TTT: Beresheet 5772 – Gilad is Free!

October 18th, 2011 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Beresheet 5772
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ
The Release of Gilad Shalit: A Prayer of Thanks
תפילת הודיה
על שחרורו של גלעד בן אביבה ונעם שליט
אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמּוֹתֵינוּ, בְּיוֹם גָּדוֹל וְקָדוֹשׁ זֶה, זְמַן שִׂמְחָתֵנוּ, אָנוּ נוֹשְׂאִים לְבָבֵנוּ אֶל כַּפַּיִם אֶל אֵל בַּשָּׁמַיִם בְּגִילָה וּבְשִׂמְחָה בִּרְעָדָה וּבְהוֹדָיָה עַל חַסְדְךָ הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁעָשִׂיתָ עִם גִּלְעַד בֶּן אֲבִיבָה וְנֹעַם שֶׁהֲשִׁיבוֹתוֹ בְּשָׁלוֹם מִשִׁבְיוֹ לְמִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ וּלְאַרְצוֹ וּלְעַמּוֹ בִּדְּמֵי חַיָּיו.
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ, יהוה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וֵאלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ וְאִמּוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁבְּיוֹם זֶה וּבְכָל הַיָּמִים הַבָּאִים יֵדַע הַשָׁבוּי שֶׁנִּפְדָה שִׂמְחָה בַּלֵּב וְשַׁלְוָה בַּנֶּפֶשׁ וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדָיו, יַחַד עִם אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו, עִם אֶחָיו וְעִם כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל.
רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים, אֵל שִׂמְחַת גִּילֵנוּ, יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ שֶׁעֵקֶב פִּדְיוֹנוֹ לֹא יְאֻנֶּה כָּל פֶּגַע אוֹ רָעָה לִבְנֵי עַמֶּך לֹא בַּשָּׁנָה הַזֹּאת וְלֹא בְּכָל הַשָּׁנִים הַבָּאוֹת עָלֵינוּ לְטוֹבָה, אֶלָּא בְּרַחֲמֶיךָ הָרַבִּים פְּרוֹשׂ עָלֵינוּ סֻכַּת רַחֲמִים וְחַיִּים וְשָׁלוֹם.
וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן וְנֹאמַר אָמֵן.

________________________________________

Our God and God of our ancestors, on this great and holy day, the season of our rejoicing, we raise our hearts to God in heaven in joy, happiness, trembling and thanksgiving for the great kindness that You have shown Gilad the son of Aviva and Noam Schalit that You have restored him safely from his place of capture to his family, his country and his people. May it be Your pleasure, God and God of our ancestors, that this day and in the future the redeemed prisoner may know joy in his heart, peace of mind and success in all his endeavors together with all his family and all Israel his brethren. Sovereign of the Universe, God of our exultation, may it be Your pleasure that this redemption not bring in its wake any harm or mishap to Your people, neither this year not in years to come; but in Your great compassion spread over us the sukkah of compassion, life and peace. May this be Your pleasure and let us respond Amen.

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IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW

PARASHAT BERESHEET – BIRKAT HAHODESH
October 22, 2011 – 24 Tishrei 5772
Annual: Genesis 1:1 – 6:8 (Etz Hayim, p. 3; Hertz p. 2)
Triennial Cycle: Genesis 2:4 – 4:26 (Etz Hayim, p. 12; Hertz p. 6)
Haftarah: Isaiah 42:5 – 43:10 (Etz Hayim, p. 36; Hertz p. 21)

“And God saw all that He had made, and found it very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31)

