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Rabbi's Message

04/24/2020 05:15:57 PM


Dear Chevre,


Chodesh Tov! We have entered the new Hebrew month of Iyar, a month of healing.


Rabbi Yael Levy teaches,


When the Israelites crossed the sea

And entered the wilderness with uncertainty and fear.

The Divine Mystery said, I am the Life Force, your healer, [Ani Adonai rofecha] (Ex. 15:26)

Iyar is an acronym for this statement.

And this month arrives with the acknowledgement

That we will step into the unknown again and again

And as we do,

The Infinite Presence is with us

Guiding us for healing and love. []



We are also exploring the question of healing in this week’s double Torah portion, Tazria/Metzora. We read about the priests who were responsible for segregating a person with tzara’at, a skin disease. Once the metzora, the person with the skin disease was healed, the priest would reintegrate him or her into the community through a series of rituals. I will explore these issues in my d’var Torah this evening.


I’m thinking about how much we all need each other right now. How we need both to give and to receive during these times. Thank you to all the members of KHN who have been calling on people to check in, doing grocery shopping for people, bringing food to people, offering teaching and programs and all of the many other ways we are helping each other as a kehilla.


There are other ways we are giving and receiving and I will list some now. 


If any KHN member is truly in need of a cloth mask, please contact Julie Stockler, who will sew one for you according to CDC guidelines. She asks that in return, if you are able, you make a donation to one of the organizations listed below . Her email is


This is a really hard time. If you are struggling financially, please don’t hesitate to contact me about the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund. I’m also happy to accept discretionary funds because there is always a need.


If you are interested in helping to make masks and need some instruction please contact Cindi Sternfeld at She can try to connect you up with a community of people who are making masks.


Many of you are looking for names of reputable organizations to give tzedakah. We have mentioned two organizations weekly in our bulletin for a month now. Here are some other local organizations doing great work, who have connections with members of KHN, and who need funds:


Fisherman’s Mark


Rolling Harvest Food Rescue

TASK Trention Area Soup Kitchen


We are aware of our local community, and our heart breaks the for the residents of the greater New York area who have suffered so much loss. We pray for our country, and our world. Here are the words of members of Or Hadash: A Reconstructionist Congregation during the COVID-19 pandemic:

A Prayer for Our Country (during COVID-19)

“What do I desire for my country? How do I vision the land I love?

Let it be a land where knowledge is free,”

May all our people live together as brothers and sisters

A land where we emerge from this with more caring, a greater appreciation for each other

A land where no one is forced to go to bed hungry or live on the streets

A land where everyone loves themselves well enough to love their fellow human being as themselves as we are commanded

A land with a wise, humane leader to serve as a role model for the country

A land where our leaders speak the truth

A land where our leaders truly work for the greater good

A land of compassion where we all work and play together

Where poles of separation become poles of mutual support and understanding

Where reason wins out over blind faith

Where we recover our historic genius for voluntary community commitment

Where our vision is restored to embrace humanity, inclusiveness, and empathy

A land where the light within each of us can begin to illuminate the world

Where, as we care for each other, we don’t forget to care for our fragile earth

Where there is equitable medical care for all

A land where we have economic security and justice for all

A land where kids are free to be happy and thrive and grow

A land that once again welcomes the “huddled masses yearning to be free”


Where we all have the support and love of community

A land where we work together for the good of all

A land where knowledge and expertise are more valued in all ways so that people are motivated to become epidemiologists and teachers rather than reality TV starts or influencers

“Where the mind is led forward into ever-widening thought and action,

Into that heaven of freedom let my country awake.”

Portions at the beginning and end in quotations are excerpted from the Rabindranth Tagorereading in Siddur Kol Haneshamah (Shabbat Vehagim, p. 419)




What are your prayers for our country? For the Earth? For our community? For your family? For yourselves?


I pray that this Shabbat we find rest and healing. I look forward to seeing you at Shabbat services, Contemplative Shabbat, Poetry Cafe, dancing, meditation, Torah study, or somewhere soon! 


I am available to talk should you want to check in. My phone number is 215-804-6626 and my email is 


Shabbat shalom,


Rabbi Diana

Tue, July 27 2021 18 Av 5781