Rabbi Julie's June 2022 Letter to the Congregation

posted Jun 2, 2022, 8:08 PM by Congregation Leyv Ha-Ir
June 2022

Dear Chevre,

The other day I was on Zoom with my Jewish affinity group doing a check-in circle. We've been meeting together a couple of times a month for ten years, usually on Shabbat afternoon. Our study/action/affinity group focuses on the climate crisis, and over time our lives have become intertwined in personal and political ways.

This time, we were all hurting in one way or another. Two of the eleven members in the circle had COVID; two were navigating serious cancer diagnoses; one had a daughter in psychiatric crisis; I was in the middle of three weeks of eye surgeries; my family and I battled COVID; one couple was in immense relational pain. Everyone was facing hard stuff, everyone was suffering. And all of that was in the context of a world at war, democracy under threat, and cascading crises on all fronts.

As I listened to our circle, I thought to myself, "We are all Wounded Healers." This is what's real. Everyone has times of hurting and everyone can have times of helping. That's what Judaism has to teach us about being human at times like this. The wisdom of Judaism is that whatever we face, we keep showing up -- as givers, as receivers, in a caring community.

We have a great opportunity to invite others into our precious community space for the very last Rabbi-led Kabbalat Shabbat Service of the season on Friday, June 10. An invitation like this can be such a gift to someone who wants more connection, meaning and mutual acts of kindness. The best invitation is a personal touch, a one-on-one, "Would you like to join me?" I will return from summer break in mid-August to finish preparations for High Holy Days. That is another potent time to invite new people in.

I am holding our beautiful circle of Leyv Ha-Ir~Heart of the City wounded healers in my heart with love.

Your Rabbi,