CBS is creating a Shekhinah committee to serve and engage our community during times of need. Please consider joining, as this program will bring our Beth Sholom community closer.
Shekhinah means the presence of G-d on earth, or a symbol or manifestation of His presence. When we act as a shakhen (neighbor) in fulfilling good deeds in service to others, we make ourselves and our community worthy of G-d dwelling with us.
The Shekhinah Program will be multi-faceted in order to engage in tikkun olum with members in our community during their time of need, including:
• Chevra Kadisha: support mourners with home visits, food and shiva minyanim
• Friendly visitors (phone and /or in person) to homebound people
• Visits and assistance to those who are ill at home or in rehabilitation facilities
• Provide transportation assistance to synagogue or medical appointments
• Support to new parents
We will provide volunteer training. If the Shekhinah Program activities and mission resonate with you, please contact Marsha Glantz or call 415.564.4801.
A note about Shekhinah from Rabbi Ain
The shekhinah – as the presence of God in this world is a neighbor (shakhen or shechunah – neighborhood), comes from the same root as neighbor – Shin, Caf, Nun. In the midrash it says that “God seeks first of all to dwell on earth together with people.”
Rabbi Hirsch says the following about Shekhinah:
“It is noteworthy that shachen means “to dwell” and also “to be a neighbor.” This suggests an exalted social concept. In Hebrew language expression, “to dwell” means “to be a neighbor.” When a person chooses a dwelling place, he must also allow his fellow man space for a dwelling place. Without a neighbor (shachen), there can be no true dwelling (Shechon).
"This conception of schikhinah applies also to the dwelling of God’s Presence with people. God draws near to us, but does not encroach upon the human sphere; we are allowed to develop in accordance with our own free will, as people on earth. God becomes the neighbor of man, and man the neighbor of God, but they do not merge.”
“Our task is to make use of the intellect and the freedom God has given us, in the earthly sphere which God has assigned to us; to serve God faithfully, conscientiously, and with a clear mind. Only thus will we attain the highest perfection a person can reach; only thus will our actions be sanctified, and will we be worthy of God’s closeness.”