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JOIN US FOR CANDLELIGHT AND FRIENDLY FACES
Shabbat candle lighting
Every Friday, starting again on Oct. 2, 6:00 pm PDT, online
Set up your candles, wine or juice, and challah, and join Rabbi Bridget and community members online for singing, candle lighting, and blessings! All are welcome, adults or children, Jewish or not. The words to the blessings will be visible as we sing them, and are also available here.
Rabbi Bridget Wynne's High Holiday Sermons 2019 • 5780
Rosh Hashanah: Faith In Hard Times
When I realized, years ago, that I felt called to be a rabbi, I had a problem. Yes, I was a woman, and that was a problem then, and a lesbian, and that was a bigger problem. I grew up celebrating Jewish holidays but never going to synagogue; that was not so much of a problem.
But none of those were the big problem. There was something more important. I didn’t believe in God.
But I’m persistent, so I dug in to explore what Judaism teaches about belief, and I discovered that our tradition is built on something different: faith.
I did have faith, and I still do. Faith, or in Hebrew, “emunah,” is what I want to talk to you about this evening. These are hard times for having faith, but the hard times make it even more important.
Yom Kippur: Building Our World
Our tradition teaches that the world was created on Rosh Hashanah, the day that begins the High Holiday season we are now in. Besides being a time to look at our lives, at the kind of people we want to be, and how we can come closer to living in these ways, this is also a time to celebrate the birthday of the world.
This teaching about the creation of the world is not meant to be literal, but instead to remind us that we make choices, each day, about the sort of world we are creating. Our tradition has something quite profound to say about this. That is, the world will be built through kindness, "olam chesed y’ba’neh." (Psalm 89:3)
“Kindness,” you might say, “that’s very sweet, but haven’t you noticed that things are falling apart? What is kindness in the face of climate change, the resurgence of hatreds of all sorts, gun violence, and much more?”