Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Ain – September 1, 2017

Shabbat Shalom. In life, there are so many things in our lives that have multiple powers. Power for healing and power for destruction. We know that fire can warm, heat, and allow us to cook, but fire can destroy. We know that water is the source of life, and yet, this week, we saw how water has been the source of destruction, loss of life, and chaos. The impact of Hurricane Harvey isn’t yet fully known except to say that those in Texas and Louisiana are still in the crisis mode and it will take years to recover. Everyone was affected.
Given that the community is still trying to emerge, the most effective thing most civilians can do over the next few days, until the situation has stabilized, is to give money to relief organizations that can make a difference on the ground in an efficient way given the damage to infrastructure.
I will be reflecting more on this storm tomorrow during shabbat services but
here are a number of places that you can give monetarily:
A Prayer During and in the Aftermath of a Devastating Storm
© Rabbi Menachem Creditor
for all those affected by Hurricane Harvey
Elohei haRuchot, God of the Winds,
Fixated as we are by incalculable losses in our families, our neighbors, human beings spanning national borders, we are pummeled into shock, barely even able to call out to You.
We are, as ever, called to share bread with the hungry, to take those who suffer into our homes, to clothe the naked, to not ignore our sisters and brothers. Many more of our brothers and sisters are hungry, homeless, cold, and vulnerable today than were just a few days ago, and we need Your Help.
We pray from the depths of our souls and we pray with the toil of our bodies for healing in the face of devastation. We join our voices in prayer to the prayers of others around the world and cry out for safety. We look to the sacred wells of human resilience and compassion and ask You for even more strength and hope.
God, open our hearts to generously support those determined to undo this chaos.
God, be with us as we utilize every network at our disposal to support each other. Be with First Responders engaged in the work of rescue as they cradle lives new and old, sheltering our souls and bodies from the storm. Be with us and be with them, God.
Be with those awaiting news from loved ones, reeling from water and wind that have crippled cities, decimated villages, and taken lives. Be with all of us, God.
Be with us God, comfort us, and support us as we rebuild that which has been lost.
May all this be Your will.
In this Torah portion, Ki Tetze, Moses delivers specific rules about proper family relationships. He continues with laws involving many aspects of daily living, justice, family responsibility, work and sexuality.
Friday night services are at 6:15 tonight and Shabbat morning services begin at 9:15 am tomorrow morning. Candle lighting is at 7:09 pm.
And please noteNext Friday night we will start our programmatic season again with KabalTOT Shabbat for our families with children 0-6 at 5:30 pm and then our Musical Kabbalat Shabbat service at 6:15 pm.

Thought Question: This week’s parasha reminds us to remove that which is lost by our neighbor, to our neighbor? How do we go about that?

SUMMER MIGHT BE ENDING….but we have LOTS planned for the year ahead! CLICK HERE to read the September/October bulletin.


That afternoon there will be programming throughout the day from 1-7 pm for people of all ages as we come together, reconnect, and introduce SPS to those looking for their Jewish community!
There will be lots to do that day including:
*Menʼs Club football party *Interactive food demos *Kids K-4 interactive cooking program and Kadima and USY (5th-12th grade) kick-off event *Shofar blowing class *Pre-school kids concert and Family Center Craft Studio Demo *Documentary (Hava Nagila) *High Holiday Crash-Course with Rabbi and Cantor *Baby Boomers Rooftop Happy Hour
CLICK HERE for more details and plan on bringing friends!
Make sure to mark your calendar, send in your ticket requests, and invite people to join you as members of our community as we usher in the New Year together! Remember to register for Jackson Religious School, our family center programs, and be on the lookout for the 2018-2019 applications for Kaplan Nursery School.  Do you know a young professional that is looking to connect with our Jewish community? Have them check out what we have coming up this fall, including our signature High Holiday services. Do you want to get in the mood for the High Holidays? CLICK HERE to listen to melodies that we sing at our services.
               A special evening is planned for Saturday night, September 16
SELICHOT program and service-
Reception: 7:30 pm
Program: 8:00 pm Come watch The Gates are Closing, as SPS members perform a reading of a powerful dramatic play
Selichot service: 9:30 pm
SPS Southern Civil Rights Journey Feb 4-6, 2018
Throughout this year we will be learning about key moments in Jewish history. One important time for us as American Jews was the role we played in the Civil Rights Movement. Join members of SPS as we travel to Atlanta, Montgomery, Selma, and Birmingham as we recreate the steps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and discuss issues that are still relevant today. Click for itinerary highlights, cost, and travel information and Registration Link. If you are interested in going, please let Rabbi Ain know.
SPS December 2018 Multi-Generational Trip to Israel! 
We are planning a trip to Israel for December 2018. This trip is great whether you have been to Israel already or not and will be guided by David Keren, an excellent guide who has lead an SPS trip in the past. We hope you will join us as we celebrate our relationship to the Jewish Homeland!
Highlights will include:
  • Two days in Tel Aviv where we will learn about the founding of the state and visit with many different communities that live in Israel today
  • An Off-Road Jeep tour competition in the Golan Heights as we understand geo-political issues of the day
  • Meeting with an artist in Tzfat
  • A Visit to a Chocolate Factory
  • Tours of Jerusalem-both modern and ancient, with a special b’nai mitzvah ceremony in the Egalitarian section of the Kotel as well as time to explore the new shops and restaurants
  • A tram ride to the top of Masada and wading in the depths of the Dead Sea
  • Special shabbat services and dinner with lone soldiers (IDF soldiers who have made aliyah who are living in Israel without their family)
  • An archaeological dig
  • A New Year’s Eve dinner in Jerusalem!
We are having an information session on September 12 at 7 pm at the home of SPS members Ross and Erica Levine. If you would like details about the location of the information session or about the trip itself please email me.

Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Ain