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Dear Chaverim and Chaverot of Beth El,

As we move into Shabbat, I would like to share with you my great joy at having been chosen by you to become your Rabbi. I look forward to moving to Phoenix this summer, and joining you in the holy work of building and strengthening your–and now our–community.

In VaYikra 19:2, God tells the Israelites:

קְדֹשִׁ֣ים תִּהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃ – “You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God am holy.”

We are created in the image of God. Divine holiness wants to come forth in our life and in our community through our being and our deeds. A few weeks back, we read how all of B’nei Israel, how all the Israelites, contributed with their own talents and gifts to create the Mishkan, the dwelling place of God, among them.

I am excited to bring my Torah to you and for us to learn from each other, to get to know you and encounter your gifts and talents, so that we can continue to grow as a community and keep creating a space where we can dwell together as a holy community, celebrating and sharing our journey through life together.

With blessings for a Shabbat of Shalom,

Rabbi Nitzan Stein Kokin

May 3rd, 2019