Dear Kol Tzedek Community,
I'm back! Thank you to everyone who held the container of the Kol Tzedek community with care and skill. I am very grateful for the time away. And thank you to everyone for your patience as I catch up on email.
During my time away in July we spent a few weeks house-sitting for a family in Western Mass on a vacation that we have entitled "Rivers and Ice Cream." And what stands out as the best part of it all was this feeling of "going with the flow" of each day. I have not always identified as easy-going and often take refuge in structure and schedule. And yet, when given spacious time, I discovered a delight in letting each day unravel on its own.
Perhaps the greatest gift of the past five weeks has been the ability to slow down enough that I am able to pay attention to what otherwise we might call synchronisity, but truly felt like being part of the mystery of existence. Each day seemed to unfoldwith a bit of magic that in normal life I might overlook or call coincidence at best.
In the words of Rabbi Alan Lew, "In the visible world, we live out our routine and sometimes messy lives. We have jobs, families, and houses. Our lives seem quite ordinary and undramatic. It is only beneath the surface of this world that the real and unseen drama of our lives is unfolding."
Rabbi Lew suggests that perhaps "Judaism came into the world to bring news that the invisible is more important than the visible...beneath this appearance of conflict, multiplicity and caprice there is a oneness, a singularity, all-powerful and endlessly compassionate, endlessly just."
We see this reflected in this week's Torah Portion, Eikev, calling our attention to the 2nd paragraph of the Shema, calling our attention to the ongoing interdependence of all all life; calling us to attune our hearts and souls to the unity at heart of creation. This is precisely the political moment, and the moment in the week, when we are called to drop down beneath the surface noise and the posture of fear, and remember that what is real and true is within and between us. It is woven into the truth of all existence. It is humans breathing with the trees. It is a shared longing for justice. It is the great river of time and it is ours to step into.
Very much looking forward to connecting in the coming weeks as we prepare for the High Holidays. Services Tonight @ 6:30 pm
It is so good to be back!
Rabbi Ari Lev
Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari brings Torat Hayyim, a living tradition, to Kol Tzedek Synagogue through thoughts about prayer, justice, and community.