I am writing while still experiencing the euphoric aftermath of an unusually heavenly experience shared by all who attended “A Night of Celebration” with Joshua Nelson and the Kosher Gospel Choir presented by Temple Emanu-El of Closter on Nov. 20, to benefit the David Taubenfeld z”l Kol HaKavod Fund. Indeed, the presentation lived up to its promise as “an incredible night of music, inspiration, and joy.”
How fitting that this heavenly event occurred during Jewish Social Action Month, a month-long celebration of social action and unity observed in Jewish communities throughout the world during Cheshvan, occurring this year from Oct. 30 to Nov. 27 (appropriately, Thanksgiving Day).
The concept is based upon Parshat Ki Tissa (Exodus XXX), which begins with the offering of half a shekel that each person had to donate to the sanctuary. The Torah portion stresses the unity of the Jewish people; two Jews together form a complete whole.
Every Jew is responsible for the life and well-being of his fellow Jew, as his fellow Jew is of his. With heightened awareness, we are obligated to support each other, especially in these perilous times fraught with threats of extremism, terrorism, and anti-Semitism.
In the spirit of Psalm 118:
“O, give thanks unto the Almighty, for He is good. His mercy endures forever.”