“…A northern Berkshire host team of volunteers has come together to support a young family fleeing from Haiti, a married couple with two young children under the age of three…”
“…Wise and compassionate stewardship of our land has been a Jewish value ever since the Garden of Eden. In this era of climate crisis, it’s important to care not only for our grounds, but also for the local ecosystem of which we are a part.
Here at CBI we’re doing a few different things to live out this Jewish value…”
“..Our ancient spiritual ancestors couldn’t sing the Song until they felt emunah in their bones. And they couldn’t feel emunah in their bones until they stepped into the sea. Which means they had to step into the sea before they felt ready. They had to take the plunge without knowing for sure what lay ahead and whether or not the water would part. On a smaller scale, we all have moments like that, on the cusp of change: marriage or divorce, birth or death, choosing a new beginning. There’s a moment when we have to decide to just – step into the sea, ready or not….”
This guest post is the D’var Torah that CBI member Ziva Larson offered at Rosh Hashanah 2 Morning Services on Tuesday, September 27, 2022.
This guest post is the D’var Torah that CBI member Ziva Larson offered at Kabbalat Shabbat services on Friday, June 17, 2022.
My son likes to say “We live in a society.” It’s our refrain. We need to be mindful of other people’s needs, because we live in a society. If a kid is being bullied, it’s good to stand up for them, because we live in a society. If a neighbor needs help carrying in the groceries, we offer to help, because we live in a society. We have obligations to each other, because we live in a society..
Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,
During the Days of Awe, many synagogues hold food drives for dried and canned foods. We have done this for many years at CBI, in order that the Yom Kippur fast from food and drink be meaningful.
As it turns out, food pantries typically prefer monetary donations to canned food donations. Money doesn’t need to be sorted (as our bags of dried and canned foods do); money does not expire; money enables them to choose what they want and need to feed patrons, rather than relying on what are all-too-often unwanted old cans; and the food pantry can stretch our dollars to purchase more in bulk than what they would be able to provide via our donated cans and boxes alone.
Although not all of us fast from food and drink on Yom Kippur, we can choose to donate to local food pantries during this sacred season. Feeding the hungry is a mitzvah, and so is caring for our local community.
This year, please donate as you are able to help all who are hungry come and eat. You might donate to the Berkshire Food Project, the Friendship Food Pantry, or the Williamstown Food Pantry… or support Mazon: a Jewish response to hunger.
Jewish tradition holds that even one who receives tzedakah is obligated also to give it. What matters isn’t how much we can give, but that we give. Many of us have the luxury of knowing that our stomachs will grumble with hunger on our holy day of fasting but not on the days before and after. Let’s do what we can to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry.
G’mar chatimah tovah — may we be inscribed and sealed for goodness.
Blessings to all,