OCTOBER 2018 NEWSLETTER
TISHREI / CHESHVAN 5779
MAZAL TOV TO...
- Jacob Swibel, who was bar mitzvah on September 22 in Rockville, MD. Jacob is the grandson of Rabbi Cary and Sheryl Kozberg
- Sanford Flack who will celebrate his 75th birthday on October 3
Hope to see you at the Temple for conversation, bagels, coffee, and an assortment of Sunday newspapers to read and talk over. This is not your typical ''Sunday School'' - just a gathering of adults coming together to relax, read the paper, eat and drink, and of course to discuss the community and world events. Questions? Contact Steve and Susie Broidy.
Stan and Phyllis Nedelman on the passing of her brother-in-law, Louis Dollin, on September 3
May his memory be for a blessing
OCTOBER SERVICE LEADERS
October 5.......... Rabbi Cary Kozberg
October 12......... Cantor Lauren Bandman
October 19......... Rabbi Cary Kozberg
October 26......... Rabbi Cary Kozberg
~ RABBI'S CORNER ~
PURSUING JUSTICE - ''Jewish'' style
''Lawlessness and injustice provide the impetus for change and improvement...
We continue to strive through law and other social controls, to suppress the
yetzer hara - the evil inclination - that all humans possess and to encourage
the yetzer tov - the good inclination - that most humans possess.''
Alan Dershowitz, The Genesis of Justice, p. 258
As I write this, an historic and morally crucial event is about to take place in the Senate Judiciary committee. Politics, process and morality have all come together in the past couple of weeks to serve up a plate of spaghetti from which separating out the individual strands of human integrity and media spectacle has become tedious.
As a religious tradition that heavily emphasizes pursuing justice through just means (on Deuteronomy 16:20 - justice, justice you shall pursue - Rabbi Simcha Bunim taught: ''even the pursuit of justice must employ only just means and not falsehood''), what might Jewish religious teachings have to contribute to how this controversy should be handled? It is impossible to give a complete answer in this space, but here are a couple of points to be considered:
- Only several weeks ago we read from Parashat Shoftim: ''You shall not pervert judgment; you shall not respect persons, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous (Deut. 16:19). In my d'var Torah for that week, I shared the story of a widow who had come to Rabbi Yehoshua of Kutno to complain about the injustice done to her by one of the local people. Crying bitterly, she begged the rabbi to force the man to come to a rabbinic court. To be sure, the rabbi was keenly sensitive to the commandment to protect widows. However, he had to refuse her request, giving the reason that bribes come in different forms: even tears and shows of emotion can be bribery, especially the tears of a widow. He, therefore, could not be impartial in such a case.
- In the same parasha we find the verses: ''One witness shall not arise against a man for any sin or guilt that he may commit; according to two witnesses or according to three witnesses a matter shall stand'' (Deut. 19:15). Moreover, in accordance with Judaic values regarding the truth, the rabbis were very concerned about the motivation of expert witnesses. Any witness who is established by other witnesses as a liar or robber or other miscreant is invalid. There is a general rule that if one person among a group of witnesses is disqualified, they are all disqualified, even if the original disqualification does not question the truthfulness of the disqualified witness, and even if there remain two other witnesses (Makkot chapter 1).
In addition, Rabbi Abraham ben Mordecai Farissol, in his treatise Abraham ben Mordecai Farissol (33:1) makes the point that we are to be concerned with expert witnesses because we are not dealing with simple testimony but judgment, which ''...depends on logic and thought...changes due to friendship and enmity, even without evil intention.''
- On whether a person's past misdeeds - if genuine - automatically disqualify him/her for high office, despite how that person subsequently has lived his/her life (NB: if a person's misdeeds can NEVER be repented for or forgiven, observance of the High Holidays was/is a waste of time):
The Talmud (Baba Metzia 84a) relates the story of the great rabbi, Resh Lakish. Before becoming a rabbi, Resh Lakish, whose given name was Shimon, was the leader of a group of bandits, during the rule of the Romans, after the Destruction of the Second Temple. He had a reputation for great strength with a wild, even violent, streak. He was also supposed to have great leadership ability with very high, if somewhat misdirected, intelligence.
One time, Rabbi Yochanan, a great Torah scholar, was bathing in the Jordan River. All of a sudden, Resh Lakish leapt into the water and swam to him. Rabbi Yochanan said, ''Your strength should be devoted to the Torah!''
Rabbi Yochanan searched for a way to persuade the leader of the bandits to abandon his present lifestyle and adopt the lifestyle of the Torah. Nothing he could think of was likely to work, except for one. Rabbi Yochanan said, ''Ben Lakish, Repent! If you begin to study Torah, you can marry my sister (with her permission, of course.)'' He accepted the offer, began to study Torah, married Rabbi Yochanan's sister, and eventually became one of the immortal Torah giants, in scholarship and character, of the Jewish People.
