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Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Arnow 5/17/2024

Dear Kol Rinah Family,

At the end of a week that has had Yom HaZikaron (Israel's memorial day) and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel's independence day) on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, emotionally I'm ready for Shabbat.  

And if you don't usually consider Shabbat a holiday, its mention in Leviticus 23, in this week's parasha (Emor) at the beginning of a list of holidays, should remind you that the Torah really does consider Shabbat a holiday.  

The end of that mention says, "It shall be a Sabbath to God in all of your settlements (moshvoteichem)" (Lev. 23:3).  This is to say, all the different places you, the Jewish people live, Shabbat is to be celebrated.  The rabbinic tradition emphasizes that we are to observe Shabbat inside of and outside of the land of Israel, as well when we're at home and when we're "away" for Shabbat. 

Reading the word "moshvoteichem" or "settlements" makes me think of the settlements that "settlers" are establishing in areas of the West Bank that are ostensibly under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction, where Jewish Israelis are not supposed to settle.  (I don't mean well- and long-established settlements, but rather hilltop settlements meant to become "facts on the ground.")  

What if instead of saying "settlements," I said "encampments?"  That might suggest pro-Palestinian protest encampments on college campuses.  

In both of these places, it would not be surprising to find visible celebrations of Shabbat. 

There's something kind of stunning about realizing that folks at diametrically opposite places on the (Jewish!) political spectrum might all be celebrating Shabbat in ways that are mutually recognizable.  

Whatever you or I (or settlers or protestors) might think or prefer, Judaism, and the Jewish people contain all these multitudes. Like it or not, they are all Jews.  Like it or not, they all are speaking and acting from their understanding of Torah.  

Here are two articles from this week that I learned from.  First,
 here's a very long (and depressing) article from this Sunday's New York Times Magazine that tells the story of the evolution of Jewish lawlessness in the West Bank.  You may not like that the New York Times is telling this story, or that people will read it.  But this is part of Israel, part of Israeli society.  Not all of it, but part of it.  

this piece in the Forward by Jay Michaelson helped cut through a lot of the talking points about the war in Gaza.  

There's nowhere I'd rather be this Shabbat though than with our community, here at Kol Rinah.  

Tonight at 6pm, Karen Kern and Will Soll will lead a musical Kabbalat Shabbat and ma'aariv.  

Candle lighting is at 7:51pm.  

Tomorrow morning, starting at 9am, we'll celebrate the bat mitzvah of Samantha Mollett.  Mazal tov to her parents, Becky and Chris, and her younger sister Madison!  

We'll have mincha Saturday afternoon at 6:50pm, and Shabbat ends at 8:55pm.  

Our shinshinit Or Garti put together beautiful displays for Yom HaZikaron (in our memorial alcove) and Yom HaAtzmaut (on the KoREH bulletin board).  Check them out! 

Sunday evening at 7:30pm at the synagogue, our own 
Phyllis Hyken will be presenting on Philip Glass's opera "Galileo Galilei."  

And mark your calendars for next Sunday evening (5/26), for our 
Lag B'Omer picnic and gathering at Shaw Park from 5-7pm

For more and collected Israel information, see this page on our website, as well as the Jewish Federation of St. Louis's Israel Resources page

Every Shabbat and festival morning, we are still reciting a 
prayer for the State of Israel, a prayer for Israel Defense Forces soldiers, and a prayer for hostages.  

May the one who makes peace in the heavens make peace over us, and over all Israel, and over all who dwell in the world.  

Shabbat shalom and see you in shul,
Rabbi Noah Arnow

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