AV / ELUL 5782
MAZAL TOV TO...
Inas Sisler upon her recent retirement from the workforce. Yea!!!
The Klaben family was recently presented with the United Way of Greater Dayton's 2022 Humanitarian of the Year Award. Morris Furniture Co. and the Klaben family have partnered with others to provide more than 14,000 beds to children in need.
WE EXTEND A WARM WELCOME TO THE FOLLOWING NEW MEMBER WHO HAS JOINED THE TEMPLE SHOLOM FAMILY
8595 W. Covington-Gettysburg Rd, Covington OH 45318
~ HIGH HOLY DAYS 5783 ~
Please take a moment to mark your calendar for the upcoming High Holy Days. Details along with service times will be available in the September newsletter as well as via e-mail. Services will again be held in the sanctuary, and we hope you feel comfortable in attending.
Sunday, Sept 25
Erev Rosh Hashanah
Monday, Sept 26
Tuesday, Oct 4
Wednesday, Oct 5
Monday, Oct 10
Tuesday, Oct 18
~ YOM KIPPUR BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE ~
We will be mailing a form to members to list the names of your loved ones in this year's Memorial Booklet. Please complete your information and return the form to the Temple office at your earliest convenience.
~ MUSICAL INVITATION ~
The Temple Choir is beginning preparations for the High Holidays services and is looking for more members. This choir sings under the able direction of Steve Broidy during these four services starting on September 25. There are usually three or four rehearsals prior to the services so that you are familiar with the music. Please contact Steve for more information.
~ RABBI'S CORNER ~
A THIRD TEMPLE?
This year, the fast day of Tisha B'Av will be observed a week from today - August 7. Tisha B'Av commemorates the destruction of the first Holy Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and then the second Holy Temple in the year 70 CE by the Romans. Both destructions were the ''holocaust'' of their day, and the consequences of the second destruction and the ensuing exile continue to be felt to this day. Traditional Jews observe this day with fasting and the recitation of the Book of Lamentations and other dirges. For Reform Jews, however, the day does not have the same significance. After almost 2000 years, the European founders of Reform came to believe that Jews would never be restored to their homeland, nor (in the wake of the Enlightenment and emancipation from the ghetto) should they want to return there. Moreover, in the wake of the Enlightenment (with its emphasis on the rights of the individual) and having acquired the right to live among non-Jews, the founders of Reform re-interpreted being exiled among the nations not as a punishment but a blessing and an opportunity to bring non-Jews the message of ethical monotheism.
These major changes in theological attitudes were reflected in the first Reform prayerbooks created in Germany. They re-framed the idea of Messianism, moving away from an anticipated descendant of David who would redeem the Jewish people, to a more universalized hope of a ''messianic age.'' Moreover, they omitted or changed several of the traditional references that anticipated a return to Zion and a restoration of the sacrificial cult in a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.
Those leaders of European Reform who came to America in the mid-19th century brought these new ideas with them. Although they were challenged here as they had been in Europe by their fellow Jews who wanted to preserve traditional practices and beliefs, these new ideas found a broad acceptance among Jews who wanted to stay Jews but also passionately wanted to become loyal, patriotic Americans.
One of those individuals was Gustav Poznanski. Poznanski was born in Poland and came from a traditional religious background, but his time in Hamburg exposed him to the new views of Reform. He emigrated to the United States in 1836 and was offered the pulpit of Congregation Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston, SC. In April 1838, the congregation's synagogue was destroyed by fire and a new one was completed in 1840. By the time the synagogue was dedicated in 1841, support for liturgical and theological reform was sufficiently ensconced within the congregation, and Poznanski declared at the dedication ceremony:
''This synagogue is our temple, this city our Jerusalem, this happy land our Palestine, and as our fathers defended with their lives that temple, that city, and that land, so will their sons defend this temple, this city, and this land... He added, ''America is our Zion and Washington our Jerusalem.''
His message was clear: American Jews should no longer pray to return to their original homeland, nor should they pray for the Temple to be rebuilt. That we Jews live freely as Jews in this country is sufficient proof that the ultimate redemption is at hand.
(NB: It may be that Poznanski's words were influential in Reform synagogues thereafter being referred to as ''temples.'')
Tragically, Rabbi Poznanski was killed during the Civil War, fighting for the Confederacy (!). But his legacy lived on. Several decades later, the tenets he affirmed were incorporated into the Pittsburgh Platform, adopted in 1885 as the de-facto founding document of American Reform Judaism. Among the Platform's planks was this statement:
We recognize, in the modern era of universal culture of heart and intellect, the approaching of the realization of Israel's great Messianic hope for the establishment of the kingdom of truth, justice, and peace among all men. We consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore expect neither a return to Palestine, nor a sacrificial worship under the sons of Aaron, nor the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.
Looking back at what has transpired in world history since 1841 and 1885 - what humanity in general has endured and what Jews in particular have endured - it would be fair to ask: how does this statement square with what Reform Judaism affirms today? Do Reform Jews still affirm what these words declare?
