A story is told of a great rabbi who came one day to the study hall. The room was filled with students studying Talmud, arguing and debating the finer points of the passages. But the rabbi noticed that his own son was missing.
So he decided to go out to the nearby forest that his loved.
And there was the boy. Sitting quietly under the trees.
"I don't understand" said the rabbi, "Why are you out here and not in the Beit Midrash?"
"I have come to find God," said the boy.
"But God is everywhere," affirmed the father. "God is in the study hall just as God is in the forest. God is the same everywhere."
"Yes" agreed the boy, "God is the same. But I'm not."
I hope you have found many places and quiet spaces in which to feel God's presence in your adventures this summer. I too have had my share of amazing experiences. Just last Shabbat 5 Beth Chaim families joined in a Shabbat Family Camp Experience at Camp Harlam where we prayed and played under the clouds and the trees. It was easy for me to feel God there as I looked into the eyes of my little ones, and witnessed other parents enjoying the same blessing.
And I am eager to welcome you back to Shul at Beth Chaim. We will begin with a wine and cheese reception (juice for the littles) at 6:45. Join us to meet our new educator Dr. Ira Gelman and his family. After our service we will also share in an ice cream sundae bar oneg. But the centerpiece as always will be to connect with God and one another celebrating Shabbat in our sanctuary with friends old and new. It is true that God is the same everywhere. But we are not. There is something special about Beth Chaim.
Rabbi Michelle Pearlman