Friday, November 17, 2000

Shabbat-O-Gram, November 17, 2000

 Shabbat Shalom.

Va-Yera and a New Humash

This Shabbat we read the climax of the Abraham story, the portion Va-Yera.  Since we read a third of the portion each week, and we're reading the last third of each portion this year, this is the only time in three years that we'll be reading this climactic section -- that is, except for every Rosh Hashanah.  That's because this section includes the Akeda, the Binding of Isaac, so often discussed on the High Holidays.  This week, we'll be able to follow the portion in a new way: we'll be using sample pages from the galleys of the new Conservative movement Humash (Torah and commentaries), due to be completed in about a year.  Our congregation will likely be purchasing this new Humash for our pews, so this will be our first chance to really see it in action.  The entire Torah reading and Haftorah, with commentaries, will be distributed to all who come.

The Hertz Humash, which this will be replacing, has done its job for well over half a century.  But the new book is far more accessible, user-friendly, and up-to-date.  It will take some of the "strangeness" out of the service for all of us, and provide much food for thought.  We'll be using the new book as a basis for our discussion this Shabbat.  Since our board will be discussing the purchase of this book at its next meeting, and congregants have already begun donating money to have bookplates inscribed in these volumes, it is important that everyone have a chance to sample it now.

Brief D'var Torah (BDT)

Although the highlight of the portion is most definitely the Akeda, the prior chapter (read on Rosh Hashanah as well) is fascinating.  In it, Isaac's brother Ishmael and his mother the Egyptian handmaid Hagar, are banished to the wilderness at the behest of Sarah, because Ishmael has been taunting Isaac.  The two outcasts are lost and thirsty.  The text tells us that Hagar burst into tears, yet, it then adds, "God heard the cry of the boy."  The new Conservative commentary states, "But we never hear that Ishmael cried (only Hagar did)," adding that this teaches us that "God can hear the silent cries of the anguished heart, even when no words are uttered."

Remember the outrageous claim by a Southern Baptist several years ago that God does not hear the prayers of Jews?  Well, this is the Jewish response.  What's clear is that God hears even the silent cries of "non Jews."  Ishmael traditionally is seen as the father of the Arab peoples.  So we can say that yes, God even hears the prayers of Israel's enemies. 

Yesterday, I had the chance to hear a speaker discuss the situation among Israeli Arabs at a rabbis meeting of the New Israel Fund.  I am speaking specifically about those who have been Israeli citizens since 1948, who, until recently, have kept somewhat out of the fray.  That changed dramatically seven weeks ago, though the situation has calmed down considerably in Israeli Arab communities.  And now, partly as a result of the violence, a new dialogue is springing up.  Israeli Jews are beginning to hear the pleas of their Arab co-citizens for an equality that they've never fully received.  A commission of inquiry has been assembled to look into the deaths of 13 Arabs in the rioting.  Other issues are being discussed with great seriousness.  There is still tension, but Israelis are now seeing it as in their best interest to promote cooperation and peace on the home front, while having to fight the violence perpetrated by Arafat from beyond the Green Line.

If we can try to hear the cries of Ishmael, at least the Ishmaels who live among us, it might enable the at least some Ishmaels in our midst to hear our own.


Interesting Thanksgiving Links....

Try Judaism Online at:


And finally, Jewish Family and Life has lots of articles on Thanksgiving, at:

Incidentally, Jewish family and Life has just spun off a new site,, where you can find a new discussion of my book in the "night reading" column.

Shabbat Services...

Friday night at 7:15, Nurit will lead a Shabbat Shalom service for families with kids in grades 1-4 (and sibs).  Our regular Kabbalat Shabbat service will be at 8. 

