Union for Reform Judaism Member Congregation

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pink-shabbatThis week we turn back to the beginning of the Torah upon the dawn of Creation and the appearance of humanity on Earth. “And God created man and woman in the image of God; male and female, God created them, and God blessed them.”

This is a lovely and poetic account of how we as human beings came to be, and we generally accept it as our particular creation myth, as one among a myriad of other creation myths in different cultures and literary traditions. The account, of course, is relatively simplistic.

Our reality as human beings, of course, is far from simplistic. We recognize the complexities of the evolutionary process, and the potential for human growth. Yet we also recognize that among the complexities of human reality is the potential for things to go wrong. One of the most present for us in our lives today is cancer. A chance mutation of otherwise healthy cells, a random chink in a chain of DNA, and we find ourselves facing a horrifying diagnosis and the prospect of potentially grueling medical treatments as we fight to save ourselves. Yet, with the ever-expanding possibilities of medical science, many of us can and do save ourselves! And sometimes, unfortunately, we can’t. It is a fight that continues for us as individuals, and for our society at large.

This month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One of the chief aims of marking this month is to remind us to get ourselves to our doctors for checkups! The other is to make us aware of the possibilities for treatment and network of support for women, and for men. Breast and ovarian cancer are both diseases that often can be more effectively treated with early detection, and they both can potentially be detected through genetic testing and counseling, in addition to more conventional testing procedures.

We at Union Temple will mark this very critical month with “Pink Shabbat,” on Friday, October 28. Kabbalat Shabbat begins as usual at 6:30PM. Dinner follows at 7:30PM, for which we ask a $10 contribution. Then at 8:30PM, we will hear from Sophia Benshloush, a Brooklyn resident, who will speak to us on behalf of Sharsheret, an outstanding organization that addresses the issues of breast and ovarian cancer particularly as they effect Jewish women and the larger Jewish community. Sophia herself is a survivor, and we are delighted to welcome her to Union Temple.