COMMENTARY:
1. “For consumers of art and culture, one simple way to sift out ephemerality is ‘time-shifting’ – i.e. delaying one’s experience of a cultural product long enough that any undue hype surrounding it has dissipated…. If you want to see whether something is great, leave it on a shelf for seven days, or seven years, or seventy.” (Bill Wasik, And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture)
2. “In the Torah of Rabbi Meir, it was found written: ‘Death is good’ (tov mot, rather than the very similar sounding traditional text, tov me’od – very good), indicating that death is becoming for the righteous, who find peaceful rest from their struggles, and it is becoming for the wicked, who will thereby cease their sinning.” (Midrash Rabbah)
3. “It was the sixth day, the day God created adam (humankind), that gave His intended meaning and value to Creation. Only then, therefore, could God consider His Creation tov me’od, very good. Indeed, the very letters that spell me’od (very) – mem-aleph-dalet – also spell adam (humankind) – aleph-dalet-mem, for only humanity’s presence allows Creation to fulfill its destiny.” (Rabbi David Feinstein, Kol Dodi)
4. “God would not have created the world if among all possible creations it had not been the best.” (Gottfried von Leibnitz, Théodicée)
5. “A pity for the world, which, like other self-made things, was reckoned by the Lord to be so excellently good.” (Henrik Ibsen, Peer Gynt)
Questions for Discussion:
Wasik’s statement suggests that the lessons of Shabbat – here, judicious perspective, patient deliberation, skepticism at the seductiveness of the faddish – are urgently needed in the twenty-first century. In what other ways has Shabbat become increasingly compelling for contemporary Jews? What fads and trends – very much the subject of Wasik’s book – are countered by Shabbat observance?
Midrash Rabbah and von Leibnitz affirm the ultimate goodness of Creation while implicitly recognizing its imperfections. How might these insights be helpful to those who are bereaved or are otherwise experiencing personal adversity, and to those whose task it is to comfort and support them?
If humankind alone of all species is capable of moral evil, how is it that – as Rabbi Feinstein has taught – adam is the very meaning of me’od… that which lends God’s “intended meaning and value to Creation”?
Is there indeed a peril to avoid in the assertion that humankind is inherently exceptional, God’s crowning glory?
Your thoughts as always are welcome…

REMINDERS:

A. Thursday, October 27, 6:30 PM: Women’s League Paid-up Membership Dinner

B. Friday, November 4, 6:30 PM: ShabbatTis4U – followed by a Shabbat Dinner – NO LATE SERVICE

C. Friday through Saturday, November 11th & 12th – Scholar in Residence Shabbat – In addition, Friday night, 11/11, we will honor during the 8 PM service all of our VETERANS

D. Sunday, November 13th, 11 AM: Kristallnacht Commemoration Program

E. Thursday, November 17th, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap

F. Friday, November 18th:

1. 6:30 PM: Kids Kabbalat Shabbat program
2. 8 PM: late service

G. Saturday, November 19th, Bat Mitzvah of Elana Neher

H. Monday, November 21st , 7 PM: Springfield Interfaith Clergy Association Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Community Service – hosted by Temple Shaa`rey Shalom

I. Thursday, December 1, 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner – Springfield Barnes & Noble: Rabbi Mallach & Reverend David Knecht, Holy Cross Lutheran Church – will lead a topical discussion on issues that we all face – OPEN TO ALL

NEXT POTENTIAL CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR
There have been inquiries about the next potential congregation Israel tour, such an event depends on several factors:
1. Currently exploring departure dates for the end of June, 2012
2. Having a nucleus of participants to make it viable – 20 adult minimum
3. Having a chairman to organize
If anyone is interested, please let me know and we can discuss the possibilities (NOTE: HAVE GOTTEN MANY RESPONSES, INTEREST IS CLEARLY GROWING…)

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

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

TTT: Shabbat v`Yom Kippur 5772

October 4th, 2011 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Yom Kippur v`Shabbat
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ
MINYAN ASSURANCES NEEDED:
Thursday, October 6th, 7:45 PM – Karen & Ilaina Levine have the Yahrzeit of their husband & father, respectively
SERMONIC OPPORTUNITITES
If you would like to give a Dvar Torah, the following dates are available, please let me know:
Friday, October 21 – 8 PM service
Friday, October 28 – 8 PM service
Saturday, October 29 – 9:30 AM service

Kristalnacht Commemoration:
Sunday, November 6 @ 11 am
Temple Beth Ahm Israel Sanctuary

Speaker: Daniel A. McMillan, JD, PhD
Author of: How Could This Happen? An Explanation of the Holocaust

What did the German people know about the Holocaust while it was happening? How did they react to whatever knowledge they gained? To the extent that they knew, could they have done anything to stop it? How is it relative to what is going on now? These and other questions will be addressed by Dr. McMillan, especially in light of current events.

