Being Together is a Good Place to Be

Rabbi's Message - October 12, 2021

Rabbi Tina Sobo

Just a couple weeks ago, we restarted our annual cycle of Torah reading.  After Adam and all the animals are created, Adam feels lonely, and we read God’s observation, “It is not good for adam to be alone.”  We can read the Hebrew word adam as Adam’s name, or we can read it more generally, a person, people – it is not good for people to be alone.  From our very creation, we are meant to be in relationship with God and with one another – whether that is in our familial and romantic connections, or friendships, work relationships, and more – it is not good to be alone.

Navigating relationships is easy at times, stormy at others.  It can be easy to think throwing in the towel and walking away is the best option – it’s not.  Jewish tradition wants us to be with others.  We are called to “love your fellow as yourself,” and that “all Jews are responsible/accountable to one another.”  

As religious school has resumed in-person learning this year, I’m shocked by how much our students have grown.  On the one hand, physically, I have to look up to see some of them now!  But in maturity, self-confidence, how they carry themselves, and more.  They are the same people as before, but they are also not the same.  When we see people frequently, it is harder to see that growth.  In our relationships with one another, we cannot just do things the way we always have, because everyone is growing, changing, developing.  

This week at Temple, we have sessions with RAC-Ohio, we might attend the JCC's Cultural Arts & Book Series presentation on Jewish parenting, we might be starting or continuing in one of our learning programs at Temple (shameless plug for Hebrew classes tonight and Talmud on Tuesdays with me, and Thinking about God with Rabbi Bodney-Halasz on Thursdays).  I hope that these opportunities and more give us the perspective to stop and take stock of our own growth and development and that of those around us, as we continue to love and support one another to always be growing in holiness together.

The Power of Energy

Rabbi's Message - June 22, 2021

Rabbi Tina Sobo

Energy.  Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far away, before the pandemic… a song-leader at 6-Points Sports Camp, taught me that much of the success of a song session came from the energy in the room.  You could have the best song-leader around, and the worst song-session if the room lacked the ruach (energy) that would elevate the songs from a concert to a shirah (song-session).  This past Shabbat, I had the opportunity to lead a small group of congregants in-person for a Shabbat service; it was quite the treat.  “For the first time in forever…” (to quote the character Anna from Frozen) the doors were open, there were actual real live people, but wow, was I ready for that change!  

For the first time in a long time, we could pray in the same room, with the spirit and energy in the air that adds so much to our worship and singing experience.  (Some of you lucky members also attended the first in-person service back with Rabbi Bodney-Halasz two weeks ago.)  The feeling of being physically  together and audibly connecting our voices is something I truly missed.  I can’t wait to lead services again on July 10 at Temple.   

We have another upcoming opportunity to be together.  This coming Saturday, June 26 at 4:00 p.m., after over a year hiatus, I will be standing with open arms, to welcome our youngest group – Prayer and Play – to Temple’s lawn, to sing, pray, and play together.  We will still operate within the guidelines of our Covid protocols, but it will be so wonderful to see those small smiling faces in person, hear their laughs, and enjoy time together outside. 

I invite everyone with (grand)children ages 6 & under to join us.  You may RSVP or be added to the reminder list by emailing me -  Some of our “graduates” who have begun school are welcome to come as well!  Bring a snack or dinner, your mask, your sneakers, and your energy!