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!
“…You shall proclaim liberty throughout the land…”
This is the famous quote found written on the Liberty Bell, of course located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the 1830s, the bell was adopted as a symbol by abolitionist societies, who dubbed it the “Liberty Bell.” By 1885, the Liberty Bell was widely recognized as a symbol of freedom and as a treasured relic of Independence.
The quote on the Liberty Bell is from Leviticus 25:10, this weeks’ Torah portion. The context of this verse is a teaching about the Jubilee. The Jubilee year is a sacred year: the fiftieth year, in which the land, and each person, would return to original home and their original owner or birthplace. It highlighted the concept that everything, ultimately, belonged to God, and that no human being should be in permanent servitude or poverty.
For the earliest of our American ancestors their dream of a land that could feed and serve all was their purpose and their mission. They connected with the land deeply, as our nascent nation was still agrarian, and for them, it was the key to a more just existence.
Today, the idea of Jubilee year as attached to the land is more removed for us: but the lessons remain true and important.
Just a few verses further in the Torah portion, a phrase appears, which is repeated twice: “Do not wrong one another.” We are not to harm another person in any way we approach commerce with each other. Let’s take this phrase and pull this out even one step further: these instructions are about moral living. Wronging each other in commercial transactions; taking care of the land in a holy way-these are all the creations of a sacred community.
Therefore, for us, today, what does it mean to “proclaim liberty”? In looking closely at this text, and choosing it to reside on one of our most beloved American symbols, perhaps our founding fathers were teaching us something very important. As Americans, we are far away from “proclaiming liberty throughout our land”: too many are hurting, without food or in poverty. Too many cannot emerge from debt.
Indeed, let freedom ring.
~ Rabbi Allison Vann
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, May 27, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat service | Livestream
Saturday, May 28, at 9:15 am | Torah Study Gries Library
Wednesday, June 1, at 6 pm | Vintage Meeting
Wednesday, June 1, at 7 pm | Kolot Kol Ami Rehearsal
Friday, June 3, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat service with Torah reading and Kolot Kol Ami | This is Bruce Shewitz’s last Shabbat with Kolot Kol Ami! | Livestream
Saturday, June 4, at 9:15 am | Torah Study Gries Library
Friday, June 10, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat service | Livestream
Saturday, June 11, at 9:15 am | Torah Study Gries Library
Saturday, June 11, at 6 pm | Shavuot Service and Dinner Join Rabbi Vann, Rabbi Nyer and Laura Lindauer for a meaningful evening of study, prayer, and connection in honor of Shavuot. We will embrace Torah, and remember our loved ones through study, dinner and community spirit. Please RSVP to Dale Hopkins at 216.991.0700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, June 13, at 7 pm | Annual Meeting Please RSVP to Dale Hopkins at 216.991.0700 or email@example.com.
Tuesday, June 14, at 4 pm | Coffee, Tea, and We Panera at Harvard and Richmond
Wednesday, June 15, at 7 pm | Lifelong Learning Committee Meeting
Friday, June 17, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat service | Livestream
Saturday, June 18, at 9:15 am | Torah Study Gries Library
Sunday, June 19, at 11 am | Father’s Day at Progressive Field Pre-game chat with Indians President, Chris Antonetti at 11:15 am and Indians vs White Sox at 1:10 pm. Cost is $25 per person. Please RSVP to Dale Hopkins at 216.991.0700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, June 23, at 7 pm | Executive Committee Meeting Gries Library
Friday, June 24, at 6 pm | Kabbalat Shabbat service | Livestream
Saturday, June 25, at 9:15 am | Torah Study Gries Library
Thursday, June 30, at 4 pm | Coffee, Tea, and We Panera at Harvard and Richmond | This is the last session until after the High Holidays!
We Are Hiring!
Lifelong Learning Administrative Assistant
P/T Bookkeeper / Administrative Assistant
Great Tour of Historic Jewish Cleveland sponsored by Men’s Club!
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To reach a member of our staff quickly, please call (216) 991-0700 or email email@example.com.