The Sisterhood Scoop – June 15, 2019

The Sisterhood Scoop

Volume 2 Number 23 – June 15, 2019 – 12 Sivan  5779

Mark Your Calendars

Save the Date • Save the Date • Save the Date

  • St. Louis Jewish Legacy Bus Tour Sunday, June 23, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
    SEATS ARE LIMITED – Email sisterhood@nhbz.org to reserve your space
  • Book Club – Next selection is: The Last Watchman of Old Cairo, by Michael David Lukas – at the home of Amy Feit – Monday, June 24, 7:15-8:45PM

  • Sisterhood’s NEXT Girls Movie Night Out – Monday, July 8th, 6:30PM, Mansions on the Plaza
  • 4th Annual Dine ‘N’ Style Fashion Show and Luncheon & Shopping! – Date TBA

Sisterhood Nominating Committee Now Forming

Any Sisterhood Member interested in participating on the Nominating Committee to help determine next year’s Sisterhood Officers and Board Members should contact Teree Farbstein.

Have a “voice” in your Sisterhood! Not yet a member of Sisterhood?
Contact the Office to Join!

The Priestly Blessing of Love – Adapted from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

One of the most moving passages in Naso and one with great impact over the course of history, is known by almost every Jew – the priestly blessings:
The L‑rd said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘Thus shall you bless the Israelites. Say to them:
May L‑rd bless you and protect you;

May the L‑rd make His face shine on you and be gracious to you;
May the L‑rd turn His face toward you and give you peace.’
Let them set My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

This is among the oldest of all prayer texts…used by the priests in the Temple…by the Kohanim in the repetition of the Amidah, in Israel every day, in the Diaspora on festivals…by parents to bless their children… and often said to the bride and groom under the chuppah. It is the simplest and most beautiful of all blessings.

The first verse “May L‑rd bless you and protect you,” refers, as the commentators note, to material blessings: sustenance, physical health and so on. The second, “May the L‑rd make His face shine on you and be gracious to you,” refers to moral blessing. Chen, grace, is what we show to other people and they to us. It is interpersonal. Here we are asking G‑d to give some of His grace to us and others so that we can live together without the strife and envy that can so easily poison relationships.

The third is the most inward of all. There is a lovely story about a crowd of people who have gathered on a hill by the sea to watch a great ship pass by. A young child is waving vigorously. One of the men in the crowd asks him why. He says, “I am waving so the captain of the ship can see me and wave back.” “But,” said the man, “the ship is far away, and there is a crowd of us here. What makes you think that the captain can see you?” “Because,” said the boy, “the captain of the ship is my father. He will be looking for me among the crowd.”

That is roughly what we mean when we say, “May the L‑rd turn His face toward you.” There are seven billion people on the face of the earth. What makes us anything more than a face in the crowd, a wave in the ocean, a grain of sand on the sea shore? The fact that we are G‑d’s children. He is our parent. He turns His face toward us. He cares.

The G‑d of Abraham is not a mere force of nature or even all the forces of nature combined. A tsunami does not pause to ask who its victims will be. There is nothing personal about an earthquake or a tornado. The word Elokim means something like “the force of forces, cause of causes, the totality of all scientifically discoverable laws.” It refers to those aspects of G‑d that are impersonal. It also refers to G‑d in His attribute of justice, since justice is essentially impersonal.

But the name we call Hashem – the name used in the priestly blessings, and in almost all the priestly texts – is G‑d as he relates to us as persons, individuals, each with our unique configuration of hopes and fears, gifts and possibilities. Hashem is the aspect of G‑d that allows us to use the word “You”. He is the G‑d who speaks to us and who listens when we speak to Him. How this happens, we do not know, but that it happens is central to Jewish faith.

That we call G‑d Hashem is the transcendental confirmation of our significance in the scheme of things. We matter as individuals because G‑d cares for us as a parent for a child. That, incidentally, is one reason why the priestly blessings are all in the singular, to emphasize that G‑d blesses us not only collectively but also individually. One life, said the sages, is like a universe.

For information or to join Sisterhood, call the NHBZ office at 314-991-2100, ext. 3, or email: sisterhood@nhbz.org