On November 28th, Jewish Family Service partnered with Rabbi Laurie Rice and Cantor Josh Goldberg to provide a Community Healing Circle. Community members came together in prayer, song, and meditation to share feelings, honor loved ones lost and to support families who have loved ones serving in the IDF.
The night was filled with a common love for Israel and a common concern about Jews everywhere. We could feel the emotions, and everyone understood what the other was experiencing without words. One of the most powerful moments of the evening was when the Torah was passed from person to person in the circle. We watched families personally affected by the war and others who carry the generational trauma of the Jewish people carefully holding it with tears in their eyes. Many of us were brought to tears. We lit a candle for the safety of several lone soldiers in the IDF from Nashville. We read a poem by Amy Wine “I do not live in Israel” that perfectly put into words the connection of Jews to Israel. You can read the poem here- https://ritualwell.org/ritual/...
Judy Saks stated it was the first time since October 7 that she had felt at ease. “I needed that event. I was feeling so distressed and stressed that it gave me time to breathe.” It still brings tears to her eyes as she recalls her experience.
Pam Kelner stated, “I helped prepare for the event as part of JFS, but I did not realize how much I needed the Healing Circle until I was there. It was a break from the frantic, busy few weeks and a time for healing. The entire experience was cathartic.”
Words can fail us in times of tragedy. Rabbi Laurie Rice and Cantor Josh Goldberg beautifully led the group through prayer and song. It was a sacred moment in a stressful time and one we are grateful to have been a part of.
Toni Jacobsen and Ashley Franklin
Licensed Clinical Social Workers at JFS
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