On this Fall Friday, I find myself at once empty and full, the echo of those words still resonating from our High Holiday services. I am so full of gratitude to be the rabbi of this community, a community that cares so deeply about our spiritual lives, about holiness, about pursuing wholeness. For most of the Neilah service, I just closed my eyes and listened to all of us singing together, to the fullness of our final shema. It was such a nourishing experience. Thank you for making it so.
And I also feel emptied out. There are no longer any words, there are no longer any promises. Lucky for us, our amazing Music Director, Rabbi Mónica Gomery, has much to say about the power of poetry in this week's parsha, Ha'azinu, and published a dvar Torah about it this week on Hebrew College's blog.
"In this week's parsha, Moshe's book-length speech switches genres--from prose oration to a shira, an epic poem--and Moshe takes up the project of poetic un-truth. In the first verse, he begins to twist our sense of what is real, proclaiming 'הַאֲזִינוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם, וַאֲדַבֵּרָה וְתִשְׁמַע הָאָרֶץ, אִמְרֵי-פִי' 'Listen, heavens, and I will speak. And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.' Even if we could say that the heavens contain the ears of God, Moshe here describes the land and soil itself as bearing witness by listening - consciously, actively. Newly a poet, and one verse in, Moshe teaches us, the Israelites gathered before him, to listen for something other than logic, to stop making sense.
God is a rock, Moshe tells us, God is a warrior. My words are dew, my words are rain. You are a blemish, you are God's child. God is an eagle, God is a mother. God wounds, God heals. God's wrath is fire, arrows, pestilence. God fed you honey from stone, God fed you the cream of a cow. The litany goes on...
...The journey through the un-truth of poetry can take us to the truth of it all, to the bright face of the shamayim that Moshe calls upon in the opening verse of Ha'azinu, to the color of the sky. As we stand, or perhaps scramble and tremble, as we march, as we build resilient communities, as we live into this foreboding new reality, let's remember to take along with us the illogical, the emotional, the intuitive and figurative--the truth that lives beyond truth, the poetry of our tradition and the poetry of our lives. Just as the Israelites stood hearing Moshe's final poem, shimmering with possibility, and transformation, becoming something new."
As you prepare for Shabbat, I invite you to read her beautiful dvar Torah in its entirety here.
In the wake of the utterly terrifying shooting in Germany on Yom Kippur, we will continue to pray for peace and safety for all of Yisrael, for all of Yishmael, and for all who dwell on earth.
Shabbat Shalom, May it be so.
Rabbi Ari Lev
I continue to feel the effervescent joy and vibrations of Rosh Hashanah. So full of gratitude for everyone who made that possible, which is everyone!
Yesterday I sent a draft of my Kol Nidre sermon to a friend to edit. When I opened it a few hours later I received a notification I never noticed before. There was a little blue box that read "Wow! This document has changed a lot. Do you want to reload?" I laughed and thought to myself, why yes I do! Here we are in the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I keep wanting to look inside my soul and say, "Wow! This person has changed a lot." Alas, it is easier to reload a google doc than transform our well-worn habits.
For this reason, I draw most of my inspiration for transformation from the natural world. This past July I spent a few weeks swimming in the rivers of New England. At each new swimming hole, one of the things I learned to look for was signs of a healthy water supply. I learned that tracking the presence of macro-invertebrates (dragonflies, crayfish, stoneflies, etc.) is used in New Zealand to measure the water quality of fresh water.
One morning we arrived to the bend of a beautiful river. As we were hopping from rock to rock, we noticed the rocks were covered in what looked like dried skeletons of prehistoric lizards. I later came to learn they were in fact the exuvius skeletons of nymph stoneflies. In biology, exuviae are the remains of an exoskeleton and related structures that are left after ecdysozoans (including insects, crustaceans, and arachnids) have molted. This is true of all animals that grow by ecdysis, molting their exoskeleton. In fact, stoneflies can molt as many as 20-30 times in their lifetimes.
On that summer day, as I ventured upstream with my kids, we hopped from rock to rock. We came across a nymph stonefly that was actually mid-molt. We sat and watched as the shell cracked down the center spine, its body was in the process of breaking through, preparing to let go and emerge anew. It seemed simultaneously possible and impossible. Kind of like this moment. We too are called to molt and transform, hopefully hundreds of times in our lifetimes. And this moment in the calendar, we are trying to break through.
