Wildfires, Shabbat and Torah Scrolls

Sifrei Torah (Torah Scrolls)  endangered by fires in California being temporarily housed at Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue in Encino, CA

Sifrei Torah (Torah Scrolls) endangered by fires in California being temporarily housed at Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue in Encino, CA

Rabbi Greenstein sends along an email he received from The Rabbinical assembly concerning the recent fires in California.

A Kavannah (prayerful intention)

As We Light Shabbat Candles
By Rabbi Ari Lucas

לֹא-תְבַעֲרוּ אֵשׁ, בְּכֹל מֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם, בְּיוֹם, הַשַּׁבָּת
Let no fire burn in your homes on the Sabbath Day
– Exodus 35:3

As I kindle these Shabbat flames and bring the warmth and light of Shabbat into my home, I am mindful of the wildfires that continue to burn across Southern California. Fire, when contained, brings blessing to a home, but it also has destructive potential. Many of our neighbors, family, friends, and fellow citizens face great danger to their homes and well-being. For them, this Shabbat brings no rest. As for me, this is my prayer: Let the peace of Shabbat come as a salve to the burning we have witnessed this week. May God protect the lives and well-being of those who are in harm’s way. May God strengthen the hands of the firefighters who work day and night to control this blaze. May our earth and ourselves be healed from the great destruction of the week that has passed. Let no fire burn in our homes on this Shabbat day.

Housing Sifrei Torah at Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue in Encino, CA
Since early Wednesday morning, Valley Beth Shalom has been accepting Sifrei Torah from schools and congregations under threat by the Skirball fire. As stated by Noah Farkas: “The Torah is the most precious thing we have as Jews. It is are our Jewel our history, and our future.” We are thankful that Valley Beth Shalom has been able to undertake this sacred task.

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Rabbi David Greenstein

Rabbi David Greenstein

Rabbi David Greenstein arrived at Shomrei Emunah in August 2009 with a rich, broad and deep background as a rabbi, cantor, artist, scholar, and teacher. Being Shomrei’s rabbi, he says, allows him to draw on all of these passions, as well as his lifelong commitment to building Jewish communities.
Rabbi David Greenstein

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