APRIL 2021 NEWSLETTER
NISSAN / IYAR 5781
NEW ADDRESS FOR...
Larry and Diana Schneider: 4319 East Casstown Clark Road, Casstown OH 45314
PLAQUES HAVE BEEN INSTALLED
- A Family plaque in memory of Maxine Leventhal has been inscribed and now hangs in the Room of Remembrance.
- A Family plaque in memory of Morrey Shifman has been inscribed and now hangs in the Room of Remembrance.
WE ARE RETURNING!
Everyone, after a long hiatus, we will be resuming LIVE IN-PERSON worship services at the Temple on Friday night, April 16th at 6:00 PM.
NOTE: Since vaccinations by then will be available to persons as young as 19 and in order to encourage in-person attendance, it has been decided NOT to Zoom the service.
Masks will be optional and social distancing will continue.
IT IS ENCOURAGED/EXPECTED THAT EVERYONE WHO DOES ATTEND WILL HAVE BEEN VACCINATED BEFOREHAND.
That evening, we will also be observing Yom Ha-atmaut, Israel Independence Day, so the spirit of ''independence'' will be in the air.
Looking forward to seeing all of you back soon!
~ RABBI'S CORNER ~
ARE WE BETTER ON THE OTHER SIDE?
In the Jewish calendar, the seven weeks from the first day of Passover until Shavuot are known as sefirat ha-omer, the counting of the omer. The Torah teaches: You shall count for yourselves, from the day after the day of rest, from the day when you bring the omer/sheaf of grain (barley), you shall count seven weeks (Leviticus 23:15). The grain was barley, and it was presented every day in the Sanctuary. According to rabbinic tradition, although the text says ''day of rest,'' it does not refer to Shabbat per se, but to the first day of Passover.
After the Temple was destroyed in the year 70 CE, all sacrificial offerings ceased. However, the counting of the 49 days of the omer continued. And because this period eventually concludes with the observance of Shavuot and commemorating the Giving of the Torah, our Sages shifted its agricultural focus to a more spiritual one. Aware of our ancestors' 7-week journey from Egypt to Sinai, they emphasized our need to make our own spiritual journeys from serving the Pharaohs in our lives to serving G-d.
To be sure, significant events that occurred in the 20th century during this seven-week period were the impetus to other days of remembrance being added to the Jewish calendar: Yom HaShoa (remembering the Holocaust), Yom Ha-atsmaut (Israel's Independence Day), and Yom Hazikaron (Israel's Memorial Day). Arguably, these new days of solemnity and celebration add to the focus of increasing our spiritual sensitivity.
Before these new days were added to our calendar, this period traditionally was not only a time of introspection but also a time of semi-mourning: rabbinic tradition recounts that this was the time when 24,000 students of the illustrious sage, Rabbi Akiba, died from a plague(!). Recalling this tragedy, observant Jews do not have weddings, parties, or get their hair cut. The holiday of Lag B'omer - the 33rd day - is celebrated as the day when the plague ended.
Long ago, the question was asked: why did Rabbi Akiva's students die this way? What had they done (or not done) to deserve such a fate? Tradition tells us that the reason they died was that they did not show respect for one another. As smart and as proficient in learning sacred texts as they were, their talent made them arrogant and haughty. Learning humility, which is the main objective of Torah study, was what they did not learn. They were full of Torah knowledge, but empty of its wisdom.
Thinking about the plaque that we have experienced over these past many months and that so many more than 24,000 have died, we would do well to ask: with all the knowledge that we have gained about the Covid-19 virus and how our lives have changed so significantly, have we gained only knowledge, or have we gained wisdom as well? Has this plague taught us only how to keep our bodies healthy, or has it taught us about the humility our souls need to stay healthy? As was asked at Rosh Hashanah: has COVID taught us anything about our need to show kawvid/respect to others? If we are beginning to come out of this, are we better on the other side, not only physically but spiritually?
Though many of us may not observe the traditional customs associated with this time of the year, we would do well to reflect on why those customs were instituted in the first place - and remember not only how those students died, but why. They died almost 2000 years ago. Still, their story remains relevant.
- Rabbi Cary Kozberg
~ CONTRIBUTIONS ~
Tzedakah in memory of all my 2021 yahrzeits from Paul Cornez: my beloved wife Natalie; my mother Marion; my father Arthur; my aunt Francis; and my friend Doug Goldman
- In memory of Ben Blumberg, father of Frayda, from Larry and Frayda Beloff
JEFFREY D EBNER YOUTH FUND
- In memory of James (Jamie) Zitsman from Harvey and Lyla Bailin
- In memory of Randy Feldman from Harvey and Lyla Bailin
~ YAHRZEIT LIST ~
APR 2: Fannie Dagan, Hazel G. Meyer, Goldie Pommer, Charlotte M. Salzer, Mary Schuman, Louis A. Shatsky, Celia Roth Travis, Ida P. Zitsman, Hyman Draisen (father of Bernice Goldman), Ben Irwin (father of Stephanie Paugh), Blanche Stillpass (mother of Phyllis Nedelman), Sylvia Harton Wolf (mother of Fran Rickenbach)
APR 9: Samuel Altschul, Ben Goldman, Cecile Leider Greenland (stepmother of Jay Greenland), Louis Rubinoff, Philip Friedman, Jack Leventhal (father of Aaron Leventhal), William Smith, Charles Sahl Stein, Yetta Miller Stein
APR 16: Nathan Ebner, Belle K. Freed, James R. Herron, Hattie Rachel Willens
APR 23: Mona Freed, Harry L. Levy, Robert Pommer, Dorothy Rosenfield, Marilyn Schneider (mother of Larry and Bruce Schneider), Samuel Soble, Alex Leventhal (father of Ed Leventhal), Max Silverstein (father of Marvin Silverstein)
APR 30: Rae Bernstein, Joseph Block, Sharon Lee Broock, David S. Greenland (father of Jay Greenland), Jacob Holzberg, Irene Klaben, Simon Zoav Levine, Gus M. Salzer, Cecile Strauss, Jacob Weinfeld, Pamela Embrey (mother of Faydra Embrey), Harry Lurie, Anne Rosenstein
MAY 7: Alan Buchfirer, Benjamin Feldman, Lazer Gerson, Robert M. Gold, Rose Heller, Rose Kimmelman