3/19/20 Parashat Vayakhei-Pekudei
Congregation Kehillath Israel is seeking a dynamic and innovative Executive Director (“ED”) who will build on the successes of the past while positioning KI as a congregation of the future. Check here for the full job listing.
KI Member High Holy Day Tickets KI members may fill out a ticket form below. Are you looking for other tickets? Please see below for links to our other ticket pages. For other information about the holidays, please see our High Holy Days portal. Involved with 384@KI, KI Community Kabbalat Shabbat (KICKS), or those new to Boston: You may purchase tickets at a special rate. Please fill out a ticket form online here. Non-KI Members: You do not need to be a member to attend services at KI. You may fill out a ticket form online here. Reciprocal Tickets: If you are a member of another synagogue and wish to get reciprocal seating at KI’s services this year, please have your synagogue email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, mailing address, phone number or email, and the number of tickets required. To reserve tickets offline, call the office at 617-277-9155 with your information. Questions? Call 617-277-9155 or email email@example.com.
As Pesach 5779 approaches, we are reminded of how weighty 'preparation' is in relation to 'celebration.' In order to properly clean our homes and become Chametz free, several important institutions and traditions have been established (Selling, Searching, Annulling, and Burning of Chametz). You may sell your Chametz via our KI Office, at Daily Minyan, and electronically until 9:00 am, Friday, April 19. As always, it is customary to accompany such a sale with a gift of Tzedakah in the spirit of Maot Chittim (funds for the needy). A much fuller practical guide for this year's Pesach preparation will be forthcoming soon via our email list. If you do not receive emails from KI, please contact the main office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-277-9155, so we can add you to our list. It is customary at the time of selling Chametz to make a contribution to the Ma'ot Chittim Fund in order to help others in the community to have the necessities for the holiday season. If you wish to do so, please make a check payable to Congregation Kehillath Israel. If you are selling your Chametz electronically you can make a donation by using your credit card.
KI is happy to welcome our family and extended community to the High Holy Days this year, 2016. Read on below for service times for the High Holy Days, from Rosh Hashanah through Simchat Torah. All services are open to the public. Only Rosh Hashanah Day 1, Kol Nidre, and Yom Kippur have arranged seating. For more information on seating at these services, please visit our High Holy Days portal. Family and children's service times and locations can also be found on the portal. Family services are open and do not require an RSVP. If you have questions about what family services are like, please email Shirah Rubin, our Director of Congregational Learning, at email@example.com. Monday, October 10 Shacharit: 7:00 am Mincha: 6:30 pm Ma'ariv: 7:00 pm Kol Nidre (Tuesday, October 11) Services held in the Main Sanctuary and Rabb Chapel. Assigned seats in the Sanctuary, open seating in the Chapel. Kol Nidre: 5:30 pm Yom Kippur Day (Wednesday, October 12) Services held in the Main Sanctuary and Rabb Chapel. Assigned seats in the Sanctuary, open seating in the Chapel. P'sukei D'Zimra – 8:45 am Shacharit – 9:10 am Torah Service – 10:15 am Sermon – 11:15 am Yizkor – 11:45 am Kavanna – 12:20 pm Musaf – Musaf Niggun Circle – 3:00 pm Mincha – 3:45 pm Neilah – 5:20 pm Ma’ariv/Havdallah – 6:30 pm Shofar: 6:48 pm Thursday, October 13 Shacharit: 7:00 am Mincha: 6:30 pm Ma'ariv: 7:00 pm Friday, October 14 Shacharit: 7:00 am Mincha/Ma'ariv/Kabbalat Shabbat: 6:00 pm Saturday, October 15 Shacharit: 8:45 am Mincha: 5:29 pm Erev Sukkot (Sunday, October 16) Services held in the Rabb Chapel. Candle lighting – 5:41 pm Mincha – 5:46 pm Sukkot 1 (Monday, October 17) Shacharit held in the Main Sanctuary. Mincha in the Rabb Chapel. Shacharit – 8:45 am Mincha – 6:00 pm
9th Annual Gala Celebration Saturday, March 5, 2016 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm In KI's Epstein Auditorium Join us to celebrate the rebuilding of our spiritual home. For more information on our plans for the future, including renovations, please visit the KI Next website. Our 9th annual gala will feature a silent and live auction, cocktails and dinner, and the jazz stylings of STOLI. STOLI is an ensemble from the John Payne Music Center. We hope to see you there. Our MC will beComedian Jonny Fisch. The deadline to RSVP has now passed. If you have questions, please call the office at 617-277-9155. Raffle tickets may be purchased at the event or online here. Raffle prizes include an iWatch, a spa gift card from Essential Advanced Skin Care, a Zingerman's Deli gift card, and a tech support session! Last year our 8th annual gala celebrated Rabbi Bill Hamilton's 20th year at KI. See photos here, and a video tribute from the event here. We look forward to welcoming STOLI this year. Below are pictures of some of their past performances.
