Monday, October 24 - 9:30 AM - Shmini Atzeret Services
Monday, October 24 - 11 AM - Yizkor
Monday, October 24 - 6:30 PM - Simchat Torah Hakkafot
Tuesday, October 25 - 10:30 AM to 12 noon - Simchat Torah - Torah Study.
Thursday, October 27 - 12 noon to 1 PM - Torah Thursday. Join us at Torah Thursday as we begin all over again with Genesis! We will work on understanding the text more completely with the help of Rashi (France, 1040-1105), Sforno (Italy, 1475-1550) and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (Israel, 1937 and still going). Calories and commentators - what could be better? Brown Bag Lunch.
Friday, October 28 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, October 29 - 9:30 to 11:30 AM - Shabbat Services and Torah study followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Sunday, October 30 - 1 to 3 PM - Jewish and Israeli Dancing. Please contact Mary Weinstein with any questions and/or to let her know you will be coming. Or just show up! Great exercise and great fun! Newcomers (and former dancers) are welcome any time.
Thursday, November 3 - 12 noon to 1 PM - Torah Thursday. Join us at Torah Thursday as we begin all over again with Genesis! We will work on understanding the text more completely with the help of Rashi (France, 1040-1105), Sforno (Italy, 1475-1550) and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (Israel, 1937 and still going). Calories and commentators - what could be better? Brown Bag Lunch.
Friday, November 4 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, November 5 - 9:30 to 11:30 AM - Shabbat Services and Torah study followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Sunday November 6 - Religious School cancelled.
Sunday, November 6 - 1 to 3 PM - Jewish and Israeli Dancing. Please contact Mary Weinstein with any questions and/or to let her know you will be coming. Or just show up! Great exercise and great fun! Newcomers (and former dancers) are welcome any time.
High Holyday Services
Monday, October 24 - Shmini Atzeret 9:30 a.m. Services
Monday, October 24 - Yizkor 11:00 a.m.
Monday, October 24 - Simchat Torah 6:30 p.m. Hakkafot
Tuesday, October 25 - Simchat Torah 10:30 – noon Torah Study
1 Michael Sherman
2 Sue Carlass
2 Hal Ginsburg
18 David Bloch
20 Dorothy Feldman
25 Mark Elliott
23 Ilaine Brown
24 Jaimee Sodosky
27 Helen Zigmond
28 Jeff Weinstein
31 Namaste Reid
Weekly Message from our Board President
October 24, 2016
Sukkah, we hardly knew ya! The Sukkah went up early last week, and was nicely decorated by the students in our Religious School. Our windstorm last week was not respectful of their efforts, and it huffed, and it puffed, and it blew the Sukkah down. Amazingly, the decorations stayed intact. Take a look:
That didn’t stop the Sukkot dinner or services on Friday night, though. We Wyoming Jews are a hardy bunch, and we won’t let a little wind get in our way!
We have a Bar Mitzvah coming up this weekend! Mazel Tov to our Bar Mitzvah boy, Noah Arcega. Noah has been studying very hard and plans on presenting an Orthodox service. The Rabbi has some notes about it:
I was often told when I arrived here, that the style of service is up to the leader. The coming Bar Mitvah will be co-leading the services on October 28-29. Here are some notes about the style of service he has selected.
- Services will be in the Sanctuary.
- The young man will be leading the service from the Siddur he most often uses, which is an Orthodox, all Hebrew siddur.
- Many of the melodies he will be using will be based on the ones he has heard most often, which will often be different than the ones we often use. Please follow his lead.
- The entire Torah portion will be read. The Bar Mitzvah will chant the first Aliyah according to Sephardic tradition (which is all seven days of creation) and a friend of his will chant three other aliyot. Rabbi Larry will chant the others.
There may be some other small changes noticed in the social hall, as would be normal for any celebration.
Some things will remain the same. We will be using Siddur Sim Shalom, and integrating some English readings. Rabbi Larry will translate the Torah readings after they have been completed.
