🗓 Events




Meeka’s Mocha is BACK!

Make sure to join us Monday’s at 10am!

Meeka’s Mocha on Hiatus

Meeka’s Mocha is taking a brief hiatus until Monday August 10th!



CoronaVirusBeGone! #12 6/10/2020
El Na Refa Na La (Numbers: 12:13)
God, Please, Heal HerGod Please Heal Us
This week, I am choosing to write and sing about Healing. One line from this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Be’Ha’alotcha , inspired me to do so. “Why?” one may ask, and my answer is that I cannot think of a better topic to discuss this week other than Moses’s profound shouting onto God thousands of years ago, begging for his beloved sister Miriam to be cured of the skin disease she became afflicted with: “ El Na Refa Na La God, Please, heal her!”
Also, since this Friday we are having our annual Rafes Awards ceremony, instead of my weekly Dvar Torah, we will all celebrate one of our outstanding members for her many years of volunteering at TBT, in ceremonial speeches that will uplift our souls for Shabbat (more details to come, so please stay tuned).
Be’ha’alotcha describes the journey of the exhausted Israelites, through harsh and unforgiving conditions of the Sinai dessert. It describes the physically and emotionally drained group of people, facing challenges that would deteriorate and break any human’s trust, as well as mental and physical stability. We are told of constant bitterness, complaints, and unrest among our ancient People, which resulted in rebellion, followed by a deadly plague.
This chain of events eventually drove siblings Aaron and Miriam to challenge, in public, their brother Moses’s leadership. Miriam, who spoke out loud, was punished for the slandering of her brother Moses: a sudden skin-scale type of disease, in Hebrew called Tzara’at צרעת, appeared on her skin, and she was forced into exile from the rest of camp.
Upon his sister becoming gravely ill, Moses reacted quickly without hesitation; he prayed fiercely on her behalf, begging God to grant Miriam healing and save her from death. Five words is all that Moses was able to utter: El Na Refa Na La. God heard Moses’s cry and healed Miriam after she was sent for 7 days in isolation outside the camp, in harsh desert conditions of quarantine.
Life, sometimes, throws unpredictable curveballs our way, which can appear to be simply too hard for us to handle. These challenging days our own aggravation can drive us to make ourselves sick in a desert-like environment of isolation. El na, refa na la. Simple, yet raw and clear, this prayer of healing reminds us that sometimes we can simply stop what we are doing and pray to God for healing, just like we do every Friday evening during our Mi She’Berach list and song. This is called “letting go and letting God.” And, I believe that God does hear us.
I have decided to record myself and share with you today four different melodies by different contemporary composers: prayers for healing that you don’t need to wait for shabbat to access. You can always tap into and sing/pray along, or simply just listen while having your own “private conversation with God.”
1) El Na Re’fa Na LaNumbers 12:13. Melody: Cantor Jeff Klepper El Na Refa Na La. God, Please, heal her Click here to watch and listen
2) Mi SheberachMelody: by Debbie Friedman Mi shebeirach avoteinu, m’kor habracha l’imoteinuMay the source of strength, who blessed the ones before usHelp us find the courage, to make our lives a blessing,And let us say, Amen.Mi shebeirach imoteinu, m’kor habracha l’avoteinuBless those in need of healing, with r’fu-ah sh’lei’mah:The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit,And let us say: Amen. Click here to watch and listen

3) Mi Sh’Berach (A Song of Healing)Words and music by Cantor Lisa Levine Mi she’berach avoteinu, Avraham, Yitzhak, ve’Yaakov.Mi she’berach imoteinu, Sarah, Rivkah, Leah, Ve’Rachel.May the One who blessed our Mothers,May the One who blessed our Fathers, Hear our Prayer and bless us as well. Bless us with the power of Your healing,Bless us with the power of Your hope.May our hearts be filled with understanding,And strengthened by the power of Your love. Click here to watch and listen
4) Heal Us NowBased on Numbers 12:13, Psalm 28:9, 85:10, 118:25 and 145:18Music and English by Leon Sher Re’fa’ei’nu Adonai ve’ne’ra’fe, Ho’shi’ei’nu ve’ni’va’she’ahEl ka’rov le’chol ko’r’av, Ach ka’rov liy’re’av, yish’o We pray for healing of the body, we pray for healing of the soulFor strength of flesh and mind and spirit, we pray to once again be whole El Na Refa Na, oh please, heal us nowRe’fu’at ha’ne’fesh, u’re’fuat ha’guf, Re’fua sh’le’maHeal us now Ho’shia et amecha, u’varech et na’cha’la’te’cha, u’re’em ve’nas’em ad ha’olamMi she’berach a’vo’tei’nu, mi she’be’rach I’mo’teinu, a’na Adonai ho’shi’a na. We pray for healing of our people, we pray for healing of the landAnd peace for every race and nation, every child every woman every man. Click here to watch and listen