May we each have the courage to carve out some time before Yom Kippur for reflection, forgiveness, and letting go.
Gmar Hatimah Tova and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Ari Lev
P.S. Here is a copy of my sermon from the first day of Rosh Hashanah. It was an honor to share these words of Torah with our extended community. We are also working to get lay leaders vorts and Divrei Torah on our website as well.
In the last few months, my older kid has become thoroughly obsessed with baseball. I was once upon a time a jock, so I am no stranger to sports. But baseball never quite did it for me. A bit too much waiting around and patriotic fervor. Nonetheless, I have been to many a baseball game this summer. Major leagues, minor leagues, collegiate leagues, even a few dyke softball games. For the most part it has been a journey of sympathetic joy, delighting in my kid's delight. So you can imagine my surprise when this year as I was re-reading my beloved High Holidays book, This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared, and I found many a baseball reference. Turns out he was quite a fan!
Rabbi Alan Lew z"l, writes:
"The dream of the lost home must be one of the deepest of all human dreams. Certainly it is the most ancient dream of the Jewish people...And this dream is the basis of that most profound expression of the American psyche, the game of baseball, a game whose object is to leave home in order to return to it again, transformed by the time spent circling the bases" (23).
Teshuva is the Jewish home run, Jewish tradition's most prized possession. There's this amazing moment in the Talmud when the rabbis try to make this point crystal clear:
So great is teshuva, says Rebbe Hama bar Hanina, that it brings healing to the whole world.
I can top that, Rebbe Yonatan says. Teshuva is so great that it brings redemption closer.
Rebbe Shmuel Bar Nachmani weighs in: You wanna know how amazing teshuva is? Teshuva elongates the years of a person's life!
Rebbe Meir concludes: Listen. I'll tell you what teshuva's capable of. When one individual makes teshuva, the whole world is forgiven (Yoma 86ab).
And in my experience, it is true, that teshuva makes the world possible and more whole. And it's also true that it's really hard to do. My friend and teacher, Rabbi Jordan Braunig, recently directed my attention to a tale that can be found in S.Y. Agnon's Days of Awe. The story, which I will retell, is of a poor country woman who finds an egg. As it happens, she has many hungry children at home and little food to feed them. Yet, when she gathers her little ones to announce the good news about the egg she tells them that, being a woman of purpose, she will not foolishly cook the egg but will take it to a neighbor's setting hen and wait for it to hatch. Then, instead of simply allowing the chicken to grow for slaughter, she will set it on eggs and they will all hatch and there will be many chicks. And, instead of feasting on chicken and eggs, she tells her children that she will sell them in the market in order to purchase a cow. As you might have guessed, she doesn’t plan to settle for steak dinner at this point but will wait for the cow to produce calves and then will sell calves and buy a field. In the end, they’ll have fields and chickens and cows and won’t want for anything. As the woman speaks to her children, engrossed in fantasy and playing with the egg, it falls from her hands and cracks on the floor.
Agnon's telling ends with this moral: Said our master: "That is how we are. When the Holy Days arrive, every person resolves to do teshuvah, thinking in their heart, 'I'll do this, and I'll do that.' But the days slip by in mere deliberation, and thought doesn't lead to action, and what is worse, a person who made the resolution may fall even lower."
It is easy to get ahead of ourselves, to imagine the finished product, but to forget the immediate task at hand. What are a few "first steps" that you want to make in the coming days? Let's be patient with ourselves, and at the same time be aware of how precious time is.
As we enter the quiet of Shabbat before the joy of the new moon of Tishrei is upon us, I would like to begin by asking each of you for your forgiveness, for any ways I may have missed the mark this past year. Please know I am available to make a repair.
Wherever and however you are marking this Rosh Hashanah, may it be sweet as honey and may you be written in for a year of goodness.
May this be the year...L'Shana Tova!