We were originally scheduled to attend services at B'nai Jeshurun in NYC this evening.  That very important journey has been rescheduled for Shabbat morning, Dec. 9.  A bus will leave from here at 8:15 AM, returning in the early afternoon.  This service is truly at the cutting edge of the movement, and our leadership and all interested congregants are encouraged to join us.  Transportation is free.  If you would like to come, bus reservations are being taken on a first come first serve basis.  Contact Roberta Aronovitch at

Shabbat morning, we begin with Psukey d'zimra at 9:15, then the morning service at 9:30.  We'll be naming Emma Stein Listokin, newborn daughter of Elissa Stein and Ted Listokin.  Mazal Tov to the entire family!  At Mincha, beginning at 3:45 PM, Michelle and Stephanie Brodsky become B'not Mitzvah.  Mazal Tov to them and their family!

Other Announcements

Get your reservations in for the Cantors Annual Concert (and the delicious dinner to follow), scheduled for December 10.  The world famous Zamir Chorale of Boston will be here.

Our January Shabbaton is fast approaching, and the reservations are pouring in (nearly 80 at last count).  Space is limited!  We need to hear from you very soon!  Our guest lecturer, Jack Wertheimer, is one of the foremost experts on American Jewish life, and the topic of the weekend will be "Being Jewish in America."  After the past few weeks and months, it a topic that gets more fascinating all the time.

Adult ed on Sunday: "Sing-Along Shabbat Melodies" at 9:45, and "Learn to Read Hebrew" at 10.  The leadership retreat has been rescheduled from this week to Sunday, January 28.

Beth El Cares meeting, Monday at 7.

The AIDS quilt is coming to Stamford in two weeks.  New panels will be dedicated in a special ceremony on Wednesday the 29th at the First Congregational Church, at 7 PM.  And World AIDS Day will be commemorated with a special interfaith service on the following night, Nov. 30, at 7:30, at the First United methodist Church.

On Wed. December 6, the Board of Rabbis will be sponsoring a community-wide event, "Chanukah for Adults."  Find out what this sizzling holiday is all about.  Chanukah will never be the same.  At Agudath Sholom, 7:30-9:00 PM.
Thank you, Shelley!

On a personal note, I wish to extend a very public "Todah Rabbah" to Dr. Shelley Buxbaum, who will be leaving her position at the JCC at the end of this month.  Shelley has done remarkable work there for the entire community and has brought many, many people closer to Judaism.  Her greatest legacy perhaps will be the Derech Torah program, an important bridge to basic Jewish understanding for scores of Jews by Choice and others.  This program has also been the best example of how enriching the partnership between the JCC and local synagogues can be.  I only hope that Shelley's departure will not signal a change in that direction.  It will be all but impossible to replace her -- but the community cannot afford to allow this partnership in the cause of serious Jewish learning to weaken.  I look forward to working with her successor in strengthening that partnership and to watching the community's commitment to Jewish education continue to grow on all levels.  But most of all, I wish Shelley and her family only the best of luck in their future endeavors.

I also take this opportunity to express sadness at the passing of a true giant in American Jewish life, Rabbi Alexander Schindler, whose funeral took place in Westport today.

There will be no Shabbat O Gram next week.  Wishing everyone a warm and festive Thanksgiving holiday.

P.S.  I thought at this point that you'd be glad that I didn't talk about the situation in Florida.  So now I will.  An important milestone was passed this past Wednesday: the national election has now lasted two more days than our longest Beth El election, which now looks quaint and peaceful by comparison.  Perhaps it's a nice reminder that time heals all wounds, even for Republicans and Democrats.  Look, even Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter are the best of friends.  In the mean time, let's try not to demonize the opposition.  And for heavens sake, lay off the bubbes in Palm Beach County!  I've heard more jokes about Early Bird Specials this week than I usually hear I a year.  Judaism calls upon us to "rise before our elders."  I think Republicans and Democrats both need to heed those words. 

Friday, November 3, 2000

Shabbat-O-Gram, November 1, 2001

 Shabbat Shalom (X2)

This O-Gram will cover two the next weeks, as I will be leaving for Israel on Sunday.  By the time I return, it will be too late to get next week's out. 

