Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The American Prayer Initiative

My prayer, dear Gail-Friends, is that you will please consider joining the American Prayer Initiative.  I have prayed these prayers for the past 31 days and will continue to pray them going forward.   You can sign up at the link below, and have the prayers sent to you daily in your  e-mail box.
These prayers are non-denominational and non-partisan. I believe our country needs to turn back to G-d, and repentance is important in order for G-d to have mercy on us. We, as a people and as a country, have turned our backs on G-d. The country was founded by G-dly men on Biblical principles, and we have strayed from that in many taking prayer and Bible reading out of the schools.

At Ma'gen Da'vid Synagogue, we are printing these prayers and giving them to our congregation this Friday night at our Sabbath service.  We will also pray them together that night.  We will encourage our members to pray the prayers at home with their families daily up through the Presidential election on November 6, 2012.

Please prayerfully consider joining me in this prayer effort for our country.   I hope you will ask your synagogue, church, or Bible study group to join these prayers for America.
You can view all 31 days of  prayers at the American Prayer Initiative.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Rabbi Jem's Birthday Blessing

Yesterday, my wonderful, kind Southern gentleman husband celebrated his 66th birthday.  He received many wonderful gifts and blessings, but his best gift came last night following our Erev Shabbat service.

Our sweet son-in-law brought our grandson, Jonathan, to the synagogue for the party that followed the service. This little boy's presence just lights up a room.  His middle name is Lyric which is a very appropriate name, because he sings all day long.  He even makes up songs about everything.  He has GiGi and PawPaw songs, a going to the library song, a clean up the toys song, and on and on.   I know he inherited this wonderful ability from his mother, Amanda, who could sing "Jesus Loves Me" at six months old.  But, I digress...and thank you for indulging my ramblings as a doting grandmother.

After the party, Rabbi Jem was walking out to the car, carrying the Torah scroll on his shoulder.  Jonathan saw him, ran up and stood in front of Jem, stopping him in his tracks.  He was staring intently at the scroll.  Jem knelt down to give him a close-up look.  Jonathan just stared at it for the longest time, and then very tenderly touched it, and said softly, "Torah".  Jem said he was so full of awe and reverence, that it made him have chills all over, and brought tears to his eyes.  William reacted the same.  Rabbi Jem said, "I think he's going to be a Torah scholar!" 

When he told me this story, I cried.  I'm crying now as I write this.  As far as we know, Jonathan had never seen the Torah scroll, so we don't know how he recognized it or knew what to call it.  But, this little boy reacted in reverence and awe as we all should when in the presence of G-d's Holy Word.  Oh, how we pray that we and he will always revere, love, and obey Torah, for it is Life.

At the end of the day, Rabbi Jem said, "That was the best birthday present ever!"

This is little Jonathan reading to his great-grandmother.  He loves to sing and spread his special sunshine to her and others at the nursing home.  We call him "The Little Minister"

One of our congregation members "carrying" Torah.  It is a tradition to never turn your back on the Torah while it is being paraded around the synagogue.  We follow it with our bodies and our eyes. We touch it with our prayer books, then bring the book to our lips because G-d's Word is "like honey to our lips".

This is a tactile reminder to us weekly to honor and revere Torah, We are reminded that we carry G-d's Word with us every day and are not turn our backs on it (disobey it) .   L'Chaim!