TTT Shabbat Zakhor

February 28th, 2012 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Zakhor – Parashat Tetzaveh 5772
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ

­­­IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW

PARASHAT TETZAVEH – SHABBAT ZAKHOR
March 3, 2012 – 9 Adar 5772

Annual: Exodus 27:20 – 30:10 (Etz Hayim, p. 503; Hertz p. 339)
Triennial: Exodus 28:31 – 29:18 (Etz Hayim p. 508; Hertz p. 342)
Maftir: Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (Etz Hayim 1135; Hertz 856)
Haftarah: I Samuel 15:2 – 34 (Etz Hayim, p. 1282; Hertz p. 996)

Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser

SUMMARY:

Much of parashat Tetzaveh describes the golden menorah that was placed in the tabernacle, along with the procedure for lighting it. It is a precursor to the ner tamid, the eternal light that is displayed and kept illumined in our own sanctuaries.

The priests, including Aaron, the first of their line, are outfitted with sacral vestments and equipped with a gem-encrusted breastplate and the oracular urim and tummim. The terminology used for the vestments also has been adopted for the appurtenances of the Torah scroll: me’il, choshen, and so on. The bells often attached to Torah crowns and the fringes on Torah mantles also find their origin and inspiration in the priestly vestments described in our chapter. The significance of the vestments may be summarized by the inscription on the gold “tzitz” worn on the priest’s headdress: “Holy to the Lord.”

The priests’ consecration and ordination is described in graphic and dramatic detail. The occasion is marked with an elaborate sacrificial offering, and the new priests undergo a ritual washing. The priests are anointed with oil. Sacrificial blood is dashed on the altar and placed on the priests’ ears, thumbs, big toes, and vestments. The priests eat the flesh of the sacrificial ram, as well as the bread that accompanies the offering. The ordination rites are protracted, conducted over the course of seven days. An expiatory bull is sacrificed each day, and the altar undergoes a daily purification.

The daily sacrificial regimen is prescribed and God offers a consequent assurance that He will dwell among the Israelites. The parashah concludes with instructions about burning incense on the altar.

Historic Note

Parashat Zakhor, read on March 3, 2012, prescribes our obligation “to remember” the genocidal designs of Amalek and, in particular, that nation’s ruthless early attack on the Jewish people. On March 3, 1933, 100 prisoners were taken to a school in the small town of Norha near the city of Weimar. They were interrogated and placed under guard by policemen and students from the school. This is considered the start of Germany’s first concentration camp.

Halachah L’Maaseh

Shabbat Parshat Tetzaveh/Shabbat Zakhor falls this year on 9 Adar. According to the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 580:1-2, this date is among the “days of misfortune” to be observed as a fast day. The fast is intended to express contrition for the historic pattern of dissension – the philosophical and halakhic rift – between the schools of Shammai and Hillel and their respective followers. Since this year the ninth of Adar falls on Shabbat, no fasting is permitted: on that halakhic point Hillel and Shammai were in agreement! Perhaps the fast is also related to the Talmud’s statement (Sota 47b) that “When the disciples of Hillel and Shammai increased who had not studied with their teachers sufficiently, dissensions increased in Israel and the Torah became like two Torahs.” Even if we must forego the fast, the 9th of Adar is a fitting time to contemplate how we might redress the Jewish communal ills of religious infighting and neglect of Jewish study.

Your thoughts as always are welcome…

REMINDERS:

A. Sunday, March 4, 2012:

1. 9 AM:

a. Religious School

b. Morning Minyan

2. 12 noon – 2 PM: USY’s Purim Carnival!!!!

3. 7:45 PM: evening minyan

B. Thursday, March 1st, 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner – NJ Marriage Equality???? – Barnes & Noble, Rt. 22 W, Springfield

C. Friday, March 2nd, 6:30 PM: SHABBATis4U service in honor of Kitah Bet & Hey – Shabbat dinner to follow – RSVP needed: office@templebethahmyisrael.com – NO LATE SERVICE

D. Wednesday, March 7th, 7 PM: Megillah Readings – Sanctuary & Chapel

E. Thursday, March 8th, 6:30 PM: morning minyan & Purim continues – Megillah Reading in the Chapel

F. Saturday, March 10th, 9:30 AM: Bar Mitzvah of Matthew Nadel

G. Thursday, March 15th, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap

NEXT CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR

1. Depart EWR: December 18, 2012

2. Return to EWR: January 1, 2013

3. The itinerary & application is available: www.israeltours.com/rmallach2012.php

4. INFORMATION MEETING – note date change – SUNDAY, March 11TH – 12:30 PM – IN THE BOARD ROOM – come learn more from our tour company – all questions answered

For updated information go to: http://www.tbaynj.org/

You can also visit my website at http://ridinrebbe.com/

TTT: Terumah 5772

February 21st, 2012 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Terumah 5772
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ
MINYAN ASSURANCE NEEDED – PLEASE HELP – DON’T ASSUME!

