What a Weekend!

Neshama Last weekend (January 19-21) was an amazing weekend for us.  We started with having Neshama Carlebach as our "Scholar-in-Residence" for our last weekend in Congregation B’nai Israel’s building on Kenwood Boulevard.  Neshama did a beautiful job of leading the Kabbalat Shabbat service (our Hazzan, Jamie Gloth, led Ma’ariv).  We had an excellent dinner with over 200 people present, which for us in Toledo is a great crowd.

Saturday morning I gave a sermon on the theology of Neshama’s father, the late, celebrated rabbi-rebbe-songwriter-musician Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, which you can read here.  Saturday afternoon, Neshama and I co-taught a class all about her song "Ata Hu," which you can hear by clicking here and then clicking on the song "Ata Hu."  Ata hu is a selection from the morning liturgy, one of those little paragraphs we often zip through in our morning prayers, without stopping to think about the profound things it has to say about God, and our relationship with God.

Saturday night Neshama and her band gave an incredible concert as the congregation’s farewell to the Kenwood building.  It was an absolutely wonderful evening.

SuOldbldg_2nday afternoon we had our "Ark to Ark" ceremony, carrying our Torahs from our old home to our new home in Sylvania.  We loaded the some of the Torahs on Joel Beren’s firetruck (the rest followed in cars) and drove them to our new home.  More pictures of the Ark to Ark ceremony can be seen here.  Miriam Beckerman and her committee did an absolutely wonderful job of organizing the whole program.  When we arrived in Sylvania with the Torahs, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony, our architect AbJeremy_7e Musher-Eizenman affixed a mezuzah to the front door, and we brought the Torahs in.  There were some very nice readings, a few speeches, we lit the Ner Tamid — which uses a REAL flame, and is just gorgeous!  Afterwards we had a group blowing of the shofar, and, of course, a little "l’chayim" and some munchies.  And before everyone left, we "broke the space in" by davenning Mincha (reciting the afternoon prayers).  All in all a tremendous weekend all around.

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Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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