Such a beautiful day here in Salem. Despite early morning mist and rain, today has settled into a dazzling expanse of shadow and sunlight, thanks to brilliant, swirling cloud-play. And once more we are drawn together by the call to kindle the Sabbath lights, to sanctify time and space by designating them holy through our intention and mindfulness.
And despite the heart-shattering events of last Shabbot morning, the unthinkable massacre which took place at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, despite the tears and grief we share with fellow Jews and open-hearted non-Jews across the country and around the world as these sacred souls are laid to rest, we are once again called together to kindle the Sabbath lights. For in doing so we assert more than our longing for unity within our communities, our nation, and the world. We are claiming our role as Light, in times of darkness, as Hope in moments of despair. We are asserting that Shalom is attainable, within our very grasp—if we will only reach out to one another, across the room, across the street, across the aisle– understanding each of us has a need, each has something to contribute to the need of others, and that it is in one another that we find wholeness, completeness, Shalom.
So let us come close, my darlings, close enough to see each other’s faces, to blend the tears upon our cheeks, to embrace the Light and one another as we wave the glow of illuminated candles heavenward and inward, as we say together:
Blessed are you Beloved One, Who enables us to kindle the Light of Shabbot.
And let us say: