Shabbat Parashat BeChukotay Omer Day 42 Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh Memorial Day Plus…

Dear Friends,

Memorial Day weekend is, in an of itself, a time of sadness as we honor those who have given their lives in the service of our country.  They served so that we may, hopefully, live in peace.  Yet, this weekend we add tears for all those innocent lives lost in Uvalde, Texas, as well.  What sadness.  What horror.  Children, teachers, family members – all lost forever because of a heinous act of murder committed within our society.  This act is the antithesis of everything we have been fighting for in our society.  And, the depth of our sadness is such that it cannot be phathomed.

This Shabbat we conclude the reading of the third book of the Five Books of Moses.  At the end of our weekly Parsha Torah reading, we will chant: Chazak, Chazak, v’Nitchazek [Be Strong, Be Strong; and we shall be Strengthened, together].  This is my prayer for all of us.  Let us cry.  Let us mourn.  Let us act to reduce the likelihood of the repetition of such events in our midst.  And let us strengthen one another as we move forward toward a world with much more peace at home and abroad.  This was the vision of our prophets and it is our vision as Americans as well.

On Shabbat we will be concluding the 6th week and moving into the 7th week of the counting of the Omer.  This final week of the counting of the Omer reminds us that God’s presence is in the world and that we are God’s partners in healing wounds, comforting the bereaved, and paving the way to a better future.

Rosh Chodesh Sivan will be on Monday night and Tuesday of this coming week.  As we recite the prayer for the new Jewish month of Sivan on this Shabbat, let us pray for a month of healing, a month of inspiration, and a month that will herald an era of greater peace.

May all our tears of sorrow be turned into tears of joy and may our presence in the world be a true source of blessing for all.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror