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The Musings of a Rabbi - Issue #11

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September 19 · Issue #11 · View online
The Musings of a Rabbi
Reflection
Rabbi Sandra
Morning thoughts: I spent most of 5781 in mourning. The loss of my mother allowed two things to happen: I worked to create a new job for myself and now have a closer relationship with my father. A reminder that out of the darkness there is always light.
I tweeted the above tweet from an Airbnb in Little Rock Arkansas visiting my dad and his wife for the second time this summer. My dad was so excited that I was coming back so soon after my first visit he thought Susan and I were looking for a house to buy.
Since my mother’s death, I now have an even closer relationship with my father and I want to spend as much time with him as I can. Frequent visits to Arkansas also means that I finally get to spend quality time with other members of my family on my father’s side.
Reflecting on the above tweet I want to add something else that happened in 5781. I created Kol Hapanim, an emerging community for all and led by Jews of color. My new job and Kol Hapanim both started from a place of frustration and a desire to change Jewish culture to be more inclusive.
Something Cool
My Song Kaddish in Memory of Black Lives was added to a Jewish Country Music Playlist created by Adobe & Teardrops This playlist also featured my friends Joe Buchannan and Doni and Eric from Nefesh Mountain. I was so excited to see this and more music will be coming out soon.
You can also see the video for Kaddish in Memory of Black Lives but I must warn you Youtube has labeled it an Age-restricted video (based on Community Guidelines)
Playlist #5: Jewish Country Music - playlist by Rachel C | Spotify
Sukkot
Sukkot begins Monday night as many of us are still feeling the joy from our Holy Days. On Sukkot we build a Sukkah. A fragile, flimsy hut with a roof made out of branches, sparse enough to allow a glimpse of the heavens. Although the Sukkah has specific requirements regarding how small or tall it can be, there are no limits to how wide and long it can be. The Talmud says that it can be big enough to accommodate the entire Jewish people.
The Sukkah is a sign to open our hearts just as its roof opens to the sky; our hearts should be open and welcoming. We can use this time to get to know each other, have fun, celebrate and share a meal under the stars.  
During this holiday, let’s remember the mitzvah of hospitality and welcoming. Invite old and new friends to Hillel, or invite them to celebrate our holidays and remember that at night we offer the prayer Hashkivenu, and recite the words “u’phros aleinu sukkat shlomecha” (spread over us your Sukkah of peace).
Blessing for Shaking the Lulav
The lulav is held up in the right hand, and the etrog is held pitom end (pointy side) down in the left hand. Facing east, recite the blessing. Then turn the etrog up and shake the entire bundle three times in each of six directions: straight ahead, right, back, left, up, and down.
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam,
asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu al n'tilat lulav.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to take up the lulav.
Shehecheyanu
The first time you wave the lulav each year, recite the blessing marking a special occasion:
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam,
shehechehyanu, v'kiy'manu, v'higianu laz'man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
Lastly
I’m trying to get to 1k followers on my Youtube channel. 1k followers is the magic number and will allow me to do more on my channel.
If you are looking for ways to support the work I’m doing I’m on Patreon. I’m committed to continuing to create free content for all and there will be no paywall. If you want to support the work I am doing the money will go towards creating better online content and will help me to help others who are in need. If you have suggestions for me let me know.
Shana Tova, my friends
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