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Tikkun L'eil Shavuot - June, 2019/ Leslie Sternberg

06/07/2019 07:30:00 PM


Leslie Sternberg submitted this post to thank all those that contributed to the night of learning.   This summarizes the enriching topics covered that night with contributions from our Rabbi, Cantor and congregants!


Kol Ha Kavod (honor) to the organizers and teachers for our night of study: Waky, Rabbi Mike, Cantor Sarra, Elaine Braun Keller, Marsha Martin, Bob Becker, Kathie Becker, Michael Bailes, Elan Riesman, Nyanna Tobin, Matt Liebman, and Shayndel and Cliff Kahn.

Waky spent hours arranging a roster of folks who taught interesting and varied topics pertinent to Shavuot and our current lives. She also lined up bakers, and snack and drink buyers, and folks to help set up and clean up, and prepared a book and reference table that was a feast unto itself.

Rabbi Mike started the evening’s more formal teaching by drawing the group into an important discussion about belonging in our ancestral group of Israelites and how that is portrayed in Ruth's and Naomi’s story in the Book of Ruth. We also talked about what values we can glean from this that are important in our lives today.

Elaine Braun Keller raised a question about the male-centric language of our prayer, and invited an interesting discussion concerning how we might speak about and to God with non-gendered language.

Marsha Martin captured and elucidated a cogent sample of Rabbi Harold Kushner’s thoughts on God, that the group kept referencing throughout the evening.

Bob Becker introduced the Boston's Hevra Kadisha (Burial Society) and upcoming talks on end of life responsibilities and care in an engaging fashion that will draw folks to the programs he is arranging on Living Wills, Ethical Wills, Caring for the Elderly, and Hevra Kadisah for this coming year at CBE.

Kathie Becker combined veganism, allergies, and the ethics of embracing Eco-Kashrut, which is extending traditional Kosher Laws to include human, animal, and environmental costs of food production and consumption. Given the increased incidence of serious food allergies, she raised an important discussion about what we as a community can do to make the food we serve at CBE safer and more available to all who attend CBE events and services.

Cantor Sarra shared her friends, Shayndel and Cliff Kahn with us. They taught chanting, and their harmonies and percussion were captivating and brought the group together in spirit. Cantor Sarra sang special melodies that are sung only on Shavuot and 2 other Holidays in the Jewish calendar at the brief combination Shavuot Service and Havdalah.

Michael Biales sang a song he wrote about Noah’s and Jonas’s arguments with God, and then spoke about his initial ambivalence in joining Na’aseh and the importance for him of raising his voice on behalf of immigrants and how that lead to a greater appreciation of and involvement in our congregation. For further edification see his writing posted in Teachings.

Elan Riesman’s teaching of beginning Karate stretches seemed to be exactly what everyone needed at that point in our studying. Being able to focus on moving our bodies in gentle, flowing ways was the perfect antidote to all of our sitting.

Nyanna Tobin spoke beautifully and compellingly about sacred space, and arranged for us to take home a reminder of our need to keep sacred space in mind and heart as we move about in our everyday lives.

Matt Liebman’s everyday work and modeling of various ways to help protect our planet, as well as his brief Shavuot teaching on ecological activism were very much appreciated.

Thanks to all who baked or brought food and drinks, as well as those (many of the same folks) who helped set up and clean up.

Thu, February 22 2024 13 Adar I 5784