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A Message from Rabbi Steven Schwartzman

Rabbi Steven Schwarrzman

On our first Shabbat here in Edmonton, at the end of June, and for several weeks after that, we could scarcely believe how late the sun set. Who ever heard of a place where Shabbat doesn't end until 11:30 pm? 

Now, of course, almost six months later, it is the days that are short and the nights that are long. We begin to turn inward to stay warm (except for those who do winter sports). And one question is what we want to do with all that time indoors. 

So allow me to offer some suggestions. First and foremost, take advantage of the extra time with friends and family. Isolation is not the way to go, and especially if you struggle with seasonal issues, make it a point to get together with people you like and love. (The converse is also true: if you know someone who could use a call or an invitation, you can brighten their lives by reaching out to them.) 

Second, along with just enjoying the company of others, spend some of that extra time making that companionship deeper by doing things together that you believe in. Make time to give of yourself to others in need, and make time for yourself, too - not in self-indulgence, but in nurturing your soul. There is no better way to find inner happiness than to improve ourselves and join with like-minded people in purposeful community. 

And this is where Beth Shalom comes in. You can join us as we pray together. You can join us as we sit and shmooze after prayers. You can join one of our classes (and more are on their way), to learn how to be Jewish in a deeper, adult way - better than what we learned as kids. You can take part in the amazing programs that our volunteers and staff put together. 

And when you are home, this is a great time to begin reading Jewish books. 

It may be cold outside, but it can be very warm inside. As we turn indoors for a while, let's brighten up our inner lives, and the lives of those around us. 

With blessings for a warm winter and Hanukkah sameach, 

Rabbi Steven Schwarzman


Sun, 15 December 2019 17 Kislev 5780