"Reyim" means friends, and our friendships are the life of our community.
We look to the stories, wisdom, spiritual insights, and halacha of our tradition to bring meaning into our lives.
Our community is defined by the core Jewish value of gemilut hasadim, compassion and loving kindness.
The mind and the heart of the American Jewish soul were torn apart last week on Shabbat, with the murder of eleven people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, serious injuries to many more, and a devastating trauma to an entire Jewish community.
The meeting place of the American Jewish mind and heart is not a quiet, still place - it is full of tension and angst. The heart and mind sometimes seek one another out for a united front, and sometimes they rebel against each other. The Jewish heart is sometimes shocked that the mind can think a particular way, and the mind at times is curious and confused how the heart can be so vulnerable. This week, they have been collapsing into each other, seeking companionship and comfort. It is too hard to endure being alone.
Pictured is the world's oldest known siddur, displaying the 104th psalm, which we recite on Rosh Chodesh, the new moon. Among its many beautiful verses is: ashira l'Hashem b'chay'ai - I am alive, I shall sing to God! We are alive, so let us sing to God in new ways! The central project of Judaism, after all, is to make the ancient new and the new holy. (Rav Kook).
From the most ancient, we will be developing what will be the newest siddur in the world. This year we will be reading, studying, reflecting and composing a companion to our new siddur, Lev Shalem. We will be looking at many sacred texts for inspiration, from our ancient tradition to contemporary Jewish theology and thought. We will be reading books to learn more about the theology and spiritual aspirations of prayer, starting with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's Man's Quest for God. If you'd like to learn more, or wish to join our group, please be in touch with Rabbi Berman or David Carlen.
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