On the first day of Rosh HaShanah, the community known as Beit Midrash Ohr HaChaim in the Bay Area was treated to the following words written by Rabbi Chanan Feld, which his wife, Jody, read to the congregation because her husband is fighting a serious illness. More on that below…

Thoughts on Rosh HaShana
By Rabbi Chanan Feld

Chanan Feld teachingWe’re asked to be expansive. Peer and project far
beyond for another 365 days.
Another cycle of limudim, moadim, parshiot, life cycle
Posture of hope, confidence…our tshuva wil be
accepted….This is just the beginning!

The polar extreme of being consumed by the moment,
the focus on each breath, sometimes every mili-second.
Sometimes those moments on the other side of
our time and space.

Is it the dreamer’s imagination, flying unfettered
over the days to come
Or the mindful one mining the moment of now,
who experiences the true pulse?

Rosh HaShannah is the head of a circle
No beginning, no end
From “briat HaOlam” to the “geulah shleimah,” one
continuous flow

Eternity in each present, a year in each day,
the entire universe in each second.

What will be our year to come?

Take a moment….Gaze on a loved one.
Appreciate your community,
Your surroundings, the kedushah of Shabbat
and Yom Tov.

Take a moment and feel my love for each and everyone
whose help, tehillim, tefillot, concern allowed me to
write this. One whose humbled spirit feels utterly
grateful to all

That’s what our year will be, the eternally
present love of HaShem.
That’s the moment of your now and year to come.

Shana Tova Umetukah.
May Our Righteous Redeemer usher in Redemption
for Klal B’nei Yisroel

B’ahavah! (with love)


Thoughts on Rabbi Chanan Feld

HaRav Chanan Velvel Simcha ben Bryna is fighting an aggressive case of oral cancer. For decades, Rabbi Feld, his wife and their three children have been as astounding resource for Jews both living in and passing through the region. The Feld home, has been one of only relatively few “go-to homes” in the San Francisco area for uplifting, fun, warm and welcoming Shabbos meals for huge crowds of all kinds of Jews–unaffiliated, religious, formerly frum, becoming frum, Israeli, foreign, exploring…you name it (!!!) all across the spectrum.

Because so many guests, “repeat customers” and virtual strangers have passed through their doors, the Felds have had an immeasurable positive influence on Jews literally throughout the world. Both Chanan and Jody are co-founders of Beit Midrash Ohr HaChaim, a beloved center for tefillot, community, meals and learning that I have been blessed to be affiliated with since its origin 10 years ago. For all this time and more, the Felds have been my dear friends who are much more like family than friends. I can’t even count how many Shabbatot and holidays I’ve spent with them: innumerable Shabbos dinners, lunches, third meals, sedarim, Sukkot meals… my own spirituality has grown so much because of their example, inspiration, teachings and friendship.

But what’s truly amazing is that this story is not only mine. It is shared by hundreds, if not thousands of Jews who have spent time in their company. That’s because the Felds are gifted Torah teachers and examples of Jewish values; a meal at their home means feeling not only welcome, but guided, taught, uplifted and loved. Today, there are Yidden of all stripes — including chasidic, modern, Litvish, Skver, Carlebachian Jews… — that they have informed and inspired who are now living throughout California, Israel and around the world. In short, they are paragons of chesed/kindness, Torah and Ahavat Yisrael – love for their fellow Jews. There really aren’t enough words to describe the difference they make in the Jewish world.

Rabbi Feld has performed bris-es throughout the Pacific, from Anchorage to Alaska, for more than 20 years. And many friends and others who have benefited from the Felds legendary open door policy, hospitality and friendship.

Because his health is in such serious condition, time is of the essence. Any help you could lend would be a great chesed. If you’d like to contribute to the Feld Fund in any way, with words of encouragement, prayers, financial contributions… please visit the community site: http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com/c/617304/.

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Lisa Klug

Wordie. Foodie. Jewie. Nerdie. Ashkefardic keyboard addict. Visit me at lisaklug.com, on my travels and in the pages of my books, "Hot Mamalah: The Ultimate Guide for Every Woman of the Tribe," and "Cool Jew: The Ultimate Guide for Every Member of the Tribe."