One of my favorite Bible verses is in this week’s Parasha. “Lo bashamayim he” we are told by Moshe in Deuteronomy 30:12. “It is not in the Heavens…” We learn from this that all that God expects from us is within our reach and grasp.
There are many wonderful aspects of Adat Shalom Synagogue, among them the many opportunities to feel the love of God and Torah in our community of learners. Adat Shalom is a perfect example of “Lo bashamayim he” because it is right here for us to take if we only make the choice for ourselves.
So too, the gift of Rosh Hashanah is within our reach. Rabbi Shere wrote me that this Shabbat she will help us prepare to make the most of our high holiday prayers. She will help each of us to be released from the strict words on the pages of the Machzor and to enable each of us to express the unique language of our hearts. She will help us explore the concepts of “keva” –the routine and “kavanah” the intended.
Over the centuries we have developed traditional words and phrases that have found their way onto the printed page, but we must recall that they too were new and fresh once. Those words, perhaps beautiful and inspirational, first belonged to someone else. Those same words may resonate with you, but we believe that God hears the words of each of our own hearts, not just our mouths. When the words match our hearts, speaking to God and to each other in ultimate sincerity, we can truly feel heard and loved.
Come to our Shabbat Torah study this week with Rabbi Shere for a liberating learning experience. 10:00 a.m. in the Youth Lounge.
Shabbat Shalom and Shanah Tovah,