Please join Rabbi Leila Gal Berner and the Kol Ami community as we note the 14th day of the Omer, the time of the counting of seven weeks between Pesach and Shavuot – when we would go from the barley harvest to the wheat harvest. Most importantly, this 49-day period, the OMER, is a spiritually rich time of inner harvesting — a time to contemplate what it means to stand again at Sinai, the receive Torah once again, to listen once again to the voice of God (or our inner souls?) speaking to us and guiding us to a life of deeper connection with those we love, a cleaner and more ethical way of being in the world and a more accessible life of the spirit.
We will explore both the meaning of the Omer season and parsha (Torah portion) — Shemini — and ask ourselves questions that relate to wonder, awe, zealousness, over-enthusiasm, a God who is harsh and vengeful (?) or a God who teaches us to be careful to stay within sane limits. Are you intrigued? Inspired? Please come and join us for this Shabbat service in the Chapel. We encourage participants to bring vegetarian dishes to share for the potluck kiddush across the hall in the Library (rooms 13 and 15) following the service.
Following the kiddush, Rabbi Berner will teach an adult education session "Listening with the Ears of the Heart": A Contemplative Approach to this Week’s Torah Portion SHEMINI.
Morah Jen’s Jewish studies class: After reviewing the T’s we could remember – tshuvah, Tikkun Olam, tzedakah, Torah, tzedek, todah/thanks, tabernacle – we looked for them in Moreh Dann’s telling of the story of Aaron’s sons’ punishment for using incense instead of animals for the sacrifice. We focused on tzedek and tshuvah. The students made some great observations, including a discussion on why God doesn't have to follow the commandment "thou shall not kill." We also discussed which animals are kosher and which aren’t, and why.
Homework: Please read the page in the textbook on Yom Hashoah.
Moreh Eric’s Jewish studies class: We wrapped up our Moses study with adiscussion of the other commandments and “ordnances” God supplied to Moses on Sinai. These are the nuts and bolts rules for every day human interaction, focused very much on the Bronze Age equivalent of egalitarianism. We had a very thought provoking discussion about why would a nomadic people with an average life expectancy of 25 to 30 years old in a world were anarchy and brutality was commonplace be so focused on rules about fairness. Finally, we read an essay about why Americans of all religious persuasions love Moses.
Homework: Please ensure that your student it caught up with the Torah readings. He/she should read up through page 158 in the text and do all the exercises.
Rabbi Gilah Langner will lead this Shabbat service in the Chapel. We encourage participants to bring dairy or vegetarian dishes to share for the oneg across the hall in the Library (rooms 13 and 15) following the service.
SETTLERS AND ZACHARIAH - The prophet Zachariah comforts Israel. God says: Shout for joy, fair Zion! I shall return to Jerusalem. I Myself will be a wall of fire around it. My house shall be built in her. What effect do such words have on West Bank settlers? Read the book of Zachariah and join the conversation. We meet in the boardroom.
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