July 2017 Message from BAW President, Nancy Federman
Tu B’Av, the fifteenth day of Av, is both an ancient and a modern holiday. At one time it was a matchmaking day for unmarried women. It was also the day when it was decided to allow marriage outside your own tribe. (I read that change saved the tribe of Benjamin from extinction.) There are more historical events tied to this date. In modern Israel it has become a civil celebration, a day of romance and love, similar to Valentine’s Day. At Beth Am, we will celebrate Tu B’Av on Friday, August 4, with a special BAW Shabbat service and a wonderful wine and chocolate oneg.
The holiday can also remind us to love and take care of ourselves. Taking care of one’s body, mind and spirit is considered a mitzvah. “If we are asked to “love our neighbors as ourselves” (v’ahavta l’reikhah kamocha) we must first learn to love ourselves. Self-respect includes self-care. “ (on JConnect.org website)
I found many articles on the web about how to practice self-care, including ideas to unplug from the world, get enough sleep, practice gratitude, sit less, eat healthy, have some fun, floss. And take care of your physical self by knowing your risks for disease and illness, and getting screened for early detection. Of course, the best advice will come from your personal physician.
“Friendships can have a major impact on your health and well-being,” (Mayo Clinic website) Celebrating with friends is great way to connect and refresh. Please join us on July 19 for the BAW Celebration in the Garden, an occasion for conversation, wine, hors d’oeuvres and opportunity for social action. RSVP online.
“As Cantor Lisa Levine wrote, on airplanes, we are always instructed to put on our own oxygen mask before assisting others. For me, this is a daily reminder that Judaism teaches us to take care of ourselves in order that we can then always be in a place and state of mind to perform acts of G’milut Chasadim.” (acts of loving kindness) (Cantor Susan Caro on the RefornJudaism.org website)
We take care of ourselves so we can be our best self. In that spirit the Cyberletter will be taking a break in August so see you in September. Have a great summer