Upcoming Shabbat Reminder – Friday, Sept. 5th

Chevre,

While the summer has wound down, B’Chavana is really winding up.  Our summer was amazing – we added several new members, had some some beautiful gatherings and outdoor services, and even had our first B’Chavana wedding!

And this fall the community will continue to advance with the upcoming High Holy Days services.  If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, please click here  and even better – consider becoming a full member of B’Chavana, which of course includes a ticket for each adult member – click HERE for more information.

To kick off a great fall for B’Chavana, this Friday evening, September 5th, we will gather at the home of Cathy and Mitch Litrofsky in Lake Forest for our usual Friday evening wine and schmooze, Kaballat Shabbat service, dinner and learning gathering.  Rabbi Marc will lead us in an exploration of a text that will help us spiritually prepare for the High Holy Days. There should be a great turnout for this “fall kickoff” Friday night event – you won’t want to miss it!

Details:

Hosts: Cathy and Mitch Litrofsky
1250 Breckenridge Ct, Lake Forest
Cathy: cmlitrofsky@aol.com

Please RSVP ASAP for potluck signup: http://www.PerfectPotluck.com/meals.php?t=XJUY6021

Schedule:

6:00 Wine & cheese, schmooze
6:45 Kabbalat Shabbat
7:30 Kiddush, candles & dinner
8:30 Rabbi Belgrad discussion of text to help us prepare for High Holy Days
9:30 Dessert and more schmooze

This should be a great evening – we hope to see you there!

B’Shalom,

Stewart Campbell, B’Chavana Va’ad/Communications

High Holidays Volunteers Needed

The High Holidays are just around the corner and we want you to have the opportunity to help out.  We need ushers, greeters, parking attendants, and clean-up volunteers.

If you would like to volunteer, please visit our sign-up page at:   

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c044da5aa2faafa7-high 

If you have any questions, please contact Pam DeMar at 224-619-5643 or pam.demar@gmail.com 

Thank you!! 

Pam DeMar

Welcome New Member – Susan Auvinen

Chevre:

We’re happy to announce that Susan Auvinen has become the latest new member of B’Chavana.  Susan has been involved with a variety of B’Chavana activities including High Holidays and Shabbat services for some time now, and joined us on our trip to Israel this year as well.  We welcome her thoughtful wit, her active participation in discussion and her friendship. 

As noted in Rabbi’s post last week about our other new members this month, we are actively building our community – we’re over forty members now and continuing to grow rapidly. The principles that guide our growth are simple: we believe that our communal practices will enrich the lives of people who join us; we know that our communal practices will be enriched by the experiences and insights that new people will bring. We learn both of those lessons every time that we gather.

As with all we do in B’Chavana, real growth comes from all of us pitching in to carry the load. There are a variety of ways you can pitch in to help build the B’Chavana community:

  • Share your B’Chavana experiences with people you know.
  • Invite your friends with you to our Shabbat and holiday gatherings, our book discussions and our tikkun projects.
  • Host an informational coffee with Rabbi Belgrad and people that you know.
  • Connect your friends with Rabbi Belgrad for a personal, one-on-one conversation.

For those interested in our membership materials, click here:B’chavana membership payment form 2014-2015

Our goal is to ensure that B’Chavana flourishes as a community for many years to come. Let’s work together to make that goal a reality.

B’shalom,

Stew Campbell, B’Chavana Va’ad

Elul And The Focus It Brings

Chevre,

Early in the summer, I had surgery on my hip. The primary goal for the next three weeks was to protect the repair that had been done – which meant putting no weight on that leg and wearing a brace that constricted movement in all directions. To get from one place to another required forethought – where are my crutches, how do I stand properly, what obstacles are in my way? If I needed to carry something, it had to go in a backpack. If I got up and moved to another room I had to make sure that I carried with me everything I needed or it was a long walk back. At first, it was up and down the stairs only once each day, so I had to make sure I had taken care of everything upstairs before coming down.

During those three weeks there was hardly a moment when I was not entirely focused on my body down to the smallest of details. I realized how much I took for granted, how much I assumed in the normal course of daily happenings. The smallest movement became the largest event. My awareness was acute and neared being complete, absolute.

Wednesday began the Hebrew month of Elul – the month immediately prior to Tishri and Rosh Hashana. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur call us to do t’shuvah – a stocktaking of our lives, a call to repair.

