On Being a Twenty First Century Person
Happy Passover and Easter to each and every one of you. Call or e mail if you would like personalized guidance on how to run your Seder. In the meantime enjoy the following food for thought:
To be a person in the 21st century is to be offered the challenge of self definition. As the decades pass we are forced to redefine the terms of our existence. Redefinition begins with questions.
What is Temple Shabbat Shalom? What does it mean to be a member? Is it possible to combine faiths? What is a faith? A religion? Since half of our congregation is Jewish and the other half Catholic, Protestant and other religions how do we function as an organization? How do we support the Temple?
More to the point: Rabbi Alpern, how do you define your diverse group in terms of religion? How will we raise our children? When others turn us away, Rabbi, how can you embrace with open mind, heart, and arms?
How is it possible to grant “full rights and privileges” as a member of the Temple to a person who is not a Jew? The most liberal Reform and Reconstructionist Temples do not go this far! Why are all people welcome to join Temple Shabbat Shalom?
The complete answers to these questions require a dialogue and lengthy discussion, so I begin answering with a practical challenge, Passover.
If you are a Christian all of your worship is inspired by the original Passover story of the children of Israel leaving bondage. Your story is a retelling. Jesus celebrated Passover. A Seder is an opportunity to transform your home into a sanctuary and make your religion personal to you and your family.
Since Christians are also children of Sarah Rebecca Rachel and Leah; Abraham Isaac and Jacob, called Israel, I consider you children of Israel, and heirs to the promises of the patriarchs and matriarchs.
This belief is the basis of my faith and religion, and the result of self definition.
This is the mission of Temple Shabbat Shalom, a radical redefinition of everything old and new!
AGAIN, HAPPY PASSOVER AND EASTER TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.STAY IN TOUCH. CALL OR WRITE. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!
Rabbi and Karen Alpern