As I sit in my office writing, the world outside is literally on fire. The smoke in the air is suffocating, and this from a fire all the way in Chico. The air feels like a fitting backdrop to the state of our world: on fire in every direction. There is immense fear, and unexpected grief; there is shock and numbness in response to yet another mass shooting; there are deeply moving acts of solidarity and comfort; there is rage, despair, strength and inspiration. Nothing feels stable, except in moments of grace and connection and love. I used to believe that God watches over us, maybe even guides us, throughout our lives. Lately I’ve come to believe that God is simply with us, throughout our lives, in our pain and joy, our companion as we walk through the fire.
I feel God’s comforting presence most strongly when we come together in community to pray and sing, to affirm our hope and courage in the face of fear and doubt. I have always wanted that kind of spirit to infuse our Nishma service at CBT, but never more so than this month, when we need the healing medicine of prayer and song. The goal of Nishma is to weave together traditional Hebrew melodies, beautiful music and time for contemplation in our creative, spiritual Shabbat laboratory. If that’s the kind of medicine you are needing right now, please join us at 10:00 on Shabbat morning in the social hall for our Nishma service. We will also be dedicating our hand-made Ner Tamid during the Torah service, which will be a moment of gratitude and celebration for all.
And parents! This month our beloved Morah Rebecca from Gan Gani will be providing Torah-themed childcare! It’s a win-win situation all around: happy kids spending time with a wonderful teacher, and happy parents getting to nourish their souls. See you there!