Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Capturing Our Students’ Wondrous Moments

Luisa Moss, Director of Education And Youth (Photo by Amy Matathias)

The other day, I woke up way before my alarm was set to go off and opened my blinds to look outside.  While much of my view is focused on the building adjacent to my apartment, I looked up to the sky and I saw the most beautiful pink streaks in contrast to the early blue sky. While part of my body was wondering why on earth I was awake, the other part was thrilled that I had the opportunity to see this gorgeous sky. This experience was a ma’aseh b’reshit moment, a time of witnessing wonders of nature, including lightning, shooting stars, vast deserts, high mountains and sunrises. 

A new project, Ma’aseh B’reshit Moments, has been created by Rabbi Shull and me,  inspired by the chatimah, signature of a b’rachah, “oseh ma’aseh v’reshit,” Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Source of Creation.  This b’rachah is part of a category Maimonides describes as Birchot HaNehenin, blessings of enjoyment, that are said before eating or experiencing a pleasure connected to one of the five senses.

As a way of connecting our Atid Learning Center students to Judaism over the summer, Rabbi Shull and I have asked the families to send us their own Ma’aseh B’reshit Moments, photographs or a brief blurb about moments when they have witnessed God’s creations.  We hope that while families are enjoying a hike, taking a vacation or playing in the backyard, they will capture these moments in a photograph and send them to me so that I can share them with the congregation. Of course, for folks like me, who are in a sleepy delirium, they can send brief anecdotes as well.  I welcome you to share your Ma’aseh B’reshit Moments and look forward to sharing them with the Tikvat Israel community. You may send them to me at luisa@tikvatisrael.org.