Two weeks ago we had our first Ruaḥ Rally (a celebration of Jewish spirit) at the conclusion of our Shabbat morning services. With the sanctuary packed, we sang and danced in celebration of Shabbat during our first Ruaḥ rally as we welcomed the youth from our Shabbat school and tot Shabbat. Community members from 2 to 92 years of age clapped their hands, stomped their feet, and enjoyed being together in a Holy community. We also blessed those congregants with birthdays and anniversaries. This past Shabbat was just as energizing! By almost all accounts, these brief moments of celebration and joyful expression of Judaism have added an electricity to our Shabbat morning services!
During our first Ruaḥ rally I asked all in attendance to send me feedback and let me know their thoughts and suggestions. Thankfully, many of you responded to the call, and I hope you will continue to do so as we tweak the experience and experiment with different iterations. There are already two small changes that I’d like to share with you.
- Our original intention was to offer birthday and anniversary blessings each week. However, based upon your feedback and some reflection this did not seem prudent. Therefore, we will hold our birthday celebration on the 2nd Shabbat of each month and our anniversary celebration on the 4th Shabbat of each month. Don’t worry, we will remind you! So, if you have an anniversary in the month of October, we cordially invite you to join us this coming Shabbat for a special blessing and the opportunity to help us lead Kiddush and hamotzi from the bimah, even if you already received a blessing during our first Ruaḥ Rally (after all, what could it hurt!).
- We are also adding a new opportunity for congregants to make contributions to our Kiddush Oneg fund for specific kiddush lunches. Currently, when one makes a donation to the Kiddush oneg fund, there is no way to designate the Shabbat lunch you would like to help sponsor. Now, when you have a birthday, anniversary, or some other simcha to celebrate with our community, you can help sponsor kiddush lunch for that particular week. We will recognize you in the Shabbat bulletin and formally thank you from the bimah (stage). TO do so, please check out the donations page on the CBD website, look inside the Dvar (our monthly mailing) for the donations form, or simply call the CBD office.
The Ruaḥ Rally is the first step we are taking as a community to add different spiritual dimensions and pathways to our Shabbat experience at CBD. So, if you haven’t experienced it yet, consider joining us this Shabbat and see what the buzz is all about!
Rabbi Daniel Pressman
Rabbi Philip Ohriner