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6.30.2017 Weekly Torah Portion

PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:37 pm
by RabbiMark
My gratitude this week overflows within me. I have been privileged to officiate at two Beit T’Shuvah Weddings in the past two weeks. Seeing these young couples dedicate themselves to living a Covenantal Life together moves me to tears. I am excited and honored to be one of the Honorees at this year’s Gala with Sam Delug - what an amazing man he is! I have the privilege to be Heather Garrett’s father - she is such a deep and beautiful soul! I have the privilege to be the Senior Rabbi of Beit T’Shuvah and a member of its Board. I have the privilege to be your Rabbi and the husband of the terrific, intelligent, creative, beautiful, and soulful Harriet Rossetto. How can I not be overflowing with Gratitude!!

Our Temple Membership will be in your mailboxes any day now. We are holding High Holiday Services this year at Unici Casa, located across from the Culver City Stairs. We will have the room to fit everyone together, and we are excited to celebrate with all of you. This membership drive is our single biggest fund- and friend-raiser for Temple Beit T’Shuvah, and your support is appreciated and needed.

Reprinted from 2012:
This week's Parsha is Hukkat. This translates to statutes/ritual laws. These laws are laws that we, as humans, would not think of nor reason out. The law spoken about here is the law of the Red Heifer. It is a ritual cleansing for people who have experienced a death in their family or come into contact with a dead body. One of the lessons I experience this week is an old lesson. When a death of someone close to me happens and I am in mourning, I am not present in this world. Torah teaches us that we have to take a week to separate ourselves from the mundane tasks of life and learn how to live without the person we lost. We also have to go through a cleansing ritual in order to be ready to come back into life. Today we don't have the Red Heifer, so our ritual is to lift the mourners up and walk around the block with them to bring them back into the world of the living.

How have you helped others to come back into the world after they have experienced a loss? Are you living a little better/more to add the traits of the lost loved one into the world?

The Parsha also teaches about the Israelites going to war with the different people who were occupying the Promised Land. Unlike their ancestors, the people went to war willingly and with hope and courage. This brought to mind our recent trip to Ellis Island with our grandchildren. Our ancestors had the courage to leave their own Egypts in order to make a new life for themselves and their descendants. They had hope, courage, and strength of character to build life anew, just as the Israelites did. Beit T’Shuvah is based on this principle of helping people live life well!

What life are you building for your descendants? Are you living life well? How do you live with courage, strength of character, and hope?

I am rededicating myself to these principles and am asking all of you to do the same. I am committed to being less inpatient, more available and finding new ways to speak to everyone in ways that you all can hear. Temple Beit T’Shuvah has a staff of Spiritual Counselors for the residents and community so we can better serve you. We are dedicated to our Core Principles of T’shuvah; everyone is a Holy Soul and Matters; Truth and Transparency; we are always Seeking Wisdom; and we live a life of Obligation. Please join in this pursuit of living well and help us when you think we are missing the mark.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Mark