First, some old business: the STAR Webcast on Monday was spectacular.  About 1,500 participated nationally and over 40 congregations set up chat groups, including ours.  We were able to hear two eloquent theologians speak of the human implications of these difficult times, from a Jewish perspective.  One comment by Yitz Greenberg that sticks with me is the quote form our sources, "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God."  In truth, the fear that we face now can lead us to lives of greater wisdom and deeper meaning, if only can we can face those fears with courage and conviction.  As Gary Rosenblatt writes in this week's "Jewish Week," "Fear at times is understandable and normal; but the real enemy is not fear, it’s panic. So we have to react with our heads as well as our hearts, turning our would-be alarm into steadfastness."

While the rabbis were presenting, our chat room was humming with concurrent discussion.  It was, to quote a certain 10 year old who lives in my house, "cool."  There were glitches, and many were unable to receive the streaming video or enter the chat room of choice.  STAR is working on those and I apologize to any of you who were frustrated in your efforts.  You can still view the archived lecture at, and once you've seen it, feel free to e-mail me your questions and reactions.  I'd also like some feedback from any of you who participated on Monday.  How was it for you?

The second bit of old business is that the response to our scholar-in-residence of last weekend has been phenomenal.  There clearly is a need for more spirituality and variety in our prayer experiences, and more teaching of Kabbalah from a liberal perspective.   We are looking for ways to bringing you more of what so many clearly are seeking.  Along those lines, we're going to be setting up a Woman's Rosh Hodesh Group that will celebrate this women's monthly semi-festival together.  An organizational meeting will be held with Barb on Thursday , Nov. 8, from 6:30-7PM


Friday Night:

Candles: 4:30 PM
Tot Shabbat 7:15 PM, in the lobby.
Kabbalat Shabbat: 8:00 PM, in the chapel.   The service will be led by our Junior Choir.

Shabbat Morning:
P'sukey d'zimra (psalms and meditations): 9:15
Shacharit (morning) service begins: 9:30
MAZAL TOV to Eric Weinstein and family, as Eric becomes Bar Mitzvah
Torah Portion: Va'yera
D'var Torah recommendation:   You can't go wrong with the selection at The Torahnet Page:  The text of the portion and haftarah are at

Children's Services: 10:30, with Nurit Avigdor (through grade 2) and Bert Madwed (grades 3 and up). This week, our 3th grade will be "hosting" the older service.  Last week over 30 kids came to the service that was sponsored by the 4th grade.  Let's keep this up!   Religious school and Bi-Cultural students of all grades are naturally most welcome, as are parents.

Friday, Nov. 9
Candles: 4:23 PM
Shabbat Shalom service (for grades K-4 and families): 7:15
Kabbalat Shabbat: 8:00 PM, in the chapel

Shabbat Morning, Nov. 10
P'sukey d'Zimra: 9:15 AM
Shacharit: 9:30 AM
Torah Portion: Hayye Sarah
MAZAL TOV to Natalie Simon and her family, as Natalie becomes Bat Mitzvah.
MAZAL TOV to Adam Siegartel and Lisa Rabinowitz on their ufruf and upcoming marriage (and to Adam's parents Sandy and Alvin Siegartel)

Children's Services at 10:30, with the older service hosted by the 6th grade.


“…[I]f Americans go [approximately] 5,000 miles to find this terrorist group who killed their citizens, we have to go…the distance of one mile…I want you to understand, my house…is half a mile from the president's house, in the very center of Jerusalem. I hear every shot in Beit Jala, because it's only two miles from our house…And so we…go there for…24 hours, 48 hours. If you call it occupation, well, that is the obligation of every government to defend its citizens…”--
Deputy P.M. Natan Sharansky during his U.S. visit (National Press Club, Oct. 29)

"It is not a revelation that large segments of the Arab world--at all levels of society--are not just anti-Israel, but fanatically anti-Semitic. Bernard Lewis wrote in 1986: "The demonization of Jews goes further than it had ever done in Western literature, with the exception of Germany during the period of Nazi rule. In most Western countries, anti-Semitic divagations on Jewish history, religion, and literature are more than offset by a great body of genuine scholarship... In modern Arabic writing there are few such countervailing elements."

