Wow! On Feb. 2nd (Ground Hog Day), Punxsutawney Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter and he was correct in ―Spades. But winter is over, the temperatures are warmer, snow on the sidewalks and parking lot are just a memory, our synagogue fellowship welcoming and friendly, and the oneg delicious so come on out to shul this month. Your ability to connect with your spiritual core (nefesh/soul) will be the high point of your day.
March has been a normal month for us here at Sha‘are Shalom. We had our regularly scheduled services (1st Friday evening, 2nd Saturday morning, and 4th Friday evening) and all went well with a couple of visitors. I was privileged to lead a Model Passover Seder for the Monday Senior Program at Temple Solel in Bowie mid month. Many of our seniors who live alone don‘t make their own Seder and don‘t go out after dark to be a part of another Seder. Thus, the early lunch time Model Passover Seder was created for them.
On Saturday the 27th, I attended Shabbos services at our nearby Conservative Sha‘are Tikvah Congregation. Old friends of mine were having a ―Naming Ceremony for their first grandchild. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that this was the first time that I have visited our neighbor co-religionists in the several years they have been in the area. It was good to see many old friends and daven (pray) with them. The new baby girl was in very good spirits and the oneg (lunch) after was outstanding. But, the over three (3) hour ConservAdox service and with over 90% in Hebrew reminded me again how much I like being a Reform Jew.
This morning Jackie and I are going to Good Samaritan Presbyterian Church to baby sit their nursery so their congregants can attend the Palm Sunday Cantata Service. It is important that we help our neighbors during their Holy Days and it also helps our congregation because they make a contribution to our building fund.
I wish you a Chag Sameach Peseach (Happy Passover) next week. You all know the story of the Passover/Exodus/Charlton Heston in the movie The Ten Commandments but it is important that we place ourselves into the story because we all have our own ―Egypt‖ from which we must escape and free ourselves.
A little bit of Kabbalah from the Rebbe, obm before closing: At a certain point, each of us, through all our many journeys through life, will have found and redeemed all the Divine sparks in our share of the world. Then the darkness that holds such mastery, such cruelty, such irrational evil that it cannot be elevated—all this will simply vanish from its place, like a puff of steam in the midday air. All that we salvaged and used for good, on the other hand, will shine with a tremendous light beyond even the light of the G dly realm. The world will have arrived.
R. Schoch, PRF
Disclaimer – Anything written in this column is only my own impression of events, the way that I interpret them, and not meant to be factual and true. If confronted by a challenge, I will immediately claim senility and deny writing whatever is being challenged.