Parashat Nitzavim/Vayeileh

Friday, September 11, 2020 /22 Elul, 5780
Parashat Nitzavim/Vayeileh Deuteronomy 29:9–31:30

Dear Friends,

For the past three weeks, we have been blessed to hear so many powerful remarks from temple members, as part of the Elul reflection project. Up until Rosh Hashanah, I invite you to join the community on Facebook live or YouTube at 9 am each morning to hear meaningful meditations, psalms, prayers, and the stirring sound of the Shofar. If you missed this week’s reflections, you can view them at the links below.

On Saturday, we heard from Peter Herwitt, who spoke about the legacy his father left behind. After life circumstances caused him to forgo a college education in his younger years, he matriculated in his 70’s to earn a degree, teaching that it is never too late to expand our horizons.

On Sunday, Michelle Shahon offered an unforgettable reflection about any mother’s worst nightmare – a time when her infant son was seriously hurt. She shared her story of resilience, and how she found the strength to forgive, and trust again. The morning’s program ended with her son sounding the Shofar.

Monday was Laurel Perry’s turn. In a touching reflection, Laurel talked about a close friend, who inspires her every day with her warmth and her spirit of gratitude. Laurel’s words inspired us to think about the ways in which we use our words to express appreciation for those we love.

On Tuesday, we heard from Linda Belzer. When she made the decision to retire from teaching earlier this year, she searched for meaningful ways to give of herself. She speaks about the process of finding her purpose within the pandemic, and making lemonade out of lemons.

On Wednesday, Torah School teacher Hadas Nurial spoke about a man who has inspired and continues to inspire her every day, her father. She shared his words of wisdom and gentle guidance, which have helped form Hadas into the incredible person and teacher that she is today.

Thursday we heard from Judith Mishkin, who reflected on the importance of music in her life, how it is has helped her through the pandemic, and what she is yearning for this High Holy Day season.

Finally, this morning we heard from Tom Rosenberg, who has become such an integral part of our community since his family joined Temple Beth El last year. His humbling recollections of early loss in his life remind us about what is most important.

I hope you find these reflections meaningful as this week comes to a close.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Cassi Kail