July 11, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
September 14, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
This has been a week that calls for a Shabbat of rest to help us mourn, to heal, to dream, and to act. In the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that ended 29 lives in an instant and injured so many others along with the news from Israel that an IDF soldier was murdered in Gush Etzion, our hearts are broken. For the families of the victims and for the injured there may be no comfort and no hope for redemption. And so we grieve with them, recognizing that there is no way to turn back the clock.The devastation is real and it is dark. In America we are again painfully aware of the spiraling epidemic of gun violence, mass shootings, the rise of white supremacy, and a political rhetoric that incites hatred and violence. And in Israel more bloodshed seems to make peace even more unattainable. While there are steps that can be taken to respond to these issues, we must take a moment to recognize the grief, fear, and frustration that has us feeling overwhelmed. We must witness, acknowledge, and feel in order to respond together.
The Jewish people have taken guidance from our traditions and sacred texts to help respond to the events of our day. They can help us find meaning in the face of fear and uncertainty in order to help us find a path forward. Judaism guides us by offering an awareness of time and how that time shapes our reality. This weekend offers us a model for responding to this moment through the pairing of Shabbat Ḥazon and Tish’a B’Av.
This Saturday night through Sunday evening marks Tish’a B’Av, a day of mourning in the Jewish calendar that recalls major calamities of the Jewish people, including the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Temples in Jerusalem. As we begin the fast, we will sit in our communal grief and recall the pain of our ancestors who witnessed the destruction of the world as they knew it. We will chant haunting melodies from the Biblical book of Eikha, Lamentations, which describes the devastation of a city in ruins, its holiness desecrated and destroyed. We will also chant kinot, liturgical poems, recalling other moments of pain and sadness throughout Jewish history. The process of reading these texts together is a reminder that we sometimes need to feel our hearts break and recognize that the state of our world is damaged. We attempt to gather as a community of mourners in order to remind us how to be human.
However, we don’t mourn without support. Shabbat acts as a reminder that we are not alone and that redemption is possible. Shabbat, a reenactment of the day after the Biblical account of creation, is a glimpse of what a world of peace and wholeness could be like. Shabbat helps us imagine a world where people can go about their lives without fearing for their safety and where bullets don’t tear mothers from their children. For 25 hours we dream of a better future, and when motzei Shabbat, the beginning of the week, arrives, the time to create that reality begins.
This Shabbat, which immediately precedes Tish’a B’Av, is called Shabbat Ḥazon, or “Shabbat of vision”. The haftarah we will chant on Shabbat morning from the book of Isaiah reminds us of the possibility of a return to Zion and a reconciliation with God. This Shabbat offers us a dose of resilience knowing that we are about to enter into our grief. The pairing of Shabbat Ḥazon and Tish’a B’Av is a reminder to allow ourselves to feel the deep emotional pain of our lives and our people’s past as we also cultivate hope and dream of a better world.
This year I will be envisioning a world with less hate and more loving-kindness and considering my steps of action that help bring about that vision. What is your “hazon”? I encourage you to share it out loud with your family and friends. Despite the pain and the darkness we must remember to dream and to search for concrete steps to realize a better tomorrow. Our ancestors looked beyond the darkness and envisioned something better. We can as well.
Today, family members, friends, and admirers of Lori Gilbert Kaye z”l, age 60, will eulogize her at her funeral at Chabad of Poway Synagogue near San Diego, CA. They will speak of how she was always doing chesed, an act of kindness or giving tzedakah to someone in need. And they will speak about her… Read more
Every Purim afternoon, my family finds itself driving around dressed in costume, plugging in addresses and delivering bags of mishloach manot to surprise and delight our friends. I can distinctly recall the joy and excitement we have felt – and have helped others feel -over the years. The sense of joy we feel is not… Read more
Religious School Highlights
At my alma mater, Penn State University, there is an annual event called THON, a student organized 46-hour no-sleeping, no-sitting dance marathon, which raises millions of dollars to fight pediatric cancer. I participated as a student, and as an alumna, I watch the livestream each year. While there are many reasons to support this event, there is always a moment during this 46-hour event when I’m completely awestruck by the incredible efforts of the Penn State student body. It was at THON when I first realized what it meant to be a part of something great and how I could make a small impact on the world.
In the few months that I’ve been at Shaarei Tikvah, there have been many moments when I’ve been struck with a similar feeling. Sometimes it overwhelms me when I see a student connect to prayers that are an integral part of our tradition or when a student proudly remembers to bring in tzedekah or when the community comes together to honor the memory of a treasured synagogue member. In this community, we have each played our part, large or small, in our efforts to grow and continue striving towards greatness.
Our religious school specifically continues to strive for this greatness- and we are on our way! Since last year, we have welcomed 12 new families into our community and grown our religious school from 59 to 79 students. And I thank you, our families, who are not just signing up your children for religious school, but attending Shabbat programming, religious school events, and synagogue-wide celebrations- this is what makes our community incredible.… Read more
January 28- February 4, 2019 Kitah Gimmel had some fun with Hebrew letters last week! After reviewing Aleph-Bet through yoga, the class put their knowledge to the test in a game of “Shimon Omer” (Simon Says). This past weekend was filled with light and new experiences! On Saturday evening Kitot Gimmel and Dalet led us in… Read more
Shaarei Tikvah in the News
New Music USA – Jul 11, 2018
Jewish Week – Jun 13, 2018
Banned From Marrying Interfaith Couples, Conservative Rabbis Are Finding Other Ways To Celebrate Them
Jewish Week – May 24, 2018
Jewish Week – Feb 5, 2019
Check out our Facebook page!
Week of Tue., Sept. 17 - Mon., Sept. 23
Thur. minyan 8:30am
Fri. services 6:00pm
Fri. candle lighting 6:39pm
Sat. services 9:18am
Sun. minyan 9:00am
Mon. minyan 7:00am
Wed. minyan 6:00pm
Parashat Ki Tavo
The people are to take the new land’s first fruits to God’s holy place. There they shall recount to the priest their history – from Abraham to Egypt to that very day. “You have affirmed this day that Adonai is your God,” concludes Moses. In turn, Adonai will take Israel as a treasure, a holy people. After crossing the Jordan, Israel is to inscribe the Torah on stone pillars and conduct rites to affirm the covenant with God.
Prayers for forgiveness in preparation for the High Holidays
Torah: Deuteronomy 26:1 – 29:8
Haftarah: Isaiah 60:1 – 60:22