As I write these words I am a week away from taking possession of the first copy of Sippin' on Top of the World. .. Toasting Good Times and Better Days. This book is a written culmination of a more than 20 year dream of writing a book that would translate Jewish values and principles into secular application.
The connecter between wine, spirituality and Judaism is the word I refer to all the time: Kadosh. Your purpose in this world from God's perspective: make as many moments holy as you can. The way you honor the official holy moments is with wine or grape juice.
It is easy to extend the blessings of holiness into every day ordinary contexts when you raise glasses of wine in a toast and exchange good wishes. Judaism's goal and WineSpirit's intent is to encourage and facilitate pausing to see and celebrate the holy and learn more from each others' stories.
I was frustrated that a process of shaping material, I had already written, turned a few months into two years (so what's another week? Right now, Eternity!). Yet, I realized a few days ago that it was a blessing that it was coming out now in that it fits right in with President Obama's Leadership in defining spirituality in the everyday experience of rejoicing in the moment where you are doing and being good and bringing that energy into and out of others.
The book's coming out in May gives me an extra measure of appreciation for our upcoming Pilgrimage Festival of Shavuot, celebrating the gift of Torah. Each year we must choose to accept it as if to redo the Covenant and acknowledge our ongoing commitment to partnership with God despite how we have changed. In celebrating the gift of Torah we bring our sacred past alive in connecting ancient teaching with modern conditions and insights of today and yesterday.
Along with my excitement about Sippin' on Top of the World is my delight to share with you special plans for our Shavuot celebration. Friday evening, May 29, we will have our service and study honoring Shabbat and the gift of Torah beginning at 8PM. Then the next morning May 30, we will celebrate Shabbat and Shavuot at Diamond Creek Vineyard in Calistoga with our friends from Napa's Congregation Beth Sholom starting at 10:30 AM with an informal outdoor service. Bring picnic lunch, swimming gear and towel and enjoy the whole day in the most beautiful vineyard grounds in the Napa Valley with beautiful gardens, waterfalls, a lake for boating and a swimming pool nestled in the vineyards of one of the world's great growers of Cabernet Sauvignon.
In celebrating harvests and new beginnings, one for us all to be thankful for are the fruits of our own growth this year and the wonderful ways we have enriched each other.
So much to celebrate in the gift of Torah and I look forward to doing so in all our different ways.