June is a month full of blessings! Mazal Tov to all of our recent graduates from Preschool all the way through Graduate School! We celebrated our Confirmation class this past weekend, and we are sending love to everyone with a simcha throughout this month of “life accomplishments and transitions!”
We are having our own “transition” ceremony here at KI on Friday night, as we give gratitude to our current president, Dr. Evonne Kruger for her 3 years of service to KI, as we welcome our new president, Janice Schwartz-Donahue. Our Shabbat Service of Installation at 8pm will be an opportunity to bless all of our new officers, and give gratitude to those who served over the past few years.
This week’s Torah portion, Naso, holds the most ancient blessing we have, the Priestly Benediction.
“May God bless you and guard you:
May the light of God shine upon you, and may God be gracious to you:
May the presence of God be with you and give you peace:
May it be so/Amen” (Numbers 6:24-26)
We offer this blessing on many occasions throughout the year, and on Friday night, I will sing this blessing as we officially install our new president and officers.
At times, we consider ourselves “lucky" and at times, we consider ourselves “blessed.” Figuring out the difference between those two words can help us bring holiness to our lives. I often think of “blessed” as a step up from “luck.” However, the two can work in tandem. Luck is brought on by coincidence, and blessing is how we unfold the “luck” in our lives.
For example, I often tell our children, Aria and Kira that they are “lucky to have each other.” When they do not get a long and are mean to each other, I say, “Don’t curse your blessings!” So how does the luck turn into a blessing? When I know that they have lost the meaning of experience of coincidence that we all ended up together, I remind them this is more, these moments of struggle are meant to teach us about the blessings we truly have.
Even at moments when we aren’t celebrating graduations and other simchas, we can recall our luck as blessings. We can recall the moment, but we can also recall the periphery of the past, knowing it led to these moments in the form of a blessing. Blessings are as the Priestly Benediction states - continued protection, light, graciousness and peace.
May the spirit of blessing be in your hearts and know that each of you are blessed!
Cantor Amy Levy