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IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW
Yom Kippur v`Shabbat
October 8, 2011 – 10 Tishrei 5772

The Ashamnu (from the Harlow Mahzor)
An interpretive rendition of the Vidui, the Public confessional:

We abuse, we betray, we are cruel. We destroy, we embitter, we falsify. We gossip, we hate, we insult. We jeer, we kill, we lie. We mock, we neglect. We oppress. We pervert, we quarrel, we rebel. We steal, we transgress, we are unkind. We are violent, we are wicked, we are xenophobic. We yield to evil, we are zealots for bad causes.

The Vidui is recited 10 times over the course of Yom Kippur, 10 times we rise and beat our chests, and 10 times we seek public forgiveness as a community for the Alef-Bet list of our sins.

Thus, is the public confessional recited over the course of Yom Kippur. However, as our sages have always taught, our recitation of the Vidui does not grant expiation of our sins committed against our fellow human beings; for those, we must first seek their forgiveness before turning to God.

I turn to all of you to ask of your forgiveness if I have wronged, harmed, insulted, or not given you the proper attention to your needs over the past year either knowingly or unknowingly – I have sinned, please forgive me.

Gamar Hatima Tova,
Rabbi Mark Mallach

REMINDERS:

A. Thursday, October 6, 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner – Springfield Barnes & Noble: Rabbi Mallach & Reverend David Knecht, Holy Cross Lutheran Church – will lead a topical discussion on issues that we all face – OPEN TO ALL – this is the inaugural evening for this event

B. Saturday, October 15, 9:30 AM: The Kiddush Luncheon will be sponsored this Shabbat by Kate Stern in commemoration of the 1st Yahrzeit of her husband, Martin, may his memory be for a blessing

NEXT POTENTIAL CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR
There have been inquiries about the next potential congregation Israel tour, such an event depends on several factors:
1. Currently exploring departure dates for the end of June, 2012
2. Having a nucleus of participants to make it viable – 20 adult minimum
3. Having a chairman to organize
If anyone is interested, please let me know and we can discuss the possibilities (NOTE: HAVE GOTTEN MANY RESPONSES, INTEREST IS CLEARLY GROWING…)

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

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

TTT: Ki Tavo 5771 – 9/13/11

September 15th, 2011 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Ki Tavo 5771
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ

TONIGHT!!!!! TWO BIG KICK-OFFS!!!!
Teen Institute – Grades 8 – 11
Attn: All parents of a student in 8th through 11th grade – This evening, September 13, 2011, at 6:15 PM, is the opening BBQ & Session of Teen Institute, our temple’s Hebrew High School program, taking place in the temple’s courtyard. POI: Recent studies have documented the profoundly positive effect that such programs have on the solid level of Jewish identity in young Jewish adults who have attended a Hebrew High School program. We know how over-programmed our kids are in this day and age, but shouldn’t there be time to squeeze in building a stronger Jewish identity?
BTW: this program is open to ALL Jewish teens

READ HEBREW AMERICA CRASH HEBREW READING CLASS & Adult Bnai Mitzvah Class Starting!
Do you want to learn how to read Hebrew or brush up on your Alef Bet for an upcoming Simha? TBAY is offering a FREE 5 week Hebrew Reading Crash Course sponsored by Read Hebrew America, on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm, beginning September 13. This class is open to all! Refreshments will be provided.
Following the completion of our Hebrew Reading Crash Course, we will begin a new Adult B’nai Mitvzah class, also on Tuesdays. If you did not have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah and are interested in fulfilling this rite of passage, this class is perfect for you! Learn prayer in the Siddur, Haftorah and Torah portions, practice with speeches and receive guidance and support throughout the process. There is a fee for the two year B’nai Mitzvah class but confidential financial support is available. Please contact the synagogue office (973-376-0539 ext 13) for more information.
Babysitting and Blessings.
We are excited about a new program this year, Babysitting and Blessings.
This program is offered every Shabbat morning, beginning September 24, during our Shabbat services.