We had a great visit with Scott Robinson, a local tax attorney who came to our Shalom Dinner last week. Did you know that a donation to the Synagogue could cut your adjusted gross income by as much as half? That’s just one of the interesting facts he shared.
It’s not time for movie night yet, but if you have a hankering to see a good film, the Unitarian Universalist Church is inviting our congregation over to see Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War.
Rabbi Moldo says, It is the story of Reverend Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha who have been named as Righteous Gentiles by Yad Vashem. The movie will be aired at 1 pm on Sunday, October 30. A discussion will follow the movie, noting echoes from that time in our current situation. The movie is PG-13.
A new class is starting up in a week. Here’s the description: Wednesday nights beginning November 2, from 5:30 to 6:30 will be an ongoing Adult Education course through March 8, 2017 on the books of Psalms and Proverbs. We will explore the connections and contrasts between these very different examples of Wisdom Literature.
The gauntlet has been thrown down and a challenge issued. Dave Friedberg started things off with his Jewish proverbs. Here’s one for this week:
When schnapps goes in, judgment goes out.
Babs Klein is responding to the challenge with her own submission:
When a Jewish farmer eats a chicken, one of them is sick.
Anyone else? We’re welcoming all entries.
Mt. Sinai Board of Directors
This is Rabbi Moldo's Sermon from Rosh Hashanah.
I am a writer. It is a process, every time – deciding what to write about in general, and then seeing if the words will indeed flow in such a manner that the thing I have decided to write about gets written.
I can afford to do that, since I don’t actually get paid for the writing I do. When writing is your profession, then it is pretty much a case of once you start something, you had better finish it on time.
A great writer might spend their time only on the things for which they know they will be paid, but even so, most of them (with the exception of Harlan Ellison, I have read) write, then edit, and sometimes rewrite and edit again.
I will grant you that sometimes it is easy to edit something, as it is pretty bad to begin with. At times, however, there is a wonderful sentence, paragraph, storyline or even chapter which just doesn’t need to be there. It is a wonderful set of words, but it doesn’t do such a wonderful job when combined with all the other words on the page.
So the editor (sometimes it is you, but often it is somebody else) tells you to bring the text, along with your word processor or your pen, and hack at the underbrush. You didn’t even realize there was any underbrush there, but you trust the editor, and bring this thing you have (hopefully) come to love to a hatchet job.
Poems are not people. Even prose isn’t people.
Yet we can grow enamored of what we have created. And sometimes what we have created needs a bit of pruning, but we can’t always see it.
Writers are often taught to look at their works as if somebody else had written it, and slash away.
Abraham is not given that option. He takes Isaac, whom he knows he had something to do with, to a mountain to start slashing – something.
What is there that needs to be slashed?
Abraham is not really a family man, in the sense we think of. He enjoys his family as they are the fulfillment of God’s promise to him – but they are not the reason he gets up in the morning. God, and increasing awareness of God, is.
So let me tell you a slightly different story that could even have been the one meant to be here.
Sarah woke up for the tenth morning in a row, having had strange thoughts during the night. The only thing she could grab onto from those thoughts is that they had something to do with Isaac. On the eleventh morning, a phrase stuck in her mind. “It is time to let go of Isaac.”
Let go of Isaac? What did that mean? How was it even possible to let go of your first, only, beloved child who was named because of what you did? In what way could this even happen?
Isaac saw his mother looking a bit more puzzled than usual.
“Mom, you look kind of puzzled.”
“I think I am trying to think of something, but I have no clear idea of what it might be. Well, you don’t have to worry about my puzzlement. I am sure I will figure it out eventually.”
“You know Mom, when Dad and I have trouble figuring out what we are thinking of, we take a small trip.”
“Where do you go?”
“That’s part of the fun. We never know until we get there. Maybe the two of us could go on the same kind of trip, and when we get to the right place, you can figure out what you are thinking of.”
