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2015-10-23 digital edition

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October 23, 2015  RSS feed

Text: T T T

Beth Shalom scholar in residence to ponder meaning of ‘Be a Blessing’

Naomi Bromberg Bar-Yam Naomi Bromberg Bar-Yam God’s commandment to Abraham to “be a blessing” will be the starting point for the scholar-in residence Shabbat at Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater, Oct. 30 and 31.

The weekend scholar, Naomi Bromberg Bar-Yam, has a background in Judaic studies, social work, family social policy and maternal and child health. Bar-Yam, who lives in Boston, is the daughter of congregant Johanna Bromberg and the late Rabbi Kenneth Bromberg.

The theme of her visit is “Be a Blessing: Covenant, Blessing, and Caring in the Torah.” During the weekend, the congregation will study with her three Hebrew texts to understand what it means to receive God’s blessing and covenant and the ways in which we can “be a blessing.”

On Friday, Oct. 30 there will be a Shabbat service at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dinner, before Bar-Yam addresses the congregation at 8:30 p.m. on the topic “Be a Blessing.”

She will explain the passage in Genesis where God sent Abraham and his family from their home to a new land, promi s ing they would become a great nation, commanding Abraham and us to “Be a Blessing.”

Bar-Yam will focus on how migration, a homeland, receiving, giving and being a blessing define us as a nation. She will address the questions: What does it mean to receive God’s blessing and covenant? What is the role of our homeland to a Diaspora people?

For those attending the dinner, the cost is $15 for adults and $8 for children and RSVPs should be made immediately by calling the synagogue at (727) 531-1418.

On Saturday, Oct. 31 there will be a Shabbat service at 9 a.m. and Bar-Yam will speak at 10 a.m. She will speak on a passage from the book of Ruth: “May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with… me.” Bar- Yam will talk about how the book of is “filled with family, loss, blessing, and migration. In it Naomi, Ruth and Boaz show us how to receive and appreciate blessings from God and from one another. They also show us how to be a blessing.”

A kiddush lunch will follow services and then Bar-Yam will speak again at 1 p.m. She will use the passage from Genesis “By you shall Israel invoke blessings” and will talk about how at the end of his life, Yaakov blesses his grandsons, Efraim and Menashe, and his sons and will relate that to how the story “has much to teach us about generations, blessings, connecting to the homeland in the Diaspora, and making and breaking family patterns.”

Bar-Yam is the founding executive director of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast and she has spent much time combining her diverse training, using stories from our ancestors and the words of the Torah to inform her professional and family life. She is co-author of Breastfeeding at a Glance: Facts, Figures and Trivia About Lactation.

The community is invited to attend all Shabbat programs. The synagogue is located at 1325 S. Belcher Road.

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