NOVEMBER 2018 NEWSLETTER
CHESHVAN / KISLEV 5779
MAZAL TOV TO...
Maxine Leventhal and Char Schiff who both celebrated a Happy Birthday
TODAH RABBAH...thank you to
Everyone who donated hotel amenities and toiletries that were recently donated to Project Woman
The family of Gary Krauss, who passed away on October 24
May his memory be for a blessing
TEMPLE OFFICE CLOSED
The office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 22 and 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
~ SECURITY COMMITTEE ~
There was discussion at the last Annual Meeting about establishing a Security Committee to implement further safety precautions for the building at all times and for anyone who should be inside. There will be an upcoming meeting to begin these steps. Please contact the office at 399-1231 or by email if you are interested and prepared to serve on this committee. We appreciate your willingness to serve during these uneasy times.
~ INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE ~
You are invited to join with other area congregations for this year's Thanksgiving Interfaith Service on Tuesday, November 20 beginning at 7:00 p.m. The service will be held at the Central Community Center, 102 W. High Street (the former Faith United Methodist Church). Plans are being made to remember the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh during this service. Temple Sholom is one of the founding congregations of this annual service, and we hope you will attend and support interfaith worship in our community.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!
On Friday night, November 16, we will be resuming our Fall ''DINE AND OPINE'' series. The first program will include Shabbat Dinner and a presentation by Reverend Maggie Leidheiser-Stoddard, priest at Christ Episcopal Church in Springfield.
With the Christmas season beginning, Reverend Maggie will address the subject of Christianity in an interfaith society. She will be addressing questions such as:
-- What defines a Christian?
-- How do Christians understand the concept of ''salvation''?
-- What are the different ways Christians interpret Holy Scripture?
-- How do Christians see and relate to Jews, people of other faiths, and people of no
After her presentation, there will be time for questions and an open discussion. In order to plan appropriately for the dinner, please RSVP with Diane in the Temple office, 399-1231.
NOVEMBER SERVICE LEADERS
November 2........ Cantor Lauren Bandman
November 9........ Rabbi Cary Kozberg
November 16 ..... Rabbi Cary Kozberg
November 23 ..... Cantor Lauren Bandman
November 30 ..... Rabbi Cary Kozberg
~ RABBI'S CORNER ~
TO SANCTIFY THE NAME
''These things do I remember: through all the years, ignorance like a monster has devoured our martyrs...filled with a futile thought: to make an end of that which God has cherished'' (Gates of Repentance, p. 431)
It was only a few weeks ago that we recited these words during the section of the Yom Kippur afternoon service that recalls the various times that Jews throughout history suffered martyrdom. Who would have thought that in our own time, another episode would be added to that tragic list - especially in this, the freest nation in which Jews have ever lived?
Jewish tradition teaches that martyrdom is the ultimate way that a Jew sanctifies the name of G-d. Whenever a Jew is killed simply for being a Jew, that person has died al kiddush HaShem - for the sanctification of G-d's Name. Why? Because, as I stated on Rosh Hashanah, WE AS A PEOPLE REPRESENT THE PRESENCE OF A JUST AND MORAL G-D.
The significance of what happened in Pittsburgh is poignantly amplified by the act that those eleven martyrs died during a brit milah: as our covenant with G-d was being affirmed by the act of shedding the ''blood of the Covenant'' at the circumcision being performed that morning, they shed their own blood for the sake of the Covenant! Moreover, the Torah reading for that Shabbat included the story of Sodom and Gomorrah - which begins with G-d's asking Himself as to whether He should share with Abraham His intention to destroy the two wicked cities:
''Shall I conceal from Abraham what I intend to do...for I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his posterity to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is just and right...''
Indeed, this verse affirms why we Jews exist: to be ''G-d's walking commercials” in the world. Pittsburgh showed us that, once again - until the Messiah comes - as long as we exist “to keep the way of the Lord,'' there will be those who scream ''All Jews must die!'' For, as we also read on Yom Kippur afternoon: ''Without Jews, there is no Jewish God.'' (GOR, p. 436.) And make no mistake: there are those in this world who want to make an end to what G-d has cherished, in order to make an end to G-d.
So...how do we respond to such acts of hate? We must respond in many ways.
-- We must remember that there are those who want to rid the world of us and the ONE we represent.
-- We must mourn the victims and comfort their families.
-- We must reaffirm our pride and strengthen our unity as ''one people'' - despite whatever differences there may be among us.
-- We should do a mitzvah in memory of the victims: lighting Shabbat candles, coming to synagogue, giving tzedakah, engaging in any act of loving kindness, etc.
-- We must respond and reach out to the ''righteous Gentiles'' among us (Muslims and Christians) who are sickened by this heinous action and have expressed solidarity with us. We should improve our knowledge of Jewish history so that we can better explain the phenomenon of historical anti-Semitism and weave our concerns into larger concerns regarding hatred in this country.
But there is yet another way in which we must respond. And that is to be more prepared:
-- to acknowledge that attacks like these can - and could - happen anywhere, including our own community;
-- to take steps to strengthen security at synagogues and any place where Jews gather (which is being done at our Temple);
-- to acknowledge and understand that as a community and as individuals, we are responsible for our own safety.
The Talmud teaches: ''when someone comes to kill you, be prepared (rise up) to kill them first'' (Sanhedrin 72a). Having to use force in self-defense is distasteful, but regrettably often necessary. That's why, properly used, it is a mitzvah. What happened in Pittsburgh is proof again that being a nice person and having a ''live and let live'' attitude is not a guarantee against a violent attack - especially if one is a Jew. As the old adage teaches: ''the fact that you might be a vegetarian won't stop a bull from charging at you.''