So why did I look the other way? Why did I discount this anti-Semitism on the grounds that these are alien cultures and we cannot fully understand them, or because these pathologies are allied with more legitimate (if to my mind unpersuasive) critiques of Israeli policy? .... We in the West simply do not want to believe that this kind of hatred still exists; and when it emerges, we feel uncomfortable. We do everything we can to change the subject. Why the denial, I ask myself? What is it about this sickness that we do not understand by now? And what possible excuse do we have not to expose and confront it with all the might we have?"  (
Protocols, by Andrew Sullivan, The New Republic; see the full article at


1) Response to Last Week's Issue:
"Hate Bin Laden" Web Sites:  Are they helpful? -- This from Beth Boyer:

As one of the people who forwarded you the Day-O spoof, I must say I debated sending it. It depicts Colin Powell, the son of Caribbean immigrants, singing the Day-O calypso song while bombs fall video-game style around Bin Laden. But then I figured, ok, so it isn't sensitive, it could even be called racist. But let's face it, it's funny and I need something to laugh at. Someone had way too much time on his or her hands, probably up late at night worrying about anthrax and put this together. It relieved steam for me, that's why I sent it on. I have to assume Powell and Bush, if they saw it, would laugh too.

2) Alan Dershowitz, on the parallels between American and Israeli experiences of terrorism:

3) On the Red Cross and its blatant anti-Israel policies.  (Thanks to Craig Price for forwarding this one -- it later appeared in the Stamford Advocate)

4) The Uri Regev flap:  Rabbi Regev, a leader of the Reform Movement in Israel, was quoted to have said some rather controversial things about Jewish extremism in comparing it to extremists of other faiths.   I've yet to find a transcript of his original speech.  What follows is a JTA report of the event, a commentary by the noted Orthodox (and vehemently anti-Conservative and Reform) columnist Jonathan Rosenblum, Regev's own response, and some background from Regev's organization, the Religious Action Center of Israel, indicating what he's been up against over there.  Read it all and decide for yourself. 
report from JTA --
Rosenblum  --
Uri Regev responds -- 
R.A.C --


-- Jewish educational and other links:
-- Also try:
-- This is the most moving tribute to the victims of 9/11 that I have seen on the Web, with a collage of photos set to a haunting Enya melody.  You'll have to wait a few moments for it to download, but it is absolutely worth the wait:

6) THE GOOD SIDE OF ISRAEL:  Since I'll be there in a few days, i need to be reminded that the true Israel is not what's on the front pages of the newspaper.  Check out these two sites and you'll see what I mean.  A photographic bonanza is to be found at  While you're in a photographic mood, heck out the classic shots of the famed news photographer, David Rubinger, at
Finally, try out this fantastic brand new site and see Israel behind the headlines: the good news --
And if you want to prove to your friends that the American people have never felt closer to Israel, read them the results of this Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun Times poll, at


Sheila and Gordon Brown have a new granddaughter!  Shoshana Laura born to Sheryl & Russ Ambers.
Amanda Matthews and Michael Lapides, who will be married at Beth El on Saturday evening, Nov. 10 (and to Amanda's parents, Marsha and Neil Matthews)

1) Midrash: Adding Color to the Bible -- Adult ed series with Rabbinical Student Greg Harris.  Continues,  Wednesday, Oct. 31.  There was a very nice turnout at the first session and a very positive buzz about the class!  It's not to late to sign up!  We will continue to study the creative genius of our Rabbis as they enrich the biblical text with stories, legends and lore.  These inspired texts blend the sacred position of the Torah with the real human struggle for spiritual understanding.  All texts will be in Hebrew and English.  The feel for the whole course is $18.  To reserve a spot, RSVP to Bonnie at 322-6901 X306.  

