Tools for Elul: Marian Allen

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The Rodef Shalom Caring Committee is growing. Our committee's mission is to provide care to one another during times of struggle, loss and celebration. One way we will fulfill this mission is by reaching out with comforting visits and phone calls to people in need. The essence of comforting another is slowing down, listening, being present and empathic. In our fast-paced world, these small acts become big challenges. Please consider joining our committee by signing up at (You may also use this e-mail to request support for yourself or another.)

We really need you! Your only credential is your kindness. Caring is a human enterprise. It is, of course, our friends, family, neighbors and sometimes strangers who comfort us. But, sometimes we use other resources: animals, books, movies, or music to help get us through hard times. As we commit to becoming a Caring community, I thought I'd share with you some of the things that comfort me during difficult times. Here are some of the resources that give me hope, reminding me of the goodness in the world:

  • Shabbat

  • Nature

  • Movies: Love Actually, The Sound of Music, LaLaLand, Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, You've Got Mail, The Soloist, The Sandlot, Field of Dreams, Chariots of Fire

  • Books: Any Poetry by Mary Oliver, The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Necessary Losses by Judith Viorst

  • Music: Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Carole King, the Cello, the score of any Broadway musical

  • And: Reading with children, browsing in bookstores, Jigsaw puzzles, Scrabble, Cooking, On Being Podcast, Desert Island Discs Podcast. Hiking, Riding Bicycles, Crossword Puzzles, Soup, Knitting

I invite you to make and share your own list. You will find, as I did, that you have a lot of resources to help comfort others.

Our Congregation is a sanctuary, it is a community, it is a place of comfort and connection. These are the essentials of a Caring Community. Share your goodness, become part of the Caring Committee. If not now, when?

-Marian Allen, Caring Committee Member and Congregant

Rodef Shalom