We are delighted when parents bring their children to Shabbat Services, which begin at 9:30 am in the Main Sanctuary. Babysitting and Blessings then begins at 10:30 am in Room 10 with our Early Childhood Program teachers Cheryl Gottfried and Orlanda Nissani. Your children can join their friends for familiar games, stories and snacks while you enjoy a relaxing and meditative service in the sanctuary.

Join us for a delicious Kiddush luncheon and visit with your friends following the service each week.

NEXT POTENTIAL CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR
There have been inquiries about the next potential congregation Israel tour, such an event depends on several factors:
1. Currently exploring departure dates for the end of June, 2012
2. Having a nucleus of participants to make it viable – 20 adult minimum
3. Having a chairman to organize
If anyone is interested, please let me know and we can discuss the possibilities (NOTE: HAVE GOTTEN MANY RESPONSES, INTEREST IS CLEARLY GROWING…)

IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW
PARASHAT KI TAVO
September 17, 2011- 18 Elul 5771
Annual: Deut. 26:1 – 29:8 (Etz Hayim, p. 1140; Hertz p. 859)
Triennial: Deut. 26:1 – 27:10 (Etz Hayim, p. 1140; Hertz p. 859)
Haftarah: Isaiah 60:1 – 22 (Etz Hayim, p. 1161; Hertz p. 874)
(Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser, Baldwin, New York)
SUMMARY:
The Israelites are commanded to present the first fruits of their produce to the Priest at God’s chosen shrine. The worshipper is then to recite a declaration familiar to modern Jews from the Passover Haggadah: “Arami oved avi… My ancestor was a wandering Aramean…” This recitation of Israelite origins represents the very first scripted liturgy for Jewish worship and reflects our liturgy’s emphasis on historical experience. A prescribed verbal declaration, including a request for God’s blessing (“from your holy abode, from heaven”) similarly accompanies the tithe that Israelites provide for the support of Levites and strangers, widows and orphans.
The Israelites are admonished once again to be faithful to God and God’s commandments; God’s reciprocal devotion to His chosen people is assured.
When they will cross the Jordan to enter the Promised Land, Israel is commanded to erect stone pillars, coated with plaster, on which God’s laws are to be inscribed. These steles are to be dedicated with sacrifices to be offered on an altar of unhewn stone that the Israelites are instructed to build on Mount Ebal.
Israel prepares for the recitation of blessings and curses. (The ceremonious presentation was prescribed earlier, in parashat Re’eh.) The tribes of Shimon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin are assigned to Mount Gerezim for the blessing; Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zevulun, Dan, and Naphtali are to be present on Mount Ebal for the curses. Twelve specific sins (some would say, eleven specific sins and a final, generalized description of sin) are detailed, identified as worthy of being cursed, and individually acknowledged as such by a collective, national “Amen.” Offenses of cultic, sexual, moral, and violent character are included among these execrable sins.
Blessings for compliance with God’s commandments are given: “Blessed shall you be in the city and blessed shall you be in the country, Blessed shall be the issue of your womb. The Lord will make you the head, not the tail.” (This last blessing customarily is repeated on Rosh Hashanah eve.) These are followed by a further statement of largely parallel curses for Israelite disobedience to God: “Cursed shall you be in the city and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be the issue of your womb.” Thi passage, called the tochechah exhortation, includes particularly vile curses: “Your carcasses shall become food for all the birds of the sky. The Lord will strike you with the Egyptian inflammation, with hemorrhoids, boil scars. madness, blindness, and dismay.” Remarkably, the Torah reader customarily substitutes prescribed euphemism for the harshest of the Hebrew terms! So feared was this scriptural passage, nevertheless, that some communities have a history of skipping the section entirely. Others have required the Torah reader or shamas to accept this aliyah as a condition of employment. Still others, instead of assigning so unseemly a text as a Torah “honor,” simply announced “Yaamod mi she-yirtzeh” – “Let whoever wants it come forward!” In any case, it is common to read these verses quickly and quietly, dispensing with so unpleasant a text with all possible dispatch.
The parashah concludes with a firm admonition (for those who missed the message in the previous section!?) faithfully to adhere to God’s covenant, and to recognize in Israel’s historic experience God’s miraculous guidance and beneficent, providential care.

