Annual Shabbat provides hope to women with breast cancer
CARE Shabbat. It’s a Shabbat that goes a step further than just bringing awareness to breast cancer. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. However, millions of women are surviving due to one simple thing … early detection.
Whether a woman is attempting to reduce the risk of breast cancer or increase the chances of finding it early, she needs to get tested. That is the goal of CARE Shabbat, which was launched by Congregation B’nai Moshe of West Bloomfield in October 2014.
CARE stands for “Congregations Advocating Regular Exams” and is a way to provide women with the support and testimonies of hope from survivors — a powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer.
This year’s speaker at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the shul is Sarah Yerke of the American Cancer Society.
In the inaugural year of CARE Shabbat, B’nai Moshe invited Shabbat attendees to come to synagogue dressed in pink to show they care. The sanctuary and Kiddush were decked out in pink and a survivor, Lisa Soble Siegmann, spoke from the bimah of her story of beating cancer when she learned through testing that cancer might actually be beating her.
All in attendance who had battled breast cancer, are currently battling breast cancer or who had been directly affected by a friend or family member with breast cancer were invited on to the bimah where the rabbi recited a special prayer of healing and the entire congregation joined in singing Debbie Friedman’s “Mi Shebeirach.” The bimah was full, and it was a wonderful feeling of family, of support, of community.
As inaugural keynote speaker Soble Siegmann explained why she was speaking, she quoted Talmud: “If you save one person, it’s as if you have saved the world.” There is no doubt her actions, along with those of B’nai Moshe, saved many worlds that Shabbat.
B’nai Moshe has been honored to have had other CARE Shabbat speakers, such as renowned author and speaker Geralyn Lucas, noted breast cancer surgeon Eric Brown and Arlene Haber, who lost her daughter to cancer.
Geralyn Lucas was a driving force, along with B’nai Moshe Executive Director Steven Fine, in making this a global initiative.
Congregation B’nai Moshe invites all congregations to join the mission in 2017 by showing they CARE.