Gene Gorrin has a Yahrzeit beginning this Thursday evening, your help is needed to assure a minyan on 2/23 @ 7:45 PM & 2/24 @ 6:45 AM

ROSH HODESH ADAR!!!!

Please note that for Rosh Hodesh Adar the morning minyan will begin at 6:45 AM on Thursday & Friday, February 23rd & 24th

­­­­­­­

IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW

PARASHAT TERUMAH
February 25, 2012 – 2 Adar 5772

Annual: Exodus 25:1 – 27:19 (Etz Hayim p. 485; Hertz p. 326)
Triennial: Exodus 26:1 – 26:30 (Etz Hayim p. 491; Hertz p. 330)
Haftarah: I Kings 5:26 – 6:13 (Etz Hayim p. 500; Hertz p. 336)

Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser

“Then set up the Tabernacle according to the manner of it that you were shown on the mountain.” (Exodus 26:30)

Derash: Study
“‘Set up the Tabernacle.’ That is, have your experts do so. Or perhaps it meant that Moses himself was to set up the Tabernacle the first time – with the help of others, for it took many hands to set up the Tabernacle.” (Ibn Ezra)

“The design for the tabernacle came from above, but the wherewithal came from below, freely tendered without a trace of compulsion. The creation of sacred space required the consent of those to be served by it. Holiness cannot be fabricated and foisted in the face of massive dissent. The key to drawing God into the midst of a faith community is the personal engagement of its members. The popular voluntarism that enabled Moses to erect Israel’s mobile sanctuary is the operative paradigm for the American Jewish community.” (Rabbi Ismar Schorsch)

“God showed Moses either ‘blueprints,’ pictures, or a model of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is not to be a product of human creativity but must conform exactly to divine specifications (‘One cannot approach God except [by the ways that] He commands [Judah Halevi, Kuzari].’” (Jewish Study Bible/Oxford)

“Although I cannot build a tabernacle with a cover of pure gold and a table of acacia wood, I will try to make my home a tabernacle, suffused with God’s light. I will try to make my life a tabernacle as I try to open myself to God’s blessings every moment.” (Richard Ellis)

Questions for Discussion
Does Ibn Ezra mean that the image of the Tabernacle revealed to Moses was so complex that it required many people working together to assemble it? Or does he mean to say that the process of cooperation, teamwork, and community participation was an integral aspect of God’s revelatory message? How would such a teaching find application in our own experience of Jewish life and community?

In analyzing the Tabernacle, Chancellor Schorsch asserts, “Holiness cannot be fabricated” but relies on our willing engagement. What steps can (or do) we take to achieve holiness, to transform our congregations into “kehilot kodesh” – holy communities – and our synagogues (and homes) into truly sacred centers? How else is the Tabernacle an apt symbol for the American Jewish community?

In what aspects of Jewish life is it accurate to say that we, too, must rely on God’s “blueprint” – on divine commands – and when is personal expression and individual creativity indispensable? Notwithstanding the Kuzari’s comment, how does the description of the Tabernacle provide a balanced and nuanced model for this question?

Both the menorah (see Rabbi Friedman’s statement, above) and the Tabernacle (a la Richard Ellis) have been used as models for personal spiritual refinement and individual experience of God. How do these symbols differ? Which aspects of these models of the individual’s religious quest do you find personally compelling?

