Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

A Time to Recharge: Atid Learning Center Weekly Update 5/11/18

Shalom Families,

Wishing all of our mother’s a special day this Sunday.  

 Last Sunday, our classes had a fabulous last music session with Josh Hare, our music teacher.  They reviewed some prayers from this past year like Shehechiyanu and learned a fun holiday song that wraps all the Jewish holidays in one fun song, written by musician, Billy Jonas who visited our congregation last year.  Here is Billy performing the song. I am looking forward to applying for a grant to support our music program again next year.  If you have any feedback, I am submitting the evaluation in the next week. 

Chodesh Tov! (Happy New Month), on Tuesday, we welcome the Hebrew month of Sivan.

Torah Talk:
Click here! (includes a video about the parsha!) 
This week’s Torah portion, Parshat Behar, talks about the Shmitah year which is characterized by letting the land rest e.g. not planting the land and releasing others from debts they may owe us.  The shmitah year comes every 7th year and after 7 cycles the Torah teaches about the Jubilee year, called the Yovel. 

Since we are not farmers living and sustaining ourselves on the land, we are forced to think of other ways we can take the idea of “release” and apply it to our lives.  One way it has been applied to modern lives is that in some professions it is common to take a sabbatical year to recharge and replenish.  The term sabbatical year comes directly from the concept of Shmitah.

Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie, the founder of Storahtelling and the spirtual leader of Lab/Shul NYC, asks us to think of the following questions:

How can those of us who are not farmers make use of this concept of letting the land rest to better balance our lives in our fast-paced world.  Remember, farmers in Israel are not planting or harvesting anything for an entire year. What can we let rest?

Let’s reinterpret “land” for the moment as our digital life and the word fallow as unplug. How about uncluttering the next six months in the spirit of Shmitah by unplugging from our techie lives.

Here are a few ideas:

  • no screens while eating
  • no emails or texts in bed
  • more face time with others
  • less activities – more down time

Is Israel many people still abide by the Shimtah laws and each vegetables and fruit only imported from outside the land of Israel.  Israel as a country has gone further and:

  • Opened 15 nature reserved to the public for free
  • Cancelled the debt of families in need after they have participated in a financial management course
  • enacted a moratorium on open sea fishing to allow fish to replenish their stock

How can you family embrace the idea of Shmitah and change something up in your life so that we can be more in touch with the land, others and our values.

 Upcoming Events

  • Sunday, May 20 – Shavuot Family Experience 9:00-11:30 am
  • Wednesday, May 23 – Last Wednesday class
  • Sunday, May 27 – No Class, Memorial Day Weekend 
  • Sunday, June 3 – Closing Day, Atid LC

Community Announcements: 

 Summer Fun for Everyone!

Ready for the first independent overnight experience for your child? Yotair, Capital Camps’ Rookie Camp (August 14-17) packs an entire summer of overnight fun into four awesome days, leading right into Summer Family Camp! Learn more at 301-468-2267 or on an upcoming tour: 7/1, 7,18, 7/15, 7/29, and 8/5. Also: Extend your summer at Capital Camps with Bubbie-Zadie Family Camp (June 1-3) and/or Summer Family Camp (August 17-19)! All the best parts of summer camp shared with family – swimming, ropes course, sports, dance, music, and the Capital Camps Shabbat experience. Visit capitalcamps.org for more information or to RSVP for a tour.

 Shabbat shalom,
Luisa Moss
Director of Education and Youth Programming