Today I leave and return home. I have mixed feelings about it. It takes two days to get into the flow of a conference. So I wish I could stay one more day. On the other hand there is much to share and the work of our congregation calls me home. And so we say Heneni- I will be here!
It is not so difficult to imagine that our conference’s effervescent spirit has been diminished today. The recent killings in Toulouse, France at the Otzar HaTorah Jewish day school call out to us to stand in solidarity and communal mourning. Sometimes words don’t capture the depth of emotions. For this reason I ask that at noon on Friday that we take one minute out for silent reflection no matter where we are or what we are doing on behalf of these souls who are now, in the words of the Jewish memorial prayer el maleh rachamim, “bound up into the bonds of eternal life.” I also hope that everyone who reads this blog post will join me at Temple this Shabbat to recite Kaddish for Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his two children Arye 8, Gabriel 6, and Miriam Monsonego, 8, who is the school principals’ daughter. If you are an out of town reader of this blog, then I urge us all to attend a temple and say kaddish.
Besides attending morning services at the convention, I went to a session led by the famous and respected Rabbi Harold Kushner who wrote When Bad Things Happen to Good People. He is a conservative rabbi and is an expert at interpreting the Torah. For those of us from Conservative backgrounds, Rabbi Kushner edited the recently published Conservative Movement’s Tree of Life Torah. His topic was what did Moses learn from leading 600,000 unappreciative congregants?
You can just imagine the discussion that ensued with all the colleagues!