Your thoughts as always are welcome…

REMINDERS:

A. Sunday, February 26, 2012:

1. 9 AM:

a. Religious School

b. Morning

c. Yoga in the Ballroom

2. 7:45 PM: evening minyan

A. Thursday, February 23rd, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap

B. Friday, February 24th, 8 PM: Shabbat Shalem

C. Saturday, February 25th, 9:30 AM: Bar Mitzvah of Jason Rubin

D. Thursday, March 1st, 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner – NJ Marriage Equality???? – Barnes & Noble, Rt. 22 W, Springfield

E. Friday, March 2nd, 6:30 PM: SHABBATis4U service in honor of Kitah Bet & Hey – Shabbat dinner to follow – RSVP needed: office@templebethahmyisrael.com – NO LATE SERVICE

F. Sunday, March 4th, 12 Noon – 2 PM: Purim Carnival

G. Wednesday, March 7th, 7 PM: Megillah Readings – Sanctuary & Chapel

H. Thursday, March 8th, 6:30 PM: morning minyan & Purim continues – Megillah Reading in the Chapel

I. Saturday, March 10th, 9:30 AM: Bar Mitzvah of Matthew Nadel

J. Thursday, March 15th, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap

NEXT CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR

1. Depart EWR: December 18, 2012

2. Return to EWR: January 1, 2013

3. The itinerary & application is available: www.israeltours.com/rmallach2012.php

4. INFORMATION MEETING – note date change – SUNDAY, March 11TH – 12:30 PM – IN THE BOARD ROOM – come learn more from our tour company – all questions answered

For updated information go to: http://www.tbaynj.org/

You can also visit my website at http://ridinrebbe.com/

TTT: Shabbat Shirah 5772

January 31st, 2012 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Shirah – B`Shalah 5772
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ
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IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW
PARASHAT B’SHALAH – SHABBAT SHIRAH
February 4, 2012 – 11 Shevat 5772
Triennial: Exodus 14:15 – 16:10 (Etz Hayim p. 403)
Haftarah: Judges 4:4 – 5:31 (Etz Hayim, p. 424)
Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser
“This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.” (Exodus 15:2 – New American Standard Bible translation)

Derash: Study
“An alternative rendering is ‘This is my God, and I will make Him a habitation’ (the Hebrew verb anvehu – ‘and I will praise Him’ is related to the noun naveh – ‘habitation’). This means: ‘I will make a habitation for Him within my own being; I will sanctify and purify myself so that my body may become a dwelling place for the Holy Presence.’” (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch)
“For it was taught: ‘This is my God, and I will adorn God (anvehu)’: Adorn yourself before God in the mitzvot: make a beautiful sukkah in God’s honor, a beautiful lulav, a beautiful shofar, beautiful tzitzit, and a beautiful Torah scroll – and write it for God with fine ink, a fine reed, and a skilled penman, and wrap it with beautiful silks.” (Talmud Shabbat 133b)
“We want our children to look upon religion not as something to be inherited, but rather as something to be discovered.” (Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman)
“God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)
“It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men.” (C.S. Lewis)
Questions for Discussion:
At least three different translations of our verse (specifically of the word anvehu) are provided: to praise, to adorn, and to provide a habitation. Which do you find the most compelling interpretation? How might our synagogues (or our homes, or we) reflect all three translations simultaneously?
Arguably, we fulfill the message of this verse through public or private worship, but perhaps most explicitly through the experience of shared family worship. What formative religious experiences did you share with your parents? What potentially formative worship (in the broadest sense) experiences do you (or might you) provide for your children and their children?
The effort to beautify religious observance relies on individual tastes, personal creativity, and subjective judgment. How might we bring added beauty to our Jewish living? Physically, through the visual arts and ritual objects and accoutrements? Musically, through prayer and song? Through special attention to the quality of Sabbath and holiday meals? Through personal refinement in our interactions with others? Our conversations with them? Our treatment of them? Where else?
In the spirit of Rev. Spurgeon’s comment, what steps can we take to add “heart” (meaning, sincerity, intellectual honesty, strength of conviction) to the divine praises we recite, and to the values to which we pay lip service? Is this, too, a path to beauty?

Your thoughts as always are welcome…
REMINDERS:

A. Sunday, February 5, 2012:
1. 9 AM:
a. Religious School
b. Morning Minyan & World Wide Wrap: Come RAP with us with Tefillin, Talit, special breakfast & guest speaker – all sponsored by your Men’s Club – open to all, male & FEMALE, Teffilin help and practice pairs are available
2. 7:45 PM: evening minyan