2) Shabbaton reservations are coming in, fast and furious! I expect the demand to be greater than the "supply" this year, given the enthusiasm shown by those who attended last year, when we were sold out. Don't be left out in the cold this MLK Weekend! Sign up now!

3) Lunch and Learn at the JCC --  Thursday., November 15, I'll be discussing "The Death Penalty" at 12:30.  Cost is $15 for the session, which includes lunch. 

4) Temple Beth El Seniors: Stem Cell Research:  A Panel Discussion with Dr. Fran Ginsburg, Dr. Justin Schechter and Rabbi Joshua Hammerman -- this Sunday at 1:45 PM  RSVP to the temple office, 322-6901 X300.

5) Book Discussion, co-sponsored by TBE and the JCC, at the JCC.  November 13, at 9:30 AM.  Rabbi Joshua Hammerman will be discussing "The Bee Season," by Myla Goldberg.

6) If you are interested in some basic information on Jewish customs, history and prayers, why not take our Judaism 101 class, taught by myself and Barb Moskow. The class meets as part of the B'nai Mitzvah group curriculum, but it also can be audited independently. Meets Thursdays from 7-8. Also see the Adult Ed brochure that was sent out this week for material on other offerings, including Hebrew classes, upcoming classes with our rabbinical student Greg Harris and opportunities for home group study.

7) Read Hebrew with Shirley Fish: Begins Sunday, Oct. 28: 9:45 - 11:00 AM.  Cost: $50.00 for a ten week session.

8) On Sunday, Nov. 11, at 7:30, I'll be giving a first-hand report on our community Solidarity Pilgrimage to Israel, at the November meeting of our Discussion Group (a monthly "Havurah" of  Beth El families that has been meeting for years).  It's open to everyone.  For info and directions, call Elliot Tuckel, at 967-9441.

9)  Don't forget: "The Rothchilds," Nov. 17.  A one man show, cocktails, dessert and a fun social evening with your TBE friends.

10)  "Learn to Read Torah" with Hazzan Rabinowitz.  9:45 - 10:25 in the organ loft, beginning Sunday, November 11. Call him at 322-6901 X309 to register.

11) Women's Rosh Hodesh Group, organizational meeting: Thurs, Nov. 8, at 6:30 PM, in the library, with Barb Moskow.

12) Our Sisterhood plans to send out Chanukah packages to all college freshman. Laura Markowitz is in charge of this effort. Names and addresses of students should be forwarded to Laura at: or call 968-2598. I also would LOVE to have the e-mail addresses so that I might include them on my college e-mail list.

13) Sisterhood Shabbat will take place on Dec. 15 and all members of Sisterhood are invited to take part. They should call Linda Simon at 324-2246 or me at 322-8842 or mail in the form which appeared in the October bulletin.

14) Temple Beth El Sisterhood   Proudly Presents   A Concert of Israeli Music
Featuring Ofri Salam
, direct from Israel, Tuesday, November 13 at 7:30 p. m.  Followed by Israeli dancing led by Yossi Elmani
Of the 92
nd Street Y and the New Haven JCC
Refreshments will be served
Ticket Prices:
Adults $12 Students and Seniors $8
Sponsors (includes 4 tickets)  $100             
Remaining tickets sold at the door  $15
For information: Temple Beth El 322-6901 Ilene Madwed   968-257

15) Sisterhood Paid-Up Membership Brunch
Sunday, November 18 -- 10:00  12:00

“You Can Do This”

Lori Guttman, from The Robert Nevins Plan, will help us start the new year with ideas for healthy eating from your refrigerator.
We would appreciate your RSVP by November 13
Mary Sue Gilbert 322-9372
Ilene Kirschner Madwed  968-2570
Volunteers needed.  Please call to RSVP and to Volunteer.
Sisterhood dues of $25 may be paid at the Brunch.
Bring a friend.  New members welcome to join.

