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Shabbat Message - March 13, 2020

Fri, 3/13/20 - 6:24pm


Rabbi Lisa Eiduson

Dear Members of Congregation B’nai Torah,

Although this online Congregation B’nai Torah community may feel “new,” it is deeply rooted in our synagogue’s culture and our Jewish tradition. How so? Because throughout history, Jews have tried to keep pace with the times, to maintain an inclusive sense of peoplehood and belonging in the face of challenges, and have been creative and innovative with Jewish rituals, learning and communal gathering.

We did not know last week that we would not be together in our sanctuary to share Shabbat in our typical ways this week. We do not know what next week will bring. (Do we ever really know?) But today, we would like to offer you this warm and welcoming Shabbat message to bring you light and love, and take the first steps in maintaining a connection with you. Of course, feel free to share this with others. It is our responsibility and privilege to widen the tent as far as possible, and this online forum enables all of us to do that. Also know that it is my intent not to overwhelm you with materials, as we are all sufficiently overwhelmed at this point. 

We have been inundated with messages and instructions and to-do lists over the past week. The sights, sounds and sensations of living have been intensifying all week. Please know that this message is simply a place to begin at this challenging time in our country and our world; this writing is only an introduction to a story that we will create together. In the coming days, our shared narrative will expand: it may take the shape of online committees, classes, discussion and activities - for children, teens, adults, families and senior adults. We will use our streaming technology to bring some things to you live online. This is a work in progress, and you are an important link in this chain of tradition. 

On this Shabbat, try to reach in and do not hesitate to reach out. We send wishes for a sabbath of peace and wholeness together with these resources:

So on this first Shabbat of the newly recognized Pandemic - COVID-19, we send our blessings for peace and wholeness. You are not alone. Your CBT community is here for you. 

And remember, in Judaism we human beings are a source of blessing. You are certainly in my prayers and blessings, but the following prayer reminds us that not only can we bring blessing to others; moreover, we can even bless ourselves.

Blessing Yourself

By Anna Talhami

If you are waiting for a spiritual leader to tell you,
write what you need to hear
and read it back to yourself and call it blessing.
Call the act of doing this a blessing.
Call yourself a blessing.

Jodi, Robin and Orna join me in wishing you abundant Shabbat blessings.

Rabbi Lisa S. Eiduson, EdD
Congregation B’nai Torah
Sudbury, MA

Wed, March 22 2023 29 Adar 5783