Here is our weekly "5-Point Parasha", a short list of what we are enjoying or pondering, as it relates to life and Torah.
Rabbi Sherril gets inspired by the deep wisdom of Rav Kook, who taught that "the new beginning of Rosh Hashanah and the cleansing of Yom Kippur brings us to the joy of Sukkot. We are now invited to step out of our private perspectives and prisons and celebrate the great miracle and gift of life."
“The realm of mystery tells us - You live in a world full of light and life.
Let us know this great reality, the richness of existence that we always encounter.
Let us contemplate its grandeur, its beauty, its precision and harmony…
In every corner where we turn, we are dealing with realities that have life; we always perform consequential acts, abounding with meaning and with the preciousness of vibrant life.
In everything we do we meet sparks full of life and light, aspiring toward the heights. We help them and they help us…
And everything aspires, longs, yearns, according to a pattern that is adorned with holiness and girded with beauty. For this life of ours is not a meaningless phenomenon.
Rabbi Sherril is looking forward to the upcoming holiday of Sukkot by sharing this evocative poem from Reb Simcha Raphael:
UNDER A FRAGILE THATCHED ROOF
Under a fragile thatched roof
Full-breasted mother moon
And a subtle glitter band
Of twinkling stars
Transparently peek through
From the heavenly spheres
To this temporary
Transient human realm
Naked, undefended against the elements
I sit in silent contemplation
In this sukkah of peace
Unprotected and vulnerable
In the face of life's ever-changing transitions
Knowing one turn of the cosmic clock
One subtle stopped heartbeat
An unanticipated wind of change
Death, divorce, destruction
Hurricane, shadow eruptions of hell
Fire, flood, fatality or fanaticism
Or any one of a million other maybes
Can wipe away this moment
This most fragile sukkah
This life story I call my own
And bring in its wake
Who knows what
Or why not.
And all I can do
Is live with the unfolding
Of the blessing and the curse
And choose life
As well as I am able to.
So in this temporary
Sukkah of peace
I am reminded
To harvest in holy humility
A sacred sense
Of how good it is
To be alive
How good it is
For sisters and brothers
To sit, sing and pray
Together as one.
Rabbi Schachar shares his current favourite Sukkot song:
Shir Yaakov's Higale Na הגלה נא "Reveal (to) me and spread over me, Beloved, your shelter (sukka) of peace."
Rabbi Schachar shares a sukkot cartoon:
Rabbi Schachar shares a quote about the sukkot theme of fragility:
“It occurs to me that the peculiarity of most things we think of as fragile is how tough they truly are. There were tricks we did with eggs, as children, to show how they were, in reality, tiny load-bearing marble halls; while the beat of the wings of a butterfly in the right place, we are told, can create a hurricane across an ocean. Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkable difficult to kill.” ― Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
Announcements & Upcoming @MOS --
3rd Friday of the Month Service and Sukka Dinner, Oct. 18 *Sukkot Edition
Celebrate Simchat Torah with Mile End Chavurah and Montreal Open Shul
A little food and drink, a lot of singing and dancing with the Torah, and a renewal of the Torah cycle from end to beginning.
Date: Monday October 21, 2019
Time: TBA, but probably 7 pm
Location: TBA, somewhere in Mile End area
Cantor Heather shares:
Looking for ways to amp up your Jewish spirituality in the new year? In addition to great classes from our MOS clergy coming your way check out some of these great online and retreat learning opportunities:
Hadar’s Rising Song Intensive, Dec. 22-25:
R. Jonathan Slater’s month-long prayer intensive sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality — starting Oct. 27th:
Awakening the Divine: A Pardes and Or HaLev Jewish Spirituality Retreat Dec. 31, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020:
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