Today is February 17, 2018 -

Congregation Beth Israel

A spiritual oasis for the Jewish community

Riverwalk - 360 Merrimack Street
Building 5, 3rd Floor
Lawrence, MA 01843-1740

(978) 474-0540

The Rabbi’s Column

Dear Congregants and Friends ~

I feel in some ways like a proud parent, whose child has left the nest and gone successfully out into the world, as I dedicate my column this month to our own in- house musical group, Bashert.

After playing together and enriching and making more joyful and meaningful the Friday night prayer experience for all of us here at CBI for the past 3 years, the members of Bashert have recently decided to bring their special musical talents in the coming months to several other synagogues in New England.

Just this month, Bashert hit the road and played both at Friday night services and on Saturday evening at the home synagogue of Jon Brody’s sister in Burlington, VT. In addition to their being extraordinarily well received by the community there, the synagogue’s rabbi wrote me a lovely note, in which she stated that “[M]y community was very fortunate to have spent Leil Shabbat and Motzei Shabbat singing and dancing to the music of Bashert.” The rabbi then pointed out that, while efforts had been undertaken in the past to start a musical group in her synagogue, her community had been so moved and inspired by Bashert that the leadership was now far more hopeful that this would soon become a reality. With “imitation being the greatest form of flattery,” Bashert certainly has reason to be proud of their hard work and accomplishments.

Bashert will soon be visiting synagogues in Portsmouth, NH and Newburyport, MA. With both communities being in easy driving distance, Amy will be able to provide you with the exact dates and the names of the respective synagogues for anyone wanting to attend one or both of these services/events.

To help defray some of their ongoing expenses, Bashert is now offering attractive t-shirts for sale, for the reasonable price of $10., which shirts can be worn and are appropriate for casual wear, the beach, or for the next Shabbat Chai. I purchased a shirt and proudly wore mine to the gym the other day.

With daylight savings time now behind us, and with the days getting darker and darker earlier for the next month, how fortunate that Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, will soon be here! May it be a time of light, warmth, and blessing for all of us!

Rabbi Howard Mandell