“Shehechikyanu” – Artist: Ian Kochberg (collection Of Rabbi Sharon Sobel)
זֶה־הַ֭יּוֹם עָשָׂ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה נָ
This evening at our Erev Shabbat service, we begin our Installation celebrations, formally celebrating the exciting new journey TBS and I embarked on beginning in July – a journey of discovery and commitment, of growth and building.
The Installation celebration is not really about me. It is about us, the Temple Beth Sholom community. We are celebrating our commitment to move forward – kadimah – in strength, fortitude and vibrancy, together as rabbi and congregation.
I am so grateful to all of you, for your open arms, your warm welcome, your assistance in helping me find both a physical home and a spiritual home, for your openness to exploring the endless possibilities and potential that are in front of us. Ours is a journey of hope, potential, trial and error, partnership and great love: love of Judaism in all its many facets.
On our journey, we will weave the tapestry of our lives together to build a future for Temple Beth Sholom that is vibrant, strong and beautiful. Just as the strength of a piece of cloth is in the threads from which the whole is woven, so too the tapestry we will weave as sacred community will only be as strong as the individuals who join together in our sacred acts.
O God, as we gather together this evening, we look to you: may we learn how to weave the tapestry of our community with colors both bold and beautiful. May we find the inspiration for our communal endeavors in the texts of our tradition, in our recognition of the unique and special gifts that each of us brings to this undertaking, in our joint partnerships with the greater Orange County community and in the imagination which each of us brings to this sacred task.
May we find the strength to confront new challenges and ideas as we move toward our collective vision of the Temple Beth Sholom Jewish tapestry.
May we find the courage to travel on untested paths, as together we strive to weave a stronger and more beautiful fabric.
O God, may You bless the work of our hearts, minds and hands in this sacred, shared endeavor. May we always be inspired by your nearness and by our Jewish people’s journey through history. (Parts of this blessing were inspired by a blessing from “Covenant of the Heart: Prayers, Poems and Meditations from the Women of Reform Judaism,” 1993).
Shabbat Shalom! I look forward to celebrating with you both tonight and tomorrow night at 7:00 PM.
Rabbi Sharon L. Sobel
Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth Sholom