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2013-06-14 digital edition

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June 14, 2013  RSS feed
Rabbinically Speaking

Text: T T T

Tips for making summer meaningful

By Rabbi JACOB LUSKI Congregation Bnai Israel, St. Petersburg

Summer has always been my favorite season.

Reflecting back to my childhood, I vividly remember how much I enjoyed the long days of sunlight stretching into the early evening, the more leisurely pace that school vacation provided, and the exuberance of being at the beach. Even in St. Petersburg, where so much of what we do is driven by our work responsibilities, the mood of summer is mellow.

Summer offers many opportunities to revisit our Jewish identity and to expand our Jewish horizons. Some suggestions for consideration follow:

Shabbat still occurs every seventh day. Why not plan a different format for Friday evening, as we welcome a summer Shabbat? A picnic in the lush outdoors could be delightful – and menu options are many. We do not need the formality of a dining room to welcome Shabbat.

All congregations pride themselves in their summer services with special guest speakers. Over the years, many of the presentations have been exceptionally memorable. As the Talmud puts it, “Come and hear!”

If you have the good fortune of traveling, more often than not there is a Jewish site of interest at your destination. Stop and visit, as you gain new awareness of Jewish culture, history, and the Jewish impact on our world.

Every time I walk into a bookstore, I marvel at the many new books published on a broad range of Jewish motifs. For those slower summer moments, why not select and read one or two of them?

The causes and needs of our society continue even in summer. Please remember that giving tzedakah, supporting a worthy endeavor, as attending a daily minyan is always in fashion, independent of the season.

Finally, add a spiritual lift to each summer day by saying the Shema – wherever you are.

Have a safe and meaningful summer!

The Rabbinically Speaking column is provided as a public service by the Jewish Press in cooperation with the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis. Columns are assigned, on a rotating basis by the board.

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