Rabbi Ari Lev
In the past 3 weeks, I have officiated at a wedding, a b'nei mitzvah, a baby naming, a funeral, two shivas, and two conversions, all within the month of Elul, all within the life of our community. This waterfall of life cycle moments has in some ways finally revealed to me what Rosh Hashanah is all about. Unlike the festivals of Passover, Sukkot, and Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah is not commemorating some mythic moment. Rather it is calling our attention to the deepest truth of our lives. In just over a week we will say, "On Rosh Hashanah it is written and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. Who shall live and who shall die..."
With each new life cycle moment, I found myself feeling increasingly unprepared. Not because I don’t know the people or the liturgy. Perhaps unprepared to make the transition, to modulate from life to death and back again. To be in the simcha and the sorrow, all at once. And perhaps even more so unprepared to accept the fragility of it all. And then, in a moment of quiet, it all made sense. I finally understood the words of Rabbi Alan Lew z"l (which I have been reading annually for more than a decade). "This is a true story...It is about you. [It is about all of us.] It is really happening, and it is happening to you, and you are seriously unprepared." How could we not be!? How can we possibly prepare for the fullness of our lives? The love and the loss, and the great chasm of experiences in between. And yet, much like the Philly public schools today, there are no excused absences.
Rabbi Lew continues, "This is real whether you believe in God or not. [Also true of the climate crisis!] Perhaps God made it real and perhaps God did not. Perhaps God created this pageant of judgement and choice, of transformation, of life and of death. Perhaps God created the Book of Life and the Book of Death, Teshuva and the blowing of the shofar. Or perhaps these are all inventions of human culture. It makes no difference...What makes a difference is that it's real and it is happening right now and it is happening to us, and it's utterly inescapable, and we are completely unprepared" (105-6).
I invite you to take a moment, take a deep breath, and let that sink in, as it has for me in these past few weeks. Jewish tradition is full of cycles. The cycle of holidays, the cycle of Torah reading, the cycle of the moon, the cycle of the seasons, the cycle of our bodies, the cycle of planting and harvesting, the cycle of years leading to shmita, the cycle of study, and, of course, the cycle of life. At any given point, we find ourselves in the midst of numerous different cycles, all at once. And Rosh Hashanah is in many ways a celebration of them all.
"This year some of us will die, and some of us will live, and all of us will change. And there is nothing in the world more real than this."
Rabbi Ari Lev
On Rosh Hashanah, through shofar blasts and boundless song, we will once again coronate God, in all her majesty. Every year, as we plead with Avinu Malkeinu, Our Father, Our King, Our Sovereign, Our Source, I struggle to find my way into this metaphor. You all have been patient with my struggles and shared of your own. In a recent article, Rabbanit Leah Sarna reminded me this is also a daily practice. Our traditional daily blessings begin by describing God as "King of the Universe" (Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha'Olam…). This is the way of the Jewish calendar. Daily themes that appear in our weekday liturgy also find unique dates in the calendar for further exploration and renewal.
Last year at this time I wrote to you, sharing a famous kabbalistic image about the month of Elul through which it is understood that "The King is in the Field." The Jewish mystics believed that the Holy Blessed One resides on high, whether physically above us or spiritually beyond us. But in the month of Elul, the Holy One dwells among us, in our midst.
About this text, my teacher Rabbi Art Green shared that the metaphor above is so much more real after his recent trip to Ukraine. He wrote, "It takes many hours BY CAR, with those still terrible roads, to get from one shtetl to another. With horse and carriage, it must have taken days or weeks! Imagine the Czar visiting Ukraine, coming all the way from St. Petersburg or Moscow. Along the way, he would need to stay at lots of small country inns, many of which were owned by Jews. Imagine that! Of course the Czar is utterly unapproachable. But while making up his room, or serving him his drink, with the appointments secretary not around, you might be able to ask him for something!" How much more so the Holy One.
In the words of the prophet, "Seek the Holy One while She can be found, Call to Her while She is near" (Isaiah 55:6). To which Rabbi Green asks, "But why is God 'closer' in this season? Because our hearts are - hopefully! - more open. That's what it's all about."
In my experience, the many metaphors of Rosh Hashanah connect us more deeply to the power of the universe to make and take life. This shabbat, may we have the courage to open ourselves the possibility of connection that is more palpable in this season of reflection and renewal.
