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Cooking for Congregants – January 3 2019 9:00 am
Cooking for Congregants – January 3 2019
Jan 3 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Do you enjoy cooking? Participate in this mitzvah led by congregant and former restaurant owner Gail Laghi, and congregant and chef Sari Swig. Together, up to five volunteers make meals for congregants in need. All … Continued
Side by Side January 2019 Session 9:30 am
Side by Side January 2019 Session
Jan 3 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Side by Side January 2019 Session
When registering below, please indicate that you will not be attending and register your child as your guest. Emanu-El’s Side by Side program introduces our youngest children (18 months to 2.5 years) to a preschool environment with … Continued
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Bagels and Babies (MMR) 9:30 am
Bagels and Babies (MMR)
Jan 4 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
 
Pre-Oneg, MMR 5:00 pm
Pre-Oneg, MMR
Jan 4 @ 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
 
First Friday Under Five Shabbat Service (MMS) 5:30 pm
First Friday Under Five Shabbat Service (MMS)
Jan 4 @ 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm
 
Shabbat Service (Main) 6:00 pm
Shabbat Service (Main)
Jan 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
 
Simchat Shabbat Dinner 2019-01-04 6:15 pm
Simchat Shabbat Dinner 2019-01-04
Jan 4 @ 6:15 pm – 8:00 pm
Monthly festive community Shabbat Dinner with children.  First Friday of the month, 6:15 p.m. in Guild Hall.  Mediterranean food will be provided.Adult Members – $20.00, Children ages 3-10 – $10.00, Non-member Adults – $24.00.Event Signup
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Mazel Tots (MMR) 9:30 am
Mazel Tots (MMR)
Jan 7 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
 
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Cooking for Congregants – January 10 2019 9:00 am
Cooking for Congregants – January 10 2019
Jan 10 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Do you enjoy cooking? Participate in this mitzvah led by congregant and former restaurant owner Gail Laghi, and congregant and chef Sari Swig. Together, up to five volunteers make meals for congregants in need. All … Continued
Dat Challah Dough 6:30 pm
Dat Challah Dough
Jan 10 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Dat Challah DoughThursday, January 10, 6:30-8:30 pmThe Young Adult Leadership Community at Emanu-El in collaboration with Moishe House Nob HIll brings you: Dat Challah Dough!Let's get together and bake the Challahs for January's Late Shabbat … Continued
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Men’s Group – January 13, 2019 9:30 am
Men’s Group – January 13, 2019
Jan 13 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Men's Group - January 13, 2019 @ Private Residence
Men of Congregation Emanu-El have a monthly opportunity to socialize and study with a member of the clergy at a private home. This cross-generational group provides a small group experience so important to building community. This … Continued
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Mazel Tots (MMR) 9:30 am
Mazel Tots (MMR)
Jan 14 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
 
Scrabble (R57) 11:00 am
Scrabble (R57)
Jan 14 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
 
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The Art of Asking: Dating Tips for 2019 6:30 pm
The Art of Asking: Dating Tips for 2019
Jan 15 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
It’s the start of the new year, and with that comes new dating adventures! Whether you’re having fun or in a serious relationship, consent and reading body language are key. Join us as we continue … Continued
Women’s Group – Volunteer Project, January 2019 6:30 pm
Women’s Group – Volunteer Project, January 2019
Jan 15 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Nurture Yourself and the CommunityJoin together with members of Congregation Emanu-El's Women's Group for a night of volunteering and self-care.  We will start off the evening with a discussion about self-care and how we can incorporate … Continued
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2019 Conversion Group 6:00 pm
2019 Conversion Group
Jan 16 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
2019 Conversion Group meeting for Conversion students currently working with an assigned Rabbi but have not completed the Conversion Process.This group is moderated by Rabbi Jason RodichThe group will meet once a month January thru … Continued
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Bagels and Babies (MMR) 9:30 am
Bagels and Babies (MMR)
Jan 18 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
 
MLK Pre-Oneg (Foyer) 6:30 pm
MLK Pre-Oneg (Foyer)
Jan 18 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
 
MLK Commemoration Service (Main) 7:30 pm
MLK Commemoration Service (Main)
Jan 18 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Annual MLK Pulpit Exchange with Third Baptist Church/CongregationEmanu-El Interfaith Services, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Pre-OnegFriday, January 18, 6:30, Main Sanctuary FoyerMLK Commemoration ServiceFriday, January 18, 7:30 – 9:00 pm, Main SanctuarySunday Morning ServiceSunday, January … Continued
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Shabbat Morning Service-Harrison Kahn (Main) 9:15 am
Shabbat Morning Service-Harrison Kahn (Main)
Jan 19 @ 9:15 am – 10:15 am
 
