICH CALLS FOR NO STUDY AND NO OBSERVANCE…WHICH DOES NOT CHALLENGE OR DISTURB THEM. NO RELIGION HAS SURVIVED IN THAT KIND OF EMOTIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL VACUUM- LEAST OF ALL JUDAISM”

 

 

RABBI JACK SEGAL, THE EMERITUS RABBI OF BETH YESHURUN OF HOUSTON, SAID WE RARELY MAKE JEWISH DEMANDS ON CONGREGANTS. WHEN SOMEONE JOINS A SHUL WE ONLY ASK ONE QUESTION AND THAT RELATES TO THE ABILITY TO FULFILL FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS.

PIRKE AVOT TEACHES “AMAR ME’OT V’ASHEY HARBAYSO I HAVE TO BRING MY WORDS TO A CONCLUSION….SOON.

THE KEY IS NOT THE OLD UJA TERM OF CONTINUITY, BUT RATHER CONTENT ANNUITY. IF THERE IS JEWISH CONTENT IN OUR LIVES THERE WILL BE A BETTER CHANCE, NO GUARANTEE, THAT OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN CAN DRAW UPON THE INVESTMENT BY LEARNING, LIVING, LEAUGHING, LOVING AND LEADING AS JEWS.

WE REAFFIRM OUR FAITH AS SPIRITUAL JEWS, AS BELIEVING JEWS EACH TIME WE CHANT “SHEMA YISRAEL…”

WE ACCENTUATE OUR LOVE OF OUR FELLOW JEWS EACH TIME WE SING THE VERSE FROM PSALMS..”HINE MA TOV U’MA’NAYIM”.

PLEASE TAKE A COPY OF MY MODEL OF JEWISH PERSONAL ACTIVE LEADERSHIP, LEARNING AND LOVING WHICH CAN ENHANCE YOUR PERSONAL KEDUSHA, THE SANCTITY OF LIFE. USE IT AS AN INSPIRATIONAL TOOL.

JEWS DO NOT LIVE IN A SESAME STREET CHILDLIKE WORLD.

 

 

IF JUDAISM IS TO SURVIVE IT REQUIRES ADULTS AND CHILDREN TO MAKE SINCERE, JOYOUS, MATURE DECISIONS.

LIVING a Jewish lifestyle of humility, modesty, dedication, honesty

LEARNING texts and traditions

LEADING by example, by stepping up, by taking responsibility

LAUGHING not taking our selves too seriously

LOVING –HaShemand Humanity…b’tzelem elokimingeach person

MY MESSAGE AS OUR TIME TOGETHER DRAWS T A CLOSE IS

ENJOY. LEARN. LAUGH. LIVE. LOVE AND LEAD AS A JEW EACH DAY OF YOUR LIFE.

THANK YOU FOR AN INCREDIBLE “INTERIM” EXPERIENCE AS YOUR “PART TIME PREACHER, PASTOR CANTOR, TORAH READER, BAGEL STORE MASHGIACH. SHALOM. L’HITRAOT. TILL WE SEE ONE ANOTHER SOON. L’CHAIM

Edelman  6. 15. 19

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