Rabbi Ari Lev
Earlier this week, I was sitting with a KT member making plans for her to begin home hospice and she remarked, "Dying is such a privilege." She went on to tell me about the ways that she feels so profoundly alive, so able to experience real connection with people. So much joy is possible when we let go of the pretense of our lives. As someone who has for most of my life feared death, I exhaled deeply and took refuge in her experience.
Among many things, this is the time of year when we allow ourselves to be more intimate with the truth of our impermanence. The High Holiday liturgy reflects the seasonal shifts, the bright fiery shedding of leaves. Every Elul, for several years now, my friend and colleague Rabbi Jordan Braunig has created a process by which you can journal your way through the month of Elul. I know at least some of you have subscribed over the years. Each one is poignant, some so much so, that I must share them with all of you. Earlier this week, he wrote:
"Yesterday...this poem by the recently-departed W.S. Merwin caught my attention and calmed my spirit.
For the Anniversary of My Death
Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Like the beam of a lightless star
Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what
There could be so much morbidity in considering this fact that each year we cycle past the date of our own death, but somehow the poet treats the subject with curiosity and reverence. 'Then I will no longer/Find myself in life as in a strange garment/Surprised at the earth'. What a notion, that the essence of life is being surprised by it.
A few months ago, Casey reported to me that she had seen one of our kids laughing to himself. When she asked him what was funny, he said, 'Oh, it's just that sometimes I can't remember if I'm alive or if I'm dead." It takes a very particular little six-year-old to giggle in the face of this thought, but sometimes we could all use the reminder. We are, in fact, alive. I want to invite you to consider how you will remind yourself during this trip through Elul and in the year beyond that this is life. How will you keep in mind, in the busyness of the days ahead, that you're alive?"
As we circle round the sun, unknowingly passing the anniversary of our own passing, may the sound of the shofar, and the discipline of our days, call us back to the truth of our aliveness and the joy that is possible.
Rabbi Ari Lev
All week I have been falling asleep and waking to the resonant song of the crickets singing me through the thick heat. And then this morning, the heat broke. According my kids this is the coldest day of the summer. They even asked if it might snow. And isn't this exactly what the crickets have been trying to tell us.
In the words of Charlotte's Web, "The crickets sang in the grasses. They sang the song of summer's ending, a sad, monotonous song. 'Summer is over and gone,' they sang. 'Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying.' The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year--the days when summer is changing into fall--the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change" (113).
In truth, it is not just the crickets singing the song of change. With summer's end, the Jewish calendar is calling us home and reminding us that change is part of every return. Next week is Rosh Hodesh Elul. We will sound the great shofar, the school year will resume, and along with it will come the intensity of increased routine and the relief of cooler days.
The crickets are not wrong. Summer is just about over and gone, which is sad, but it is also cause for celebration. According to the Hasidic masters, the most deeply honored day of all days is the day of death -- even more important than the day of birth. For them the day of death is turned into a day of celebration. So much so, that they don't typically use the term death. Rather they refer to it as the day of departure. I quite like to imagine these next two Shabbatot as a great celebration of summer's departure.
Our sacred texts are full of descriptions of the departures of tzaddikim, righteous teachers. Especially wondrous and soul-shaking is the description of the departure of Moshe Rabbeinu (Deathbed Wisdom, 5-7). In these final days of summer, as we read the Book of Deuteronomy, I invite you to hear it as the voice of a teacher who knows his final days are coming.
With summer's departure, may we create space for the sadness and the celebration, the anticipation and the excitement for what's to come. And may the crickets be our companions, reminding us we are part of something so much bigger.
Wishing you all a shabbat shalom!
Rabbi Ari Lev
Tomorrow morning, communities around the world will rise in body or spirit as the 10 Commandments are read aloud. Now you might be thinking, the 10 Commandments? Didn't that happen at Sinai, way back in Exodus after the Israelites crossed the sea? Among other things the book of Deuteronomy is a retelling of Torah, some even say it is our earliest midrash, others refer to it as the mishneh torah, the second Torah (a name most attributed to the Rambam's law code). The story reads more personally this time, most often as a firsthand account in the voice of Moses. And most notably in this week's parsha, rather than the great blasts, the chaos of thunder and lightning that accompanied the 10 Commandments in Exodus, here we have a much more intimate revelation, described in the text as a face to face encounter (Deut. 5:4).
