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November 2019

11/06/2019 02:59:10 PM


Rabbi Kozlow

9 Cheshvan 5780/November 6, 2019

Blessed are You Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, how humbly we stand before you filled with gratitude for allowing us to reach this new beginning.

Dear Friends,

Well, our journey together has begun and I wanted to thank you all for coming to Temple this past Shabbat, I heard that 115 people graced our sanctuary on Friday evening and the feel of it was magical. I just cannot wait for the years to unfold and to get to know all of you as cherished friends.

We also had a very sweet Minyan and Torah service on Shabbat morning and for the few who joined in, a beautiful walk along the Peavine trail following services. It was a perfect Shabbat.

Unless it snows, I will be planning on taking this refreshing and beautiful hike every Shabbat morning after services. Please join us.

It has been my custom for many many years to write a letter to the congregation once or twice a month just to share with you all, the many things that are happening both from the Rabbi’s office, as well as from the Rabbi’s heart. I am utterly committed to creating sacred and meaningful communal connections, so sharing the view with you from where I stand should allow you to get know your Rabbi as I work to get to know all of you.

I also had the joyous privilege of hanging out with our wonderful Religious School on Sunday. Arlene and Blanch have created a warm and inviting school and I am thrilled to be taking over the Tefillah and Torah class. The families, both children and parents, were easily lovable. It was 2 a weekend of many beginnings and I couldn’t be happier. The future looks so bright from where this Rabbi stands.

And if all of this weren’t enough, there was also Movie night on Saturday where we watched a movie entitled, “Doing Jewish.” It was interesting, thought-provoking and another room full of wonderful souls. Thank you to Linda Hochman and Bill for organizing the Temples, Movie nights, it is such a great idea and greatly appreciated.

And then…….. there was the spread of delicious food for Voting day drop in and eat to your heart's content, luncheon. I was just amazed at the overall participation and generous donations of delicious food. Again, Linda, thank you and thank you to the entire crew who made it look easy and seamless to pull off. That was definitely a group effort. We are all so grateful! I wanted to take a moment and welcome to you all our new administrator, Jessica Dreifuss.

Jessica is both smart and kind and she is exactly what our Temple office needs. She is skilled at office work and on the side can sing like a songbird and play the piano just as well. Please make her feel welcome, we know that this is also a beginning for her that we all pray will last for many many years. Welcome Jessica, we couldn’t be happier than to have you join our team at Temple Brith Shalom.

I wanted to share with you a few words that I spoke last Shabbat about standing in a moment of change and all of the symbolism that we Jews engage to bring meaningful life alive. Before saying the Motzi I said, Shabbat shalom to each and everyone of you. I am so genuinely happy to be to be standing right here at this precious moment when you and I step towards each other to begin a new and sacred relationship together.

It is not unlike a marriage. Today we say hello and if we walk carefully into the future with love and respect for one another, there will be nothing that we cannot accomplish together. T

heres a minhag, a custom in Jewish tradition, that dictates that a newly married couple should add a bit of honey to their challah blessing. The tradition states for one year they are to remind themself of the sweetness of their love and commitment by drizzling sweet honey over the Challah every shabbat. It is my most profound prayer that this shared Challa, will be the first of many between us and that the added honey will stick to our memories like glue, reminding us of the sweetness of the joy that can be, of the responsibility that we all share, and of the tenderness and acceptance that underpins every meaningful relationship. The only place that I differ from the tradition is that I don't think that it should be for only one year that this mintage is observed. Honey represents appreciation and gratitude, and so I believe that we should keep that honey close by at all times, so sweetness will never go by the wayside.

May it be God's will that gratitude and appreciation remains ever strong between all of us so that we can carry this beloved Temple to the heights of heaven. I am aiming for nothing less than that!

On a side, I would like to express our shared appreciation to the FBI for their fine work in averting a terrible catastrophe at Temple Emanuel in Pueblo Colorado. Just another sign of the difficult times that we live in where hatred seems to have no boundaries. We will not live on fear, but lets keep our eyes open and security our first priority.

This coming Shabbat on Friday the 8th of November we will be visiting Shabbat Lech Lecha, when the very first Jew, Abraham heeds the call to begin his search for God, for life’s meaning and for ultimate truth. And in good Jewish tradition, I proudly carry on his legacy. Please join us for Shabbat services both Friday evening as well as Saturday morning and if you feel so compelled, please bring your walking shoes for a Shabbat stroll after services.

May blessings find each and everyone of you and may you know that the sweetness of being blessed is the act of passing those blessings onto others. It is an honor and a privilege to be your rabbi.

Rabbi Julie Kozlow

Wed, 27 May 2020 4 Sivan 5780