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Brookline Community Selikhot

Saturday, September 16th

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Join us for a soulful beginning to the High Holy Days with an evening of meditation, learning and inspiring prayer.

9:30-10:15pm
A Meditation Session on:
Opening the Heart to Compassion
with Reb Moshe, Bobbi Isberg, and Sheila Yoheved Katz

10:30-11:15pm
Learning Session
with Rabbi Jane Kanarek

11:30pm-1:00am
Selikhot Service with Rabbi Ebn Leader and Cantor Becky Khitrik

Dedication of the Reb Moshe and Anne Waldoks Lifelong Learning Center

Sunday, September 10, 2017 

10:00AM - 12.30PM

Our entire community is invited to celebrate together with a morning of learning as we dedicate TBZ's Reb Moshe and Anne Waldoks Lifelong Learning Center on our newly renovated third floor.

Fulfilling our Divine Purpose

May 16, 2017

Rav Claudia
 
The Shabbat before the election we read, “A Meditation on Voting From T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights”. It included the following sentences:
 
Open our eyes to see the image of G-d in all candidates and elected officials, and may they see the image of G-d in all citizens of the earth.
 
Grant us the courage to fulfill the mitzvah of loving our neighbors as ourselves, and place in our hearts the wisdom to understand those who do not share our views.
 
As we pray on the High Holidays, “May we become a united society, fulfilling the divine purpose with a whole heart.”
 
In the aftermath of the election, and as I rewrite this piece, I know how challenged I feel by this prayer. Can I truly be open to see the image of God in those who don’t share my views? Can I see the image of God in the new president-elect who ran a campaign based on bigotry, hateful rhetoric and many more disturbing platforms?
 
I don’t have an answer for myself and I am sure that many of you are challenged in the same way. But as we experience the divisiveness of our country, we ought to see the ways in which we can start the process of healing to become a united society, fulfilling the divine purpose with a whole heart.
 
Many of us feel sadness, fear, loss and anger. We are afraid of an unknown future and how things will unfold in the coming years especially in terms of human rights, freedom, dignity of minorities, climate change and much more.
 
As Jews we must commit ourselves to work even harder as the values of our tradition teach us: taking care of those in need and of those most vulnerable. It is now, more than ever, when we need to work towards a society of equality. We encourage you to do this through our TBZ community; through GBIO (Greater Boston Interfaith Organization) and by organizing in our local communities.
 
We must stand with millions of immigrants, Muslims, people of color, LGBT people, women, people with disabilities, and everyone who is threatened by the future of our country.
 
The teacher of my teachers, Rabbis Marshall T. Meyer wrote:
 
“Judaism teaches us to look into the darkness. Surely we will find a spark that, if carefully tended, we can use to light the fire to illuminate our path. Our history teaches us that bones can revive, that in the darkness of the soul, an echo of meaning is audible. If we honestly confront our tradition, and respond with real faith and courage, our words will become meaningful, full of strength and love; our faith and courage will become contagious and the world will look for paths that will lead to a more just society; our material goods will be redistributed so that nobody suffers hunger; our petty lives will become meaningful.”
 
May our our faith and courage become contagious and may we be inspired to work for a just society.
 
I invite us to recommit ourselves right now, to continue to be informed citizens and activists, who stand up, with the courage of our convictions, for the rights and dignity of every human being.

The Role of Guns in Our Society

December 7th, 2015
As we start the new secular year, it is hard to avoid the tumult both here and abroad.
 
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my perception of the role of guns in our society. However one interprets the Second Amendment, it is clear that President Obama’s recent executive order to close the loopholes regarding background checks is positive. The reality is that there are still about 300 million guns in our country. While most of these guns are owned by law-abiding citizens, it is our overall culture that precipitates transgressors who feel that issues can be solved through the barrel of a gun. Mass shootings, inter-gang violence, suicides, and accidental gun shootings are a result of the American love-affair with guns. Our fascination with guns, a cultural legacy of our pioneer forbearers, overshadows our communal ability to engage in reasonable discourse.
 
Will responsible gun laws help to prevent future accidental deaths and mass shootings? Of course. Preventing children from having access to guns will greatly decrease the unfathomable deaths and injuries that occur when a child finds a gun and accidentally sets it off. Responsible guns laws will enable stronger background checks and longer waiting periods, and will help to prevent homicides.
 
It remains our responsibility as human beings and as Jews to continue to uplift and value human life. Our tradition, with all of its difficult history, endeavors whenever possible to celebrate life.
 
If it moves you, reach out and speak with our legislators and urge them to do whatever is possible to strengthen existing gun laws.
 
Let us continue to speak out in this violent world for another way.
 
Shalom u’vracah, peace and blessings,
 
Reb Moshe

Hanukkah

November 2nd, 2015
This week Jews around the world are lighting their hannukiot in remembrance of the great battle with Hellenism fought by the Maccabees. Greek culture sought to displace Jewish identity and we celebrate Hanukkah as the Festival of Freedom. This freedom is predicated on our re-dedication to our Jewish identities.
 
Hanukkah is also the Festival of Lights coming as the days grow shorter. These lights offer us an opportunity of exploring all the different sides of ourselves. By illuminating our inner, as well as our outer selves Hanukkah, is indeed a joyous experience for our family and friends. Hanukkah lets us see our communities in new light, and I hope that the essential quality of the Hanukkah lights will serve us all to battle the darkness that surrounds us in so many different ways.
 
Khag Urim Sameyakh L’kulam – A Joyous Festival of Lights to All
Tue, August 22 2017 30 Av 5777