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Juneteenth Kabbalat Shabbat Tonight, Talmud Tomorrow In Person

06/18/2021 01:12:20 PM


Dear Chevre,

This Shabbat coincides with Juneteenth, which as you know has been signed into law by President Biden as a federal holiday, marking a collective commemoration and celebration for the end of slavery.   Be’chol Lashon, a national organization raising awareness of Jews of Color, is holding a virtual Juneteenth Kabbalat Shabbat today at 5 PM, EST, and we are encouraging people to join this service in lieu of our CBI Virtual Kabbalat Shabbat.  While I do not have more details about who is leading this Juneteenth Kabbalat Shabbat, last year it was led by two visionary African American rabbis, attracted thousands of people, and was a time of beautiful singing and joyous celebration.

In future years, I hope we can find meaningful ways to mark Juneteenth as a Shabbat to recommit ourselves to working for racial justice and celebrating the lives, voices and history of Black people. For now,  our Reparations Working Group has just issued a press release announcing our community’s effort to study how we may actively engage in the work of reparations following a year of intensive study and community conversations that I look forward to continuing well into the future.

Talmud Study Shabbat Morning

For Shabbat tomorrow, we are going to incorporate some of what we grew to appreciate during the pandemic as we meet together in person.  Building on the note that Rabbi Jacob and I sent out a couple of weeks ago about Talmud study, tomorrow I will lead Talmud study in person as part of our Shabbat morning service.  The order will be as follows: we will have Shacharit between 9:30 - 10:00, then begin Talmud study as usual at 10:00, continuing for about 45 minutes or so.  And then, between 10:45-11:00, we will have our Torah service, chant the Haftarah, and go straight into Musaf, ending at approximately 12:00, with an opportunity to stay and have a light kiddush afterwards.

Here is our Talmud text, a reflection on Moses’ very human failure that prevented his going into the land.  As you see, the Talmud’s take on this moment is that it is part of what is most human in all of us.  

Teshuvah Learning Next Thursday

Finally, this Thursday, June 24 at 7:00, please join me for some learning, “The Rhythm of Teshuva, First Steps.”  As we move closer to summer, our Sages have a deep, intuitive understanding of how the season, almost unconsciously, ushers in the spiritual process of return and connection with the High Holidays a little over 2 months away.  This will be at the synagogue, outdoors and in person.  I hope to see you there!

I am so looking forward to studying, singing and praying with you tomorrow, and I hope you find Juneteenth Kabbalat Shabbat sponsored by Be’chol Lashon as meaningful as I will!

Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Justin David

Sun, April 14 2024 6 Nisan 5784