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Elul – A Month of Reflection: A Note from Rabbi Barbara

elulToday marks the first day of the month of Elul, the month of reflection.  The shofar is sounded every morning. And so, we begin waking up to ourselves and our souls again.
(I hope you hear our shofar, but if you can’t hear the one being blown in Concord, try here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKQrBURDtQE )

Over the next four weeks, we can begin this process by considering each of the following sets of relationships in turn:

Relationships with family
Relationships with friends
Relationships with workplace colleagues and members of our various communities
Relationships with the earth and the Divine

And of each we might ask the following questions:

  1. How have I added to peace in my home, in my workplace, in my community, on the earth, to my own spiritual connections?
  2. How, in the last year, have I supported and nourished the well-being of beloved family members, friends, colleagues, the earth, and the Holy One of Blessing?
  3. How have I experienced grace of understanding in my home, in my workplace, in my community, on the earth, with the Divine?
  4. In what ways have I increased love in my home, in my workplace, in my community, on the earth, in and with my own spiritual connections?And then we might say, each morning:

    May I be blessed with peace.
    May I be blessed with well-being.
    May I be blessed with grace.
    May I be blessed with love.

    We might wish these things for beloved family members, friends, colleagues, the earth, and even the Holy One of Blessing:

    May you be blessed with peace.
    May you be blessed with well-being.
    May you be blessed with grace.
    May you be blessed with love.

    We might close our practice with this prayer to the Holy One on behalf of beloved family, friends, colleagues, and the earth itself.

    May all beings be blessed with peace.
    May all beings be blessed with well-being.
    May all beings be blessed with grace.
    May all beings be blessed with love.

    May your Elul be filled with nourishment of body, soul, and spirit.

Or Olam in the Loop

LoopPicnic and Havdalah Service This Saturday!

Join us August 13, 2016 for a picnic and Havdalah Service under shelter 3 at Dorton Park, Concord. We are ready to kick off our new year as a community after our summer break.

We will enjoy a social gathering of food and drink followed by a short Havdalah service.  Please bring yourself along with some food to share.  If you could, please RSVP to our president, William King, so he can help make sure there is food and drink for everyone.  Hope to see you all there!

RSVP: President@or-olam.org

Date: August 13, 2016

Time: 7:00pm

Location: Shelter#3 Dorton Park, 5790 Popular Tent Rd., Concord, NC 28027

Or Olam in the Loop

Loop

Jewish With Feeling — A Temple Or Olam Adult Education Program Ends This July 17 (1-3:30)

Rabbi Zalman opens up your heart and soul space in his well-known introduction to the Jewish Renewal movement in Jewish With Feeling. Here you will find an accessible, delightful explanation of “open-sky” Judaism; here you will learn how Jewish Renewal seeks to find ways to pray, ways to live, and ways to learn how delightful it is to be Jewish with feeling.

Read with us, meet with us, and explore. There is no charge except for the purchase of the book which is not at all expensive and can be purchased online (see urls below…).  Even if you have missed the first two sessions, you are welcome to read the book and join us for a conversation about the last two chapters.

Our time together will include a pot luck lunch, so please bring something to share.  If you have an allergy please let us all know!  Please do be aware that we are meeting at a private residence that includes two cats — although the cats will be in another room, you should know that dander and cat fur may be present in the environment.

For more information, contact Marilyn Atlas at 704-746-4499 or email her at marilynaf@aol.com . If you need help with directions, call Heidi, our host, at 704-992-1328.

Jewish With Feeling

URLS for Jewish With Feeling:

http://www.amazon.com/Jewish-Feeling-Meaningful-Practice-Backgrounds/dp/158023691X

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=Jewish+With+Feeling

http://www.jewishlights.com/page/product/978-1-58023-691-1

Or Olam in the Loop

LoopKabbalat Shabbat and Shavuot

It is just days before Shavuot, the summer festival of arrival, reception and revelation.  At Sinai, we were given the gift of God’s promise and God’s law.

At this Kabbalat Shabbat service we will explore the nature of revelation and the importance of the mitzvot for creating the world we seek.  We will ask how the Holy One speaks to us, and how we must respond.

And we will sing, pray, and welcome in Shabbat, too!  hagbah at Temple Or Olam

Date: June 10
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Poplar Tent Road, Concord, NC

And Speaking of Shavuot

We are opening up our phone-in Torah Study  to a conversation about The Book of Ruth, one of the amazing and beautiful texts we study on Shavuot.  Torah study is held by free conference call at 10 am this Shabbat.  If you are interested in joining the conversation, please send a note to info@or-olam.org.

Or Olam in the Loop

LoopAnnual Meeting – June 5

It is that time of year again, when Temple Or Olam holds its Annual Meeting.  We will be voting on our slate for the board, considering a proposed budget, and sharing our thoughts about our next fiscal year.  We’ll try to keep our proceedings short and, most importantly, sweet.

