Dear TEE community,

We are now half way through the Counting of the Omer, a tradition rooted in the biblical practice of counting the seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot. Talmudic legend relates that plague decimated the students of Rabbi Akiva during the period of the Omer, letting up only in a single day, the thirty- third. For that reason, the Omer became a period of semi-mourning during which festivities, including weddings, were prohibited.  The one exception was on the thirty-third (written as lamed-gimel and shortened to “LaG”), which then became a day of festivities, Lag b’Omer.

Lag b’Omer affirms the necessity for life and laughter even – perhaps especially – in difficult times. In this period of pandemic we have a new appreciation for opportunities to gather and celebrate, despite our fears and losses. In that spirit, we will observe the holiday this Sunday, May 15, with an afternoon of outdoor games and adventures for all ages and abilities, ranging from scavenger hunts to water balloon tosses to bocce ball (in case of rain we’ll have board games, cards, and crafts). Join us at The Tent behind the JCC beginning at 2 pm to relax and reconnect.

With the warming weather come more opportunities to be outside and enjoy the lovely surroundings afforded to us by our location at the JCC. On Friday May 27th we’ll have our first Shabbat service of the summer in the courtyard and on Sunday the 29th the New Moon Circle will gather to greet the month of Sivan and explore the festival of Shavuot. I look forward to seeing you at some or all of these events.

with good wishes,

Rabbi Drorah Setel