Torah Study (Lib) 9:15 am
Torah Study (Lib)
Jan 19 @ 9:15 am – 10:15 am
 
Shabbat Morning Minyan-Simon Moscovici (MMS) 10:30 am
Shabbat Morning Minyan-Simon Moscovici (MMS)
Jan 19 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
 
Women’s March in San Francisco 11:00 am
Women’s March in San Francisco
Jan 19 @ 11:00 am – 1:30 pm
Women's March in San Francisco
The Jewish community is proud to march in the local Women’s March San Francisco and will be gathering as a group at 11:00 am at City Hall on the corner of Van Ness and Grove Streets … Continued
Tu B’Shvat Celebration at Mountain Lake Park 4:00 pm
Tu B’Shvat Celebration at Mountain Lake Park
Jan 19 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Join Rabbi Carla Fenves and song leader Mimi Greisman for a special outdoor Tu B'Shvat celebration in beautiful Mountain Lake Park. Tu B'Shevat, the 15th of Shevat in the Jewish calendar, is the day that … Continued
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Interfaith Community- Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019 5:00 pm
Interfaith Community- Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019
Jan 22 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Interfaith Community- Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019
Every January, Congregation Emanu-El joins in the mitzvah of feeding the hungry by providing volunteers to shop, cook and serve dinner to over 100 homeless men for eight consecutive nights at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. … Continued
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The Tribe for Women – Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019 5:00 pm
The Tribe for Women – Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019
Jan 23 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Every January, Congregation Emanu-El joins in the mitzvah of feeding the hungry by providing volunteers to shop, cook and serve dinner to over 100 homeless men for eight consecutive nights at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. … Continued
Malcolm Hoenlein – Jan 2019 7:00 pm
Malcolm Hoenlein – Jan 2019
Jan 23 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Malcolm HoenleinWednesday, January 23, 2019  7:00 – 9:00pmMartin Meyer SanctuaryMalcolm Hoenlein is the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the coordinating body for 53 national Jewish organizations.  He … Continued
Chuppah and Beyond Winter 2019 7:15 pm
Chuppah and Beyond Winter 2019
Jan 23 @ 7:15 pm – 9:15 pm
Six Wednesdays, 7:15 – 9:15 pm Are you an engaged or newly married couple? Then this series is meant for you. The Chuppah and Beyond program will help you build and strengthen the foundational tools for a successful, … Continued
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Cooking for Congregants – January 24 2019 9:00 am
Cooking for Congregants – January 24 2019
Jan 24 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Do you enjoy cooking? Participate in this mitzvah led by congregant and former restaurant owner Gail Laghi, and congregant and chef Sari Swig. Together, up to five volunteers make meals for congregants in need. All … Continued
LifeStream Speaker Luncheon 2019-01-24 11:30 am
LifeStream Speaker Luncheon 2019-01-24
Jan 24 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
LifeStream Luncheon Ticket for January 24Event Signup
The Tribe for Men – Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019 5:00 pm
The Tribe for Men – Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019
Jan 24 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Join your fellow Tribesmen for our yearly mitzvah of serving over 100 homeless men a hearty dinner at a local shelter in San Francisco. This is a special night, where giving a smile along with … Continued
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Bagels and Babies (MMR) 9:30 am
Bagels and Babies (MMR)
Jan 25 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
 
Teens – Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019 5:00 pm
Teens – Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019
Jan 25 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Volunteer to cook during our winter Interfaith Shelter Feedings!  Every January, Congregation Emanu-El joins in the mitzvah of feeding the hungry by providing volunteers to shop, cook and serve dinner to over 100 homeless men … Continued
New Member Shabbat 5:30 pm
New Member Shabbat
Jan 25 @ 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Honor us with your presence as we honor you during New Member Shabbat.  We invite you to both a pre-oneg at 5:30 pm, and a dessert reception following services.  Friday evening Shabbat services are from … Continued
Pre-Oneg (MMR) 5:30 pm
Pre-Oneg (MMR)
Jan 25 @ 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm
 
One Shabbat Service (MMS) 6:00 pm
One Shabbat Service (MMS)
Jan 25 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
 
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Torah Study (Lib) 9:15 am
Torah Study (Lib)
Jan 26 @ 9:15 am – 10:15 am
 
