Volume 3 Number 14 – April 18th, 2020 – 24 Nissan 5780
“Thank you” to all Sisterhood Members who are Paid-Up for 2020: The list was posted in the bulletin that went out via email. If you have paid your 2020 dues and are NOT on the list, please contact the office. If you have not yet paid, please send in your dues by May 1.
Sisterhood Book Club
Looking ahead, the June Book Club book is “Black, White, & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self” by Rebecca Walker, the daughter of a Jewish father and African- American mother who recalls her confusing but ultimately rewarding life lived between two conflicting ethnic identities. Watch for instructions how to join the new on-line Zoom Book Club from home! For more info contact Terri Schnitzer.
Remember to Count the Omer …and to make these days count
The Torah commands that from the second night of Passover until the day before the holiday of Shavuot, we, the Jewish people, engage in the unique mitzvah of Sefirat HaOmer (counting of the Omer) for seven complete weeks – 49 days. At the end of this time we celebrate Shavuot, which means “weeks.”
Why do we count these days? We learn several reasons. The foremost is that the count demonstrates our thrill for the impending occasion of receiving the Torah, celebrated on Shavuot. Just as a child often counts the days until the end of school or an upcoming family vacation, we count the days to show our excitement at again receiving the Torah (as we do in fact receive the Torah in a renewed sense every year).
We also learn that this period is meant to spiritually prepare and refine ourselves. When the Jewish people were in Egypt nearly 3,400 years ago, they had assimilated many of the immoral ways of the Egyptian people. The Jews had sunk to an unprecedented level of spiritual defilement and were on the brink of destruction. At the last possible moment, the children of Israel were miraculously redeemed. They underwent a spiritual rebirth and quickly ascended to the holiest collective state they had ever reached. They were so holy, in fact, that they were compared to angels when they stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah.
The commandments of the Torah are not meant merely as our history, but instead represent on ongoing life lesson for every Jew. We view the Torah as freshly received every day of our lives, and approach it and its commandments with appropriate vigor.
So too must we digest the lesson of the counting of the Omer. It is specifically during this time that we strive to grow and mature in our spiritual state. The Torah does not allow us to become satisfied with our current level of spirituality. Instead it tells us to set high goals for ourselves, and then methodically strive to reach that goal.
The growth that occurs during this time is akin to a marathon. We pace ourselves and seek to improve day by day until we reach the day that we again receive the Torah. In this process, we look deep within ourselves and work on all of our negative attributes. If we are challenged in the realm of acts of kindness, we go out of our way to do more charitable works. If we are lacking in the area of justice, we hold ourselves to the highest possible standards and are exacting and demanding in our personal behavior and habits. And so it goes for all of our traits. -adapted from Yeruchem Eilfort (www.chabad.org)
For information or to join Sisterhood, call the NHBZ office at 314-991-2100, ext. 3, or email: email@example.com