March 2019 NEWSLETTER
ADAR 1 / ADAR II 5779
MAZAL TOV TO...
Jeff Levine and his team who have launched a commercial real estate business, Apex Commercial Group
~ RABBI'S CORNER ~
Remember...Do Not Forget: It's All In The ''Kishkes''
Remember what Amalek did to you on the way, when you went out of Egypt...You shall not
forget! (Deuteronomy 25:17-19).
These verses are read on the Shabbat preceding Purim, giving that particular Shabbat its name: Shabbat Zakhor (Remember). The commandment to obliterate Amalek's memory is the origin of drowning out the name of Haman, Amalek's descendant, on Purim: The curious paradox of being commanded to remember what Amalek did, while also being commanded to obliterate Amalek's memory has evoked many explanations over the centuries. But an additional curiosity is the seeming redundancy of the words that begin and end this section: ''remember'' and ''you shall not forget.''
At first glance, these two phrases seem to merely emphasize the need to ensure that Amalek's treachery is perpetuated in our collective memory. But to our Sages, for whom there are no redundancies in the Torah, these two phrases are really two separate commands: remember--with one's mouth, and do not forget--in one's heart. In other words, memories having staying power only if they are paid more than lip service. Authentic remembering requires that memories be assimilated into our hearts and souls, so that we may properly prepare for possible repeat catastrophes.
Given recent events - Pittsburgh, the torching of a yeshiva in upstate New York, a closer-to-home vandalizing of the synagogue in Lima, and, despite the initial expressions of sympathy and moral outrage following Pittsburgh, a significant recent increase in unapologetic anti-Semitic rhetoric from high profile activists and government leaders, as well as the disinclination of many to roundly condemn it - this teaching deserves our special attention.
In a recent Times of Israel blog, Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt stated that, despite the events in Pittsburgh, this ''perfect storm of anti-Semitism'' - coming from the far left, the far right and radical Islam - ''is not just brewing, but is upon us, and too many people in the Jewish community are woefully unprepared or unwilling to honestly address it.'' Apparently, Dr. Lipstadt would also agree that ''remember...do not forget'' deserves, but has not yet received, our serious consideration.
So...what would a serious consideration of ''remember/do not forget'' entail - not merely as a mantra, but as part of strategy to prevent, or at least prepare for, possible (G-d forbid!) re-occurrences of Pittsburgh? Space does not permit a full consideration. However, crafting a meaningful response to this question might begin with reference to the Purim story itself.
Contrary to the perception of many, it doesn't end of Haman's execution. Getting rid of Haman did not rescind his annihilation decree. The only way the Jews could prevent their extermination was to defend themselves - which they received royal permission to do. Anticipating the response of the Maccabees several centuries later (when things got really ''dicey''), the Jews of the Persian empire regretfully had to resort to physical force in order to protect themselves. Emphasizing this point, the Book of Esther reports that their use of physical force did not include plundering; only measures purely for self-defense were utilized (cf. Esther, ch. 8-9).
Noteworthy is the fact that although the stories associated with Hannukah and Purim both focus not on G-d's intervention but on the responses of the Jews themselves (the Book of Esther never mentions G-d), nevertheless our Sages prescribed that the al hanissim prayer - expressing gratitude to G-d for fighting our battles and defeating our enemies - be recited on both of these holidays. For them there was no contradiction: Divine assistance is available when Jews not only remember the past with their mouths, but also assimilate those memories deep into their hearts - into their ''kishkes'' - in order to appropriately respond to, and hopefully prevent, whatever threats to their wellbeing may loom in the future.
We do not know what is in store for us, but we would do well to learn from our ancestors. Unlike them - non-citizens in the lands in which they lived, living under many legal restrictions and having to depend on the good will of non-Jewish authorities - we are full citizens in this country, with the rights and abilities to respond in ways that our ''non-citizen'' ancestors could only imagine.