We’ll be meeting at McGill Baptist Church at 7 p.m. in the McCoy classroom.  Feel free to bring a noshable to share! Figures in a circle

We look forward to seeing you then and wish everyone a wonderful Memorial Day Holiday.

Date: June 5
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Poplar Tent Road, Concord, NC

Kabbalat Shabbat Service June 7

Please join us for our last service for the summer months.   We’ll sing and pray together with our usual musical enthusiasm.  Rabbi Barbara will be offering a drash or story – more on that in our next loop.

Please bring something to share at our oneg and help us welcome Queen Shabbat with joy! dressing in white

Date: June 10
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Poplar Tent Road, Concord, NC

Or Olam in the Loop

LoopAnnual Meeting – June 5

It is that time of year again, when Temple Or Olam holds its Annual Meeting.  We will be voting on our slate for the board, considering a proposed budget, and sharing our thoughts about our next fiscal year.  We’ll try to keep our proceedings short and, most importantly, sweet.

We’ll be meeting at McGill Baptist Church at 7 p.m. in the McCoy classroom.  Feel free to bring a noshable to share! Figures in a circle

We look forward to seeing you then and wish everyone a wonderful Memorial Day Holiday.

Date: June 5
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Poplar Tent Road, Concord, NC

 

Kabbalat Shabbat Service June 7

Please join us for our last service for the summer months.   We’ll sing and pray together with our usual musical enthusiasm.  Rabbi Barbara will be offering a drash or story – more on that in our next loop.

Please bring something to share at our oneg and help us welcome Queen Shabbat with joy! dressing in white

Date: June 10
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Poplar Tent Road, Concord, NC

Or Olam in the Loop

Loop

To Be Holy: Halakha and Parshat Kedoshim

Torah Service May 13  Love your neighbor

It is one of our best known texts, even though it comes from Leviticus.  Why?  Because it asks us to be holy.  We are told to judge others fairly, not to bear grudges, to take care of the land, love your neighbor as yourself. Our service will include a reading from these beautiful passages and Rabbi Barbara will speak to us about the very nature of halakha.  You’ll be surprised by how beautiful it will be.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: May 13
Location: McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Polar Tent Road

 

Or Olam in the Loop

LoopWrite for Yourselves This Song: This Shabbat!

There are hundreds of laws in our Torah.  The final and last law, in Deuteronomy 31:19 is understood as a commandment that every Jew to write a Torah scroll: “And now, write for yourselves this song, and teach it to the Children of Israel. Place it into their mouths, in order that this song will be for Me as a witness for the children of Israel.”

In the spirit of this law, Scout Rosen and Robbin Smith invite you to a crafty lay-led service. Our leaders will incorporate everything that we learned during our “How to Lead a Service” workshop that was held in January: creation, revelation, redemption and remembering. Together, everyone will create a mini-Torah using the Shema, decorating and sharing our portions and making changes as a community. No artistic talent required! To be followed by an 0neg, please bring food to share.

Time: 10 am
Date: May 7
Location: McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Poplar Tent Road, McCoy Classroom

To Be Holy: Halakha and Parshat Kedoshim

Torah Service May 13  Love your neighbor

It is one of our best known texts, even though it comes from Leviticus.  Why?  Because it asks us to be holy.  We are told to judge others fairly, not to bear grudges, to take care of the land, love your neighbor as yourself. Our service will include a reading from these beautiful passages and Rabbi Barbara will speak to us about the very nature of halakha.  You’ll be surprised by how beautiful it will be.

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: May 13
Location: McGill Baptist Church, 5300 Polar Tent Road

Think About What you SawYom Hashoah: Lessons for Our Time – A Note from Rabbi Barbara

Tonight is Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Please take a few moments to consider the importance and value of memory.  Our survivors have asked us, continually, not to forget their experience or those whose lives were cut off so brutally by the Final Solution.  Soon, they will not be with us and we must remember their heartfelt request.

We live in a time when political leaders in our own country are spewing the worst kind of hatred and divisiveness.  We, among all peoples, should be on guard against such rhetoric for we know all too well that rhetoric becomes reality.

Lives are at stake.  Please take some time tonight to sit with friends and family and consider why we must not forget.  Think about the lessons the Shoah still has for humanity, and consider your part in demonstrating what you learn from those lessons.

L’shalom,

Rabbi Barbara

Or Olam in the Loop

LoopThis Time, It Truly Was For The Birds!

It was a beautiful day and beautiful labor on behalf of the avian world.  Over thirty birdhouses went up on an island habitat in the middle of Lake Norman this past 20160416_144641weekend.  We hope to follow up on this environmental tikkun olam with an island clean-up day this summer, so stay tuned for more information!

