Today is May 22, 2024 -

Congregation Sha'arey Israel

A Conservative Jewish Congregation serving the spiritual needs of the Middle Georgia Jewish community since 1904

611 First Street, Macon, GA 31201
Phone: (478) 745-4571

Making Each Day Count

May is already here! The opening weekend features our scholar-in-residence, Janice Friebaum. Many thanks to Jami Gaudet, to Roz Simson, to our shul leaders who made this special weekend come together. If you’re in town I hope you make the most of these opportunities!

Changing gears for a moment – whether it’s the ongoing misery and suffering of the grinding war in Gaza, the reverberations on college campuses near and far — the dystopian scenes of Jewish students being barred from attending classes, the chilling authoritarian rhetoric which is spewed by various politicians (here and elsewhere) — words which hardly elicit a response (!) from a polarized and thoroughly worn out public… It’s not hard to understand why folks tune it all out. History is no longer lightly tapping each of us on the shoulder. This is dangerous terrain. Our looking away and seeking distraction will not make our very real challenges disappear.

We’re in the season of counting the days between Passover and Shavuot. The daily count preserves a memory of an ancient barley harvest…how does this daily count speak to us? Like other rituals, it’s an opportunity to focus, to pay attention, to notice something each day, to make meaning of our journey. Our sages refashioned the ancient early summer ‘first fruits’ (bikkurim) into a celebration of the Torah, renewal of our passion for Torah. When a Kehilla brings a scholar to town, its members are dedicating themselves to learning and to celebrating community. Personally — all of this takes me back three decades (!) – bringing to mind a wide array of talented, thought-provoking teachers who have enriched us, entertained us, challenged us to think deeply.

Each day counts. Let’s take notice, let’s learn together, let’s celebrate community, let’s grow and find ways to really make a difference!