LGBTQ Family Get Together 10:00 am
LGBTQ Family Get Together
Jan 26 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Calling all Emanu-El LGBTQ  families with school-age children! Please join us at a congregant's home for brunch with Rabbi Rodich, Rabbi Mintz, and Director of Education Lom Friedman. Games and activities for kids of all ages.                                                   Event … Continued
Shabbat Morning Minyan-Eli Perman (MMS) 10:30 am
Shabbat Morning Minyan-Eli Perman (MMS)
Jan 26 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
 
Preschool Family Pajama Picnic and Havdalah 4:00 pm
Preschool Family Pajama Picnic and Havdalah
Jan 26 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Preschool Family Pajama Picnic and Havdalah @ Courtyard / MMR
Get out your PJs and picnic blankets and join us for a very special family pajama party picnic and Havdalah service on Saturday, January 26th from 4-5:30 pm. The party will be held in the … Continued
Congregant Night- Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019 5:00 pm
Congregant Night- Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019
Jan 26 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Volunteer to cook during our winter Interfaith Shelter Feedings!  Every January, Congregation Emanu-El joins in the mitzvah of feeding the hungry by providing volunteers to shop, cook and serve dinner to over 100 homeless men … Continued
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Young Adult – Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019 5:00 pm
Young Adult – Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019
Jan 27 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Volunteer to cook with other young adults during our winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners!  Every January, Congregation Emanu-El joins in the mitzvah of feeding the hungry by providing volunteers to shop, cook and serve dinner to … Continued
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Mazel Tots (MMR) 9:30 am
Mazel Tots (MMR)
Jan 28 @ 9:30 am – 11:00 am
 
Scrabble (R57) 11:00 am
Scrabble (R57)
Jan 28 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
 
Congregant Night 2- Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019 5:00 pm
Congregant Night 2- Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019
Jan 28 @ 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Volunteer to cook during our winter Interfaith Shelter Feedings!  Every January, Congregation Emanu-El joins in the mitzvah of feeding the hungry by providing volunteers to shop, cook and serve dinner to over 100 homeless men … Continued
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LifeStream Speaker Luncheon 2019-01-29 11:30 am
LifeStream Speaker Luncheon 2019-01-29
Jan 29 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
LifeStream Luncheon Ticket for January 29Event Signup
Tzedek Council- Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019 5:00 pm
Tzedek Council- Winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners 2019
Jan 29 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Volunteer to cook during our winter Interfaith Shelter Dinners!  Every January, Congregation Emanu-El joins in the mitzvah of feeding the hungry by providing volunteers to shop, cook and serve dinner to over 100 homeless men … Continued
Tribe for Women – Wine, Yarn, and Sweet Treats 7:00 pm
Tribe for Women – Wine, Yarn, and Sweet Treats
Jan 29 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Cindy Weil, a fellow Tribe member and Founder of the Immigrant Yarn Project will be co-hosting a knit night and wine tasting, along with Laurie Beijen.The Immigrant Yarn Project is a massive work of crowd-sourced yarn … Continued
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Seeing Through the Wall – Movie 7:00 pm
Seeing Through the Wall – Movie
Jan 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Seeing Through the Wall: Meeting Ourselves in Palestine and Israel  Art exhibit, movie screening and discussion with the film’s creator and Rabbi Stephen Pearce who was a participant on this journey  Wednesday, January 30  7:00 … Continued
Chuppah and Beyond Winter 2019 7:15 pm
Chuppah and Beyond Winter 2019
Jan 30 @ 7:15 pm – 9:15 pm
Winter 2019 dates for Chuppah and Beyond are: January 23, 30 and February 6, 13, 20, and 27 plus 2 home-hosted Shabbat dinners Six consecutive Wednesdays, 7:15 – 9:15 pm Topics covered include:  Recognizing the challenges of communication Managing … Continued
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Cooking for Congregants – January 31, 2019 9:00 am
Cooking for Congregants – January 31, 2019
Jan 31 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Do you enjoy cooking? Participate in this mitzvah led by congregant and former restaurant owner Gail Laghi, and congregant and chef Sari Swig. Together, up to five volunteers make meals for congregants in need. All … Continued
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Seeing the Face of God

Seeing the Face of God

HIGH HOLY DAY SERMON 2018/5779

Rabbi Beth Singer

It is so powerful to see all of us gathered together on this night of the Jewish New Year. During these gatherings, when we all stand for a prayer, we can imagine ourselves standing with our ancestors who all stood together at Sinai to receive God’s commandments.

Imagine that Sinai moment with me!

What exactly did they hear?

