July 2020

Dear Friends,

It can be hard to make sense of all that is going on these days. Often we’re stymied by the challenge of not knowing what will be, sometimes it seems hard to know what is best to do.

We as Jews have all too often faced and lived through the most adverse of circumstances. Yet no matter the tumult, upheaval, and uncertainty before us, we have always been anchored, strengthened, assured, comforted, enlightened, and guided on the proper course by our firm faith, our treasured tradition, our Godly goals.  

And we must persist on this course. Always drawing on the accumulated wisdom of our sacred teachings through the ages, we were able to see clearly and to proudly journey forward from ancient times to this very day. As such, to paraphrase and apply the Hebrew prophet Isaiah’s cautionary admonition (Isaiah 5:20-23), we must continue today and every day to summon the courage and the will to ever discern – and to never confuse – the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad, the decent from the indecent, the holy from the profane.  Such clarity of vision and understanding should help guide us through any morass, help us to know what is best to do, and help us to make sense of the challenges of life.

Seifer Mishlei tells us  דְּאָגָה בְלֶב־אִישׁ יַשְׁחֶנָּה וְדָבָר טוֹב יְשַׂמְּחֶנָּה – “Anxiety in your heart will weigh you down; but a good word will make you happy” (Proverbs 12:25).  Let us then overcome the anxiety that could heavily burden our hearts; let us rather embrace God’s good words to make our hearts and our lives happy – happy to be part of a wonderful community, to be God’s faithful, to be abundantly blessed, to embrace our cherished heritage, to be alive and to freely live fully Jewish lives!

Stay healthy, safe, and strong!

Shabbat shalom.

Bivracha,

Rabbi Pearl