"It’s cold out there!” I write these words to you as the temperature dips into the mid-teens and lower. The phrase “its cold out there” can be understood in several ways. The most obvious way has to do with the temperature. When the number of degrees dips, many of us prefer to stay home and stay warm, and thus disengage from going out and participating in the life of the community. “Its cold out there ”can also be taken as a metaphor for the society we live in. Itisincreasingly aworld where each of us stands alone, unconnected and uncared for, our lives not shared, our personhood un-recognized,and whoweareexperienced byfewifanyatall. Itisthecoldnessoftheworldaround us that has, on a societal scale, led to the despair that feeds today’s epidemic of drugs and alcohol, that has led to the increase in the death rate and lowering of life expectancy that marks our country today. The answer to the cold is of course to get warm. Warmth is not only about putting on an additional sweater or raising the thermostat a few degrees. It is about sharing our story with those who want to listen. It is about shared values and shared heritage that joins us to people with whom we share beliefs and/or life stories. It is about finding others who care about us and our struggles. our pains and ourjoys.Itisalsoaboutfindingacauseorasetofbeliefsthatgiveourlivesmeaning,purposeand direction. Where do we find the warmth we seek, both physically and metaphorically? It is of course at our synagogue, Temple Emanu-El. Some of those who attend regularly have said that they have found their “family” at Temple Emanu-El, that it provides that caring and nurturing plaice that they find lacking elsewhere. They have told me that it’s one of the few truly warm places they experience. During the winter, many of our people have departed for warmer climes. There are also others who just can’t get out because of the winter weather. It is all the more important that all of us make an effort to support Judaism and our Jewish identities by attending services and making sure that we have a minyan on Friday night and Shabbat morning. I invite you all, especially those who intend infrequently. to come and get outof the cold by making your way toTemple Emanu-El to experience the warmth of Jewish living.