“The Torah tells us that G-d spoke the Ten Commandments in ‘a great voice, which did not cease.’” Deuteronomy 5:19
Our religious school year ends the first week of this month; how can that be? Yet again, another school year has flown by! Every year we seem to jump right in with the high holidays, only to blink and find ourselves lighting Hanukkah candles and then wondering how on earth it is Passover already? Once we make it past Passover, we wave our Israeli flags and sing for Yom Ha’atzmaut, and then promptly pack up for the summer. The same holiday cycle frames our school year - year in and year out - but the cycle continues, even when our classrooms are empty and we are packing up for Family Camp. Wait? What!? Another holiday? Yes! The holiday of Shavuot - one of our sacred festivals - will occur after school has finished. And guess what? That’s not all of the Jewish living and learning that we miss over the summer.
While your shoulders might slump as you exclaim “Enough! I have spent eight months of Tuesdays and Sundays and Mondays at CST; what more is there to learn?” Hear me out. I just want to offer you a different perspective, as we head off for our well-deserved summer break.
While enjoying summer vacation, take a few minutes out of each day to think Jewishly, because even when our religious education doors close, Jewish life and learning continues: we weekly read Torah and Haftorah, we pray daily, we welcome Shabbat, and we celebrate Shavuot.
And if you are in the area of Wattles and Northfield Parkway, camping in the U.P. or trekking across Europe, stop in for a visit now and then, attend an outdoor Shabbat service, light Shabbat candles, read a Jewish author ( Dara Horn is my current favorite). Midrash says that though we no longer hear G-d speak, the voice of G-d is unceasing. I like to think Jewish learning is never ending too; it goes on and on with opportunities to connect communally, spiritually, intellectually. Judaism is life..LIVE IT!