Message from Rabbi Abby

1/25/2020

When the Holy One created the first human beings, The Holy One led them around the Garden of Eden and said: “Look at my works! See how beautiful they are – how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy my world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it.” (Midrash Kohelet Rabbah C 800 CE)

Once a people intimately connected to the land, our exile from Eretz Yisrael moved us further and further away from the natural world. Ulti

mately losing touch with our obligations as stewards of the planet. Our sacred texts and Holy Calendar, keeps us connected to our agricultural roots as s

hepherds and moon watchers, as well as our Jewish values that affirm the need to respect and care for our environment. With many rich metaphors and rituals, the Jewish way entwines man, Torah and the Divine Flow with the beauty, strength and life’s giving force of Trees.

In the 16th century, the Kabbalists of Tzefat created the Tu B’shvat Seder, based on the Pesach Seder, to empower humankind in 

bringing forward a Tikkun, a healing in the world. As we see and experience the destruction of our planet, including the loss of millions of acres of trees daily, we know there will be no one else to repair it but us.

Can we, in the 21st century, bring about a Tikkun? As we bless and appreciate the natural gifts around us, let us be inspired to give mother 

earth the honor and care she deserves.

Please join us for an opportunity to eat, sing and celebrate the birthday of the Trees
 at our annual Tu B’shvat, Four Worlds Kabbalistic Seder on February 9th beginning at 2:00 pm.

There is no cost for this event; only a sampling of your favorite fruit to share and an open heart.

May our desires for the planet’s healing be turned into needed action as we celebrate and appreciate the Trees and her gifts.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 9th and for our next

 Shabbat service, 7 pm  on February 7th!!!! 

B’Shalom,
Rabbi Abby

 

Dear Friends,
Being in awe of a beautiful sunset, resting from the constant doing of our hectic and challenging world, pursuing justice, experiencing holiness… these are just a few ways that Judaism brings meaning, direction and comfort to my life.

How does Judaism manifest in your life? Do you have a soul stirring for more spirituality or connections? Do you think you might benefit from Jewish centering, healing or rituals that bring a sense of hope, purpose and joy into the world? Well, do I have a “gift” for you!

The Jewish way, over 3000 years of evolving ideas, values, rituals and more are available to you through a myriad of paths. No need to take a pill or sign a contract. Just dip your toe in the water or take a dive with an open mind, heart and spirit and the rewards will be priceless.

You can find more information, including translated libraries of ancient Jewish wisdom and literature through Google, find friends and community at your personal synagogue in Hammonton or click Rabbi to email me. 

I‘m here to answer your questions, guide you through a creative and meaningful Judaism or just be a supportive ear.

Wishing you a safe and joyful summer and I look forward to connecting in the New Year!

B’Shalom,

Rabbi Abby 
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December 12, 2018

Dear Friends and Members of TBE, 

I hope everyone had a meaningful and joyful Chanukah and the light of the candles guide your way through the upcoming winter and beyond. I always feel a tinge of sadness as the candles of the 8th night burn out, wanting to light just one more night. While the darkness of winter and that of our world can be challenging, the historical and spiritual teachings of Chanukah bring me hope and renewed commitment to change. The Chanukah Haftorah (Zekariah), reminds us that Spirit, not might or power, ultimately helps us prevail over darkness. We’re called to dedicate (Chanukah means to dedicate) ourselves to creating, seeing and expanding the light around us. 2,283 years ago (but who’s counting?), a small group of Jews dedicated themselves and each-other to keeping the light of Judaism shining, affirming the words of Margaret Mead to  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. 

Eighty-five years ago, a small group of committed Jews in Hammonton NJ, formed a community, a Kahal, and then built a little Shul so they could celebrate and affirm their Judaism. In 1934, during a time of heightened Antisemitism around the world and in the US, multiple faith groups of Hammonton came together to finance and build OUR building and then dedicated it to future generations. Last week, a small group of 13 Temple Beth El members came together for our yearly meeting and re-dedicated themselves to keeping that community alive. Old and new members joined together to face the challenges and joys that lay before us as a small, diverse and geographically challenged Kahal. 

We are pleased to share that Temple Beth El of Hammonton will continue to teach, pray, celebrate and support the needs of the South Jersey Jewish community into 2019. Please join us on our journey and help us grow into the future! 

Many blessings for a warm and safe holiday season.

Rabbi Abby