Friday Night/Erev Shabbat Rabbi Phil Cohen leads Kabbalat Shabbat services via Zoom at 6:30 pm. The service includes prayers, songs and a few words of Torah. Check in with friends and share Shabbat. Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84124865329
CBS Board Meeting Thursday, January 6th @ 7 pm New Member Shabbat Friday, January 21st @ 6:30 pm Loaves & Fishes Sunday, January 30 Tefilah Tuesdays @ 7 pm – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86420634509 Hebrew Bible with Howard Lidsky Sundays @ noon @ CBS
As some of you know, Betsy and I had to put down our greyhound Maggy on the day after Thanksgiving. She had bone cancer in her shoulder and the pain became too unbearable for her. A large part of our sadness was because she was only six years old and had been with us for only three and a half years. She’d been my roommate here in Columbia and I feel her absence daily.
We have another dog, Motek (Hebrew for sweetheart), that we’ve raised from puppyhood, who now is fourteen years old. For fourteen, she’s in pretty good shape, though her energy is much diminished. We realized just this week, she’s gone totally deaf. She no longer responds to her name being called nor any of the other signals we’ve established over the years. She also has highly visible cataracts, but this condition doesn’t seem to affect what she needs to see.
There’s a very useful Hebrew word, l’havdil, which when used in conversation usually means, what I’m about to say has a parallel to what I’ve just said, but not exactly; this case is different in a significant way.
So, l’havdil, I have a friend, Eric, who only last week was diagnosed with likely having Parkinson’s disease. “Likely” because he hasn’t had sufficient testing to be certain, but he’s showing all the symptoms. His life will never be what it was even a few months ago.
So. Life throws stuff at you when you least expect it, and some of it is bad.
Maggy’s cancer came on in a month and by the end of that month my roommate was dead. Motek’s hearing problem tells us that our fourteen year old dog is getting old and isn’t the same mutt she was even a year ago. And, l’havdil, fate has given my friend Eric a life-altering disease.
I feel I have to add into this discussion the omicron variant. Predictions by the middle of last year had it that by 2022 we’d be saying farewell to Covid, or at least be in a kind of steady state with it, tamped down significantly but, God help us, permanently a part of our landscape.
Man proposes and God disposes. That’s perhaps a bit too facile, but that old chestnut captures the precariousness of life. (A variant on that saying has God laughing, not merely disposing, but I’d rather not go in the direction of a God laughing at our ill fortunes.)
Who shall live and who shall die.
The lesson always to be learned when facing life’s unknowns is both simple and complex. Simply, live life well, be your best self, love as many people as you are able, and fight those things that seem inevitable. But, when the inevitable inevitably comes to pass, face the reality of it with as much strength as you can muster. The complexity of it comes with attempting to live life well. It’s not an easy thing, living life well. It takes heavy labor.
So, friends, I conclude with the reminder that our small mid-Missouri community is part of living life well. Supporting it, participating in it, contributing to it, and loving it—these enable us to both live a better life, and face the inevitable just a bit more easily than without our community.
Rabbi Phil M. Cohen
Religious School & Youth Group
Religious school, Hebrew school & Youth Groupwill be on winter break until Wednesday, January 19
Erev Shabbat at CBS
7 – Zoom-only Services @ 6:30 pm
14 – 2nd Shabbos with Kurt Saxton, Baha’i community, and Rabbi Cohen discussing texts related to peace and justice
21 – New Member Shabbat and Musical Shabbat with Andy and BelleAnne Curry
28 – Services led by religious school students
Loaves & Fishes
Every fifth Sunday, CBS provides a full dinner to those in need through the Loaves & Fishes program. This month we are serving on January 30th, and we need donations of food items as well as volunteers to set up, serve, and clean up.
Bring food items to Wilkes Blvd. Methodist Church, 702 Wilkes Blvd. (back entrance), before 4:15 pm that day, and volunteers should arrive by 4:30 pm. We expect to serve about 100 people. A SignUpGenius for food needs and servers will be posted next week.
Room at the Inn, which provides nighttime shelter to the homeless during the winter, has started operations. Several area churches are rotating hosting of guests through early March. Because of COVID, organizers had to increase the number of paid staff. The program relies on volunteers, many from the faith community, to prepare meals, do light cleanup, help with check-in and other tasks.
CBS provides financial support for the program, but volunteer support is still vital to its success. To volunteer, donate, or just learn more about Room at the Inn, check their website: https://roomattheinncomo.org/
Mandana Hakimi is helping settle refugee families in Columbia, acting as translator and assessing individual families’ needs. One of her current families has an infant and pre-school girls. All are in need of warm winter clothes, among other things.
Mandana has compiled a list of the most urgent needs. She also invites anyone who’d like to actively help out to go with her on her visits with the families.
Donations to CBS are a good way to remember or honor people and special life events. Your gift can be directed to the CBS general fund, the rabbi’s discretionary fund (RDF), the library, the Sasha Yelon book fund, the school scholarship fund or the sacred music fund.
Send a check to CBS, 500 W Green Meadows Rd, Columbia 65203, with a note with details about honorees and where you’d like the notification sent. We’ll send a handwritten card as you direct.
Tell & Kvell!
Have you received an award or a promotion, welcomed a new child to your family, or otherwise have reason to kvell? Share your good news with your CBS friends. Send an email to Mary at email@example.com to include in eShalom.