With the High Holidays behind us, we can turn our attention to the festival of Sukkot and the powerful images of the Torah portions that come to us this month.
The Sukkah reminds us of our link to nature and the environment as well as the very fragility of life itself. Traditional and contemporary commentaries remind us of the very essential, and tenuous link, between is and the natural world around us. The festival leads us right into the beginning of the Torah reading cycle and we conclude Simhat Torah by starting creation all over again. The symbolism is obvious in that one of the essential messages of Judaism is that we never are finished with creation, learning, growing and wonder. Each year brings us the possibility of something new, something unexplored, unknown and mysterious.
This month we also highlight some new possibilities for understanding. There is a reprint of an important piece on long distance care-giving and another article from the “Forward” on the issues surrounding the heath care debate and the need to promote Jewish values based discussions on decision making (see one of our workshop offerings on the Programs page) We have also included notice of a powerful program for physicians that looks at medicine and spirituality on the Health & Wellness page. We have included Helene Zukoff’s personal story again and invite you to contribute your story of faith and transformation.
As always, we appreciate hearing from you and wish you a wonderful year of creativity, learning, health and peace.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.