This Friday evening we will be holding our final Kabbalat Shabbat service until August. I will be on holiday during the month of July. I will be in town, mostly, and am certainly available in case of emergencies. Hopefully all will be well.

This week in our parasha, B’ha’alotecha, we read about the lighting of the Menorah. As the light from the seven lamps cast light so too are we commanded to cast our light. This morning (Monday) I opened my texts to read a message from a dear friend in England. Avielah told me that a Chevrah Kadisha colleague had died. Melvyn Hartog headed up the United Synagogues Chevra Kadisha for many years – we met at a CK conference. He was a haimishe man, very warm and utterly committed to the work we both loved. Melvyn truly brought light into his work. Apparently, he frequently gave talks entitled, “Talking About Death Won’t Kill You.” May his memory be a blessing.

These days can appear very disheartening, as we read about more and more occasions when Jewish presence is being erased – from Pride parades to faculty associations, from University academic journals to concert settings. Kol hakavod to two of our members, Anita and Sari who have written letters to our local paper highlighting this ongoing and worsening situation. May we all be lights unto our nation, and may we each hold the presence of one other with love and with light.

With love,
Rabbi Lynn