Listen to the voice of the soul: ‘No feeling is wrong and no feeling is illegitimate.’ It’s OK!

By Betsy Frank

Three deaths recently occurred during a three-week period in our community. Two were expected, with the passing of Martha Silverman and Louise Sommers. But Terry Fear‘s death took us by surprise.

Expected deaths certainly bring sorrow and arouse memories of our experiences with those who have gone. We often reflect quietly on their passing. Sudden deaths are much harder to accept.

Ruchi Koval wrote feelings of sadness can co-exist along with acknowledgment of blessings. And she said, “That’s OK”.

In these dark winter months, we may acknowledge the sadness. It is OK! The soul knows this is important and the soul also knows that spring will, indeed, come again.

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Let us celebrate a virtual holiday season with more hoping, less moping!

By Betsy Frank

Is 2020 really the year without holidays?

We celebrated the High Holy Days via Zoom. Thanksgiving and now Hanukkah occur during a partial lockdown. And if you are a part of an interfaith family, as are 71 percent non-Orthodox Jewish families, you probably will miss the family Christmas celebration.

The holidays haven’t disappeared but are certainly different this year.

I had been moping around lately contemplating the fact that Dick and I will not be celebrating with family — that is, until began to reconsider our situation. Technology has allowed to remain quite well-connected.

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Prayer books evolve to meet the times, and anyone can Hebrew with a little transliteration!

By Betsy Frank

After each High Holy Days season, I hear several comments regarding the amount of Hebrew in the service.

Some say, “There was too much Hebrew and I didn’t get much out of the service.” Others observe, “More Hebrew and a more traditional service is what I want.”

Obviously, no one service will please all.

So, how did we get to this state of affairs? We are an eclectic congregation with some members who were raised in Orthodox Jewish families, some Conservative, and some, like me, in classical Reform congregations. Each of these traditions brings its own unique characteristics.

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In our spiritual lives, at school and at the polls, fall is a time for new beginnings

By Betsy Frank

The Hebrew calendar advises us that here in the northern hemisphere, the Ten Days of Awe, when we practice Teshuvah, occur during the fall (or in some years, late summer).

Sukkot also occurs in the fall. And on the secular calendar, students go back to school as fall begins.

This year, many of the seasonal celebrations have occurred virtually and parents, students and teachers are coping with online education.

Nevertheless, fall remains a time of new beginnings, even in a virtual environment.

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