So Isaac, who had some experience at this, gathered a lot of stuff to put on the donkeys for their trip. Sarah wound up bringing a few other things – just in case. An axe in case they ran into a bush, and some wood in case they needed a fire, and some rope in case one of them fell down into a pit somewhere.
Isaac saw all these items. After a while, he said, “You know, the stuff you brought? Dad usually brings it as well, although we usually also have one of the goats or sheep to thank God.”
“Well, Isaac, maybe that will be our clue to know where we are supposed to go. When we find the right animal, that place will be where we should be.”
On the way there was time for a lot of conversations. Some of them actually happened. At one point, when there seemed to be a bit of animal up ahead, Isaac asked, “Something has been puzzling me, too.”
“What could possibly be puzzling you?”
“Nobody’s really talked about it, and somehow we have always been pretty busy, but now we’re just kind of walking.”
“I hear I might have a brother.”
“Did your father put you up to this?”
“So it’s true. Dad had nothing to do with this, by the way. It has always seemed to be there in the silences and targeted looks between the two of you.”
Silence, and the two of them walking together, still.
“Did he die? Is that what happened? Is that what is always in the tent between you and Dad?”
Silence, still. Now a bit uncomfortable.
“I think I definitely see the animal up on that hill over there. Let’s climb there and see if the answer I am looking for is there.”
“Mom, I don’t see the animal yet. Maybe when we get to the top of the hill, I will see it.”
Isaac, again, “Now that we’re at the top of the hill, could you maybe give me a hint about what happened? All this non-answering keeps feeling like a rope around my neck, squeezing tighter and tighter.”
“So now I choke you to death? I spend my life bringing you into the world and protecting you from everything and everybody, and you feel choked? That’s certainly a joke, and I guess I was always the unpunched punchline!”
As it happens, Sarah starts swinging the axe. Not really seeing what is around her, the axe punctuates her sentences, and then her single words – “You! Him! Why? Now? Now, enough!”
God’s messenger appears. He can tell it is no use to talk with Sarah yet. So he says to Isaac, “If I were you, I would go and check out the neighborhood of Penuel, and look into anything concerning Be’er l’chai ro’i. Your mom is not going to settle down any time soon, I don’t think, so now would be a good time.”
Fortunately, God’s messengers are not on a particular schedule, so the messenger could wait until after the long period of time it took until the axe stopped swinging. It is also possible that the messenger switched out the real axe for a metaphorical axe, so that Sarah’s need for time to process the required internal psychological readjustments would not be shortened by physical exhaustion.
Eventually Sarah does stop swinging the axe, and notices that Isaac is gone. Then she sees the messenger.
“Would it be anybody else?”
“Letting him go doesn’t mean that you killed him.”
“Letting him go is killing me!”
“It doesn’t have to. You can survive this, too. It will be difficult, but you can. Just to let you know, after today, Isaac will go on and become an ancestor as well. Your children will eventually be people who will wind up helping others clarify who they are. Those who treat them well will also be well. Those who mistreat them will wind up having no long term future. At least not as long of a future as your children will have.”
“Do I have to survive?”
“Here at the beginning of things, only if you want to. By the way, Isaac’s wife has been born already. One of his cousins is shaping up quite nicely. You have given your son an amazing capacity for love.”
In the end, Sarah felt she would just be in Isaac’s way. Now that she knew he would eventually become somebody his father never was, she was ready to let the story continue without her.
Thus ends my imagined story. Yet this binding and unbinding of Isaac – when a family is loving, doesn’t it repeat, after a fashion, all the time? We raise our children so that they can raise their children, and just as some of us sometimes felt our parents were stifling us, some of our children feel like we are stifling them – and if the world is a bit askew, this can go backwards through a couple of generations, where parents feel their children are stifling them.
I hope that none of us has our story stolen from us, as might have happened between Sarah and Abraham, and equally that none of us remains so attached to our families that their independence jeopardizes our lives.