We are faith leaders representing many different traditions and congregations who seek to promote understanding, dialogue, and common purpose in our community. This space offers members of our association an opportunity to share reflections with the broader community. The writings represent our individual views, not the positions of the Association or of our respective congregations. We aim to model dialogue that welcomes a diversity of ideas and perspectives grounded in friendship and respect.
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A thought on two unrelated astronomical occurrences
1) This coming Sunday will be the earliest sunset in
2019.This notion is confusing and I
have had several people tell me it makes no sense because it is not the
shortest day of the year. But it is true, the earliest sunset comes before the
solstice. (And the latest sunrise comes after the solstice. Here’s a good
As I am not a morning person, it is the later sunsets that
matter most to me. Knowing that the night darkness will begin later each day, if
only by seconds, cheers me. I am better able to embrace the winter, appreciate
all four seasons, when I know we will begin to have light later into the day.
2) Last week, as I was coming home from late-day errands,
noting how early it was for it to be dark, one car at a shopping center exit
was insistently coming into the flow of traffic, although we on the roadway
were moving steadily. Not wanting to hit that car, I ignored the beeping behind
me and stopped to let the car into the lane.
That pause allowed me a greater reward than avoiding an
accident.As I came around the next
curve, I was in the perfect position, which I surely would not have been had I
not stopped for the insistent driver, to see right in front of me, seemingly
just a bit out of reach, sudden, unexpected, intense: a shooting star.
Joy shot through me. A fleeting sight of the brilliance and
it was gone. And I have only to call it up in my mind’s eye and feel that
joyous thrill again.
So my thought that connects these two occurrences?
The predictability of the changing of the daylight, round
the whole of the year, year after year, steadies us and lets us plan, lets us
know, more or less, what’s coming and when.
And the unpredictability of a sudden natural phenomenon
gives us the reminder that we don’t know all that is coming and that joy can
jump right in front of us with no warning.
No matter whether they happen in the sky or on the ground or
in the heart, having both is essential.
At last night's community forum, Belief and Truth from a Multifaith Perspective: Finding Unity in Diversity, many expressed a desire to continue these kinds of conversations and to take action together for building bridges in our community. These are some of the ideas that were shared for next steps:
Find something concrete that we can work on together in our communityCome out with a statement to the community about this gatheringHave clergy visit other houses of worship for teaching and conversation Invite people of other faiths or no faith traditions into our houses of worshipBring younger people into our interfaith programsAsk elected officials to talk about this kind of workIdentify root causes of hatred and address themEncourage media coverage of our programs
What other ideas do you have for next steps? Please share them in the comments.
going to write this blog about something different, but the recent events,
especially the most recent shooting in a San Diego synagogue on the last day of
Passover have totally occupied my thoughts. I am
preparing a small service for my students for Yom HaShaoah- Holocaust Remembrance
Day.We usually light a candle and read
some poems and sing a song.I felt I
needed to do more this year.The
Holocaust is not some distant past event of history.The students have seen videos of Nazis marching
on the streets of American cities yelling anti-Semitic slogans.Houses of worship are targets of violence of
hate all over the globe, including 2 synagogues here in our country. These acts
of hate and ignorance must be confronted head on, and Holocaust Remembrance Day
seems the perfect day to begin. As a
clergy member, these recent events have left me bereft and downtrodden.My faith is tested, and my sadness is all encompassing.Of course, I see the goodness in those who
rise up against such hate.He…