CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 8


Ki Tisa

Introduction to Torah Reading
Rabbi Steven A. Fox
February 2016, Israel Convention

This remarkable Torah portion, filled with
lessons about leadership, Shabbat, the Tablets,
and much more, focuses on two poignant words
in its opening: Ki Tisa, often understood by our
teachers as meaning "to take a census," and
also "to raise up" our community.
One insightful commentator said, "When one
counts the Jews and organizes them into a
unified community, they are raised up and
And that, my friends, you do each and every
day in your leadership, service, and life as
a rabbi: organizing, uniting, raising up, and
exalting individuals in your communities and in
the broader world.
Within the CCAR you-and, more accurately,
we together-do the same thing: We organize,
unite, raise up, and exalt individual rabbis,
rabbinic leadership, and the rabbinic voice.
We strive to unite and to elevate our rabbis
by adhering to this admonition-Ki Tisa-by
counting one another (as you count those in
your communities). Not numerical counting, but
rather ensuring that each and every individual
counts regardless of how or where we each
choose to serve as a rabbi. That is not to
say we succeed all the time; rather, it is our
highest aspiration, the ideal toward which we

are striving. This morning in our service, Judy
[Shindler] has recognized the diversity of our
rabbinate in those who are participating in
our worship including community-based and
congregational rabbis; our most senior rabbi
present, along with a student/future rabbi;
recognizing the head of the WRN, together with
NAORRR; and of course engaging our Israeli
colleagues from MARAM, IMPJ, IRAC, and
HUC-JIR, Jerusalem.
It is my honor, as well as that of the other rabbis
who serve at the CCAR, to be counted among
you and to call this precious organization and
each of you, our rabbinate. In your roles as
CCAR leaders, volunteers and members, you
ensure that we are more than a chief executive,
a placement director, a publisher; more than
a digital media specialist, or people who
offer programing or services or mentoring or
member engagement or spiritual guidance.
This staff was chosen because they too are
rabbis. And in our rabbinates, like you, we
strive to "raise up" and to "exalt" our rabbis
in your personal and your professional lives;
not just through CCAR's activities, but also
through our relationships with you-to be there
with you in moments of joy and of sorrow, as
you enhance your professional capacities and
your spiritual groundings. This week, we felt
this very personally: on the very first day of this


convention, one of you thanked me for reaching
out when your beloved wife died (and for the
support of the entire CCAR community); another
for helping you prepare to ask for and receive
your first donation ever (or the first "investment"
in your community); another for guidance
during a difficult transition and someone else
for a successful transition. Throughout the week,
you have shared with us ways in which the
CCAR Rabbinic Staff, in close partnership with
all our volunteers, unite, raise up, and elevate
both rabbis and the rabbinate.
Together the rabbis of the Conference combine
our voices to unify, elevate, raise up, and exalt
the world in which we live, as exemplified here
in Israel. This week we have raised up the voice
of the Reform Rabbinate who have gathered
together for Convention from North America,
Israel, and around the world to support our
colleagues and friends here, in Israel, who raise
their voices daily for Reform Judaism; whether
it was in the Knesset, on individual tracks, or
through the Tel Aviv Marathon, during this
CCAR Convention we have literally moved our
feet to move Reform Judaism forward so that in
Israel, all Jews, all people, will be equal in the
eyes of the law as we are equal in the eyes of
God. Kein y'hi ratzon.


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016

CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 1
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 2
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 3
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 4
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 5
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 6
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 7
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 8
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 9
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 10
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 11
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 12
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 13
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 14
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 15
CCAR Newsletter Sept - Oct 2016 - 16