The news of catastrophic damage and ongoing flooding through the Houston area is stunning and painful. I know that many of you wish to help, and at our president, Mona Gibson’s suggestion, we will look at ways to partner with a local Reform synagogue as soon as the immediate crisis passes and allows us to see specifically what needs to be done.
For the present, the Union for Reform Judaism, our parent organization, has set up emergency housing at Greene Family Camp, and funds are needed urgently. You can donate directly through the urj.org website which has a button for Hurricane Harvey relief: https://urj.org/hurricane-harvey.
If you wish to do so, you can send a donation to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund of Temple Emanu-El, noted for Hurricane Harvey (or Houston) relief and we will direct it where it can do the most good when that becomes clearer.
May this great storm abate, and may God bring comfort to those afflicted by it, with our help.
Yesterday we began the Jewish month of Elul on the lunar calendar, the final month of the year. Traditionally we blow the shofar, the ram’s horn each day of that month, to awaken our souls to repentance and return to God and the best we can be. We had a lot of focus on the sun, this week; the Jewish calendar is based instead on the cycles of the moon, which is still mostly new, and so we begin our month based on that heavenly body, and at the beginning of the month the blast told everyone the date and time of beginning.
Please rise for the blowing of the shofar. [Shofar is blown]