Youth Group Social Action & Birthday Blessing for Rabbi Berkowitz

Written by Nancy Samson:

One of the strongest values of Jewish tradition is gratitude; expressing our thanks and awe to G-d for blessings large and small in our lives. Our very lives are a blessing, and as such,Trim A Thanksgiving at Vassar Temple 2 we have obligation to use our lives for good, for making the world better. Tonight the gorgeous baskets of trimmings donated by Temple members and arranged by our VTRS students honors that commitment. In making these basket, we share a special opportunity to express our thanks, to notice our own blessings, to decidedly act on our ability to move to world, to make a difference in someone’s life, to repair it.

But did you know that engaging in the act of tzedakah like this can also be done in celebration of a birthday?

It’s Rabbi Leah’s Birthday. Rabbi Leah is a present to us, to all of our families and friends at Vassar Temple, to her family and friends outside of the congregation too. She is a blessing to be grateful for. Rabbi Leah comes to us with her own unique gifts like the courage to relocate to a new place, to join and lead in a new spiritual home. She comes have been willing to meet a lot of new people, willing to talk with us, to inspire us, and to share her wisdom and knowledge. Her gifts too include her warmth, enthusiasm, her abiding passion for Judaism, her commitment to spiritual growth, faith and more. Tonight, we have a golden opportunity to recognize the blessing of having Rabbi Leah, and to celebrate her both by engaging the mitzvah of helping to feed others and by letting her know just how grateful we are to have her.YouthGroup@Birthday

A birthday is a wonderful time to recite the following blessing in which we give thanks for having reached this day:

“Zeh hayom atah Adonai, nagilah venism’cha vo” –
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

It is said that a birthday is a “mini-Rosh Hashanah,” referring to the tradition that Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world.

Our praise to You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of all:
for giving us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this occasion.

And of course, a birthday is the best time to sing! Happy Birthday Rabbi Leah!

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