While there are several notable differences between the renderings of the 10 Commandments, much remains consistent. Including the fact that it is very difficult to understand how one actually tallies up these mitzvot. What counts as a mitzvah? The list, which spans 13 verses, is hardly a checklist and would not fit neatly in a spreadsheet. Don't steal, don't lie, those seem more obvious. But things like "I am God" are a bit more amorphous. How many mitzvot are there anyway?
I was always taught 613. 248 positive commandments (Do!), and 365 negative (Don't do!). Now twice these lists have been uttered within the Torah itself and neither time suggests anything close to 613. Maybe someone somewhere can recite a list that long, but for the most part I see the number as mystically meaningful and spiritually aspirational. And I think that the rabbis understood that to be true.
My teacher Rabbi Benay Lappe explains it this way. The reason we have so many mitzvot is not because we are meant to fill our hearts with the guilt of inadequacy for all the mitzvot we don't do, or don't even know to do, but because they are meant to help us collectively aspire to be a community rooted in kindness and compassion. No single person is responsible for all 613 mitzvot. We are each obligated to do our part. One midrash describes the person whose sole mitzvah is Sukkot. All year long she prepares for Sukkot. Growing shakh, inviting guests, waving her lulav. She is holding down Sukkot knowing that other people in her community might not have space for a sukkah. Meanwhile, in this vision, they might be holding some other mitzvah, visiting the sick or thrice daily prayer, baking challah, attending to the needs of the community.
We are seven weeks away from Rosh Hashanah. The process of Heshbon HaNefesh, of our inner reflections, has begun. This Shabbat I invite you to consider which mitzvot are yours to observe in the coming year. Which mitzvot do you want to learn more about? And in so doing I invite you to lay down the old story, that your are not enough. As the Holy One says to Moses in this week's parsha, Rav lakh! You are sufficient just as you are (Deut. 326).
May this week's recitation of the 10 Commandments inspire within us curiosity, commandedness, and commitment to the practices which we feel personally bring greater holiness into our lives and our communities.
Rabbi Ari Lev
It is really good to be back. And it seems I came back just in time for the Gravitron ride that is the High Holiday season.
Last weekend we celebrated Rosh Hodesh Av, the new moon which comes with a tender epithet, known by the rabbis as Menachem Av, may this month bring your comfort. Who does not need a bit of solace these days? Rosh Chodesh is usually a time of joy and hope for renewal. It is in fact one of my favorite holidays. But the rabbis tell us, "Mishenichnas av mema'atin besimchah / When the month of Av arrives, we diminish our joy." This stands in strong contrast to Rosh Hodesh Adar, which calls in the season of Purim, when we are told to "marbin b'simcha / to up our joy."
Rosh Hodesh Av marks the beginning of the Nine Days, considered a period of heightened communal mourning leading up to the 9th of Av, known in Hebrew as Tisha B'Av. Considered by the rabbis to be the saddest day of the year. Think of it like Yom Kippur meets shiva. Its customs include fasting from food and water, not wearing leather footwear, not washing ourselves (washing only until the knuckle when mandated by halakhah), not applying ointments or creams, not having sex, not sitting on a normal-height chair, only studying really sad Torah, like Lamentations (seriously!), not sending gifts, or even greeting one another (you may respond to greetings), not engaging in outings, trips, or similar pleasurable activities (not a beach day!), and not wearing fine, festive clothing (typically not an issue at Kol Tzedek).
To be honest, I have never really been a fan of Tisha B'av. If I am really honest about it, it is not for some theological problem with centering the Temple in Jerusalem. That would make too much sense. It is a much more mundane aversion. I simply just love summer too much. I love swimming and ice cream and laying in a hammock in the park, fresh peaches and picking berries. In the midst of all that fun, it really feels like a spiritual buzzkill to concentrate on every bad thing that ever has, is, or will happen. I mean, can't we put Tisha B'av in January? Maybe trade it for Tu Bishevat. I can actually plant a tree in August.
But perhaps that is precisely the point.
Because in truth, who could sustain an even deeper dive into despair in the depths of winter. Perhaps the moment when the earth is in full bloom is precisely the time also to hold that the world is utterly broken, families are shattered, whole species have been lost, violence and cruelty are routine. This is precisely what Rabbi Alan Lew describes as "the great crumbling."
