From the President–Nov. 22, 2019

A huge thank you to all who worked on last weekend’s Speaker Series conversation with authors Catherine de Cuir and Robert Schoen. Much appreciation goes to Jane Durango and Audrey Berger for making it happen.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend due to work obligations – which leads to thoughts on an important part of Judaism. The commandment to “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” is expanded to say that no work shall be done. This mitzvah is also found in the laws concerning the observance of sacred days. But how does that mesh with modern society? Many of us have to work on Shabbat as a condition of employment. For many years I struggled with the irony of having to leave onegs to get up early the next morning. Roy Trumbull, of blessed memory, once told me he often had to report to work right after services on Friday night.

We have a tradition at Temple Beth Hillel that is refreshing and purifying. At the beginning of Kabbalat Shabbat, Rabbi Dean encourages us to “breathe out the week and breathe in Shabbat. The week is done, nothing can change it. But we can be present for Shabbat.” Even if one has to return to the lay world before the 25 holy hours are done we can all take a few moments to be present and to be grateful for all the blessings we are granted.


We are what we do.

Neil Zarchin