Arrive Curious, Leave Inspired Why? Why did Aaron’s sons have to die on the altar of service in this week’s Torah portion? Even further, as a congregant asked me this week, Why doesn’t Aaron even get the chance to properly mourn their sudden death? Yes, spontaneity is out of bounds for Priests, even as it is encouraged for Prophets. Yes, the rigidity of the Priestly Holiness Code has a precision that cannot tolerate unsanctioned offerings, or a strange fire (aish zara) which can devolve into idolatry (avodah zara). Yes, as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has recently written about the sublimation of the self, of personal creativity and ingenuity, upon entering rare spaces of intense holiness (like the altar), in such places the “I am” gives way to “There is”. Clearly God’s Torah would like us to “arrive curious and leave inspired”. So why would it make such an inexplicably unhelpful episode the central story of the Torah’s middle book? What might it teach us? And when we ascribe a function to these tragic events we are careful not to suggest that they have a purpose, any more than tragic loss today happens for “a reason.” “I really do not want to say that we suffer in order to help others,” wrote Adina Gerver, my wife Debbie’s friend and former student. “Who would volunteer for that thankless task? I would be justifiably outraged if someone said that to me. However, once we see and know that suffering is for some unfathomable reason necessary in this world, we have no choice but to use our own personal suffering, and our own redemption, to help others.” How then does Aaron’s own personal suffering and his own personal efforts
Hope's path Guilty on all thirty counts. Reactions to the conviction of the surviving terrorist of the Boston Marathon attack were swift and compelling. As for how our Justice System will punish him, the thoughts of Karen Brassard, one of the 264 victims, feel reasoned and representative. “He is still getting visits from his sisters. And he gets to hear about his family members growing up…And these are things that the Richard, Campbell, Lu, and Collier families don’t get to have - that joy in their life any more - and I just don’t think it’s fair that he should have joy.” Hope’s path in today’s world is littered with obstacles. Power-thirsty leaders, from Putin to Ayatollah, expand their grip, trampling suffering innocents. Outlaws of the sacred, fraudulently claiming piety, spill blood and quicken destruction. Politicians bring indifference to those who crush freedoms, while debilitating freedom’s champions. As we conclude Pesah, the anniversary of the first redemption, how can hope be made more credible in the face of daily events that continue to mock it? Every Shabbat we encounter the two variations on an empowering verse of hope. In the Song at the Red Sea, also the seventh day of Pesah’s Torah portion, we are stirred by the words, “The Lord is my strength and my song, He has become my salvation” (Ex. 15:2). While each Saturday night atHavdallah, we draw upon a slight variation of this verse from the prophet Isaiah, also the Haftorah for Pesah’s eighth day, “The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song, He has become my salvation”(Is. 12:2). Why does the prophet add Adonai (the Lord) to our familiar verse (echoed in Hallel, Ps. 118:14)? Perhaps because
The glass is always full Pesah is here. We assemble around the Seder table to tell our story, to taste our story, to delve into our people’s founding experiences in Egypt, in order to make the story our own, seeking to live its lessons. The Haggadah holds the full range of emotions, from trepidation to triumph, from wrath to empathy. It can reward the careful learner with diverse themes ranging from danger, bloodshed, and mortality, to hope, stranger-empathy, and the urge to resist gloating. This season, friends of freedom all over the world are anxious because threats to freedom are ominous. I agree with those who counsel against permitting this year’s Seder conversation to be dislodged by current geopolitical developments. The matters at stake are indeed grave. But just as pivotal figures like Moses and Miriam are unmentioned in the Haggadah narrative, getting too mired in disagreement over a newly announced ‘understanding’ in response to Iran’s designs and deeds - whether we view it as capitulation or triumph - would be to miss the essence of what our storytelling and story-living is for. As British novelist Phillip Pullman has noted, “After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the things we need most in the world.” Yet we always seek to make timeless lessons timely. So what can we learn from this year’s Seder text that can guide our orientation toward urgent matters of the day? Twice in the Haggadah’s text we meet the Hebrew phrase, b’chol dor vador, “in every single generation.” First, we raise a cup and uncover the Matzah, affirming: “And this (promise) is what has stood by our ancestors and us; for it was not only one man who rose up
Furnishing better futures “I didn’t realize you were broken as well as wealthy, fragile as well as strong,” Oliver Marjot writes of Israel following a recent visit. An active member of his Protestant church in the UK, he is pursuing graduate studies in History at Harvard. “I didn’t realize that you suffer from a thousand voices clamoring in your head, and that some of those voices care about justice and democracy, and that some of them love their neighbors. I didn’t realize that a thousand enemies press on your borders, hoarding instruments of death, as chaos and darkness and madness consume the world every way you look. I didn’t realize. Nobody told me. Or maybe they did, and I refused to listen. I didn’t expect to fall in love with you.” So much of today’s invective pollutes opportunities for deep human contact with people who are afraid, uncertain, and meet complex realities with humility. This feels important to recall as we find ourselves perched between the outcome of Israeli elections ten days ago and our Passover Seder just a week away. I’d like to purge the word solution from a vocabulary that aspires to safer, more hopeful tomorrows for Israel and her nearest neighbors. Our people’s recent association with the word solution speaks for itself. But even our founding story which we retell at next week’s Seder brings less certainty to a destination than it does to the values we carry along the way. Exodus. Sinai. Israel. Next Year in Jerusalem. Elijah’s Messianic Era. Ports of arrival may change. Patterns of conduct should remain constant. No matter how frustrated we feel, for example, that the words of Israel’s Prime Minister Elect are actionable while those