Longtime member, Rabbi Robert Tabak, as a historian and lover of ritual, has kept track of our milestones. He encouraged us to celebrate 36 years and pulled together a committee to do so: Jane Century, Fredi Cooper, Rachel Falkove, Dick Goldberg, Malkah Binah Klein, and Bob.
Rabbi Malkah Binah, our service leader, shared:
We agreed that our priorities are to build a strong and loving sense of community, to have a musical service with a strong spiritual focus and a lively Torah discussion, to be open, creative and flexible, and to reach out to and include new people. (From minutes of planning meeting in 1986 for what would become Dorshei Derekh)
A psalm for the seekers
Seekers of the path
With tambourine and tallit
With dishes to wash and stories to tell
We call on one another alternating gender or not, muting and unmuting on our zoom squares, visiting the sick, learning how to welcome and how not to harm.
We call one another to Torah - for birthdays and yartzeits, for gratitude and healing, for wonder and honor, pebbles and milestones.
We call on the Source of Life, on foremothers or six.
Choosing not chosen, we arrive at thirty six, hai plus hai, two strands of life, original members and newer ones, the ones that left and came back and the ones that stayed.
Lidrosh: to seek, also to interpret and reinterpret.
Seekers of the path,
through quiet and talk,
Prayer and song.
A Blessing for Dorshei Derekh on the Occasion of the 36th Anniversary
Shabbat Parashat Naso: June 3, 2023/ 14 Sivan 5783
And so, today, we have lifted up each head
We have been lifting up each one of us for thirty- six years
And in this lifting, we have been sure to count carefully, each one
This is the blessing that has marked the vitality of our minyan
We have been seekers together through these years
And in our seeking we see each other….taking on a bit of the almighty
Thirty- six is a number so rich in it’s meaning and it brings blessing to our kahal, our sacred community
It marks now, that the minyan has lasted a double portion in life
But even more thirty- six is equal to Lamed, Vav
We learn that the world must contain at least 36 righteous individuals
At Dorshei Derekh we embrace the righteousness in each one of us
We help the other to step in the right direction in life
We embrace and recognize that at any time, any moment, one of us who is present
Could be one of those thirty- six
And if it is so, we hope to learn from that righteous one
On the first day of creation, God created the light
It is said that, that light burned for exactly 36 hours
May we continue to be lifted together toward the best light
And may we continue to come together in celebration, in prayer, in righteousness and justice
And together, may we always seek what is best in life
And find it here
With full hearts we say, Amen
And Student Rabbi Maria Pulzetti shared a teaching from her 2019 Bat Mitzvah in abstentia:
In Ahavah Rabah we pray,
v’haeir eynenu btoratecha –
light up our eyes with Your Torah.
That phrase evokes Sinai,
when our people gathered at the mountain, early,
seeking a glimpse of the Divine.
In place of the unseeable, the face of God,
we received the light of Torah.
Each day we pray that its glow will fuel us anew
as we listen, learn, and teach,
keep, perform, and fulfill,
We push and stretch and birth;
lean out, and draw our edges together.
Maybe today, we pray, we will dare
to love our neighbor with the deep love that bathes us.
Maybe today we will confront the legacy of slavery;
we will stop standing idly by;
we will center the needs of the poor, the sick, the mourners;
we will illuminate the laws of Torah
with the love poured upon us,
and with light in our eyes
we will listen.