Some say that each one heard all 613 commandments! Some say they heard the 10 commandments. But still others say they only heard the first commandment: “ Anochi, I the Eternal, am Your God.”

One teaching, which I am going to focus on tonight, imagines that each person standing at Mt Sinai heard only the letter Aleph. Now, the Aleph is the first letter of the first commandment. So, they heard the Aleph. But the Aleph has no sound! The Aleph is silent.

Can you imagine how mystical that moment must have been?

Rabbi Kushner shares a Hasidic teaching that the Hebrew character Aleph itself is constructed of two other Hebrew letters: a diagonal Vav and 2 Yuds. 2

Aleph.

Rabbi Horowitz of Ropcyce (Rope-sitch) taught: Adonai, God’s name, starts with Aleph. “This,” he says, “hints at the face of a human being!”

What does this mean?

(Well) The two eyes resemble 2 letter Yuds. And the nose is a Vav.

In other words, on every Human face there is a letter Aleph—which stands for God’s name! (The Way into Jewish Mystical Tradition, Kushner).

When we gaze into someone’s countenance, their punim, whether the face of someone we love or someone who upsets us, Jewish tradition teaches us how to see the face of God!

How easy it is to see the Divine in the faces of those we love.

Seeing God’s face in someone who makes us feel uncomfortable?

This is one of the greatest lessons we can learn from the Torah.

Remember the drama between twins Esau and Jacob? The two brothers had been estranged for years. Then they grew up. Jacob wanted to come home. And to do so, he had no choice but to see his brother. 3

So, what does Jacob say when, after all these years and after all the fear, he finally faces his brother? He’s silent for a minute. Just like that silence at Mount Sinai when we all heard the Aleph. Then.

He looks at his brother and he says, “To see your face is like seeing the face of God.” (Genesis 33:10)

Can you imagine being able to look into the face of an adversary or even just of someone who unsettles us, and to see that special spark in them?.

You don’t even have to believe in God for this idea to become a transformative practice in your life.

But it can be difficult and painful. We can recognize what arises for us – fear, judgment, shame – but work to not allow these forces to rule us.

We all possess an inner critic and it’s good to sometimes challenge that voice from within that tells us to avoid people who are different than us.

I know this from my own experience. The day I started middle school, I recoiled and backed away from a deaf girl who tried to befriend 4

me. In that moment, I did not see the face of God in that girl. All I saw were her differences.

I feel like I, of all people, should have known better…I wish I had challenged my inner critic at that moment… because, as many of you know, I grew up with a sister with a stigma. The stigma of mental illness.

In childhood, my sister Lori was treated like a pariah everywhere we went, including our Temple. She lives with schizophrenia, bipolar disease, and paranoia. When you look into her face, you see the mental illness right away.

You can also see the 2 yuds and the Vav. Yet, growing up, too few people saw the face of God in Lori. Most only saw that she was different.

If you have experienced anything like this yourself or in your family, you know what I mean when I tell you how painful that was…for Lori, for me, for our family.

For any of us, it could be a family member with mental illness, like my sister. Or really any (ANY) perceived difference. Any “otherness.”

Difference 5

could be a family member with an addiction;

with a nonbinary gender identity; an LGBT family member

a learning difference;

a difficult marriage; a divorce; a medical condition; domestic abuse;

Or it could be one of our high school students who is not headed to college.

Or a family member who is socially awkward.

These are just a few examples.

The tendency of our culture is to respond to all these differences with the silence of an aleph.

But the Torah feeds our inner critic with an alternate response to silence. It’s just one word and it’s in that story we read tomorrow, on Rosh Hashana morning, about Abraham and the binding of Isaac.

Whenever called upon, Abraham always responds: “Hineyni,” which means, “Here I am.”

THIS can be our take-away on this New Year, 5779. But it’s not an easy take-away. Looking past difference is so hard. We are easily overcome by embarrassment, shame or fear.

Yet. These spiritual teachings of our tradition invite us to: 6

Look into each face—those we recognize with love and those that make us uncomfortable because they are different.

Look for that yud.yud.vav.

And respond,

Hineyni. Here I am. I see you, and I see the face of God.

When I have written about my sister’s mental illness, many of you have emailed me or talked to me in private–detailing a mental or emotional illness and its impact on you and your family. Now, some of us are very private and we always want to respect an individual’s privacy. But we want to balance privacy with creating community space here at Temple where it’s not only ok but holy and healing to share something personal.