Some do, some don't. Although not as numerous as they were 40 or 50 years ago, there are still Reform Jews who identify as ''classical'' and do hold by these sentiments, as well as others stated in the 1885 document. However, the Reform movement itself has periodically ''updated'' its official Platform, usually in response to unfolding current events and political/social circumstances.
When the State of Israel became a reality in 1948, Reform officially expressed less sympathy for its original ''anti-Zionist'' thrust. After Israel's stunning (miraculous?) victory in 1967, the Movement began expressing a full-throated support for the existence of the Jewish State.
With all of this in mind, if the Reform movement historically has seen fit to ''update'' its tenets according to unfolding current events and political circumstances, might it be open to consider the following:
--whereas the passionate hope for humanity's ultimate redemption energized in the 19th century by the Enlightenment and the Jews' final acceptance into European life evaporated with the bloody events of the 20th century;
--whereas modern anti-Semitism does not differentiate between Jews who are religiously observant and Jews who are not, thus negating the notion that Jews are just a ''religious community'';
--whereas Jews HAVE returned, and are continuing to return, to the land heretofore called ''Palestine'' (now called Israel) from every country in which Jews live, particularly as incidents of Jew hatred around the world increase;
--whereas the creation of a Jewish State makes ''the restoration of any laws concerning the Jewish state'' a logical necessity to maintain itself as ''a Jewish state'' (albeit not necessarily a theocracy);
--whereas Israel's re-claiming Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in 1967 negates the assumption of Reform's founders that there will never be another independent Jewish entity on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, as well as the assumption that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount would never again be under Jewish control;
--whereas these realities forced Reform to reconsider its earlier assumptions about the historical Jewish relationship with the Land and Jerusalem;
Should the following be considered:
IS THERE ROOM IN A FUTURE ''UPDATED'' PLATFORM OF REFORM JUDAISM ALLOWING FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF A THIRD TEMPLE?
The question itself raises many crucial political and theological issues, some of which are:
--What about the mosques currently occupying the space where both Temples stood? Would a third Temple replace them or share the space? What would be the reaction of Muslims? How will the rest of the world respond?
--Will a third Temple merely be a magnificent ''central Synagogue,'' or will it reinstitute the ancient sacrificial cult (including animal sacrifices)?
--If the latter, and assuming any political fallout is miraculously minimal, how will world Jewry itself respond? Will Jews be willing to acclimate to this new/old way of worship, or will a new Temple with animal sacrifices exacerbate the theological/ideological schisms already plaguing the Jewish community?
At present, we don't know the answer to any of these questions.
But we do know that the early Reformers' presumptions about the arc of history was incorrect: the ''enlightened age'' of the 19th century did not usher in the expected ''kumbaya'' universal redemption in which Jews would benefit. Indeed, it was followed by a century that was the bloodiest in both world and Jewish history.
Thus, remembering that old saw ''man proposes and G-d disposes,'' it would seem prudent for us to anticipate the future with a bit less certainty and a bit more humility. On Tisha B'Av, there are those of us who remember the events it commemorates as still freshly tragic, and there are those who view them merely as distant memories.
But approaching the question of ''what will be re a third Temple?'', perhaps the best advice is that given by my friend Rabbi Chaim Capland:
''We will have to wait for further instructions.''
-Rabbi Cary Kozberg
~ CONTRIBUTIONS ~
In memory of my husband Jeff from Inas Sisler
SHARON LEE BROOCK FLOWER FUND
Happy Birthday to Laurie Leventhal from Cathy Bell, Diane Smith
~ YAHRZEIT LIST ~
AUG 5: Anne Arnovitz, Ben Broock, Julius Holzberg, Abraham M. Lapinsky, Pearle Romanoff, Dr. David B. Russack (father of Robert & Louis), Riva Stessel, Maisie Demmel, Samuel M. Draisen (brother of Bernice Goldman), Ben Mazur, Betty-Anne Zoldan
AUG 12: Joseph Friedberger, Dora K. Lebensberger, Lt. Robert L. Levine, J. Leonard Werber, Jessica Richardson (sister of Laurel Richardson)
AUG 19: Phillip Buchirer, George C. Hart, Emma Kossoff, Ruth R. Levin, Sophia Roth, Moses N. Sanders, Theresa Ennis (stepmother of Barbara Willens), Naomi Gardner, Ruth (Ricky) Kepnes (mother of Ellen Levine), Mollie Unger
AUG 26: Mary Jane Broock, Douglas S. Goldman, Anna R. Kaminsky, Lena Myers, Marjorie J. Newman, Elizabeth Rittoff, Saul Schneider, Doris Levy Bard (mother of Priscilla Dixon), Joyce Carol Burroughs (mother of Lori Nedelman), Evelyn Ennis (mother of Barbara Willens), Martha Irwin (mother of Stephanie Paugh), Eleanor E. Weiss (mother of Jan Spier), Shereen Willens
SEPT 2: David Krauss (grandfather), Rebecca LaSalle, Minnie Weixelbaum, Arthur A. Cornez (father of Paul Cornez), Louise Feinstein, Harold Y. Leventhal (brother of Aaron Leventhal), Henry G. Stern (Mishpacha of Sam Beloff), Moshe Zohar (brother of Itzca Zohar)