As we American Jews respond to current challenges and prepare for whatever else may be in store, may we be blessed with the same discernment and courage which blessed the Jews of Shushan and the Maccabees. May we truly understand that it is easy to remember with our mouths, but more importantly we must ''never forget,'' with a resolve that comes from deep within our hearts...from deep within our ''kishkes.''
(A version of this article appears in the March 2019 edition of the Dayton Jewish Observer.)
--Rabbi Cary Kozberg
~ SPOTLIGHT ON JACOB DANIEL ~
Our Temple member spotlight this month shines on one of our newest members, Dr. Jacob Daniel. Jacob was born and raised in Springfield. Both of his parents were Jewish, although neither one was a practicing Jew during Jacob's youth, even though he always had an interest in Judaism. His father passed away when Jacob was only two. His mother, who had graduated from Wittenberg University, was an elementary school teacher. Most of her teaching career was spent at Donnelsville Elementary School. Jacob graduated from Greenon High School in 1978.
After high school graduation, Jacob enrolled at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (my guess is he is the only Greenon graduate to have achieved this distinction). After finishing his freshman year, he decided to move to a more traditional liberal arts school and enrolled at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Jacob graduated from there with a major in mathematics. He then decided to attend graduate school and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He received both his masters as well as PhD from Wisconsin. He earned two master’s degrees while at Wisconsin, one being in mathematics and the other in computer sciences. His PhD was in Topology, which is an abstract form of Geometry using set theory and mathematical logic. We thought the only temple member who might know this topic would be Larry Turyn. While attending graduate school, Jacob became very involved in Hillel, which had a large and active chapter in Madison. He also took an interest in studying Yiddish literature, which has become a life-long interest.
After earning his PhD in 1991, Jacob took his first teaching position at Xavier University in Cincinnati. After four years at Xavier, he accepted a visiting professor position at Miami University. Then, after three years at Miami, Jacob became a visiting professor at Wittenberg. In 2000, he accepted a tenured track position at Urbana University, where he remained until Urbana sold out to Franklin University in 2017.
Since leaving Urbana, Jacob has been teaching at Clark State, Sinclair, and University of Dayton. He has a brother Bill who owned and operated Lox Stock and Bagel, which was located in the former Market Place. His sister Debbie is a nurse. He is very close to his stepdaughter Amy and her two daughters, Arieanna who is 15 and Tatianna who is 11, and spends a great deal of time with them and their horse Noah.
Jacob has a wide range of activities and interests that he participates in, such as biking, reading, film making/viewing, philosophy, and literature. He has a life-long love affair with Bob Dylan, having attended over 100 concerts of his. Go figure.
He says that Judaism and being Jewish has always felt good to him on a number of different levels; and, through the years, he has attended services at Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Chabad temples and facilities. He mentioned that when he was living in Cincinnati he noticed one day that his next door neighbor was a lady who always wore a Kippah. They hadn't yet talked when a couple of weeks later he was surprised when he attended services at Temple Sholom and Rabbi Gevirtz was the rabbi and the lady who lived next door. They soon became fast and close friends.
The picture in this article is a picture of his maternal grandmother's family grocery store that was located on Southern Avenue in Springfield.
We are thrilled to have Jacob as part of our congregation and appreciate having him as a regular part of our Friday night services and Tuesday noon study group.
''We cannot all write a great novel, but all of us can live one.''
''JEWISH FILM SERIES'' - MOVIE NIGHT
March 31, 5:30 PM
Crimes and Misdemeanors, a Woody Allen film, will be shown at the March Movie Night beginning at 5:30 pm and will be followed by a discussion. Light refreshments will be served, and everyone is invited to attend.
PURIM - MEGILLAH READING
Friday, March 22
Come celebrate the most joyous Jewish holiday with us on Friday evening, March 22 at 6:00 p.m. - beginning with our regular (but abbreviated) Shabbat service, followed by the reading of Megillat Esther. Graggers/noisemakers to drown out Haman's name will be provided, and hamantaschen will be served!!
