The Great Exodus March

The Great Exodus March
By Rabbi Lori Shapiro

There’s a rabbinic midrash on Exodus 14:13, an interpretive story inspired by the Torah, that goes something like this: As the Israelites stood with the blanket of the Red Sea before them and Pharaoh’s army behind them, there were four different reactions:  the first was to say “Let us throw ourselves into the sea.” The second said, “Let us return to Egypt.” A third declared “Let us wage war upon the Egyptians,” and then a fourth chorus cried, “Let us pray to God.” The rabbis teach that Moses’ response rejected all four opinions, and implored the people, “Fear not; stand by, and see the salvation of God which God will show to you today.”

One might read Moses’ response as satisfactory; or, less so – as a passive call to God’s miracles. As one who doesn’t necessarily know what God is or even that God is, and even considers the entire construct of a sentence that begins with “God is…” an impossible consideration, the concept of miracles enacted upon us by a personal God alienate my spirit of what is possible.

And so, what might Moses have meant?

It is here that I call upon what is more relatable — this weekend.  As we “Turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King…,” (to quote James Taylor), might we reveal the hidden message of Moses’ instruction through the prism of Hebrew? In a playful shuffling of the Hebrew, without bounds or ties to vowels, a verse traditionally invoking a (possibly) unknowable G?d, converts from the passive instruction: “Fear not; stand by, and see the salvation of God which God will show to you today,” into a Call to Action:  God! Radical Amazement! Rise up and See God’s Transcendent Presence that One (You) Will Make Happen Today.”

It’s the moon that moves the tides; the currents, tectonics and weather that makes waves; it is the energy of one body interacting with another that Causes for Creation. It is not in heaven – it is of us, upon us, within us all.

The Presence is Here. The Time is Now. And the One is You.

Freedom Shabbat.
Find your Wave.
Make it Happen.
This Friday at 7:15.

With Love and Torah Light,
Lori

The Miracle of Waves

The Miracle of Waves
By Rabbi Lori Shapiro

Ocean waves. Radio waves. Birthing waves. Waves reveal the presence of something greater than ourselves in action. Ocean waves are water’s way of revealing its interplay with the wind and its underworld. Radio waves are imperceivable until they are harnessed by a transmitter or antenna to reveal their hidden messages. The waves of childbirth move through the mother, unleashing a chemical reaction that spasms the body into the birth of life in an experience that I called “a visitation from Shechinah“. We are all transformed and born through The Waves that, unknowingly yet ceaselessly, surround us.

Our Torah cycle reads like the greatest of Hollywood films these weeks, with Freedom Fighters and Pharaohs. I invite you to experience the miracle of the parting of a sea with towering waves juxtapositioned with images of the biggest wave surfed ever recorded (see video, above) as a visual meditation with the kavanah (intention) of recalling that we live in a time of miracles that we can strive to perceive and experience. From receiving this message in the palm of your hand, to finding love and friendship, to our health, to our beautiful Venice seaside, the parting of the Red Sea reminds us to Find Our Freedom through the Small Miracles that happen in our lives every day.

Each of us are a product of the waves. Each of us are drawn to them. Each of us has a purpose that creates a wave.

Find Your Wave.

with Love and Torah Light,
Lori

Last Night of Hanukkah

Open Temple’s “Hanukkah on the Canals Parade” Party
Source: The Jewish Journal

Armando at the Jewish Journal visited our Eighth Night Hanukkah on the Canal Parade Party with Open Temple and turned out this amazing video capturing the experience. May the lights continue to shine! Thank you, Armando!

Celebrating Light and Hope


Celebrating Light and Hope in Our Time of Darkness
By: Esther D. Kustanowitz, featuring Rabbi Lori Shapiro
Source: The Jewish Journal

How do we celebrate the rededication of the Temple destroyed long ago, when we and our families, friends and neighbors are reeling from these urgent crises?

Bringing Home Early Detection


Yehudit Abrams: Brining Early Detection Home
By: Rabbi Lori Shapiro
Source: israelnationalnews.com

Israeli physician and engineer Yehudit Abrams speaks about the influence of Open Temple and Rabbi Lori’s impact on her life for Israel National News at 26 minutes into this interview.  Dr. Abrams award winning Monither empowers women to monitor changes in their own breast tissue and is a revolutionary innovation in breast cancer early detection.

Reflections


Message from the CEO
By: Larry Yudelson
Source: jewishinsandiego.org

Michael Jeser, now CEO of Jewish Federation/San Diego, shared this thought piece featuring Rabbi Lori’s innovative work from when she was the rabbi at USC Hillel.  Ten years later, he reflects on her innovations…

Wall Street Journal: Reaction II

NYT, WaPo Champion Leftist High Holiday Jewish Services, Including Goat Yoga And Black Lives Matter Discussions
By: Ben Shapiro
Source: Daily Wire

Ben Shapiro 2020 cross referenced Open Temple Goat Yoga in the Daily Wire as well as the National Review. Ben, “for reals”, we invite you to experience Open Temple. We are NOT political and focus rather on the role of ritual life and Torah in the 21st Century.  #DailyWire #OpenTemple #SpiritualbutNotPolitical #VeniceLove