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Our Clergy

Our Clergy Team includes

Cantor Natalie Young
&
Rabbi K’vod Wieder

Our Clergy team of Rabbi K'vod Weider and Cantor Natalie Young prepare weekly offerings for you to learn more about Torah, music and prayer. Each week they will be offered on Facebook, in our newsletter and will remain here for you to learn at your own pace.

From Cantor Natalie Young

Eilu D’varim...These are the things that are limitless, of which a person enjoys the fruit of this world. They are: honoring one’s father and mother, engaging in deeds of compassion, arriving early for study, morning and evening, dealing graciously with guests, visiting the sick, providing for the wedding couple, accompanying the dead for burial, being devoted in prayer, and making peace among people. But the study of Torah encompasses them all.

This text from the Mishnah is a beautiful reminder about how we can live a life of meaning, joy, and connection. These obligations are not just for clergy and leaders, but for each individual to act on. The study of Torah offers knowledge of what is right and wrong and how to live justly. It is up to each of us to engage with these lessons out in the world.

Enjoy this new setting of Eilu D’varim by Cantor Natalie Young!


We have lived through several seasons of great challenge and change in our world. Our collective trauma  has pushed us to adapt so that we might continue to grow and thrive. As individuals and as a community, we have found meaningful ways to bring our light and goodness into the world, bringing a much needed healing that we can only achieve together.

Or Chadash (A New Light) by Cantor Natalie Young

Shine a new light upon Zion, that we all may swiftly merit its radiance. 

Praised are you, Adonai, Creator of all heavenly lights.


A message from Cantor Natalie Young:


As Passover approaches this weekend, we turn to our Haggadah to reflect on the presence of God in our lives. This  beautiful setting of V’hi Sh’amda by Yonatan Razel from the Haggadah says:

This promise has stood for our parents and for us in good stead. For not just one enemy has stood against us to wipe us out. But in every generation there have been those who have stood against us to wipe us out. Yet the holy one, keeps on saving us from their hands.

As we gather at our tables this weekend, may we bring our attention to those in our community who are experiencing hatred and tyranny from oppressors within our own communities, and may we stand strong together to give voice to those who have been silenced, and strength to those who are marginalized:


It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since we’ve gathered with loved ones in person. Time is a strange thing. We create sacred connection through ritual to help root us to moments, to memory. 

I wrote the following piece to mark time and acknowledge this moment, this cycle of time, this journey we have been on together: 


A message from Cantor Young:

We can learn so much from one another when we open ourselves up and share ourselves through our personal stories. And experiences. When we listen with our hearts and minds we can draw each other closer to truly know each other and experience the humanity in one another. 

This setting of Sh’ma is the first piece of liturgy I ever set. I have clear memories of sitting among the redwoods at Camp Tawonga as a budding song leader, there to soak up all that I could from staff and campers, hoping that I could find my voice and connection to my Jewish faith as an adult. It was a summer of great listening and personal growth.

May we each open ourselves up to true listening that we may come to know and strengthen one another.


Cantor Natalie shares a song she wrote dedicated to the members of BE Sisters:

Cantor Young shares Niggun Labania by Alma.

When have you experienced a piece of music as a true expression of where you were in a particular moment?


It can be challenging in today’s world to focus inward and be present in the moment. Music can be used as a spiritual practice, helping one to connect to the breath and the Divine flow that sustains us. Through rhythm, dynamics, melody and phrase, we are invited in to connect to the deepest parts of ourselves with music as the gateway to the soul. Niggunim (wordless melodies) in particular, allow us to bring personal connection and intention to where we are in the moment, without text defining that space.


Cantor Young shares this original melody written during her first year of Cantorial school in Jerusalem, which is now being used by communities around the world:

 

 

 

From Rabbi K'vod Wieder

Rabbi K’vod shares some thoughts about how to engage these powerful days before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur:


As we approach the High Holy Days, Rabbi K’vod speaks about the challenge of forgiving others and how to understand this difficult work of the season.


Rabbi K’vod shares about our Jewish obligation to one another regarding vaccinations and shares COVID-19 related policies for the High Holy Days. Attached is the Committee of Jewish Law and Standards ruling entitled - Vaccination and Ethical Questions Posed by COVID-19 Vaccines”


Our own personal and spiritual development is a journey. Rabbi K'vod shows how the opening line of this week's Torah portion gives us enables us to recognize the important steps on the journey, so we don't always feel that we fall short of who we could be.


Why do we find so many Jews seeking spirituality in Eastern religious traditions? Rabbi K'vod connects this phenomena to the role of the Kohanim - the priests when they encounter death.

 


The Torah teaches: "Don't stand idly by the blood of your fellow" (Lev 19:16). Rabbi K'vod explores in what way this obligates us to address the suffering of others.


Rabbi K'vod connects the "tzara'at" (skin disease) in this week's Torah portion with being more aware about how speak about and treat each other.


Rabbi K'vod shares about how the story of Nadav and Avihu in this week's portion teaches the importance of boundaries in relationship.


Rabbi K’vod shares how we learn from Miriam and the women about keeping hope alive in dark times:


Rabbi K’vod responds to questions from our community about the meaning of “fours” in the Passover seder and some of the halachic challenges of preparing for Passover when Erev Pesach is Shabbat:

 


Rabbi K’vod discusses the power of community to create the world we want to see:


What's more important- behavior or character? In this interpretation of the Golden Calf story, Rabbi K'vod explores how the story addresses this issue for today:


Rabbi K'vod talks about what is the function of Jewish Holidays:


Parshat Mishpatim

Rabbi K’vod shares a strategy about finding God in the details from this week’s Torah portion.


Teva and Torah Parshat Vayigash


Teva and Torah


Teva and Torah: Parshat Vayechi


Teva and Torah: 

Rabbi K’vod shares a rabbinic teaching to address the shocking event at the Capitol this week:


Teva and Torah: Parshat Va’era

Rabbi K’vod shares how the dialogue between Moses and Pharaoh can give us deeper insight into the difference between freedom and liberty.


Teva and Torah: Parshat Bo

Rabbi K'vod shares how the plague of darkness is relevant to our own personal and spiritual growth. How do you illuminate darkness in your life?


Rabbi K’vod shares how singing is an act of faith and its connection with Tu B’sheva:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun, September 19 2021 13 Tishrei 5782