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Shabbat Shalom - October 6, 2017

Dear Friends:

Think about all the things about which we say, “When I have the time.” It might be exercise, making the phone call you’ve been putting off, visiting Israel, or pursuing our own Jewish learning. Pirkei Avot wisely tells us you may never have the time if you out it off. With that in mind, I want to invite you to set out on a year of learning with us.

Look at the weekend of October 14 and 15th. Begin our new Shabbat morning series with us as we look at Themes from Genesis. On Sunday, join us for a morning of learning as you can choose 2 of 4 sessions with guest speakers from our community. The weekend of the 27-29 will bring scholar in residence, Max Edwards.

Our Monday night programming begins on the 16th. As I described on Yom Kippur, we will be creating our social justice agenda for the year. Come with an issue and be prepared to speak to its importance. Collectively we’ll discuss and vote to create 3 priority areas. On the 23rd, we’ll be looking at racial diversity in our congregation and in Jewish life in general. Then on the 30th, we’ll begin our course of study for the fall. We’ll be taking a journey through different periods in Jewish life, looking at history, culture, famous people, outside influences, and burning questions of the day. Eventually, we’ll ask ourselves where we fit in in this incredible 4000 year journey.

Of course, you can also expand your Jewish learning at lunch time, from 12-1. On Mondays, beginning on 10/16, Seven Days, Many Voices: Insights into the Biblical Story of Creation. On Tuesdays, we offer Talmud for beginners.

Beginning adult Hebrew class starts on 10/18 at 5PM.

And there’s more. You can grow Jewishly by joining our choir. You can think about an adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah if you never experienced this ritual as a younger person. If you’re not Jewish, you may want to actively explore what becoming Jewish might mean to you.

You can join the Women of Shaarai Shomayim for women’s Torah Study or Lilith discussions. You can grow spiritually beyond the usual at Wednesday morning minyan every week from7:45 to 8:15.

Plan to visit Israel in March.

And what better way to kick it all off than by joining us this coming Wednesday to literally see the whole Torah unrolled before your eyes.

There are very few congregations of any size that offer what we do in terms of adult learning. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you need to do everything, but also don’t say, “When I have the time.”

I hope to see you at one or more of these offerings. Bring your friends from throughout the community. See our website, calendar, “Our Voice,” or bulletin for details, or just get in touch with me at or call me to discuss it at 717-397-5575.

Shabbat Shalom u’m’vorach. Have a Shabbat of peace and of blessing.


Jack P. Paskoff,


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