"If you want something done, your best bet is to ask a Jewish woman to do it. Jewish women have an ability to cut through all the reasons why something should, shouldn't or can't be done and pull people together to be successful." So said an Arizona state senator, Gabrielle Giffords, when she was running for Congress in 2006. Ms. Giffords narrowly won, and became the first Jewishly identified representative from her state. Today, our prayers go out to Rep. Giffords, the other victims and their families. I don't know if you had a chance to see President Obama on television last night, but I must say that for the first time in a long I felt proud to be an American. There have been too many instances where American's didn't react fast enough or with proper judgment. The Gulf oil disaster, the earthquake in Haiti, which marked a one year anniversary yesterday, just to name a few. But this shooting was different, because people reacted right away. The President retold stories of incredible heroism, of people jumping in front of bullets so they would not hit a loved one. Individuals didn't run away from the terrorist they confronted him. For their acts of bravery, that enabled others to escape injury, they will never be forgotten. This week we also lost another famous Jewish lady, Debbie Friedman. Although I had never met her, I had learned to play her famous havdalah song that is sung around the world every Saturday night by thousands. And yesterday marked the second anniversary of the passing of a dear friend of mine, a lady who was taken much too early, Margo Allswang. This past Sunday her daughter Adina, just celebrated her Bat Mitzvah, as she turned twelve. That is an event that one would expect both parents to attend. But like the other victims of the shooting and the untimely passing of Debbie Friedman, we will never truly be able to comprehend Gods ways. We must always make sure to never let the valuable life lessons that we learned from those that were so close to us to evaporate. Their legacy must continue to burn strong through us in all that we attempt to do. And finally if there is a lesson that I have taken away from this past week's events is that we must always take advantage of every moment that we have, because we never know when our time will come.
Now its time for you to become the teachers.... I am so happy that twenty University students are visiting our community from Yeshiva University in New York. They are here on their winter break and have traveled to a number of communities on the East coast to see how different Jewish communities operate. Boca Raton has become synonymous with the Outreach Revolution that's taking place right now. These students will be participating in a number of programs with you! They will attend Friday Night Live and the Explanatory Experience to see how we run a beginner Service and attend a luncheon where a dozen couples from the Boca Raton Jewish Experience will meet with them and tell them what's working in outreach and what needs to be improved upon. I can't wait to see how the weekend unfolds and I will surely report back next week.
This week I will be heading to Israel for a special Young Judea trip and will be back in time for Friday Night Live next week. Also please take a look at all of the new programs that have just been added below including the recording of Rabbi Shuley Boteach's class last week as well as a screening of a movie called Crossing The Line. Finally, I did start my long awaited Radio Show; please see the right column for a link to all of the archived shows.
Inspire yourself to inspire others...
Shabbat Shalom and may God bless you.