 

20160416_135905

Thanks to Will King for organizing, Steve and Robbin Smith, Sherry and Lyle Champion, Yeshecah Jackson, Jack Stein, John King, and Rabbi Barbara for building and mounting the birdhouses (and a squirrel house, too….).

Earth Day and Passover

We have the whole world in our hands.
We have  the frogs and the forests in our hands,
We have  the wind and the honeybees in our hands,
We have  the whole world in our hands!

We have  the wheat and the mountains in our hands,
We have  the winds and the oceans in our hands,
We have the rain and the rivers in our hands,
We have  the whole world in our hands!

We have the trees and tigers in our hands,
We have  our sisters and our brothers in our hands
We have our children and their children in our hands,
WE HAVE  THE WHOLE WORLD IN OUR HANDS!

Orange on a seder plate

This year, Passover will begin just as Earth Day ends.  We would like, at Temple Or Olam, to suggest that we take note during our seders of the many ways we have enslaved ourselves to practices that are destroying the earth’s resources.  Let us commit to liberation – for all the inhabitants of this world, and let us work towards that goal. A sweet and inspiring Pesach to all!

Freedom School — Speaker James Ford in Charlotte

Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® programs are six-week summer literacy programs. Freedom School Partners serves children who most need and yet can least afford summer learning opportunities. http://freedomschoolpartners.org/

This year, the Freedom School held at Shalom Park is focusing on Economic and Social Mobility in the New South: Changing the Landscape Through Education, a topic that aligns closely with the Freedom School’s goals.  The featured speaker for this year’s program is James Ford, formerly a teacher at Garinger High School.  Mr. Ford was the 2014-2015 NC Teacher of the Year and is currently program director at the NC Public School Forum.  Mr. Ford will speak about the life-changing potential of a quality education for at-risk children.  His talk will be followed by a question and answer session and a coffee and dessert reception.

Date: Tuesday May 3
Time: 7 PM
Location: The Sam Lerner Center at the LJCC
Freedom School — Speaker James Ford in Charlotte

Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® programs are six-week summer literacy programs. Freedom School Partners serves children who most need and yet can least afford summer learning opportunities. http://freedomschoolpartners.org/

This year, the Freedom School held at Shalom Park is focusing on Economic and Social Mobility in the New South: Changing the Landscape Through Education, a topic that aligns closely with the Freedom School’s goals.  The featured speaker for this year’s program is James Ford, formerly a teacher at Garinger High School.  Mr. Ford was the 2014-2015 NC Teacher of the Year and is currently program director at the NC Public School Forum.  Mr. Ford will speak about the life-changing potential of a quality education for at-risk children.  His talk will be followed by a question and answer session and a coffee and dessert reception.

Date: Tuesday May 3
Time: 7 PM
Location: The Sam Lerner Center at the LJCC

Or Olam in the Loop

LoopIt’s for the Birds!

(A Temple Or Olam Trip to an Island Habitat)

We have a total of 27 birdhouses to place on an island habitat!  Want to join us?

On April 16 we will take the birdhouses to a local island for placement.  The island is located on Lake Norman (just south of the Hwy 150 bridge).  It is only accessible by boat, and is completely uninhabited by humans.  If you plan to come along for this part of the project keep in mind that it will involve riding on a boat as well as hiking through mud and thick foliage.  Please dress accordingly and also keep in mind that there will be about a 10-15 degree wind chill on the water.  There are no facilities on the island, other than trees of course, but one of the boats we will be using for transit does have a bathroom.birdhouses

The plan for the day is to meet at the McCrary Creek Access Area which is next to Queen’s Landing on Hwy 150 at 9am and we will plan to leave from there at about 4pm.  Queen’s Landing address is below, since we could not find a listed address for McCrary Creek Access Area. A group is meeting and leaving from Concord at 9am; if you are interested, please contact Will King ( vicepresident@or-olam.org )  .  Otherwise everyone can work out meeting at McCrary Creek Access Area.  Please pack a lunch for the day, though Will is bringing plenty of drinks and snacks.  If you are only able to make it for part of the day please let Will know in advance so he can go ahead and plan to have shuttles at certain times during the day.

If you want to meet us there, here is the location: Queen’s Landing, 1459 River Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28117

In Their Own Words: Remembering the Holocaust

Don Greenbaum and Ernie Gross

Don Greenbaum and Ernie Gross

A few months ago, one of our local teachers at Concord High was watching a documentary titled, “The Liberator.”  The film tells the story of Ernie Gross, a Dachau survivor searched for – and found – a Jewish  soldier, Don Greenbaum,  who helped liberate the camp and free him. That teacher made it possible for the film to be shown at Concord High on April 21st, followed by a Q & A with Mr. Gross and Mr. Greenbaum.  Our community has been graciously invited to attend.  If you are interested, please RSVP to the e-vite located at this link: http://evite.me/mnWRTZv2Cq.

 

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