Monday, June 29 - 7 PM - Israeli Scouts performance!!
Thursday, July 2 - 12 noon - Torah Thursday. We are studying Deuteronomy. Brown Bag Lunch.
Friday, July 3 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, July 4 - 9:30 AM - Shabbat Services and Torah Study followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
26 Dennis Coelho
28 Harriett Gardner
29 Marv Wolf
30 Carol Serelson
Weekly Message from our Board President
June 29, 2015
It started with a picnic. It was a simple thing, really. Just folks getting together to share a meal and enjoy each other’s company on the 4th of July. But the picnic was scheduled for Shabbat, and that quickly grew to a major controversy within our Congregation.
The issue was not serving food on Shabbat. We have an Oneg after services Friday night and Saturday morning. And for special occasions, such as a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, the food served can be quite extensive and a full meal.
It wasn’t the location where the food was served. If a Bar or Bat Mitzvah or other special occasion took place during the summer months, the family might want to serve the food in the back yard of the Synagogue instead of indoors.
The issue was calling it a picnic and holding a Synagogue picnic on Shabbat. Last week, several highly respected members of the Congregation, including Dorothy Feldman, Helen Zigmond, and Marv and Toma Wolf, came to the Board of Directors meeting to express the concerns of a segment of our Congregation. They were articulate, informative, and persuasive, and the Board of Directors decided to cancel the picnic as a result.
That led to a broader discussion. The original plans for the picnic were a concern for some of our members, and the Board of Directors would like to avoid that in the future.
We are not an affiliated Congregation, and so we do not follow one movement and exclude the desires and wishes of the others. We try to serve everyone, whether they be Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, or one of the smaller segments of Judaism. But what is acceptable to one group may not be acceptable to another, and that was the focus of discussion among the Board of Directors.
Moving forward, the Board is going to be more sensitive to the various parts of our community, and more careful in scheduling events and activities. We’ll be relying on the guidance of our Rabbi to help with those decisions.
We have some sad news to report. Jason Bloomberg’s mother passed away late last week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jason and his family at this most difficult time.
Hamakom y'nachem etchem b'toch avlei zion virushalayim.
May the Source of All send comfort and support to all who mourn.
The Jewish Federation has rescheduled its guest speaker for Sunday, August 9. The speaker will be renowned Israeli journalist Gil Tamary. Tamary has interviewed American presidents and Israeli Prime Ministers, and will give us an inside view on events in the Middle East. The event will begin with a dinner followed by Tamary’s talk, and an address by Danny Nathanson, the Executive Director of the Jewish Federations of North America. We’ll have more details as we get closer to the date.
Here’s our Yiddish Phrase of the Week:
Di zun shaynt far itlekhn umzist.
The sun shines on everyone for free.
Mt. Sinai Board of Directors
Torah Tidbits from Rabbi Larry Moldo
The Torah portion this week is perplexing, at best. Over the years I have developed a way of looking at it which makes the most sense I have seen yet. (which is not to keep something I have yet to see make even more sense - it just hasn't happened yet)
In a nutshell, when a red heifer is born, if it remains without something that would render it unacceptable, it is brought to the central gathering place, slaughtered and burned. The ashes are gathered and ground to a powder, which is then saved until it is needed to help those who need a bit more assistance in becoming ritually pure. Along the way, everyone involved in the process of creating this ritually purifying powder becomes ritually impure, at least until the sun sets - and some of them have to do some laundry and take a shower to finalize their journey from ritual impurity to ritual purity.
So what gives? How does the substance which provides ritual purity also provide ritual impurity? And why?
The how I have no clue about. The why, however -
Listen. It would be really easy for the priests to become sanctimonious, and to look down their noses at all the poor plebes who come by whining because they are ritually impure. "Why can't they live holy lives?" the priests might say. "These idiots are always doing something stupid which makes them ritually impure." he might further think. This is not conducive to positive interactions.
So God provided a solution. The priests cannot avoid becoming ritually impure themselves. Since they also share that particular state, there is no call to demean anyone else who arrives at that state.
Imagine, for example, that each Prison Warden and worker must spend 2 months every year incognito in somebody else's prison. How much better might the conditions be, if everyone knew that some of the prisoners were actually colleagues? What if part of continuing medical training involved going to a different state and becoming a patient? What if the insurance overseers also had to do this - and you could not become an insurance overseer unless you had a medical problem? How much more humane might those systems become?
On a different note - our sympathies to all those who have lost loved ones over the past week or so - whether the incident made it into the headlines or the social media feeds, or not; may the day soon come that every Sanctuary is indeed considered a sanctuary, even by those who would otherwise lash out and violently harm others.