It is hard to believe that it is already January. It is especially hard for me to believe since it is not cold and snowy. In the Northeast, January tends to be a quiet time for synagogues. Many people travel to warmer climates, and the people who do not travel are reticent to go outside unless it is necessary. I am thrilled that January will not be quiet here at Congregation Beth David! In addition to our regular services, programs, and classes, I encourage you to participate in two special events happening this month: our Scholar-in-Residence weekend and Mitzvah Day.
Rabbi Daniel Vaisrub will be our Scholar-in-Residence the weekend of
January 11 – 13. Join us for one or all of his sessions as he draws on his varied background to teach about everything from Talmud to football. In fact, on the Sunday morning he is here, he will apply talmudic logic to football! It is perfect timing since the NFL playoffs will be underway. Rabbi Vaisrub and I participated in the same cohort of Rabbis Without Borders, and I am looking forward to welcoming him as a scholar, a colleague, and a friend.
Sunday, January 27 is Mitzvah Day. The entire community is invited to participate in a meaningful morning dedicated to helping others. There will be many opportunities to perform gemilut hasadim (acts of lovingkindness) – some are big, some are small, and all are important. Mitzvah Day projects include: Locks of Love, Habitat for Humanity, sandwich making for homeless shelters, and card writing for American Jewish Veterans and Israeli soldiers.
The Talmud (Masechet Sukkah 49b) teaches, “Whoever does deeds of charity and justice is considered as having filled the entire world with loving-kindness.” Join us on January 27 as we make the world a kinder place though our deeds. If you are interested in helping out with Mitzvah Day, please contact Wendy Askenas, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am looking forward to a busy January, and I wish you a happy and healthy 2019!