''But Rabbi, what about trusting in G-d?'' The Psalmist wrote: ''The Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps'' (Psalm 121:4). Indeed. But while our Guardian may give us the spiritual resources we need, the Maccabees of old and the State of Israel in our time have taught us that, when it comes to self-defense, we ourselves have to do ''the heavy lifting'': and that may mean doing some things we don't like in order to guarantee our own safety.
Above, I used the phrase ''until the Messiah comes.'' Judaism affirms that we do not yet live in Messianic times, but we do indeed live in ''messy'' times. Those of us who are committed to tikkun olam - repairing the world - must fully understand that there are some repairs to this messy, broken world that may require us to get our hands a bit dirty at times - to do things that may be quite distasteful and regrettable...but still necessary. Getting rid of a life-threatening malignancy usually means having to cut out the cancer, and/or having to take a poisonous drug to be rid of it. Distasteful, regrettable…but necessary to save life.
In the aftermath of the worst act of Jew-hatred in this country's history, may all of us understand what needs to be done, while still committing ourselves and our community to always act in order to follow the mandate given to Abraham - to ''sanctify the Name'' by doing what is right and just.
-- Rabbi Cary Kozberg
~ THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ~
Temple Sholom and our congregation has received an outpouring of sympathy from the area churches following the weekend events in Pittsburgh at Tree of Life synagogue. Following are a few excerpts that we would like to share with you:
From Pastor Adam Banks and First Baptist Church of Springfield:
With heavy hearts we reach out to you with hopes of Divine comfort following the tragic events endured by members of Tree of Life Synagogue. We mourn the loss of the 11 lives taken, and we pray for their families and community.
We stand by your side in solidarity against such acts of terror and violence. We oppose all forms of anti-Semitism and hatred, as well as denounce all efforts to perpetuate division. We are committed to you as partners in this Springfield community.
From Rachel Tune and Wittenberg University:
We want you to know that we are thinking of you and the entire Jewish community after yesterday’s despicable act in Pittsburgh. My heart breaks for the families and worshiping community, as well as for a world where that kind of hate can happen.
From the Masjid An-Nur Mosque:
Ha'makom yenahem etkhem betokh she'ar avelei Tziyonvi'Yerushalayim
''May God console you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem''
The Muslim community in Springfield is absolutely appalled at the recent horrible and senseless act of violence resulting in the murder of so many kind and caring people from the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. On behalf of the Miami Valley Islamic Association and Masjid an-Nur Mosque, we wish to offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the massacre via Temple Sholom in Springfield.
During this period of mourning, we wish to lend our support and offer sympathy to our dear friends, the good people of the Jewish community of Springfield. We are raising funds from our congregants to donate for the victims of this catastrophe and will deliver donations to Temple Sholom for distribution to Tree of Life Synagogue.
From Rockway Lutheran Church:
We prayed the following on Sunday: For the families of the victims of the shooting in Pittsburgh and for healing for those wounded physically, emotionally and spiritually by this act of hate. May the Lord provide peace, comfort, and strength to this community and to all of your people encountering hate, oppression, and violence in these days.
From John McLeod, Spiritual Care Coordinator at Oakwood Village:
We sincerely want to send our deepest sympathies to your congregation and all Jewish congregations during this time of great loss. We pray that your community and the Jewish community in Pittsburgh can find healing and consolation in those sharing their hearts and support for all of you.
~ CONTRIBUTIONS ~
- In honor of Char Schiff's recent birthday and for being such a good friend from Eddie and Laurie Leventhal
- In memory of Gary Krauss from Char Schiff
- Warmest wishes to Sandy Flack on your 75th birthday from Jack and Paulette Grodner
- In memory of our brother, Hilbert Beloff's yahrzeit from Larry and Frayda Beloff
JEFFREY D EBNER YOUTH FUND
- In honor of the yahrzeit for Jeffrey David Ebner from Harvey and Lyla Bailin: ''Because someone we love is in Heaven...there’s a little bit of Heaven in our home.''
~ YAHRZEIT LIST ~
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
NOV 9: Helen Pines Alper, Max Beloff, Morris Freed, Joseph S. Lessner, Percy H. Rosenfield, Sr., Ilse B. Sander, Murray Ebner, Henrietta Marks Goldman (mother of Lloyd)
NOV 16: Gertrude Ann Donn, Jeffrey David Ebner (son of Dick), Phillip Mendelson, Joe Pollens, Joseph M. Salzer, Maurice Schechter, Max Stessel, Bernard W. Weiser (father of Judith), Elick Zitsman, Rose Broidy (mother of Steve), Ruth K. Marcus (mother of Faye Flack), Frances Pollack
NOV 23: Joseph Ebner, Joseph Fishbain, Ida Holzman, Judy W. Kossoff, Ch. Bleme Maybruck, Harry Myers, Louis Rich, Aaron Sachs, Stanley Irwin Sachs, Sarah P. Silberberg, Norma Thurman, Edward Frand, Norman Myron Weiser
NOV 30: Laura Ackerman (mother of Joan), Shirley Ruth Buchfirer, Martin A. Levine (father of Jeff), Sanford “Rik” Newman, Ethel H. Sanders, Tillie Shifman (mother of Morrey), Albert Viton
DEC 7: Harry Berman, Jean Block, Bertha Frand Ebner, Pearl E. Friedman, Emil Gross, Raymond Schneider (father of Larry and Bruce), Dorothy Bandman, Ben Farber, Leonard Kurland, Abe Margolis (father of Maxine Leventhal), Arthur Turyn (father of Larry)