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Flowers on the Bima - Chayai Sarah

on Thu, 11/13/2014 - 17:23

Chayai Sarah.


Chayai Sarah describes the meeting of the servant looking for a wife for Isaac arriving at the well and Rebecca, the perfect choice for Isaac’s wife, offering kindness to the stranger and his animals.

The vase looks like water, it holds bamboo, the preferred choice of Rabbi Matthew Berger, as he is installed this evening as our Rabbi at CBSW.

The shaped bamboo in front of the vase, a symbol of flexibility and good luck, will reside on Rabbi’s desk as a token of this evening.

 “The meaning of a yellow rose stands for joy and happiness, but most of all yellow roses mean

Flowers on the Bima - Vayeira

on Thu, 11/13/2014 - 04:59


Flowers for Jack Lederman, written and designed by Jack with assistance from Rosanne Friedman  Vayera

The tall vase is like climbing a mountain, when Abraham followed God’s command, “to go forth to the land of Moriah…on one mountain that I will show you.”

I chose the blue vase because when I think of climbing a mountain, I think of it as very peaceful and blue is a very peaceful color. 

In contrast to the blue color and calm mood, the flowers are red, orange, and yellow indicating a very intense moment in the Akedah. 

The sharp shape of the flower looks like the knife that Abraham would

Flowers on the Bima - Lech L'ha

on Thu, 11/06/2014 - 18:51

The flowers form the moment of Abram, Sarai, and Lot looking over “the land that I will show you”. The vase is complicated at once sophisticated and broken, it’s surface is crazed but whole. The shape is womanly, Sarai still seeks the children she desperately wants and God proclaims to them, “I

will make you a great nation”  though she remains at this telling barren and they are must cross over in their rootlessness to find roots. The flowers, three main stems for Abram, Sarai, and Lot and the promise of God makes them as the flowers very full and rich.

The platter offers a discontinuity with

Flowers on the Bima - B'reshet

on Wed, 10/15/2014 - 19:48

The two stories of creation in the beginning of Genesis are addressed in the flowers this week.  The vase and silver curly willow create a tree like shape, in the center is the snake as a character in the story of Adam and Eve. The other story of the count of seven days are reflected in the Sunflowers for the fourth day of creation with the gift of the sun. The cali Lily speaks to the glow of the moon. The silver sphere in the first day, “Let there be light.”  As the light of the creative spark within us. 

Find the flowers in the entry of the social hall as services in the social hall include

Flowers on the Bima - Sukkot

on Mon, 10/13/2014 - 13:46

Bamboo creates a structure as a miniature Sukkah on the bima, with blue palm for covering.  The roses stand as the Ushpazin, our ancestors that we invite to join us in the sukkah. 


Rosh Hashanah Speech - We Will!

on Fri, 09/26/2014 - 02:48


High Holidays 2014

L’Shanah Tovah,

It’s wonderful to see you all here tonight, sharing the beginning of a New Year. 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee, our Staff, Ronna and I, we welcome you to CBSW.   A special welcome to our guests including Rabbi’s Family thank you for joining CBSW for these High Holy Day services.   It is an honor and privilege to serve as your Congregation President this year. 

Last May, I accepted a 2nd term as President of CBSW.

Flower on the Bima - Rosh Hashanah

on Tue, 09/23/2014 - 04:09

The Tree Vases, for the tree of life,  hold round grapevines, as the year comes round once again. Thirty six roses in each of the centers stand for the number of righteous people there are at any time. 

A Meaningful Thank you to everyone who appreciates and contributes to the flowers weekly in the sanctuary and for the High Holydays.  It is truly my pleasure to serve the community in this way.  I thank my husband and mother-in-law for enabling Lupe Cuevas to assist me in doing these flowers.

Flowers on the Bima - Nitzavim

on Fri, 09/19/2014 - 14:33

n Moses’ closing remarks as the Israelites cross to the promised land without him, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse.  CHOOSE LIFE…."

The flowers stand as the Israelites, the tall blue container, as the color of being Jewish.  The sunflowers for the command, “CHOOSE LIFE!”  The Hebrew writing on the silk fabric echoes this command.

Flowers on the Bima - Ki Tavo

on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 21:31

Flowers for Ki Tavo

The baskets are mentioned in this parsha bringing fruit to offer in the thanksgiving ritual of bringing harvest offerings to Adonai’s “one place”.  The colors of the flowers as the colors of fruit are a symbol of this offering.

The rocks, with a Shin written in plaster, mentioned for the covenant ritual to be performed as soon as the Israelites reach the promised land. The Israelites are commanded to set up large stones and coat them with plaster, on the stones they must inscribe all of the words of “this Torah”.  The letter Shin is a symbol of God.  

The blessings and curses

Torah on One Foot - Ki Tavo

on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 21:20

Torah On One Foot: An Explanation

There is a story about Hillel and Shammai, twoleading rabbis of the 1st century. They would debate matters of ritual practice, ethics, and theology. One day a potential Jew by choice came before Shammai and said, “Teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” Shammai chased the student away. The same student went before Hillel and said, “Convert me.” Hillel said, “What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary; go and learn it.” [Talmud, Shabbat]



This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo means, “When