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Counting Our Blessings

05/30/2019 08:52:23 AM


Rabbi Brad Levenberg

We join together tonight in the midst of the greater Jewish people who are similarly taking stock of time, for we currently mark each day in a period known as the Counting of the Omer. This time had been marked two thousand years ago through the action of Jews in Israel bringing the first of their harvest to The Temple in Jerusalem. Over time, our people have found other ways of counting each of the days of the Omer- some through acts of charity on a daily basis, others by reciting special prayers after sunset each day. Still others have developed their own interpretation of this tradition: that each day, we count one blessing.
Summer, though far from quiet, offers a unique opportunity for reflection, and I cannot help but recall this time, 14 years ago, when my family was packing our U-Haul for our move to Atlanta. It was the first weekend of June, 2006, that we finished our chapter in Ohio and came South, a move that was exciting and scary and wonderful all at the same time. As I reflect back upon this time, I recall the moments of communal joy – the launching of successful initiatives for adults and teens, congregational celebrations honoring Rabbi Segal, our 40th Year of Torah, and, of course, our 50th year that has just passed…while at the same time appreciating the community for being so supportive during my missteps, encouraging my growth with compassion and understanding. I recall the moments of personal joy – the birth of my son, the Bat Mitzvah ceremony of my daughter, fulfilling my dream and (following the incredible footsteps of my much more skilled wife) dancing in our Dancing with the Sinai Stars competition…as well as the moments of personal hardship, when this community came together to support me through my father's illness and then supporting me as I walked the path of mourning. 
I am indeed grateful, and though I don’t say it nearly enough, I am so very appreciative that the congregation and Sinai’s leadership have given me the privilege of serving as one of your rabbis. It is a blessing for which I am thankful each and every day and one I look forward to counting for many, many years to come. I hope and pray that others are as blessed in their professional endeavors as am I.
With wishes for a Shabbat of peace, happiness and blessing,

Wed, February 19 2020 24 Sh'vat 5780