August 23, 2019
Our Torah reading this week shares with us a vision and a promise of land that is in active partnership with God and with us as we live upon it. It includes the second paragraph of the Sh’ma, warning that the land and nature itself will rebel if we live without God’s laws and ethics. We often read this paragraph quietly and privately to ourselves, and earlier Reform tradition omitted it altogether, but we may encounter its stark portrait outside of the pages of our siddurim (prayer books). The land doesn’t just give and receive; it stretches, it grows, and—if we wound or pillage it— it fights back. The parashah also includes a curious phrase (D’varim 10:16): God tells us, “circumcise your hearts.”
What on God’s green earth does circumcision have to do with fruit trees?
Come find out on Saturday, starting at 9:30 am! The service will be Conservative-style, fromSim Shalom; parashah study will follow our Kiddush.
This Friday evening, at Family Shabbat, we’ll celebrate Nature’s gifts and the fun of summer, and use our fabulous new Mishkan T’fillah for Children siddurim, prayer books, for the first time. (A Shehecheyanu moment!) And then on Sunday, I hope to see you all up at Camp Tel Noar for our annual Temple picnic, noon to 4:00 pm, complete with a lake, grass, and grilling. Yashar kokh’khem Membership and Social Committees on putting together what is sure to be a delightful, and delicious, event—bring pareve snacks and drinks to share, and come ready to eat!
May we enjoy the gifts this Valley of ours gives us, and share them with one another. Enjoy the last weeks of summer!
Cantor Vera’s office hours:
Tuesday, August 27, 1:00–5:00 pm
Wednesday, August 28, 10:30 am–5:00 pm
and by appointment
**Cantor Vera will be out of town on vacation from Friday, August 30, through Monday, September 2. Pastoral coverage is arranged for; please contact Nancy or Loren if you have urgent need of pastoral care during this time.