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Welcoming and being welcomed

Over the past few weeks at Masa, we have been focusing on the ways that we can express our gratitude, and emulate the patriarch Avraham by welcoming guests. Sometimes, it’s easy to welcome people into our space. We trust that those who come towards us mean us well. We can believe that good will come from the choice to be open.

And there are times like this weekend, when we are reminded that not everyone who comes towards us comes for good reasons.

On Sunday morning, I found out that the clergy of Beacon were coming to welcome families arriving for Masa. In a time of mourning, I was deeply comforted that we have a community much larger than our synagogue who will stand with us as we have stood with them.

Our fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students spent some time with Rabbi Brent and Cantor Ellen taking steps into the adult world of facing things none of us want to face.

Our third and fourth grade students brought the subject of Pittsburgh up themselves, while they were learning more about Avraham. Their teacher, Alexander Ullian, and I spent some time helping them to find an age-appropriate way to process through the event. We spoke about fear, and also about working past our fear to offer hospitality. We wondered whether Avraham had reasons to fear the strangers who approached his tent, and if so, what might have inspired him to nevertheless offer hospitality.

All of our students, young and old, spent time this weekend working on ways to welcome our Grandfriends on November 18. They are eager to share their work with members of our community, and they are really putting their hearts into it!

As always, I encourage families to discuss the week’s journal topic in advance.

This week’s journal topic will be: “What is something someone older than you has done that you feel grateful for? What can you do for someone younger than you, that they might feel grateful for?” 

Coming up: Friday Masa at 4:00, Stories with Rabbi Brent at 5:00, Mini Minyan at 5:30, Community potluck at 6:00, and Shabbat services at 7:00.

Remember to set your clocks back on Saturday night! 

Sunday: Masa from 9:30-12:30. Leilah Ezra will be hosting a meeting for parents at her house at 10:00 on Sunday (check your email for details, or email Leilah if you didn’t get the message). Rob Lieblein will have an informational meeting for parents of 3rd-7th grade students about the mindfulness workshop he is leading, at BHA right after Masa this Sunday.

Grandfriends Day will be November 18. Please let me know by Sunday if your child will be bringing their own grandfriend. Otherwise, we will match students with members of the community!

Thu, June 27 2019 24 Sivan 5779