Beth Emet - The Free Synagogue

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

Embracing Holiness Small

Yearly Theme 5774

At the midpoint of the Book of Leviticus in Chapter 19, we find not only the exact center point of the Torah, but also the spiritual heart of the Torah. “Kedoshim tihiyu,” God calls to the Jewish people. “You (plural) shall be holy.” In Torah, there’s usually a chain of communication from God through Moses to the People of Israel, but here God calls out to the entire community directly, with no intermediary. Holiness is so central to Judaism that God communicates to everyone, not just the priests and leaders; holiness is incumbent upon each individual. Yet, holiness in our modern, secular age can seem off-putting, even daunting. You may ask, “Why would I want to be holy? Could I possibly be holy even if I wanted to?” This year, we will explore together these questions and the vast Jewish literature on holiness to better understand the concept of holiness and how we might embrace it in our lives. Leviticus 19 contains some very concrete examples of how to lead a holy life (some of which are found in the 10 Commandments). They include how we should care for our own souls and our relationship with Divinity. Equally important, holiness addresses how we treat and interact with other human beings. We will explore both aspects of holiness and how they interconnect and influence each other. For purposes of our annual theme, I have translated kedoshim tihiyu as embracing holiness. God tells us to be holy, but it’s up to each of us to embrace this commandment. We delved into the concept of holiness throughout the year.

Some highlights included our fourth Friday Shabbat speaker series as well as our scholars-in-residence this year:

Rabbi Estelle Frankel  psychotherapist and author of the book Sacred Therapy, worked with us through worship and study to explore the Kabbalistic notion of planes of consciousness with which we relate to God. This weekend was jointly sponsored with JRC.

Embracing Holiness Amidst Diversity: Our Jewish Experience in an Interfaith World with Jodi Bromberg, President of InterfaithFamily.com.

Rabbi Noam Katz composer and performer of Jewish music, led us in worship and taught us how Jewish music and prayer can nurture our holiness.

Rabbi Rachel Cowan, former executive director of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, talked about the curriculum she developed on “Wise Aging” and will guided us in one of the sessions.

FacebookTwitterYoutube@bethemetevanston

be-slide-simchat-torah

 

 

Beth Emet is a diverse, multigenerational Reform community with a dynamic approach to Judaism. Our congregation seeks to create a spiritually vibrant, socially conscious, intellectually challenging, and deeply caring environment firmly rooted in Jewish tradition and values.

  • S’lichot Program and Service

    September 21 at 9:00 p.m. Followed by S’lichot Services.

    S’lichot, the late Saturday night service, which falls right before Rosh HaShanah focuses our attention on the meaning of the occasion, “forgiveness” and f...

  • Experience Elul

    The month of Elul encourages reflection, rejuvenation, and renewal, offering us opportunities to prepare ourselves for the High Holidays. Prepare by attending one (or all!) of our special Elul programs. 

    Meditati...

  • Yom Kippur Food Drive

    The ARK's food pantry supports nearly 4,000 Jews in the metropolitan Chicago area. While The ARK is seeking food that is kosher, any food donated that is not kosher will be given to local food pantries in need. We...

  • Rockers and Shakers

    with Nicole Jaworski
    Wednesdays, October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and November 6 | 10:30-11:30 a.m. 

    Foster community and friendship while collaboratively making music with the tot in your life! This class connects child...

  • Ivrit with Ronit

    With Ronit Levy
    Wednesdays, October 23 - November 18 | 4:30-5:30 p.m.

    A fun afternoon Hebrew class for children ages 4-6. Learn Hebrew through songs, games, dance, snack, yoga and more.

    $10 per session. Please co...

  • Shabbat Shmoozica & Tot Shabbat

     

    Shabbat Shmoozica

    Every first Saturday of the month at 9:00 a.m. (Beginning on September 7!)
    Beth Emet is excited to introduce a new Shabbat morning program for families with children ages 0-5, designed by young ...

  • Experience Elul

    The month of Elul encourages reflection, rejuvenation, and renewal, offering us opportunities to prepare ourselves for the High Holidays. Prepare by attending one (or all!) of our special Elul programs. 

    Meditation for Ren...

Video 1 640 x 480

video bethemet capital.campaign

{modal url="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZnW3hbpgOdQ?rel=0&showinfo=0" width="853" height="480" title="Beth Emet: The Free Synagogue"}