A. Friday, February 10th, 8 PM: Guest Speaker Aaron Adler
B. Saturday, February 11th, 9:30 AM: Guest Speaker Aaron Adler
C. Sunday, February 12th, 9:30 AM: Women’s League Brunch
D. Tuesday, February 14th, 6:30 PM: Men’s Club meeting
E. February 20th, 8 PM: Guest Speaker Steve Taub
F. February 21st, 9:30 AM: Guest Speaker Steve Taub
G. Sunday, February 19th, 8 PM: TBAY Annual Comedy Night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
H. Monday, February 20th, 9 AM: MORNING MINYAN START TIME – FEDERAL HOLIDAY
I. Thursday, February 23rd, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
J. Friday, February 24th, 8 PM: Shabbat Shalem
K. Saturday, February 25th, 9:30 AM: Bar Mitzvah of Jason Rubin
L. Thursday, March 1st, 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner – NJ Marriage Equality???? – Barnes & Noble, Rt. 22 W, Springfield
M. Friday, March 2nd, 6:30 PM: ShabbatTis4U service in honor of Kitah Bet & Hey – Shabbat dinner to follow – RSVP needed: office@templebethahmyisrael.com – NO LATE SERVICE
N. Sunday, March 4th, 12 Noon – 2 PM: Purim Carnival
O. Wednesday, March 7th, 7 PM: Megillah Readings – Sanctuary & Chapel
P. Thursday, March 8th, 6:30 PM: morning minyan & Purim continues – Megillah Reading in the Chapel
Q. Saturday, March 10th, 9:30 AM: Bar Mitzvah of Matthew Nadel

NEXT CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR
1. Depart EWR: December 18, 2012
2. Return to EWR: January 1, 2013
3. The itinerary & application is available: www.israeltours.com/rmallach2012.php
4. INFORMATION MEETING – note date change – SUNDAY, March 11TH – 12:30 PM – IN THE BOARD ROOM – come learn more from our tour company – all questions answered

For updated information go to: http://www.tbaynj.org/

You can also visit my website at http://ridinrebbe.com/

TTT: Veyekhi 5772

January 3rd, 2012 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Vayekhi 5772
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW

PARASHAT VAYEKHI
January 7, 2012 – 12 Tevet 5772
Triennial: Genesis 49:1-49:26 (Etz Hayim p. 298)
Haftarah: I Kings 2:1 – 12 (Etz Hayim p. 313)

Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser

Summary

Parashat Vayekhi marks the conclusion of the Book of Genesis. It is the end of the beginning. We are told that Jacob lives in Egypt for 17 years, forming a symmetry in his life: he enjoyed 17 years with his beloved son Joseph before the latter’s “departure.” As Jacob’s life draws to a close, he secures a commitment from Joseph to bury him “with my ancestors” in Canaan. Joseph brings his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, to receive their grandfather’s blessing. Though Joseph positions them carefully, so that the elder, Manasseh, is at Jacob’s right hand, Jacob crosses his arms, placing his right hand on Ephraim and despite Joseph’s objections calling him by name before addressing the firstborn. Jacob blesses Joseph: “God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers.” Apparently continuing the pattern of favoritism that led to such adversity in both their lives, Jacob tells Joseph, “I give you one portion more than to your brothers.”

From his deathbed, Jacob recites poetic blessings and personalized messages of remonstrance to each of his sons, and before he dies he repeats his instructions to bury him in his ancestral plot in the cave of Machpelah, which his grandfather Abraham had bought. Joseph weeps bitterly at his father’s death, and instructs the Egyptian physicians to embalm his body in preparation for its return to Canaan.

Egypt observes 70 days of official mourning for Joseph’s father. Joseph secures Pharaoh’s permission to accompany his father’s remains to their final resting place. Jacob’s sons carry him to Machpelah and observe a seven-day mourning period. With Jacob gone, Joseph’s brothers fear he will seek revenge for their offenses against him. They tell him about Jacob’s instructions that he forgive them – although the reader of the Bible has no corroboration that Jacob actually made such a statement!

Joseph assures them that they need not fear: “Although you intended me harm, God intended it for good. Fear not. I will sustain you and your children.” Joseph lives to see great-grandchildren. Before dying at the age of 110, Joseph secures a promise from his brothers to “carry up my bones from here” when God will return their descendants to the Promised Land.

Halachah L’Maaseh

Describing the Torah reading on Simhat Torah, when every worshipper is honored with an aliyah, in his Guide to Jewish Religious Practice, Rabbi Isaac Klein concludes: “For the last aliyah all the children are called up (Levush, O. H. 669:1). This honor is usually given to one of the distinguished worshippers, who spreads his tallit like a canopy under which the children stand and recite the blessings. After the second benediction, the congregation recites the blessing which Jacob gave to his grandchildren, the sons of Joseph (Gen. 48:15-16; Rama on O. H. 669).”

