For centuries Christians have dedicated the first Sunday in October to St. Francis of Assisi. Due to this saints gentleness and association with animals, every year this day has been celebrated with a special blessing over the Animals.
Respect for animal life is part of the moral sensitivity that makes us human as well as a central tenet in Judaism. Our increasing attention to the environment and ecological issues makes it imperative that we express this in our community as well.
It has long been the message of our tradition that we are all creatures of God. Nothing is expendable. We read in the Midrash:
The rabbis said: Even those creatures you deem redundant in this world like flies, bugs and gnats, nevertheless have their allotted task in the scheme of creation, as it says: 'And God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good'. Rabbi Aha ben Hanina explained this verse thusly: Even those creatures deemed unnecessary in the world, like serpents and scorpions, still have their definite place in the scheme of creation.
To express our renewed connection with the natural world we have created an Animal/Pet Service for the Shabbat morning we read the story of Noah. There is no better time to reflect on our role in the preservation life, than the week in which we read these chapters from the Torah.
This service is an opportunity to celebrate our relationship with the animal world, pray for the well being of all God’s creatures, as well as remember special pets that have died.
Last year we were joined by over a dozen dogs, and a few terrified rabbits and cats. This year we hope to have at least one horse, some birds, and perhaps some other surprise guests. We encourage you to bring any and all animals, but also bring a leash if applicable. If you thought children were noisy at services you ain't seen nothing yet.
BRING YOUR PETS AND ANIMAL FRIENDS TO THIS UNIQUE OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE.
PARSHAT NOACH, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 10:00 AM
THIS YEAR FEATURING ANIMAL FRIENDS FROM
“THE GENTLE BARN”