OUR point of view is this: We believe that spirituality is defined individually, not universally. That money should never be a barrier to participation, but rather a personal expression of community. It’s a simple proposition. We didn’t invent it, we just believe it!
THE POWER TO HEAL
This week we read the double portion of Tazria/Metzora, often lovingly referred to by rabbis as the skin diseases and mold section of the Torah. These portions of the Torah can often be difficult for the modern-day reader to find meaning with their emphasis on ritual purity and tzara’at, which is translated as leprosy, but is really a catch-all term for a wide variety of ailments that could affect people, garments, and dwellings.
By far, however, the most difficult part of these portions, is that it appears as those who are afflicted are to blame for their affliction. This is noted in the Torah by the fact that part of the purification ritual is to bring an offering of atonement, and it in a theme that the rabbis of the Talmud and later commentaries take-up when they discuss that there are seven reasons one can contract leprosy including, murder, pride, stinginess, and the most popular, malicious speech.
We clearly know today, that when we contract a disease it is not the result of moral behavior on our part. So, what is it that we can learn from this portion. If we look at the role of the kohen (the priest), he was to check on the afflicted person, who was in isolation for reasons of contagion, and was to deem him/her ready to reenter the community as soon as possible. The kohen had the role of both spiritual and medical authority, which teaches us that there is both a physical and spiritual aspect to recovery.
As someone who lives with a chronic illness, I often talk about the difference between healing a cure. I believe that cure is about our physical state and healing is about our spiritual state. Cure is in the hands of the doctor, while we have the power to heal, and one can truly be healed without ever being cured. I believe this is why the Mi Shebeirach (healing prayer) we recite as a community holds so much meaning and power for us. I believe it is because we recognize, not its power to cure, but its power to heal. When we, or someone we love, becomes ill there is so much that is out of our control, may we be blessed to recognize what is in our power.
~ Rabbi Shana Nyer
How to Say “Yes, and” to Inclusion
We are so proud of the work that Rabbi Nyer continues to do to make inclusion a central component of our educational strategy. Congratulations Rabbi Nyer on the publication of your article “How to Say ‘Yes, and’” on the Union for Reform Judaism blog!
Friday, April 28, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Livestream
Friday, April 28, at 7:15 pm | Congregational Dinner with Our Tent sample session
Saturday, April 29, at 9:15 am | Torah Study Gries Library
Saturday, April 29, at 6 pm | Parents’ Night Out
Sunday, April 30, at 9:30 am | Religious School Families’ Our Tent sample session
Monday, May 1 | Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Remembrance Day)
Tuesday, May 2 | Yom Ha’Atyzma’ut (Israel Independence Day)
Thursday, May 4, at 5:30 pm | Tikkun Olam Committee meeting
Thursday, May 4, at 7 pm | Vintage Film Festival: Beneath the Helmet
Friday, May 5, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat Services with Torah reading and Kolot Kol Ami choir | Livestream
Monday, May 8, at 7 pm | Board of Trustees meeting (Gries Library)
Tuesday, May 9, at 6:30 pm | Adult B’nai Mitzvah Class
Friday, May 12, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Livestream
Friday, May 12, at 6 pm | Come Grow With Me! Shabbat with Rabbi Shana and Cantor Dave
Tuesday, May 16, at 6:30 pm | Adult B’nai Mitzvah Class
Wednesday, May 17, at 6:30 pm | Confirmation Rehearsal
Thursday, May 18, at 7 pm | ST-KA Book Blub: Marjorie Morningstar
Friday, May 19, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat Services and Confirmation | Livestream
Saturday, May 20, at 6 pm | Parents’ Night Out
Sunday, May 21, at 1 pm | Kol Nashim Closing Program
Monday, May 22, at 6 pm | Vintage Committee meeting
Tuesday, May 23, at 11:30 pm | AARP Safe Driving Course
Tuesday, May 23, at 6:30 pm | Vintage Committee meeting
Wednesday, May 24, at 4 pm | Calvary Church Supper (7820 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44103)
Wednesday, May 24, at 7 pm | Executive Committee meeting (Gries Library)
Friday, May 26, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat Services | Livestream
Saturday, May 27, at 10:30 am | Bat Mitzvah: Madilyn Weinberger
Monday, May 29 | MEMORIAL DAY – Temple Offices Closed
Tuesday, May 30, at 7 pm | Erev Shavuot Program and Service
Wednesday, May 31 | SHAVUOT – Temple Offices Closed
JULIE SILVER: A Concert Celebrating Bruce Shewitz
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