Wishing everyone health, health, health! L’echayim (to life!) and Zei Gezunt (be healthy, in Yiddish) 
Please be in touch!
With love,
Rabbi Meeka

CVBG Videos 20200609


CoronaVirus Be Gone#11


Rabbi Dresner Historic Library Lecture Series

Rabbi Dresner will deliver talks inspired by
his extensive library, now housed at TBT
The subject Rabbi selected for the first lecture is,
“Transition from Sephardic Leaders to Ashkenasi Leadership”
Tuesday June 9th
1:00-3:00 pm
Join the Zoom discussion by clicking on this link.


CoronaVirusBeGone! #9   5/20/2020

Yes, we ARE OK!

As challenging as these days of quarantine have been, I find comfort and frankly, a re-invigoration of creative forces I have not encountered since I embarked on the path of clergy-hood. In so many ways, this weird and strange time has enabled me to be more creative and feel a sense of “togetherness” even when apart. Here are a few of the MANY “blessings of separation” I’ve experienced in the age of COVID-19:

1. We’ve worshiped online with our local Jewish community and beyond.Although livestreamed services are not quite the same as worshipping in person, I’ve cherished the opportunity to virtually visit with many of you … And I am so thrilled to see so many of your “sheina punims” each Friday, and on Monday Morning’s Rabbi Meeka Mocha’s Ethical topics that we discuss each week (contemporary Talmud/Mishna). I have been enjoying showing up for a variety of Committee Meetings (yes…full disclosure…sometimes in my jammies…), for interfaith offerings…. I’m glad, oh so glad we have been able to come together this way!

2. We’re getting to know our neighbors… from afar.We have had delightful conversations – at a safe distance, of course – with many neighbors in our quiet Pines Lake neighborhood. I’ve been walking with Oreo, who always seems to draw so much attention and squeals of joy from everyone who sees him…but a friendly nod shows that we all understand the need to remain at least six feet apart, so we either cross the street or move aside to let someone else pass.

3. I’ve been able to reconnect with family and friends across the globe.The magic of Zoom (or as Cantor Romalis called it “Zoomish” – a Jewish Zoom) has enabled me to connect with my family and friends from Israel, and my nephew who lives in Germany. Dave and I have been connecting with our old friends from California, our non-blood relatives. In our typically global society, it can be hard to keep up with people who live in other time zones – but since days and nights have blurred the boundaries of “time”, COVID-time is somewhat more flexible than the ‘old normal’.One way to nurture ourselves in this reality – is keeping busyBusy busy busy! I have kept myself busy by thinking and coming up with programs for our temple; our Thursdays’ Rabbi Meeka’s Mocha has been a successful form for discussions about variety of ethical topics.
And this Thursday – our first installment of 

our Thoughtful Thursdays: Exploring the Jewish Landscape of Learning program (Thanks again, Joyce Fein!). Join our TBT family every Thursday evening from 7:00-8:00 pm via Zoom to explore a variety of topics with a different speaker each week. As a group, we will enjoy learning about current events, special hobbies, artistic expressions, and so much more. Each topic will be unique, and each time we come together to study, it will be special and different!Kick Off Session: Thursday, May 21, with Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan who will discuss Rabbi Herbert Weiner’s book 9½ Mystics: How the Reform movement began accepting Kabbalah, the most influential work for those seeking a spiritual path into Judaism at a time when conventional Judaism did not emphasize non-rational approaches.

In closing, despite the thousands of miles of distance between us, we’re all feeling the impact of this pandemic. And although we may physically be alone in our individual homes at this time, we can still choose to remain connected through this collective experience and memory of being part of this extraordinary time in the history of humanity – a light that will shine brightly so long as we continue to nurture it.
Wishing everyone health, health, health! L’echayim (to life!) and Zei Gezunt (be healthy, in Yiddish) 
Please be in touch! With love,

Rabbi Meeka