It is a difficult task, this t’shuvah. It requires a recognition of standards that transcend us and an honesty in acknowledging where we’ve measured up and where we haven’t. It means examining our relationships – to those we love, to one another, to the society in which we live, to the One who transcends us – and counting our successes while committing to repair the harm we’ve done. It means moving ahead, in ways sometimes large, sometimes small, perhaps with an adjustment to our course, perhaps with an adjustment to the way in which we walk that course.

And it requires attention. It requires thinking about the things that we do, that we’ve done, and asking whether or not we’re ready to move from here to there, whether we can accomplish what we want with our limited range of motion, whether we’ve got in our backpack what we need to improve.

The sounding of the shofar began this week with the advent of Elul. The mitzvah is to hear the call – literally, the “voice” of the shofar – and to let it be a reminder of the opportunity that this month and the holidays ahead offer us.

Being mindful, increasing our awareness, building our awareness of ourselves – all can lead to a life lived more intentionally and, hopefully, better. They offer us the opportunity to change and to grow – to celebrate and reinforce our successes and to repair the wrongs that we have done, as sometimes we walk tall and sometimes hobble through on crutches.

I look forward to sharing the upcoming holidays with you and the path on which they are found.

L’shalom,
Marc

 

Thanks for a great Shabbat!

Chevre:

Another wonderful Shabbat this week, filled with learning, music, friendship and more. Thanks so much to Nancy and Steve Feinberg for hosting us and organizing the potluck luncheon.  It was a beautiful occasion as we’ve come to enjoy every time in their home.

We spent time exploring the concept of “Het” – sin, failure, mistakes, falling short, missing the mark and how this affects us.  We also explored some mahzor (high holiday prayerbook) texts, and wrote some of our own – with the hope of incorporating what we wrote into our own Yom Kippur service.

Save the date: Our next gathering will be for Friday night, Kabbalat Shabbat, on Friday, September 5th, 2014 at the home of Cathy and Mitch Litrofsky in Lake Forest.  Watch the blog and your email for details.

L’shalom,

Rabbi Marc

(posted by Stew Campbell)

Shabbat Reminder, Tomorrow, Saturday, August 23

Chevre:

A reminder to RSVP for this coming Shabbat, tomorrow, Saturday, August 23rd.

We’ll meet on Shabbat morning at the home of Nancy and Steve Feinberg: 1034 N. Glenview Court, Palatine.

Please contact Nancy to participate in the potluck by using this link:
http://www.PerfectPotluck.com Coordinator Last Name: Feinberg   Password: 0823
You also can contact Nancy: nancy@snfsales.com; (847) 922-6988.

9:45     Gather & schmooze
10:00    Tefilot
12:15     Kiddush & potluck luncheon

As we’ve done for Shabbat in the past – most notably, when together we wrote our Birchot Ha-Shachar (morning blessings) – we’ll soon take the opportunity to create our own version of an important part of the service for Yom Kippur: the Al Het (“for the sins…).

This Shabbat morning, I’ll lead an exercise wherein we compose  our own list of the failures and mistakes that we think are common to our community – and this material will then be incorporated into our Yom Kippur morning and afternoon services.  No expertise is necessary to participate in this innovate activity – only the experiences of life itself are needed.

B’shalom,

Marc

(posted by Stew Campbell)

Welcome New Members

Chevre,

I’m happy to let you know of our new members.

Stacy Olszewski has joined B’Chavana. Having been an active participant in our Mussar group, Stacy decided to make B’Chavana her home.   Anne and Jon Weisblatt have become part of our community as well.  Their first visit with us was at Chanukah time at the Rangells and the interest that they felt then has grown to a decision to join us.  We’re looking forward to the unique experiences and insights that they will bring to our learning and growth.

We are building our community – we’re over forty members and continuing to grow. The principles that guide our growth are simple: we believe that our communal practices will enrich the lives of people who join us; we know that our communal practices will be enriched by the experiences and insights that new people will bring. We learn both of those lessons every time that we gather.

We are making B’Chavana sustainable. Here are things that you can do to build the community:

  • Share your B’Chavana experiences with people you know.
  • Invite your friends with you to our Shabbat and holiday gatherings, our book discussions and our tikkun projects.
  • Host an informational coffee with Rabbi Belgrad and people that you know.
  • Connect your friends with Rabbi Belgrad for a personal, one-on-one conversation.

For those interested in our membership materials, click here:B’chavana membership payment form 2014-2015

Our goal is to ensure that B’Chavana flourishes as a community for many years to come. Let’s accomplish that together.

L’shalom, Marc