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

16 Nissan 5782/ April 17, 2022

Rabbi Bellows

A Message From Rabbi Bellows 16 Nissan 5782 / April 17, 2022

Dear Friends,
I am happy do share day one of the counting of the omer with you. Blessings for a meaningful week of Passover!

Blessing over Counting of the Omer
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָֽׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו, וְצִוָּֽנוּ עַל סְפִירַת הָעֹֽמֶר
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al s’firat ha-omer
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, who sanctifies us with mitzvot, and commands us concerning the counting of the Omer.

Day 1: Sunset April 16th-Sunset April 17th

Count the Omer Day:
הַיּוֹם יּוֹם אחד יָמִים לָעֹמֶר Hayom yom echad la-omer
Today is one day of the Omer

The Theme of Week One is Chesed: Lovingkindness


Take a moment to recognize all the people with whom you feel a sense of connection. Next notice those who easily escape our attention–the grocer, the person who answers the 800 number we call to help us, etc. Now, think of the millions who feel unseen in this world. We are all connected, we are one.

If you would like to sign up to receive my contribution to the many daily Omer offerings available, please let me know here or at rabbibellows@bethambg.org