September 18, 2022 / 22 Elul 5782

Dear Friends,

Engaging in the process of teshuva does not come naturally for most of us. Reflection on the past year can be painful. Many of us have been hurt; tragedies have happened; we have hurt others; anger, embarrassment, and shame might loom within us. Teshuva begs us to remember the hurtful words we have directed towards others and ourselves. Some of us have a measure of self-hate that is only uncovered with self-reflection. Teshuva creates a sense of vulnerability and opens wounds, leaving us without the protection of ego aggrandizement.  

Yet, that sense of vulnerability and our willingness to be open and honest about our shortcomings brings us closer to God and ourselves. 

Above all else, repenting and turning towards God allows us to recognize the godliness within us all. Created in the image of God, we are inherently good 

and the purpose of teshuva is to return to that good and live our lives with assuredness that Adonai is near to all.  

May our week leading up to our High Holy Days be filled with reflection, honesty, and humility. May the year bring us an additional measure of inner peace and a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.  

Kyle and I, Gabi, Lucy, and Nathan wish you a Shana Tovah—a year of health, goodness, and abundant blessings.

Rabbi Bellows

30 Nissan 5782 / May 1, 2022

A Message From Rabbi Bellows 30 Nissan 5782 / May 1, 2022

Dear Friends,

On Wednesday, Wednesday, May 4th, we observe Yom HaZikaron, The Day of Remembrance; since the establishment of the State of Israel, four new holidays have been added to the Jewish calendar – Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day), Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day), and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day). In Israel, these holidays are observed as national holidays.

The Israeli Knesset established the day before Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence day) as Yom HaZikaron, a Memorial Day for soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the War of Independence and other subsequent battles. In recent years we have also included those who have perished in terrorist attacks. Yom HaZikaron is a most solemn day. We remember those who fought for Israel’s right to exist, and all we owe to the men and women who protect our country from so many who wish it destroyed. It is a sad day when we understand that many of the thousands killed throughout Israel’s history were young people in the prime of their lives. There is no Israeli who does not have a family member and /or friend killed in war or terrorism. However, the issues are complex.

There is a growing voice to remember all people of peace who died because of such deep conflict between the Palestinians and Jewish Israelis. The organization, Combatants for Peace, work towards a two-state solution in the 1967 borders OR any other mutually agreed upon solution that will allow both Israelis and Palestinians to live in freedom, security, democracy, and dignity in their homeland. Once again this year, I will attend online the Combatants for Peace sponsored Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony, which demonstrates the reality of empathy and mutual respect among people. If you are curious and want more information about Combatants for Peace, please click here.

The State of Israel, a holy land shared by many, is a treasure to the Jewish People, a haven and a refuge.
May we find joy in Israel’s Independence! We share her struggles, profound beauty, and meaning to our People. May there be Shalom for all Israel and all the world.

Rabbi Bellows