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OUR LEADERSHIP

Enter with Humility: A Clergy High Holiday Message Hineih mah tov, umah-naim Shevet achim gam yachad How good and how pleasant it is That brothers (and sisters) are gathered together (Ps. 133:1) These words from the Psalms greet us when we come together as community in our sacred spaces. And although we gather on Shabbats, on Jewish holidays, on joyful and sorrowful moments in our lives – there is something particularly wonderful when we gather for the High Holidays, literally the “Days of Awe.” The sanctuary is full, the lights are shining, the words and music are uplifting. Although our Hebrew calendar just begins on the day of Rosh Hashanah, this opening season is the highlight of the year. It is fitting to call these holy days Yamim Nora’im, “Days of Awe” because the beauty and dignity of this space and this time should call us to stand in awe, to humble ourselves in the face of eternity, to be quiet in the presence of The Holy. But humility is not our normal way of moving through the world. We are a naturally arrogant species. We strive and struggle and proclaim our self-worth all year long. We have to practice being humble. The

Simchah Ba’Torah : A Celebration of Torah Connects

Sunday, October 20, 5:00 PM Goodman Hall

Celebrate our year-long effort to restore our community’s Sifrei Torah, with friends, cocktails, and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Then, together, we will return the scrolls to the Main Sanctuary and unroll them for Simchat Torah.

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High Holidays give us that opportunity to experience humility. How we enter, matters. Do we look down and see nothing but our own feet? Do we look up at the enormity of our sacred space, the dome of our sanctuary capping us 100 feet in the air? Do we look straight into the eyes of our fellow worshipers, seeing the divine spark within another? Do we enter with our typical human arrogance, declaring ourselves present, so that now everything can start? Or do we enter with acceptance and quiet rectitude, opening ourselves up to the possibility of inspiration? What do we see, hear, and feel as we gather? Much depends on what we choose to see, hear, and feel. Much depends on what we enter with. What we find in our worship, depends in part on what we bring into our worship space. Hineih mah tov is a simple observation. It is good to be together, it is good to be with community during times of sorrow and of joy. But another psalm just a few before it, Psalm 131, offers a way of thinking as we enter our space and gather with our loving community:

O Lord, my heart is not proud Nor my look haughty; I do not aspire to great things Or to what is beyond me; But I have taught myself to be contented Like a weaned child with its mother Like a weaned child am I in my mind. May we enter this sacred time, these “Days of Awe” with humility. May we find in these days meaning and hopefulness. May we be inspired to holy thoughts and holy deeds. May the coming new year of 5780 bring health, peace and meaning to you and your family. Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana Cantor Ida Rae Cahana Rabbi Rachel L. Joseph Rabbi Emanuel Rose, emeritus Cantor Judith B. Schiff, emerita

Brit Olam This summer, our congregation signed on as a Brit Olam congregation with the Union for Reform Judaism. The Brit Olam is our enduring covenant with our world because we see the world we want, not the world as it is.

The Social Action Committee educates and activates the congregation and community about social justice issues. We strive to choose projects that reflect the Reform Jewish perspective and that represent our congregation in Portland, Salem, and Washington DC.

Today, the Reform Jewish Movement fulfills our covenant by confronting injustice at its root. We act through our communities and congregations, with partners from across lines of difference, to bring about a world in which all people experience wholeness, justice, and compassion.

As part of the Brit Olam, we are joining three issues-based cohorts – a network of communities working to make change on an issue of shared significance.

This commitment makes Congregation Beth Israel part of a network of more than 200 congregations from all over the country working in concert in meeting an “urgency of now” through moral leadership and congregational and community-based action.

CONGREG ATION BE TH ISR AEL | AUGUS T/SEPTEMBER /OC TOBER 2019

-Immigration Justice -Gun Violence Prevention -Reproductive Justice We will be rolling out each initiative over the next several months. If you are interested in getting involved, please email BritOlam@bethisrael-pdx.org Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana Cantor Ida Rae Cahana Rabbi Rachel L. Joseph

Profile for Congregation Beth Israel

Aug/Sep/Oct 2019 Bulletin - Congregation Beth Israel, Portland Oregon  

Read the Aug/Sep/Oct 2019 issue of Congregation Beth Israel's monthly Bulletin. Congregation Beth Israel is the original and largest Reform...

Aug/Sep/Oct 2019 Bulletin - Congregation Beth Israel, Portland Oregon  

Read the Aug/Sep/Oct 2019 issue of Congregation Beth Israel's monthly Bulletin. Congregation Beth Israel is the original and largest Reform...

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