Today is February 23, 2018 -
When studying Jewish texts, we read the pshat or the simple meaning of the words, but then we dig a little deeper for the drash or the bigger meaning that the author is trying to convey.
The pshat of the PJ Library is to see every Jewish child on the lap of a loved one reading a Jewish book. But what is the drash?
I was so fortunate to hear the drash from the “author” (Harold Grinspoon) himself. The PJ Library is a tool to bring Jewish families together and then to connect them with the rest of the Jewish community.
A shining example of Jewish community in Northeastern New York is the Rosh Hashanah Tashlich service sponsored by the Capital District Board of Rabbis at Buckingham Pond. This year, this program will be Monday afternoon at 5:00. Several rabbis will lead a brief transdenominational service with some readings, some shofar blasting, and some metaphorically (with bread) casting of sins into the pond.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say that this is also the Jewish social event of the year. Hundreds of people will be there, representing every Albany synagogue and those not affiliated with a synagogue. People come for the short service, but also to greet old friends with warm wishes for the New Year. As a native, I look forward to seeing my elementary school friends who come home to be with their parents. Children play on the playground and the ducks are well fed.
Those who attend a synagogue outside of Albany should check with their own synagogue for a Taslich service. Buckingham Pond is, of course, public and open to all.
So, back to the goals of PJ Library–bringing families together with each other and then connecting them with the larger community–we are hosting a PJ Tashlich at 4:30, before the 5:00 main event. Everyone is welcome to a very-young-child friendly service and story-time. Older siblings will have an opportunity to hang out at the park while parents will get to snack and schmooze with each other. Please see the flyer below or our website for details. We hope to see you there.