This summer, I visited with one of my dearest friends on the East Coast. Somehow, in the most casual way he mentioned that his young adult son lives with an anxiety disorder. For a moment, I felt shock that I was just hearing this now. (I’d known this kid forever!)

But then –I stopped.

You know, my younger daughter has struggled with anxiety since high school and I had never shared that with this friend, or anyone else, for that matter. In fact, it’s something I rarely talk about even with all of you. 7

Why?

At first, I, myself, did not believe or understand that my daughter who is so accomplished would have this problem. And maybe I felt some shame and that something about my parenting was to blame. Everyone else’s kids seemed fine, so what was wrong with me and what was wrong with my kid?

Better to keep this to myself. So I understand our human tendencies to keep things hush hush.

But is keeping all of this to ourselves working? The suicides of public figures shook many of us to the core this past year. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain ended their lives.

I heard from so many of you after these terrible losses.

It really didn’t matter if they were Jewish, or not. Each one had a private or semi-public struggle with depression. However depressed we thought we knew they were, we had no idea. Almost 50,000 Americans die by suicide each year. Suicide rates for teens keep rising. That’s why naming stigma can be a matter of life and death.

The great writer William Styron “compared the agony of mental 8

illness to that of a heart attack. Pain is pain, whether it is in the mind or the body. So why, he asked, were depressed people treated as pariahs?”

Imagine if, instead, we infuse the silence with the sound of our voice saying: Hineyni! Let’s talk about it. Let’s hear people’s stories of living with the stigma of mental illness, right here IN our Temple.

What if we were to talk openly about our new Mayor’s controversial ideas about moving mentally ill people off the streets to a place where they can get real help?

Imagine… if we partnered with JFCS–Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and others. And made mental illness awareness an annual part of our Teen curriculum.

Imagine…if our kids didn’t only feel that the Clergy are for Bat and Bar mitzvah, but came to us throughout their development to share their struggles?

Rabbi Alan Lew, of blessed memory, has this wonderful book I think we should all have called This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared. In it, he recalls that Sigmund Freud “introduced the single great idea…[that] the invisible is more important than the visible.” (Lew p. 7) 9

I think about everyone carrying a secret…a secret pain of any kind.

WE could make the Invisible visible.

A few months ago, a friend and I were catching up. She told me that her 8th grade son was on a class trip to Israel. Her son is so smart, but he often stands at the edges of peer groups. I told her about 8th grade groups Rabbi Rodich, Ariana and I take each year from Emanu-El to Los Angeles–the famed 8th Grade Disney Trip! I noted that sometimes there is a student who stand on the edges of the social circle, pretending to have a good time, but I see the wish to be part of the crowd.

Then, my friend told me a story I will never forget. She noted that, she, too was shy and awkward as a child. But here’s what’s amazing.

She said: “There was this very popular girl at my school. And for reasons I’ll never understand, she saw me and felt I would be a valuable part of her group. When she pulled me in, other kids treated me differently. All because of that one girl.”

Some of us need to be pulled in. And sometimes we forget that we have that power to pull others in. To be the one who sees God’s face in each 10

person.

These stories, these stigmas, are challenging. If you are a parent who feels that your child isn’t as socially accepted as other kids, that hurts.

If you feel like you can’t let people know about your addiction, that’s isolating.

If you have a hard time with mentally ill people, or are impacted by mental illness in your family, you are not alone!

But I tell you, picking up that practice of looking for the Holy in each person, that’s a starting place on this first day of the New Year.

Remember that midrash about all of us standing at Sinai and hearing the Aleph? Here’s a way to help you remember! I brought a prop! Our talented artist Sandy Cohen-Wynn hung new beautiful banners in the Martin Meyer Sanctuary. Every time you go there, look for this Aleph. Yud. Yud. Vav. Eye. Eye. Nose. Think about the person who distresses you. Look for this Aleph, look for that special spark on their face.

We all stood together at Sinai.

We quieted for just a moment to tune into something silent and 11

invisible. It’s the feeling we feel when we feel excluded. You hear no sound. You feel invisible. It’s the feeling we feel when we exclude. But it’s also the feeling, and the Presence of God when you say, “Hineyni, here I am.”

That’s the sound.

It’s the sound of silence and it’s the sound of the Sacred in each of us.

A New Year is here. We say, “Hineyni. Here I am. I see you and I see the face of God.” Sometimes we feel invisible. But at moments like this, we remember that we are part of something so much greater than ourselves. We turn to one another and we say, “to see your face is like seeing the face of God.”

Shana tova, may it be a sweet year.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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