For your consideration:

The section that elucidates the Blessings and Curses is powerful and dramatic; it also resonates into our modern era. Israel is once again at the crossroads of standing between blessings and curses. The blessings: a country that continues to be our Jewish National Homeland, a source of technological innovation to the world, a truly democratic island in the midst of Middle Eastern turmoil, and the only true partner that the USA has for peace in the region. The curses: Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria and internal social turmoil.

Your thoughts as always…

REMINDERS:

A. Thursday, Sept 15, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
B. Friday, September 23: 8 PM: Shabbat Service + Healing Service
C. Thursday, October 6, 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner – Springfield Barnes & Noble: Rabbi Mallach & Reverend David Knecht, Holy Cross Lutheran Church – will lead a topical discussion on issues that we all face – OPEN TO ALL – this is the inaugural evening for this event

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

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

Ki Tetze 5771 – 9/6/11

September 6th, 2011 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Ki Tetze 5771
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ

MINYAN ASSURANCE NEEDED
Janie Links has her mother’s Yahrzeit, may Doris’s memory be for a blessing, beginning this evening, Sept. 6th, your presence at 7:45 PM is needed to assure a minyan
BACK TO SCHOOL
To all of our TBAY kids on their way back to school this week – have a great year!

IN REMEMBERANCE FOR 9/11 – Sunday, September 11, 2011

8:45 AM: Meditative reflection followed by a moment of silence for 9/11 in the Holocaust Memorial Garden
9 AM: Morning Minyan & 9/11 Commemoration in the Sanctuary together with the Religious School

READ HEBREW AMERICA CRASH HEBREW READING CLASS & Adult Bnai Mitzvah Class Starting!
Do you want to learn how to read Hebrew or brush up on your Alef Bet for an upcoming Simha? TBAY is offering a FREE 5 week Hebrew Reading Crash Course sponsored by Read Hebrew America, on Tuesdays at 7:30 pm, beginning September 13. This class is open to all! Refreshments will be provided.
Following the completion of our Hebrew Reading Crash Course, we will begin a new Adult B’nai Mitvzah class, also on Tuesdays. If you did not have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah and are interested in fulfilling this rite of passage, this class is perfect for you! Learn prayer in the Siddur, Haftorah and Torah portions, practice with speeches and receive guidance and support throughout the process. There is a fee for the two year B’nai Mitzvah class but confidential financial support is available. Please contact the synagogue office (973-376-0539 ext 13) for more information.

NEXT POTENTIAL CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR
There have been inquiries about the next potential congregation Israel tour, such an event depends on several factors:
1. Currently exploring departure dates for the end of June, 2012
2. Having a nucleus of participants to make it viable – 20 adult minimum
3. Having a chairman to organize
If anyone is interested, please let me know and we can discuss the possibilities (NOTE: HAVE GOTTEN MANY RESPONSES, INTEREST IS CLEARLY GROWING…)

IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW
PARASHAT KI TETZE
September 10, 2011- 11 Elul 5771
Annual: Deut. 21:10 – 25:19 (Etz Hayim, p. 1112; Hertz p. 840)
Triennial: Deut. 21:10 – 23:7 (Etz Hayim, p. 1112; Hertz p. 840)
Haftarah: Isaiah 54:1 – 10 (Etz Hayim, p. 1138; Hertz p. 857)
(Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser, Baldwin, New York)
SUMMARY OF PARASHA
Sefer Ha-Chinuch counts 74 individual mitzvot in Parashat Ki Tetzei, though that number is disputed more than such counts in any other Torah portion. Among the commandments and legal categories addressed are the following: the treatment of women taken captive in time of war; the immutability of the birthright; the draconian treatment of the “stubborn and rebellious son”; judicial hangings; the return of lost property; the obligation to assist the owner of an animal that has fallen under its burden; the prohibition against wearing clothing that is intended for the opposite sex and characteristic of it; the commandment to chase off a mother bird before taking its eggs or its young and the reward for fulfilling this imperative; the requirement to build a parapet on your roof and to remove analogous safety hazards from your property; the prohibitions against sowing a vineyard with diverse species, plowing with an ox and ass yoked together, and shaatnez (wearing garments in which wool and linen are combined); the commandment to wear fringes; laws about slander; the procedure followed when a newlywed husband alleges his wife was not a virgin as claimed and the consequences of such claims, whether they are unfounded or accurate; the legal ramifications of adultery and rape and a variety of marital restrictions; conduct and sanitation in a military camp (“keeping the camp holy” would later be expanded into a general mandate to establish worthy communities); the treatment to be accorded an escaped slave; sexual conduct deemed immoral and therefore prohibited; the prohibition against usury; mandates about vows; the legal parameters guiding someone working in a vineyard or field of crops; the fundamental laws of divorce; the special obligations and military exemption attending the first year of marriage; the securing of a debt; the legal treatment of kidnapping; the authority of priests in cases of leprosy; the commandment to remember God’s punishment of Miriam after to her ill-advised criticism of Moses; the fair treatment of laborers and the obligation to provide prompt payment of workers. Fundamental legal principles are addressed: individual responsibility and the principle that people are punished only for their own sins, not the sin of their parents or children; the obligation to deal justly with the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. The obligation to provide justice for society’s most vulnerable finds specific expression in the requirement to leave forgotten sheaves and gleanings for the desperate poor. A maximum of forty lashes is established in cases of judicial flogging. Concern for animals is given expression through the prohibition against muzzling a plow animal at work, keeping it from eating. The law of levirate marriage and its circumvention by the ritual of chalitzah is introduced. Harsh consequences are provided in the case of a woman who violently intervenes in her husband’s physical altercation with another man (as the King James Version euphemistically puts it, she “taketh” the antagonist “by the secrets”). Scripture prescribes amputation of her hand – the only penal mutilation in the Torah, not surprisingly commuted to a punitive fine in rabbinic law. The requirement of honest weights and measures, and the more general principle of integrity in commerce are detailed. The parashah concludes with the requirement to “remember what Amalek did” – that bellicose nation’s merciless attack on the weakest parts of the Israelite camp. Israel is to “blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” These final verses are read as the eponymic maftir aliyah on Shabbat Zachor, just before Purim.

REMINDERS:

A. Saturday, September 10:
1. 9:30 AM: Shaharit l`Shabbat & the Bar Mitzvah of Tommy David
2. 12:30 PM: Exploring Judaism Class: Believing (God &Torah) – this class will meet in the Board Room approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of Shabbat morning services – ALL ARE WELCOME – it is geared to those potentially interested in exploring conversion or those who just want to explore and learn more
B. Sunday, September 11:
1. 8:45 AM: Meditative reflection follow by a moment of silence for 9/11 in the Holocaust Memorial Garden
2. 9 AM: 1st Day of Religious School
3. 9 AM: Morning Minyan & 9/11 Commemoration in the Sanctuary together with the Religious School
C. Thursday, Sept 15, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
D. Friday, September 23: 8 PM: Shabbat Service + Healing Service
E. Thursday, October 6, 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner – Springfield Barnes & Noble: Rabbi Mallach & Reverend David Knecht, Holy Cross Lutheran Church – will lead a topical discussion on issues that we all face – OPEN TO ALL – this is the inaugural evening for this event

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

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

TTT: Re`eh 5771 – 8/23/11

August 23rd, 2011 by admin | No Comments | Filed in TTT

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Ekev 5771
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ

NEXT POTENTIAL CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR
There have been inquiries about the next potential congregation Israel tour, such an event depends on several factors:
1. When? Possible time-frames: February or March, 2012, Summer 2012
2. Having a nucleus of participants to make it viable – 20 adult minimum
3. Having a chairman to organize
If anyone is interested, please let me know and we can discuss the possibilities (NOTE: HAVE GOTTEN SEVERAL RESPONSES, INTEREST IS CLEARLY GROWING…)

IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW
PARASHAT EKEV
August 20, 2011- 20 Av 5771
Annual: Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25 (Etz Hayim, p. 1037; Hertz p. 780)
Triennial: Deuteronomy 7:12 – 9:3 (Etz Hayim, p. 1037; Hertz p. 780)
Haftarah: Isaiah 49:14 – 51:3 (Etz Hayim, p. 1056; Hertz p. 794)
(Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser, Baldwin, New York)
“Know, then, that it is not for any virtue of yours that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess; for you are a stiff-necked people.” (Deuteronomy 9:6)
Commentary:
“Moses wanted to emphasize and establish that the gift of the Land of Israel was not given to the Jews by virtue of the good deeds of any particular generation. Rather it was a gift to Klal Yisrael (the Jewish people as a whole); that is, to all generations. Thus, Moses wanted to encourage those generations that lacked good deeds and inform them that they were capable of acquiring the land despite their shortcomings.” (Chiddushei Ha-Rim)
“It was that stiff necked characterization of the Jews; the persistence to maintain bad habits that lead to destruction. Yet, it is this trait of stubbornness that is also the secret to the Jews’ survival. Other nations would have waned under intimidation of Hadrian. But the Jews would not be crushed. They were determined at any cost to fight for their survival as Jews.” Larry Domnitch, The Mystery of Lag Ba-Omer and the Stiff Necked People
“Stubbornness is a powerful trait. However, like any characteristic, it is neither positive nor negative in and of itself. Rather, it is a fact of our existence as a people. The question, both for us as individuals and as part of the Jewish people, is how we will use this powerful trait and what effect it will have on our lives and the lives of the people around us.” Rabbi Label Lam
“It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.” Albert Einstein
“No one has ever found the Lord through stubborn mindedness.” Guru Gobind Singh
“Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me. Amen.” Martin Luther
Sparks for Discussion:
In what ways does stubbornness (“stiffnecked-ness”) manifest itself in the Jewish people today? What are the positive and negative results of this collective trait? For diaspora communities? For the citizenry of the Jewish state?
In addition to Einstein himself, what other stubborn and incorrigible nonconformists have the Jewish people produced? Who has played critical roles in the survival and advancement of the Jewish people?
In regard to what goals, principles and ideals have you demonstrated insufficient determination? Excessive stubbornness? When would you say: “Here I stand; I can do no other”?
Does the people Israel’s alleged lack of virtue weaken or strengthen the nation’s claim to the land of Israel? If the land was not a reward, what is its purpose in Jewish (and human) history? What other aspects of Jewish tradition are unrelated to any asserted virtue or inherent national quality? What moral principle does this lack of virtue or deserving offer the individual Jew? How would our individual spiritual efforts (and our national self-perception) differ if we did assert that our ancestors were entirely virtuous and deserving of God’s generosity?
How might Guru Gobind Singh respond to Jacob’s tenacity in wrestling with the angel: “I will not let you go until you bless me”?

As always, your thoughts are welcome…

REMINDERS:

A. Wednesday, August 17th, 2 – 8 PM: Blood Drive at the temple
B. Thursday, August 18th, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
C. Saturday, August 20th, 9:30 AM:
1. Simhat Bat of Robyn Leigh Weiss
2. Auf Ruf of Richard Yablonsky & Janet Labendz

D. Friday, August 26:
1. 6:30 PM: Temple Pre-Shabbat BBQ – all are welcome – contact the temple office to RSVP: office@templebethahmyisrael.com
2. Follow by twilight Kabbalat Shabbat services (dinner requires an RSVP, but you may still come to the services, figure around 7:45 PM)
3. Guest Speakers: Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin: NY Passes Marriage Equality – NJ, What Next?
E. Saturday, September 3, 6:45 PM: Minha l`Shabbat & the Bar Mitzvah of Jordan Tyler
F. Monday, September 5, 9 AM: Morning Minyan in the Chapel – NOTE 9 AM START TIME
G. Saturday, September 10, 9:30 AM: Shaharit l`Shabbat & the Bar Mitzvah of Tommy David
H. Sunday, September 11:
1. 9 AM: Morning Minyan
2. 9 AM: 1st Day of Religious School
3. 9:30 AM: 9/11 Commemoration
4. 9:30 AM: Men’s Club Breakfast & Program
I. Thursday, Sept 15, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap

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

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