As of midnight tonight, we'll arrive at that month both anticipated and dreaded by Jews. Play word association with "December" and you will all too often hear Jews reply, "Dilemma."
But for us at Beth El, December = Dialogue, as on several fronts we are fostering deepening understanding among faith groups. Just yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a tour of our sanctuary to a dozen confirmation students (8th graders) from the First Congregational Church of Darien. They had amazing questions about Judaism. And look what's going on over the coming days:
-- We'll be participating in the annual World AIDS Day interfaith service at 7 PM on Thursday, Dec. 1 at the First United Methodist Church, 42 Cross Road. This service always is most moving, bringing together people from all segments of the community.
-- This month, and extending into January, Cantor Mordecai and I will be leading a four part series "Tweets of Abraham: Judaism, Islam and Christianity in an age of Globalization." Because the AIDS service is this week, the first class has been moved toNEXT Thurs., Dec. 8 at 7:5. During this series, we'll have the chance to speak with local Muslim and Christian leaders.
-- This Sunday, I'll be a guest speaker at St Francis Episcopal Church on Long Ridge Rd., discussing Jewish views of the Messiah. Their service begins at 10 AM, and guests are welcome.
-- And speaking of dialogue, Senator Blumenthal will be joining us at Kabbalat Shabbat services this Friday at 7:30, to discuss how to "break the gridlock" (in Washington, I presume, and not on the Merritt Parkway). Invite your friends to come and experience our service and the senator's presentation.
Now more than ever, we need to be talking to one another. Therein lies the true dilemma, as we enter this month of December.