Historical Note

In parashat Vayekhi, read on January 7, 2012, Jacob delivers personalized blessings and his final message to his sons: “And Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Come together that I may tell you what is to befall you in days to come’” (Genesis 49:1). On January 7, 1929, the similarly forward-looking Buck Rogers – the first science fiction comic strip – premiered.

Your thoughts as always are welcome…

REMINDERS:

A. Sunday, January 8, 2012:

1. 9 AM:

a. Religious School

b. Morning Minyan

2. 7:45 PM: evening minyan

B. Thursday January 5, 2012 @ 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner at Barnes & Noble session

C. Friday, January 6 @ 6:30 PM: SHABBATis4U – Services led by Nitzanim & Kohavim, January Birthday blessing, Yahrzeit list is read, dinner by prior RSVP to follow services – NO LATE SERVICE

D. Monday, January 16th, 10 – 11 AM: Springfield Interfaith Clergy Association Martin Luther King Day Commemoration, Townhall, 2nd Floor Sunday,

E. January 15th, 7 PM: Step Up for Israel concluding film & discussion

F. Thursday, January 19th @ 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap

G. Sunday, February 5th @ 9 AM: World Wide Wrap – Come RAP with us with Tefillin, Talit, special breakfast & guest speaker – all sponsored by your Men’s Club – open to all, male & FEMALE, Teffilin help and practice pairs are available

H. Sunday, February 19th, 8 PM: TBAY Annual Comedy Night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NEXT CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR

1. Depart EWR: December 18, 2012

2. Return to EWR: January 1, 2013

3. The itinerary & application is available: www.israeltours.com/rmallach2012.php

For updated information go to: http://www.tbaynj.org/

You can also visit my website at http://ridinrebbe.com/

TTT: Vayigash 5772

December 27th, 2011 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Vayigash 5772
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ
MINYAN ASSURANCE NEEDED
Bob Modlinger has a Yahrzeit, your help to assure a minyan on Tuesday, December 27th, at 7:45 PM is GREATLY NEEDED.
HOME CAREGIVER AVAILABLE
We have a member who uses a home caregiver on a part-time basis; the caregiver is looking for additional hours, either live-in or commuting. If interested, please let me know

