Rabbi's Weekly Email and Announcements
Rabbi’s Weekly Email & Announcements
Shabbat Emor Lev 21:1-24:23 April 26, 2013 16 Iyar 5773
“These are the set times that God set out for us, the holy occasions.” It’s hard for many of us to think about the Jewish memories that nourish us without thinking about holiday celebrations. The earliest (historically) of our holidays are outlined for us in this week’s parasha (Torah portion), called Emor. Among other things, it tells us about the period in which we find ourselves right now, the countdown (more precisely, the count “up) to our next holiday, Shavuot. It makes sense. Even more so than today, in ancient times, Shavuot was an especially joyous holiday. Family and friends were reunited on the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and the people had a sense that they were appearing before God. It was a holy time. Of course we would count off the days until that celebration arrived.
Think about the special moments we count to. We say things like “It’s two days until the weekend. It’s four months until my birthday. It’s one week until graduation.” We anticipate these great moments, and we count.
I was at a Camp Harlam Faculty meeting yesterday, and I remembered how my kids would know the number of days until camp started. The fact is, I count too. Like the pilgrimage to Jerusalem in ancient times, this annual pilgrimage reunites dear friends. It provides respite from the day to day world. It presents daily, perhaps even hourly, opportunities for holiness. It brings joy, and especially on Friday nights, there is an awareness that we are appearing before God. This is truly the sense I get when I am at camp for my time on faculty. (Parents of religious school kids: If your kids aren’t already at camp, think about coming up for a tour on Sunday, June 30.)
We have the opportunity for a small sample of that world at our own Shaarai Shomayim Day Camp. It is a week of mitzvahs and singing, stories and sports, swimming, learning and fun. It is a week that sees new friendships, and preschoolers bonding with high school students. There is truly something magical about it. Parents, sign your kids up now.
What about those without camper age children? It’s now less than two years until our next congregational retreat, and you can count down just a few hours until the start of Shabbat. With the right kavanah (spiritual intent and direction) in the right k’hillah (community) every Shabbat has the potential to bring kedusha (holiness). I hope many of you will be with us to share in this experience tonight.
Shabbat Shalom u’m’vorach. Have a Shabbat of peace and of blessing.
Jack P. Paskoff,
Tonight, Tot Shabbat at 6:30, Erev Shabbat service 7:30. On Saturday, Torah study 9:00; Shabbat morning service and we celebrate with the Gerofsky family as Simon becomes a Bar Mitzvah. Next week, First Friday 6:00 service, and we celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of Katherine DeSantis on Saturday.
This Sunday, Religious School will be held at the JCC in observance of Lag B’Omer, rain or shine . There will be NO classes at the Temple. If it is not raining, events will be held outside, so please make sure your students are dressed appropriately. NEXT SUNDAY, MAY 5, LAST DAY OF SUNDAY SCHOOL. LAST DAY OF HEBREW CLASS IS MAY 1.
Brotherhood Texas Hold ‘em Tournament at the Temple on THIS Saturday evening. Come enjoy the fun and excitement of gambling without the pain of losing money! Socialize with old friends, make new ones, and have a great time. Please see attachment for details on reservations (email,) cost (minimal,) and time.
If shopping for a good cause is more your speed than volleyball, you can support Aaron’s Acres at Park City on Saturday. Please see attachment for details.
Temple Sisterhood Lilith Salon/Women's Torah Study on Sunday, April 28, 6:30 pm at 1949 Pine Drive, Lancaster. This is a time for women to discuss current women's issues from a Jewish perspective. Pot Luck Dinner. Contact Rhonda Kleiman, firstname.lastname@example.org to reply and for the Lilith articles that will be discussed.
Shaarai Shirt Contest is ON! Come up with a snappy logo, peppy saying, charming graphic and you could win! See attachment. Submissions due THIS WEEK.
“To Dash or not to Dash…G-d or God?” will be on 29th at Monday night Adult Jewish Growth. 7:30-9 p.m. at the Temple, Rabbi Paskoff facilitating. Beginning in May, ever ponder why bad things happen to good people? Discuss the Book of Job with Rabbi Paskoff
Please see attachment for details on our third Mitzvah trip to McRoberts, KY.