Volume 30 Issue 37 03 Dec 2021 29 Kislev 5782

From the Head of Jewish Life

Rabbi Daniel Siegel – Head of Jewish Life

שלום וברכה

Shalom U – Verakhah

In my final Ma Nishma entry, I would like to share with you the words I proposed for Emanuel’s new building:

And here
This house we are building
is rising
not just with stones
nor just with bricks
but with the dreams
of children
present and yet to be born;
it will rise
out of their laughter,
their stories
and shouts,
their need for learning
and for friendship,
and their hope—
and it will bear
their face,
the fragile yet timeless face
of all beginnings.

Excerpt from Elie Wiesel, Beginnings

As our Jewish tradition teaches – אל תקרא בנייך אלא בונייך -“Do not call them your children (banayikh), alone, but your builders (bonayikh), as well.

When I first started at Emanuel, I asked our students to be partners in leading their own tefillot/prayer services. Whereupon, they asked me to write a “Prayer for Good Luck” which they could use in their student-led minyanim. I suggested we all compose prayers and share them with each other.

Now, seven years later, I say goodbye with the prayerful words I wrote when sitting with our children:

May we seek fullness in life in seeing the humanity of others
and the divinity of all living beings.
May we find gain in giving, generate joy beyond sadness
and create hope to bestill fear.
May we be blessed in being a blessing
and in being challenged always to make life worth living.

Shalom U-Verakhah,

Rabbi Daniel Siegel