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Rabbi Ezray - Join a Magic Moment

10/18/2021 02:27:51 PM

Oct18

Rabbi Nat Ezray

               Every several years, a group of CBJ members celebrate an Adult B’nai Mitzvah. It is a magical service. To study for several years – this year’s cohort added an extra year as we rescheduled due to COVID – brings even deeper connection to a group who began with a strong commitment.

            Several in the group have already had a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and just wanted the opportunity for weekly study of Bible, history, prayer, Jewish thought, holidays, life cycle, and ritual. Others came to Judaism later in life or did not have the opportunity to celebrate a Bar/Bat Mitzvah and want the opportunity to celebrate a milestone.

            Magic happens when a group studies together and then celebrates their own story and connection in a public ceremony. Each student in this year’s class has a unique perspective. As we challenge, learn from, and build on one another’s insights and interpretations connection to Judaism grows.

            This ceremony, which will be a Shabbat service on November 27, drives home the power of Jewish learning. When you study together, Judaism comes alive. As we address the fundamental questions in life: How do we find meaning and purpose? What is my story and how do I live it? Jewish insights help us find the capacity to bring meaning, morality, community, clarity, and joy into our lives. In our studies we learned how to treasure our faith and one another.

            When you come on the 27th, you will hear drashot, interpretations of the stories of Joseph and his brothers, and Judah and Tamar. You will hear the haftarah of Amos’ moral indignation at inequity and immorality. Over the course of our studies, the class has woven these stories into our lives. As we studied translation, interpretation, and relevance the texts spoke to us in ways we could not imagine before. As we jumped into the Joseph story, we found different ways to make the story our own. As we listened to Amos’ words, we felt the similarities to our own times and let his passion and fire inspire us.

            The power of this experience touches on a deeper issue: how do we keep Judaism relevant and meaningful? I believe that we need multiple entry points to relevant, joyful, transforming connections to our people. Adult learning changes you. Opportunities to reengage, redefine, and renew Jewish connection will allow American Judaism to thrive. These experiences are happening right here at CBJ – and we need to challenge ourselves to create more opportunities for these experiences.

            Come and join this amazing group as we celebrate together. It will be a rare time when we ask those who attend Power Hour to join the Traditional Service. We don’t want anyone to miss this experience of community, commitment, and acknowledgment. 

            Finally, Mazel Tov to our celebrants, Becca Ackerman, Richard Bizewski, Julie Bizewski, Sheryl Blumenthal, Paula Elster, Marilee Gardner, Amy Keer, Ken Leventhal, Astrid Rieber, Mike Turbow, and Edith Wong. You have worked hard. Your commitment touches us. Your connection inspires us.

Fri, January 28 2022 26 Shevat 5782