One of the highlights of a bar or bat mitzvah ceremony is lighting candles in honor of loved ones.
For one young girl last weekend, however, that seemed out of reach. She’d prepared for a year for this very important bat mitzvah ceremony — but candles were the only thing Temple Israel had. In the wake of the nor’easter, the power was out.
The Conservative Synagogue came to the rescue. They were hosting their own bat mitzvah. Yet they quickly agreed to share their event with the girl from Temple Israel.
“Rabbi Weiderhorn is all about community,” says Conservative Synagogue member Susie Blumenfeld, who asked “06880” to share this story.
“And I know Temple Israel would do the same for us. I’ve asked them in the past to help with a mitzvah during a potential storm.
“This is why we live in Westport,” Susie says. “This is why I love Westport. We help each other.
“I love that those 2 little bat mitzvah girls shared the bima this weekend. And the best gift they received was this lesson of community.”
Westport 2nd Selectman Avi Kaner was crossing 72nd Street earlier today. Look what he saw:
Meanwhile, Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn of Westport’s Conservative Synagogue had an even closer encounter with Pope Francis.
As he wrote his congregation earlier today:
This morning, I had the distinct honor of attending the Multi-Religious Gathering with Pope Francis at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It was truly a day in my life that I will never forget.
Pope Francis, at the 9/11 Memorial. (Photo/Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn)
In a room filled with clergy and representatives of all religions, the positive energy was palpable and contagious. I sat next to an amazing woman from the Sikh community, and we were surrounded by fellow Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish clergy. The symbolism of sitting together at Ground Zero–where so many lives were lost due to baseless hatred and terror-and instead joining hands in the spirit of peace, was nothing short of awe-inspiring. The humble presence of the Pope and his simple yet powerful plea for unity and reconciliation among all people left our hearts filled spirit and with hope.
As we approach Shabbat and look forward to celebrating Sukkot next week, let us all look forward to the day in which God spreads a sukkat shalom (shelter of peace) over the entire world.
Warm wishes for Shabbat Shalom and Hag Sameach.
Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and Bishop James Massa, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn.
Hey, Abraham: We’ve got news for you.
Remember when you tried to kill your son Isaac? Sure, it’s been a few thousand years. But the statute of limitations is not up.
This Sunday (Dec. 12) at 4 p.m., the Conservative Synagogue of Westport puts the founding patriarch of the Israelites on trial — for child endangerment and attempted murder.
Abraham: Attempted murderer or good guy?
The synagogue’s sanctuary will be transformed into a courtroom for this “exciting and most postponed trial.” It’s based on the book of Genesis 22, in which Abraham takes his son to a mountain and prepares to sacrifice him. Luckily, he’s stopped by an intervening angel.
The presiding judge is Steven Krawitz of Westport. Westonite Bruce Koffsky will serve as defense attorney. Jim Glasser of Weston is prosecutor.
Members of the community will make up the jury, with open deliberations to follow the trial. Some of the witnesses called to the stand will include Abraham’s wife Sarah, Isaac, and Abraham himself.
All that’s missing is Johnnie Cochran — sorry, he won’t be on the case. If he were there, he’d probably say: “You may be honored in 3 holy books, but they’ll put you away with killers and crooks.”
(“The Trial of Abraham” is free, and open to everyone. RSVP by calling 203-454-4673.)