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Parashat Beshalach: In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Get Going!

November 13, 2020

L’dor Va’dor: 151 Years of TAA

 

Last Shabbat marked TAA’s 151st anniversary. Our historical legacy, our long term presence in the Berkshires, and sharing our values l’dor vador - from generation to generation - are core to who we are as a community.While we are able to kick off our milestone, 150th anniversary year with a backyard bbq in August 2019 and celebrate at a Shabbat service one year ago, we were not able to hold our gala celebration this past spring. Our anniversary celebrations were truncated, just like the many missed holidays, graduations, birthdays, and other happy occasions that we have lost out on since the beginning of the pandemic.Of course, while we would have loved to have celebrated with our gala during our 150th anniversary year, we will be thrilled to gather belatedly when it is safe to do so.And while a gala is a special moment, one of the ways we celebrate and honor our legacy is by showing up each week for Shabbat, for classes and services and holidays, for keeping our temple vibrant. This is how we honor our now 151 year history.Last week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, is also a moment of legacy and generations. Chayei Sarah means “The Life of Sarah,” our matriarch, but the parasha actually begins with her death. Abraham mourns her loss, and then immediately sets out to fulfill the promise of the covenant, ensuring continuity of his family and the future Jewish people. Rebecca takes her place as our second matriarch, married to Isaac. They follow in the footsteps of our first ancestors, Abraham and Sarah, and the cycle continues.One more way that TAA embodies our commitment to legacy and history is the strong presence of inter generational families in our community. Certainly, we welcome and embrace all those new to our area, joining us for the first time or the first generation. At the same time, we are honored - and rare - to have so many multi-generational families actively participating in Temple life. Nothing is more inspiring than blessing a new baby on the bima where his or her parents became b’nai mitzvah, have led services, given speeches, and celebrated other moments. Jewish life is thriving - l’dor va’dor.TAA, a multi-generational community made up of families born and chosen, has welcomed me and my family into the Temple family as well. So, as I shared at our Board Meeting last night, and as you may well already know, I’m pleased to share that Neil and I are expecting our second child in the spring. We know that our new arrival will be warmly welcomed into the TAA Family!We will share more in the coming weeks about plans for my family leave, and we have the blessing of time on our side to ensure that everyone is supported and taken care of while you support me by enabling me time to take care of my family.May our blessings as a Temple family, entering our 151st year, only increase. May we see new generations rise up and take on our legacy and values, strengthening our community and enriching our world. Shabbat shalom!

Rabbi Liz P.G. Hirsch
Temple Anshe Amunim | Pittsfield, MA

Thu, December 3 2020 17 Kislev 5781