Somehow only this year did I realize that maybe only once the hot (and oh so humid!) summer fun has opened our pores and nourished our hearts, only then can we bear the heartbreak that is also ever present; only then can we actually let ourselves fall apart.
Tisha B'Av comes exactly seven weeks before Rosh Hashanah. It begins the process that culminates on Yom Kippur, some might even say on Simchat Torah. Tisha B'Av is the moment of turning, the moment when we turn away from denial and courageously face exile and alienation as they manifest themselves in our own lives and in our world (Lew, 41-42).
In many ways Tisha B'Av is the answer to another question I have been asked, emailed, and texted repeatedly this summer. To paraphrase, "How is one supposed to find joy, take a vacation, relax at the beach, go out dancing in the face of so much violence and cruelty?"
Which is to say, the rabbis understood that catastrophic loss has, is, and will be part of the human experience. For them, the destruction of the Temple was truly the worst-case scenario. They understood the human need to mourn and grieve, and they also understood the need to contain the grief. And so they appointed a time in which we would open to the wound of existence with discrete practices and finite time constraints. Such that we could also return.
We learn in the very beginning of Genesis, in the beginning the world was tohu va'vohu, crass and chaotic. So too now. Tisha B'Av suggests perhaps it always is. And we are once again called to journey into the chaos and construct something beautiful.
If you are able to come to services tonight, I will be sharing more about why in fact Shabbat and Tisha B'Av are equally necessary and ultimately incompatible. As a result, even though tonight begins the ninth of Av on the Hebrew calendar, we observe the fast of Tisha B'Av Saturday night and Sunday.
Wherever you are this weekend, I wish you a shabbat shalom and a gentle turning.
Rabbi Ari Lev
Another anecdote from retreat.
One of the teachers described his meditation practice as tending his little plot in the world's garden. In this way, the whole of who we are is connected across time and place, and we have inherited this little plot of existence to care for. I love this image because it connects me to the fact that some of my least favorite parts of myself are not necessarily the product of my doing. They come from a wider context of which I am a part. Even more so, when I imagine my anxious mind and stiff hips as a garden plot, I really soften to my own suffering. I can begin to appreciate the many reasons why these aspects once served me. And in an effort to transform, I found myself on retreat expressing appreciation for and towards my own pain (both physical and emotional).
Recent studies by positive psychologists have unearthed a truth long understood by many religious traditions. Expressing gratitude is fundamentally beneficial to us. This is precisely what the psalter meant in Mizmor Shir L'Yom HaShabbat when it says, "Tov L'Hodot...It is good to be grateful." Whether that gratitude is directed externally to something beyond yourself - anything from the sky to a friend to the Holy One, or whether it is directed toward yourself, appreciating some part of yourself. It is good to be grateful.
Recent studies have shown that a person who keep a daily journal noting five things they are grateful for is 20% more likely to achieve their goals. When I heard that I immediately thought of Muslim prayer which happens five times daily. And then I thought of Jewish prayer, which begins each day with "Modeh Ani..." expressing gratitude for the breath and the new day. And then Amidah, which we are instructed to pray three times a day. As we say, "Modim Anachnu Lach...We offer gratitude..." If, perhaps, for no other reason than to note what we are grateful for.
It is my own experience that when I feel stuck, when I feel tense or stubborn or angry, expressing gratitude softens me, brings me back to center. Perhaps this is why my teacher Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum insists that gratitude is the beginning of prayer. I invite you to join me this summer in keeping a gratitude journal. To note down three or five things a day for which you are grateful, without any expectation.
This is my final Friday blog post before I am on vacation for the month of July. As I enter this time off, I am filled with gratitude. For each of you and the conversations we have shared. For the honor of getting to do such meaningful work. For the joy that we create together. And for the unknown of what's to come.
Earlier today I had the joy of watching a live stream of Dan Blackbserg playing music in Krakow, Poland at the Jewish Culture Festival. The person who introduced it began by saying, "We must get going, because the time is short and the most important Jewish holiday is fast approaching - Shabbat!"
So too here!
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom and a Happy Summer!
Rabbi Ari Lev
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Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari brings Torat Hayyim, a living tradition, to Kol Tzedek Synagogue through thoughts about prayer, justice, and community.