Mid Summer Post
Thursday, July 14, 2016
After the disasters of the past week I am reminded of one of the maxims of life I learned when the Israeli athletes were gunned down at the 1972 Olympics. My Rabbi suggested that the best antidote for chaos in the world was to plant seeds to promote new growth.
Yesterday I was honored to be the officiant for a funeral of Dr. Zelda Rose, a pioneering microbiologist who rose to prominence in the field of science at a time women were not accepted in that world. After a lifetime of research she told her children that the world was in such a mess and asked," what are we going to do about it?
Not an idle question. In 1987 she changed her career from academia to peace activist and anti-nuclear advocate. The question Zelda posted, "what are we going to do about it?"resonates in many of us.In Pirkei Avot, the Sayings of Our Ancestors. we are reminded that it is not our job to fix it all by ourselves. Nor are we permitted to not lend a hand and make some difference. May we be blessed to work together and find solutions that make the world a better place.
Zelda was one of several people who I have ministered to months before their death. . Getting to know someone as they prepare to leave this world can be very soothing and peaceful and aid in their transition. Not only have I been helping people die, I have been preparing children and adults for their rites of passage ceremonies Recently I have officiated at the Bnai Mitzvot of Elsa Baxter, Amelia Beigel, Asher Ginsberg Pelz, Noah Burstein and the upcoming Bat Mitzvot of Maya and Julia Lieberman, Maya Weilerstein, Nora Harris and Janna Parrot. I am blessed to study with another 12 students from young children to esteemed elders, some of whom I study with via skype. . There are also several weddings in the wings and a conversion ceremony in August.
I am beginning to prepare for the High Holidays which again I will be leading in Westfield, where I am the community Rabbi and Jewish Chaplain at Westfield State. Services will be held at the Interfaith Center on the campus. I invite you to join us. Rosh Hashana eve- Oct. 2, 7:30 pm; Day One Monday, October 3 at 10 AM with Tashlich to take place at Springfield College at 4:00 pm on Day One.where I am also the Jewish Chaplain.
Yom Kippur will start with Kol Nidre on Tuesday evening October 11th at 7:30 to continue on Wednesday the 12th at 10 Am. Looking forward to seeing you this summer.
Blessings, Rabbi Efraim