So Thankful, and So Excited!

Hello again friends,

I know I’ve been silent over the past couple of weeks. It’s been super busy in our office and I apologize for not posting my regular updates. Moving forward, I will do my best to post as I can – I appreciate your patience and understanding.

be thankfulThe idea of thanksgiving is interesting… yesterday at the board meeting, Rabbi Alan shared some ideas about being thankful. One was directly from the Amidah, the core prayer of our service and that very observant Jews say three times a day. The prayer is one of praise and adoration for Adonai. We were then asked if and how we express thanksgiving at this time of year. The answers varied, some commenting that it depends on the environment or the company that we are with. Some expressed that they wished people had more gratitude or acknowledgement for what they have. I was quiet last night, but as I sat there, I was thinking about what “thanksgiving” looks like for me.

I’ll be honest, the past couple of weeks have been stressful for me. Busyness at work, homework (I’m working on my Masters in Jewish Education), kids, family, it all seems to need more of me. As I thought about all of that last night, I realized that I am more thankful in times like these. When I’m stressed and tired, I am more thankful for all of the blessings that I do have in my life – my amazing husband, my kids, my home, my temple community. When things are more relaxed, I seem to take them for granted and not value them as much.

I did a quick google search for the definition of “Thankful”. It stated: pleased and relieved; expressing gratitude and relief. The word “relief” made me pause. When I think of things I’m thankful for, I don’t usually view it as being relieved that the thing is there, but I guess that is true. I am relieved that my husband puts up with my craziness – if he didn’t I’m not sure what I would do. I am relieved that I have a place to be Jewish and worship Adonai – if I didn’t, I would have a void in my life that I would be at a loss in how to fill. Thinking of thankfulness with a measure of “relief” changes the meaning of the items/people/places we are thankful for. It changes the focus of that thanks and makes it more about the thing itself, and how it actually impacts me – how it’s absence would impact me. At your Thanksgiving table this year, consider adding a piece to your thanks – I am thankful for _______________________ because if ____________________ were not there….

Now, on to the excited part…

new_shabbat_mishpacha_logoIn a week and a half, we will celebrate our first Family Shabbat of 5778. The date is December 1st and we are changing things up a bit this year. For Family Shabbat, we are inviting your family to join us for a Pre-Shabbat dinner of rotisserie chicken, salad and rolls at 5:30pm. The cost is $5 per person or $20 for your whole family. Come share a meal with other TOR families, then stay for services. We’ll be hearing from the students of our Special Topics Classes, taught by Erica and Barry. Their projects will be on display and a you’ll get to see the incredible work the students have done this semester. I hope you’ll come to celebrate Shabbat and the great community we have here at TOR. Please Click Here to RSVP by Thursday, November 30th. We need to know you are coming so we have enough food!!

++++++++++ Announcements ++++++++++

Wednesday/Thursday: November 22/23 – NO Hebrew Tutorials or Class

Sunday, November 26th – No Sunday School

Tuesday, November 28th @ 7pm – Mitzvah Network Seminar – Caring for Bereaved Families

Wednesday, November 29th – Hebrew Tutorials and B’nai Mitzvah Class

Thursday, November 30th – Hebrew Tutorials

Friday, December 1st

  • @10am – Gan K’tan
  • @5:30pm – PreShabbat Family Dinner – Click Here to RSVP
  • @6:45pm – Family Shabbat

Saturday, December 2nd @10am – Bat Mitzvah of Jane Gordon

++++++++++ Religious School Update ++++++++++

Again, I apologize for not sharing more often the amazing things that are happening in our school. Here are some highlights…

Our Art program has created beautiful watercolor representations of the Torah and lovely greeting cards for our Mitzvah committee’s Hanukkah baskets. Check out the display in the temple foyer.

Our Hebrew students are advancing and improving in their studies. I hear great things from our teachers and tutors about how much the students are learning and growing.

Our Judaics classes have been learning about B’tzelem Elohim, being made in the image of G-d. They’ve discussed what that means to them and how that is seen in the greater world.

Our Special Topics classes have researched a wide variety of topics and solved complex problems involving science, technology and design. You can see their projects at our Family Shabbat on December 1st.

All in all, we have a great group of teachers and students at TOR. I encourage you to take a moment to visit with your child’s teacher and ask your child lots of questions about what they are learning. TOR is an exciting place to be!