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Ta Shema: November 5, 2021

November and Kislev are off to a good start. Last Sunday, we gathered in holy community with members of MCC for our ongoing program “Neighbors in Conversation.” More on that below.

On Tuesday, November 23 at 7 pm we will again gather on Zoom for an interfaith Thanksgiving program. Interfaith programs can be difficult. There are many faiths with conflicting belief systems. In the extreme, some of these belief systems questions the other faith’s rights to exist.

As a Rabbi, I am passionate about and dedicated to deepening interfaith conversations in order to humanize the other, on the one hand, and become friends and partners in community, on the other hand. Getting to know one another casually is the first step in breaking down the walls that divide us and building new communal fences around us.

On Sunday, Rev. McLaughlin and I both shared three basic tenets of our faith. What stood out the most to me was that our third tenant, completely unplanned, was the same—that everything is God, the good and the bad. This highlighted the importance of coming together, to find those moments we are in agreement, so we can build that first fence post of our lasting relationship.

Of course, another reason I engage in interfaith work is simply because we have many people in our congregation in holy relationships with someone of another faith. The division between “us” and “them” breaks down when you look around the room on Shabbat and see the diversity within our own pews. It breaks down when you look around the table at a family gathering. I hope to see many of you at our next Neighbors in Conversation, December 12, 2021.


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Chaya Bender

Please click this link to read the entire article about the "Neighbors In Conversation" event and "BI Baggers in the News."

Mon, October 3 2022 8 Tishrei 5783