Hello Temple Sinai!
Thank you to everyone that made the Red Cross Blood Drive successful, particularly David Punia and Karen Cote, and to everyone that helped deliver Meals on Wheels on Christmas day, and particularly to Jeff Solomon who coordinated all the logistics. It is good to be part off a community that puts our values into practice. Thank you.
Thanks also to my Intro to Judaism class for making latkes and sufganiyot to take to Ru’ach Hamaqom for first night of Hanukkah, and to all the Sinai folks that showed up to celebrate there or at the statewide party at the Zen Barn on Monday night.
Also in this issue:
– MORE CHANUKKAH! Upcoming services and events, and the music I posted last week.
– JCOGS Israel trip planned for next summer.
As you know, Hanukkah is not a holiday found in the TaNakh, the Hebrew Bible. The Mishnah, the first collection of Jewish law after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, barely mentions Hanukkah, and then in oblique ways. The early rabbis that preserved and transformed Judaism in this period, especially those living under Roman occupation, might not have thought celebrating a holiday of violent rebellion was a good strategy. And yet the holiday persisted and grew, and over time gained special prayers in the Amidah, and the holiday prayers called Hallel are recited.
There are a growing number of Jewish a capella groups that are doing fun Hanukkah songs and videos. Two of the most prolific groups, Maccabeats and Six13, are all male. The Fountainheads are a mixed group. I could not find an all women’s group with Hanukkah videos on; if you do, please share those with me! -Rabbi David
Hello Temple Sinai!
We had a BLAST!!! At the URJ Biennial, where 5,000 Reform Jews from all across North America and Israel gathered to celebrate, pray, and plan together.
In this email:
– Death announcement
– Israel trip
– Hanukkah and other upcoming events
– Social Action opportunities
– Blood drive
– Hanukkah music/videos
Dear Temple Sinai,
In this message:
– Greetings and update from the URJ Biennial
– The New Jersey Shooting
– Regarding President Trump’s executive order to include Jewish college students under Title VI.
-Thanks to all the young families that came to the Chanukkah Party this past Shabbat, and yashar co’ach to Saragail Benjamin for her creative, engagement, and joyous way of leading the program.
-Congratulations to David Shiman, chair of our Social Action Committee here at Sinai, who was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Human Rights Educators U.S.A.
-Save the Dates: Hanukkah Events
-Hanukkah Music Videos for Kids & Adults!
First of all, I want to congratulate David Shiman, chair of our Social Action Committee here at Sinai, who was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Human Rights Educators U.S.A.
This week’s Torah portion is Vayeitzei, from Breishit, or Genesis. It starts in medias res after Jacob has stolen Esau’s birthright and tricked Isaac into getting the blessing for the first born. Both of Jacob’s parents have told him he needs to go immediately to Abraham’s old home in Harran, but for completely different reasons. Rebecca tells him to flee because his brother Esau might kill him for stealing the blessing.
Happy Thanksgiving Temple Sinai!
Giving thanks is central to Judaism. Most of our prayers each day and each week are focused on thanksgiving. For those of us that pray in the mornings, the first series of blessings gives thanks for each step of waking up: hearing the alarm, opening our eyes, putting our feet on the floor, getting dress, getting to the bathroom, etc. This sort of mindfulness about the little things is one thing I deeply value about Jewish practice.
– Farewell Michael Levine
– Blessed SIGD, Holiday of Ethiopian Jewry
– Shabbat Services & Torah Study
– Rabbi Angel Buchdahl’s Sermon on Whether Legailty of The Settlement is The Right Question
As a follow up to the articles I shared last week on the Trump administration’s announcement that the US now considers the Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be legal, reversing decades of policy. As another approach, here is Rabbi Angela Buchdahl’s sermon last Shabbat on the whether the question of legality is really […]
In Genesis, when God creates humankind, it reads:
הִ֖ים בָּרָ֣א אֹת֑וֹ זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בָּרָ֥א אֹתָֽם׃ הִ֤ים ׀ אֶת־הָֽאָדָם֙ בְּצַלְמ֔וֹ בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱ וַיִּבְרָ֨א אֱ
And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. It is a curious line, that God creates man, and then it says, “male and female He created them.” Is it him or them? Is it one or more?