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Our annual Congregational Meeting will take place in the Social Hall of TOL on Sunday January 25, 2015. Documents will be available for review starting at 2:00 PM. The meeting will begin at 2:30 PM.

Rabbi Joe's Weekly Message

Week of January 25

Rabbi Joseph Hample

The Muchers and the Littlers

One day in seminary, we rabbinical students were asked to divide ourselves into two groups: those who grew up attending synagogue weekly, and those who grew up attending synagogue only at the High Holidays. But some of us laughed and said, We're a third group: we grew up never attending synagogue at all.

Likewise at TOL. Some of you I see every week, many just on Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur, and others only at secular events around town. That's how it's meant to be. This week's Torah portion assures us: V'lo hedif ha-marbeh v'ha-mam?it lo hechsir, "The muchers are not excessive and the littlers are not deficient" (Exodus 16:18). Everyone knows their own need.

But some folks might pray with us more often if not kept away by distance or grueling schedules, extreme weather or physical limitations. Gradually we are finding a way to serve them too. On January 9 three of you phoned into our Friday night worship. More followed suit on January 16 and 23, pioneering a new feature of TOL's program that may turn out to have a sizable constituency.

Video could be next. And besides ritual we could broadcast classes, if they're the sort that can be appreciated remotely. In fact, a youth in Buckhannon has been skyping into our teen learning events all year. This is the early 21st century: or the late 58th century, in Jewish time. Why not make the most of it!

In the Torah portion, the Hebrews behold the Glory of the Eternal from across the wilderness (Exodus 16:10). We can?t promise you that, but the glory of our lectern or our chalkboard is perhaps more attainable. Let the muchers have all they can stand, and the littlers no more than they wish: but let it truly be the choice of each Israelite. Thanks to Barry Pallay and the board; Marty Sippin and the techies; and Adonai Nissi, the Author of Miracles, for making it happen.

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