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Wednesday Wisdom & Wit

03/23/2022 01:12:08 PM


Rabbi Daniel Sherman

            Oh, what a night!  Yesterday evening was quite scary here in New Orleans.  Our hearts go out to all who were affected by yesterday’s tornadoes in our greater area.  We pray for a complete and speedy healing for all who were injured or hurt in any way.  If you were affected or know of anyone in our Temple Sinai family who is in need of help, please let us know.

            For those of us who were not targeted by yesterday’s storm, we went to bed last night breathing a little easier and full of gratitude.  I am pleased to report that the Temple did fine, as Uptown was spared much of the wind and rain of the greater storm.

            In the Jewish tradition, we have many blessings of praise and thanksgiving.  There is something for every occasion – though I could not find a blessing that speaks directly about tornadoes.  The blessing for seeing lightning or other natural wonders is: “Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, Source of creation and its wonders.”  The blessing upon hearing thunder is: “Praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, whose power and might pervade the world.”  Both blessings remind us of God’s great power and God’s role as Creator of this world.  They should also remind us of our role as God’s partners in the work of creation – and inspire us to take good care of God’s creations and of each other. 

There is also a blessing with which we say “thank You” to God after escape from danger or recovery from serious illness: “To You, Adonai, I offer my thanksgiving and glorify Your name.  Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has bestowed every goodness upon us.”  We call this “benching gomel.”  When offered in public, after an individual has recited the first line, the congregation responds: “May the One who has bestowed goodness upon us continue to bestow every goodness upon us forever.  AMEN.”

The best way to show our gratitude and share that goodness is by helping those who are in need.  I hope that we will all look for ways to reach out to individuals and organizations that are helping the victims of yesterday’s storm, including the Red Cross, the United Way, Second Harvest, and more.  There are so many in need in our community; let’s do our part to help take care of each other.

Here at Temple I want to remind everyone that Cantor Colman will continue to share stories from his road trip across the Jewish South during Wednesday Night Live this evening at 7:00pm on Zoom.  This Friday Evening I invite you to join us in the Feibelman Chapel for Shabbat Services at 6:00pm.  Masks are optional.  Sunday afternoon come to Temple for a fabulous concert at 2:00pm with the New Orleans Symphony Chorus, featuring our very own Cantor Joel Colman.  And don’t forget: our Garden Party Gala is only a week away!  Please reserve your tickets and check out the on-line auction.

Mon, December 11 2023 28 Kislev 5784