April 30 - May 1
Dr. Julie Galambush, Associate Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at The College of William and Mary, will be in Springfield for several presentations. She is also author of the book The Reluctant Parting: How the New Testament's Jewish Writers Created a Christian Book. Formerly an ordained American Baptist minister, Dr. Galambush is a convert to Judaism.
Her programs will be open to the community and co-sponsored by Temple Sholom and other area churches. They will include two evening programs as well as a Lunch and Learn. Watch for more details, and be sure to put these dates on your calendar.
PASSOVER SECOND SEDER
Saturday, April 20, 5:30 PM
Plan to join us for a catered Kosher Seder led by Rabbi Cary Kozberg. The meal will again be prepared by Bernstein's, and reservations may be made by contacting the Temple office.
~ CONTRIBUTIONS ~
Get well wishes for your speedy recovery to Stan Nedelman from Marvin and Sandy Silverstein
Best wishes for your speedy recovery to Rabbi Kozberg from Larry and Kim Fish
Best wishes for your Speedy Recovery to Paulette Grodner from Eddie and Laurie Leventhal
Best wishes for your Speedy Recovery to Stan Nedelman from Eddie and Laurie Leventhal
In honor of my mother Marion's yahrzeit from Paul Cornez
Mazal Tov to Rick and Anna Krauss on their son David's graduation from Paul Cornez
Mazal Tov to Barbara Willens on the birth of her grandson Thomas from Paul Cornez
JEFFREY D EBNER YOUTH FUND
To Nathan Ebner, member of the New England Patriots team, on winning Super Bowl LIII from Lyla and Harvey Bailin
In memory of Mark Lieberman from Lyla and Harvey Bailin
RABBI'S DISCRETIONARY FUND
Best Wishes for your health from Ron and Jan Spier
~ YAHRZEIT LIST ~
MAR 1: Lilly Broock, Henry Gardner, Etta M. Herron, Leah G. Klein, Leonard Levy, Paul Dulaney (father of Paulette Grodner), Sharon Friedman, Bruce Krane, Julius Levy, Celia Feinstein Spitz (sister of Alan Feinstein), Charlotte Turyn (mother of Larry)
MAR 8: Jacob Arnovitz, Pauline H. Broock, Charles Flack (father of Sanford), Samuel Kossoff, Sol (Babe) Padlow, Sarah Steingart, Charles Zitsman, Eunice Poliakoff Draisen (mother of Bernice Goldman), Antonio Espinoza (father of Rose Weiss), Tim R. Flack (brother of Sanford)
MAR 15: Abe Gardner, Seymour Romanoff, Jennie Schneider, Jennie W. Gold Ullman, Isidore Farber, Marie Buerki Rider
MAR 22: Celia Barnett, Sam Broock, Julius Endelman, Mildred Frand Fine, Harriett Lurie Levine (mother of Jeff), Zedia Mae Fludd, Max Goldman (father of Lloyd), Bessie Lurie, Michael Miller
MAR 29: Milton N. Bernstein, Emilie Frankenstein, Anne Klein, Leon Maybruck, Hazel G. Meyer, Joseph S. Meyer, Andrew Raoul Nathan, David Mario Nathan, Paul Nathan, Charlotte M. Salzer, Mary Schuman, Annabelle Sachs Smith, Fanny Soble, Ethel Cohn, Hyman Draisen (father of Bernice Goldman), Eric B. Stein MD (brother of Leslie Buerki)
APR 5: Fannie Dagan, Ben Goldman, Cecile Leider Greenland (stepmother of Jay), Goldie Pommer, Louis A. Shatsky, Celia Roth Travis, Ida P. Zitsman, Ben Irwin (father of Stephanie Paugh), Sylvia Harton Wolf (mother of Fran Rickenbach)