Why is the commandment to pursue justice? Because, although we may want to claim it, it is often elusive.
-- Rabbi Cary Kozberg
~ HIGH HOLY DAYS 5779 ~
We appreciate the many people who gave of their time, heart, and resources to make our observance of the Days of Awe beautiful and meaningful. The community of Temple Sholom, both members and guests, would like to thank you for making a difference.
Our members who made donations for this year's Memorial Booklet, the Rosh Hashanah oneg, and the Break-the-Fast oneg
The members who said ''yes'' to ushering and participating in these services, especially as a late request
Steve Broidy and Rabbi Kozberg for leading the Cemetery Memorial service at Ferncliff Cemetery
Market on the Ridge for their donation of brown paper bags for the Food Drive
Rabbi Cary Kozberg for his pulpit and community leadership throughout these Days of Awe
Our Shofar Blowers - Rabbi Kozberg, Brian Weiss and Itzca Zohar
Laurie Leventhal for polishing our silver pieces in preparation for the High Holy Days
Kathleen Leonard and helpers for the many setups, cleanups, and behind the scenes work
Diane Smith for the myriad tasks leading up to the holidays and for coordinating our food drive donations to the Second Harvest Food Bank
Laurie Leventhal and Phyllis Nedelman for chairing Break-the-Fast and the volunteers who donated kugels and casseroles
The Leventhal Family and the Klang Family for decorating the Temple sukkah; Larry Schneider for donating the cornstalks; and Itzca Zohar and Doug Klang for donating the greens and pumpkins
A BIG THANK YOU TO Steve Broidy for his beautiful musical leadership in the High Holy Days services and for his organization and participation with the Temple choir; our Choir members, Steve Broidy, Priscilla Dixon, Larry Turyn, and Itzca Zohar, and their accompanist, Carol Harbaugh, for their many rehearsals and hard work. Your music always adds immeasurably to our Worship Services.
If you were unable to attend High Holy Days services and would like to have a copy of this year's Memorial Booklet, please contact the office and we will be happy to mail you a copy.
~ CONTRIBUTIONS ~
- A contribution for the High Holy Days from Paul Cornez
- A contribution in memory of her husband Jeff from Inas Sisler
- In celebration of Sandy Flack's 75th Birthday from Eddie and Laurie Leventhal
- In honor of Eddie and Laurie Leventhal's 50th wedding anniversary from Todd and Gabriele Leventhal, Pete and Peggy Noonan
- In honor of Fran Rickenbach with thanks for making the holiday challahs from Stan and Phyllis Nedelman
- In honor of Eddie and Laurie Leventhal's 50th wedding anniversary from Jack and Paulette Grodner
- Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Marvin Silverstein from Jack and Paulette Grodner
- In memory of Douglas S. Goldman from Paul Cornez
RABBI'S DISCRETIONARY FUND
- In honor of the bar mitzvah of Rabbi Cary and Sheryl Kozberg's grandson, Jacob Swibel, from Ron and Jan Spier
SHARON LEE BROOCK FLOWER FUND
- In honor of Laurie Leventhal's birthday from Peggy Noonan
JEFFREY D EBNER YOUTH FUND
- To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Walker in memory of your loving sister from Lyla and Harvey Bailin
~ YAHRZEIT LIST ~
OCT 5: Ida Reva Block, Jane L. Ensten, Hyman E. Levy, James Goldman (brother of Lloyd), Sandra Marenberg (sister of Gerald), Ruth Miller, Seymour Miller, Lester Stein (father of Leslie Buerki), Florence A. Tannenbaum
OCT 12: Sophia S. Kossoff, Michael N. Maybruck, Lance William Rich
OCT 19: Harry Bernstein, Barnett Brizman, Julius G. Hoeflich, Elsa M. Kleeman, Samuel Klein, Daniel Rich, Nathan Rollins, Louis Schuman, Hilbert Beloff (brother of Larry), Ella Farber Katz, Sarah Leventhal (mother of Ed), Arthur Nedelman (father of Stan), Alyse R. Weiss (mother of Brian)
OCT 26: Theodore Adler, Jack Brammer, Rabbi Janice Garfunkel, Larry Sanders, Retta Wolff, Esther Zitsman
NOV 2: Barbara Kempler, Sylvia Anne Lapinsky, Jacob LaSalle, Pearl S. Levine, Abraham Silberberg, Arthur A. Strauss, Emilie Turyn (sister of Larry), Gloria L. Zitsman, Eva Wile Friedsam, Gabriel Greenland, David M. Levitan