Morning Minyan time for Hanukkah: 6:45 AM on 12/28

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IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW
PARASHAT VAYIGASH
December 31, 2011 – 5 Tevet 5772
Annual: Genesis 44:18-47:27 (Etz Hayim p. 274; Hertz p. 169)
Triennial: Genesis 45:28-46:27 (Etz Hayim p. 279; Hertz p. 172)
Haftarah: Ezekiel 37:15–28 (Etz Hayim p. 291; Hertz p. 178)
Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser
Judah delivers an impassioned appeal to Joseph on behalf of Benjamin, offering to submit to slavery personally in his youngest brother’s stead. He does so, he says, to spare both Benjamin, for whom he has pledged personal responsibility, and his father. Joseph is moved to tears by his brother’s selfless and eloquent appeal. Dismissing everyone but his brothers from his presence, Joseph finally reveals his identity, immediately inquiring about his father’s well being. He attributes his sale into slavery at his brothers’ hands to Providence. Embracing his brothers, he instructs them to return to Canaan and then to come back, with Jacob, to settle in Egypt.
News of Joseph’s reunion with his brothers spreads to Pharaoh and his court. The brothers, supplied with wagons and provisions, return home and tell Jacob that his beloved son is still alive and has risen to high office in Egypt. On the return trip to Egypt God appears to Jacob in a vision, assuring him that going back down to Egypt is the proper course, while not mentioning the enslavement that is his nation’s destiny. The 70 Israelites taking up residence in Egypt are listed, and Joseph is tearfully reunited with Jacob. He reports his family’s arrival to Pharaoh, to whom he introduces them. Jacob has a private audience with Pharaoh and details for him the personal adversity he has long endured.
Against his express instructions, Joseph’s brothers tell Pharaoh that they are shepherds. Joseph settles his families in Goshen, setting the stage for future events. Despite his generous treatment of his family, Joseph is ruthless in his economic administration of Egypt. After depleting the financial resources of Pharaoh’s subjects through the sale of the grain and food under his control, next he takes their livestock in exchange for supplies, and finally he usurps their only remaining material resource, their land. The only land Joseph allows to remain in private ownership belongs to the priests.
Once he has secured a royal monopoly on both Egypt’s land and its livestock for Pharaoh, Joseph imposes further economic duties on the populace: they owe Pharaoh one fifth of each harvest. Deprived of private land and livestock, and impoverished through the sale of grain over which Joseph had exercised such visionary but shrewd control, the Egyptians nevertheless are thankful for surviving the famine: “You have saved our lives! We are grateful to our lord, and we shall be serfs to Pharaoh.”
The parashah concludes by contrasting the impoverished Egyptian populace under a despotic regime with Israel’s growing prosperity: “They acquired holdings in [Goshen], and were fertile and increased greatly.” This description anticipates the opening of the Book of Exodus, and the ethnic tensions that led to the Israelites’ enslavement.
Halachah L’Maaseh
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein wrote that “if a holiday is based on religious belief, such celebrations are prohibited to Jews.” In reference to celebrating the Gregorian new year, Rabbi Feinstein ruled: “The first day of the non-Jewish year, January 1, and American Thanksgiving are not prohibited according to halachah because today they no longer have any religious significance, but those who are particular should be strict in respect of them” (Responsa Igrot Moshe, Even Ha-Ezer 2:13). Despite Rabbi Feinstein’s welcome and permissive conclusion, we note with interest that New Years Day is also marked as “The Feast of the Circumcision” because it marks the eighth day after December 25, celebrated by Christian faithful as the birthday of Jesus of Nazareth. The feast day is still in currency among Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. While Rabbi Feinstein finds that this fact presents no obstacle to celebrating the secular new year, Rabbi Raymond Apple, rabbi emeritus of the Great Synagogue of Sydney, Australia, cautions: “the halachah is far from happy with the hedonism and overindulgence in eating and drinking which are common on New Year’s Eve.” [Best wishes for a happy and healthy, worthy and studious 2012 – JHP]
Historical Note
Parashat Vayigash, describing Joseph’s continued (and alas, somewhat despotic) program of providing food to an Egypt – and surrounding nations – impoverished by seven lean years, is read on December 31, 2011. U.S. Secretary of State (and former Army Chief of Staff) General George C. Marshall was born on December 31, 1880. The general is remembered as the architect of the post-World War II Marshall Plan, officially known as the European Recovery Program. After the ravages of the war, which had disrupted agricultural production for years, much of Europe was on the brink of famine. Under the Marshall Plan, European nations received nearly $13 billion in aid, which initially resulted in shipments of food, staples, fuel and machinery from the United States. As a result, from 1948 through 1952 European economies grew at an unprecedented rate.

Your thoughts as always are welcome…
REMINDERS:

A. Sunday, January 1, 2012:
1. 9 AM:
a. NO Religious School
b. Morning Minyan
2. 7:45 PM: evening minyan

C. Morning Minyan times for Hanukkah: 6:45 AM on 12/21, 12/22, 12/23, 12/27 & 12/28
D. NOTE: MONDAY, December 26TH = FEDERAL HOLIDAY – MORNING MINYAN WILL START AT 9 AM
,
E. January 2, 2012: NOTE morning minyan will be at 9 AM on this day
F. Thursday January 5, 2012 @ 8PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner at Barnes & Noble session
G. Friday, January 6 @ 6:30 PM: ShabbatTis4U – Services led by Nitzanim & Kohavim, January Birthday blessing, Yahrzeit list is read, dinner by prior RSVP to follow services – NO LATE SERVICE
H. Monday, January 16th, 10 – 11 AM: Springfield Interfaith Clergy Association Martin Luther King Day Commemoration, Townhall, 2nd Floor Sunday,
I. January 15th, 7 PM: Step Up for Israel concluding film & discussion
J. Thursday, January 19th @ 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
K. Sunday, February 5th @ 9 AM: World Wide Wrap – Come RAP with us with Tefillin, Talit, special breakfast & guest speaker – all sponsored by your Men’s Club – open to all, male & FEMALE, Teffilin help and practice pairs are available
L. Sunday, February 19th, 8 PM: TBAY Annual Comedy Night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NEXT CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR
1. Depart EWR: December 18, 2012
2. Return to EWR: January 1, 2013
3. The itinerary & application is available: www.israeltours.com/rmallach2012.php

For updated information go to: http://www.tbaynj.org/

You can also visit my website at http://ridinrebbe.com/