SCARSDALE, N.Y. Rabbi Stephen A Klein says "We live in a very broken world," but that just means that people have to dig a bit deeper to fix it.
The spiritual leader of the 500-plus member Scarsdale Synagogue took a break Wednesday from his preparations for the observance of Yom Yippur to explain "Tikkun Olam" the Jewish mandate to make the world a better place.
"Tikkun Olam means literally, 'repair of the world,'" he said. "We're commanded not to stand by" despite the enormity of the world's problems. "We must make it a better world all of God's children."
This will be one of the focal points of Klein's message to the Temples Tremont and Emai members as they approach Yom Kippur. He wrote on the Synagogue website. the world"seems to be plagued with one challenge after another. The global economic crisis ... the debacle we witnessed in Washington in July ... the proliferation of cuts in our social service programs ... the possibility of a Palestinian State being declared unilaterally ... protests in Israel against the decades-long shift from welfare state to capitalist economy ... an environment continuing to be at risk ... All this seems so difficult to address. And yet if we do not start somewhere if we shrug our shoulders and say it can't be done then we have forsaken our children's children, and generations yet to come."
That means, Klein said Wednesday, "We need to be even more involved and as proactive as we can be to create the kind of world we want our children to inherit."
And this is done, he said, "One step at a time make a small bit of difference and gradually build on that."
He cited the synagogue's United Interfaith Food Bank program. The synagogue handed out food bags to members, who collected food and brought the bags back full to be donated to struggling food pantries in the North Bronx.
And that speaks to Klein's other focal point for Yom Kippur, "The need to reframe our lives. It is our opportunity to look at where we have been, where we are going, where we would like to go and who we really are."
He wrote, "It is an inner journey we all embark upon during this time of the Jewish year, and we continue that voyage of discovery and growth and involvement through the coming months..."
Yom Kippur begins at sundown Friday, Oct. 7, and continues until sundown Saturday, Oct. 8. Scarsdale Synagogue services during that period include:
8 p.m.: Kol Nidre
10 a.m.: Yom Kippur
11 a.m.: Children and teen service
*1 p.m.: Adult discussion
*1:30 p.m.: Family service
*3 p.m.: Afternoon service
*4:45 p.m.: Yizkor, Neilah, Break Fast
(* open to the public)
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