And the message is??? 

ב׳׳ה


 

I took that picture last weekend in Florida, and I’ve been drawn back to it nearly every day this week, almost as if I’m waiting for it to tell me… something…

But every day that I look, the picture seems to bring me a slightly different message about Life — about the cycle of life and death, about the interconnection of all existence, about finite matter “standing” at the edge of infinity and eternity, about the holiness and beauty inherent in moments of transition… 

So I decided that, this Shabbat, instead of telling you what I see, I’d post the picture and invite all of you to tell me what you see in it.   I’d love to hear what messages you see — please leave a comment and let me know!!   🙂  Thanks!

Praying Shabbat brings more shalom to all, jen 

Today

ב׳׳ה 

 

 
I woke this morning to gray skies and, as I walked out the door for work, there was a cold drizzle that prompted me to mutter, “blech!”  I turned to lock the door and then saw that the shrub outside my door was flowering.  The little waterlogged flowers brought a smile to my face and reminded me of another quote from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks —
 

There is … no place without a fragment of G-d’s light waiting to be discovered and redeemed; no situation without its possibility of sanctification; no moment without its call.  

 
 
Today, may we hear the Call, sanctify moments, and redeem fragments of Light, jen

Strive for Justice

ב׳׳ה

 

 
 
Social action isn’t simply the intellectually correct response to a world that is frequently unjust.

Nor is it simply the currently-popular moral high-ground, the last remnant of religions demystified to appease followers after the Enlightenment.

And it most certainly ought not be something we do to boost our self-absorbed and frequently-insecure egos, whether by getting our names inscribed on a plaque for donors or by deluding ourselves with the notion that we are somehow “better than” those who face injustice.

Rather, we were (and continually are) commanded to Strive for Justice.

Everyone who has encountered The One has heard that command, for we cannot experience The One without being shaken from the deepest recesses of our souls by the deafening near-silence of The Unity.

The Unity from which we came.

The Unity toward which we move.

The Unity that inspired every religion.

The Unity that keeps whispering of our Oneness and urging us to acknowledge:

Together, we must Strive for Justice!
 
 
 
**********************


About the featured photo

 
I took the picture a few months ago when I visited the Allen County Courthouse in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The courthouse has been restored and has amazing paintings and stained glass throughout the building and courtrooms. It’s a National Historic Landmark, and if you’re ever in that area, I recommend taking a look at it!
 
The photo, along with Deuteronomy 16:20, was the inspiration for the text, which I wrote.
shavua tov, jen

G-d whispers

ב׳׳ה

 

 

When G-d calls, He does not do so by way of universal imperatives. Instead, He whispers our name — and the greatest reply, the reply of Abraham, is simply hineni: ‘Here I am,’ ready to heed Your call, to mend a fragment of Your all-too-broken world.
——–Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

 
This Shabbat, may we each stop long enough to listen for Gd’s whisper and, then, may we find the courage respond when we are called.
shabbat shalom, jen
 

the richest person in this world

ב׳׳ה

What could have more value, at any moment in time, than the light and love of others who see the truth of who we are and who encourage us to climb, so that we might reach the potential Gd planted deep within?

When I stop and remember to measure my life by that standard, I’ve no doubt that I must be the richest person in this world!!! 

Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter: whoever finds one has found a treasure.  Faithful friends are beyond price; no amount can balance their worth.
Apocrypha: Ben Sira 6:14-15.

 with a heart full of gratitude, jen 

Shabbat & Tu Bishvat

ב׳׳ה


I had a grand plan this morning!!!   I was going to work at my paid job until 4:30, and then write a post in the spare hour I’d have after driving to the synagogue.   The post was to be about a commentary by the Berdichever Rebbe on a verse from this week’s Torah portion — specifically Exodus 15:2, which says:  “Gd is my strength and might; this is my salvation.” 

And then, as the Yiddish proverb tells us about when humans make plans… “Gd laughed”… 

The Rabbi of my synagogue called me at 1:30.   He’s sick and needs someone to lead Shabbat service and the Tu Bishvat Seder tonight . . . Might I be willing?  

So, the hour for writing a post became an hour to prep for leading service… and I cobbled this post together in my ten minute walk from office to car because I wanted to say:

Shabbat shalom and… it’s Tu Bishvat, so be nice to trees, they clean our air!!   😊 jen

Creation on display

ב׳׳ה

As I flew home from Florida on Tuesday afternoon, the magnificence of Creation was truly on display!   

The wind coming off the water in Ft. Lauderdale required that we take off flying east, sending us up over the beach. 


Out over the water, we made a 180* left turn . . . 


. . . which brought us back over land north of Ft. Lauderdale. 


 Before I knew it, we were over the swamps of the Everglades. 


.


About 30 minutes later, I began to have a great view of the west coast of Florida, all the way from Sanibel Island . . . 


. . . past Tampa Bay . . . 


. . . up to the Panhandle . . . 


. . . where the Gulf water slowly disappeared from sight. 

.

And there was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day. 

The Heaven and the Earth were finished, and all their array.  On the seventh day Gd finished the work that Gd had been doing, and Gd ceased on the seventh day from all the work that Gd had done.  And Gd blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it Gd ceased from all the work of creation that Gd had done.

Genesis 1:31 -2:3. 

shabbat shalom, jen