Sim Shalom Online Synagogue and Rabbi Steven Blane are proud to include all members of the family in its services. We are Jewish Universalist and welcome all….pets are no exception. On Friday, November 1st everyone is invited to a Blessing of the Animals service online at 7:00pm EST. You can join online and chat virtually with Rabbi Blane by going to the website or Facebook page at simshalom1.
The Blessing of the Animals fosters the loving relationship between all G–d’s creatures. Animals are widely recognized as helping and supporting humans and it is imperative in G-ds plan that we care for them. Holding the blessing service at the beginning of the Jewish new year reaffirms our covenant of compassion and kindness. It also corresponds with reading the book of Noah in the Jewish calendar.
While the tradition had its beginnings in Catholicism as a day to remember St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, congregations of all denominations, including Jews, now celebrate the specialness of all creatures. St. Francis (1182-1226) was a monk who founded the contemporary order of Franciscans. He was known for his vow of poverty and his special connection to animals, among many other things.
According to Rabbi Blane, “There are holy sparks in all creatures. Our pets bring much comfort and joy to us, especially for those who are alone or ill. Pet therapy and service animals are valuable resources in our society. Let’s give thanks for all that our creatures do for us. “