Shabbat Shalom
Ki Tavo| 21 Elul 5775
Deuteronomy 26:1-27:10 | Isaiah 60:1-22 
 
This Shabbat, Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman shares A Great Gift from God

Shabbat is a great gift given to us by God, who modeled this day of rest on the seventh day after creating our world. As a cantor, I have the great fortune of spending my Shabbat with two of my families: my own family, and you, my congregational family. I am able to pray with my congregational family in the morning, either at Kahal services or while officiating a b'nai mitzvah, and then spend time with my husband and children, who are almost always there worshiping with us for Tot Shabbat. I am honored to be allowed to lead you as my congregational family in prayer on this very special day, once a week. 

My family and I have our own traditions which are ever-evolving. My husband was brought up in the Conservative movement in Long Island, New York, and his family never observed Shabbat. I, too, had no family observance of Shabbat growing up. When we married, we both decided to live more Jewishly and began making it a special day for us. Before we had children, we took the time to spend together doing something which we would either not have time to do, or not have the ability to do during the week. I try to make it a point to take 24 hours to just decompress and not think about anything pressing, and to give my mind and body a rest.

When we had our children, we wanted to make Shabbat special for them. When our two year old daughter, Abigail, started going to synagogue and attending Tot Shabbat, she began her love affair with challah. Each Friday, we get challah and light candles before I leave for synagogue. In order to make Shabbat super sweet for her, we allow her to eat a small amount of chocolate. Since our 10 month old little Zev has been born, we often take Shabbat to just sit and cuddle together as a family. Sometimes I will spend the entire day wearing Zev on me, keeping him close, feeling his love and warmth, and cuddling with Abigail and Ross. Singing is a huge part of our life at home- it s a daily, hourly, sometimes "minute-ly" occurrence, and we always practice our Shabbat songs during the week in preparation for Shabbat.

Whatever your traditions, I invite you to accept Shabbat as the gift that God gave us, to make it your own, and to find peace on this very special day. Wishing you L'Shanah Tovah u'metukah - a happy and sweet New Year!

B'Shalom,

Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman

Cantor Susan Lewis Friedman joined Beth Emet early this summer. She is ordained from The Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion. She holds both a Master of Music from Arizona State University and a Master of Sacred Music from the Hebrew Union College. Read her full bio
Each Friday during 5775, we are featuring writings from you, our congregants, sharing reflections on Shabbat. We hope you will be inspired to share your reflections with the community. If you are interested in contributing to this project, please contact Stacey Zisook Robinson
This Shabbat at Beth Emet

Friday, September 4
6:30 p.m. (5:45 p.m. reception) Kabbalat Shabbat in the Sanctuary. Guest speaker: Rev. C.J. Hawking from Arise Chicago

Saturday, September 5
9:30 a.m.  Kahal in the Weiner Room with Torah Reader Hyma Levin and
Torah Discussion Leader Nisan Chavkin
9:30 a.m. Shabbat Minyan in Room 208.
10:30 a.m.  Jacob Platnick and Seth Salkin-Weiss b'nai mitzvah in the Sanctuary
9:00 p.m.  Forgiveness From a Christian and Jewish Perspective:
S'lichot Study and Service 
Join the new pastor from Second Baptist Church, Michael Nabors, and Rabbi London for a conversation on forgiveness. S'lichot means forgiveness and is the evening in which we begin in earnest to reflect on this central theme of this High Holiday period. After the shooting at the church in Charleston, South Carolina this past June and the families of the victims forgiving the shooter, there were many people in our community who had questions about how forgiveness is understood in Christianity. This evening will be an opportunity to compare and contrast how this important concept is understood and lived in our respective faiths.
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