16) Mercaz and the Zionist Elections: MERCAZ USA is the Zionist Organization of the Conservative Movement, the voice of Conservative Jewry within the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Zionist Movement and the Jewish National Fund to support religious pluralism in Israel and strengthen the connection between Israel and the Diaspora.  Go to to see how you can sign up to vote for the upcoming Zionist Congress elections.  The deadline is fast approaching,  Do it now!

If you are 18-26 (post high school) and have never before participated in a peer Israel experience, KOACH the Conservative movement's college student organization, provides an uplifting and enriching Israel experience, offering first time travelers the requisite spiritual and educational framework for a truly transforming journey as well as a lot of fun.  Koach "Birthright Israel" trips are booking for this winter!  More information and registration are available at the Koach website,


Please check the bulletin for information on the Birthday Closet project we've just initiated.  We're looking to collect unopened children's gifts for the closet, to be housed here and used by local agencies to support needy children.


Shabbat Parashat Vayera - November 3, 2001 - 17 Heshvan 5762
Freed From the Trap of Experience
Torah Reading: Genesis 18:1 - 22:24
Haftarah Reading: II Kings 4:1-37

Personality is molded by experience. How we live our lives and the events that we confront individually serve to shape our very beings. We respond to each new situation by referring to previous ones -- always seeking to avoid past mistakes, always looking to improve upon earlier interactions.

In this light, our response almost always comes one event too late. We become trapped by our most recent experience. The story of Hagar and Ishmael conveys that essential insight into human nature. Expelled from the security of the caravan, Hagar takes her young son, Ishmael, into the desert. Unwilling to watch him die, she sets him down under a plant and then wanders to a distance, where she sits and sobs. God hears the wailing of the boy, and tells Hagar to have confidence, that her son will become the ancestor of a vast nation. "Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water."

The Torah does not claim that God created a new well for her. The miracle of the well is that Hagar had not noticed it before, and now she is able to see it. Trapped by her own despair and her own past, she was unable to recognize possibilities for her own survival. Her awareness of God, and of hope, liberates her from the shackles of her own experience.
Modern scholars have applied this same insight in their own fields of expertise as well. Professor Ernest May of Harvard University, in his book, "Uses of the Past," argues that the errors committed in America's last several military conflicts all spring from the fact that our generals applied the lessons of the previous war to the next conflict, always operating one war too late.

In Korea, we tried to rectify the errors of World War II, but those errors (and insights) didn't apply in such a different environment. Then we tried to correct the errors made during the Korean War in Vietnam, again with disastrous effect.

May argues that the dynamics of history itself leads people to seek to apply a model to each new situation, and that logic and memory dictate that the model they apply is the one they best remember, the most recent occurrence that seems relevant.

Sigmund Freud perceives a different motivation, arguing that each of us strives to correct deficiencies or painful encounters from our childhood. The way we do this is by constructing similar situations as adults, over and over again, desperately trying to master our pain and frustration by engineering a new resolution. Generally, however, we simply repeat past encounters, perpetuating a cycle of trauma and disappointment. This phenomenon he calls "repetition compulsion." We are compelled, says Freud, to constantly recreate scenarios of childhood pain and frustration. And most of the time, we are unable to emerge any differently, or any better, then we did as children. Thus, children with abusive parents often wind up marrying abusive spouses. To escape the enslavement of past experience requires a radical openness to the present, a willingness to see the world afresh each moment that we live.
As the Midrash Beresheet Rabbah notes, "All may be presumed to be blind until the Holy Blessed One opens their eyes." Until we learn to open ourselves to the marvel undergirding existence, we smother ourselves in convention and expectation and experience. But the liberating vision of a humanity redeemed and of a God who cares, in the present, can sunder those restrictive bonds.

Amen. Shabbat Shalom.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson is the Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism, a rabbinical school for the heart, mind and soul. Please feel free to forward this message to anyone who you think might enjoy joining our Torah community.  If you have received this e-mail via another person and would like to be added to the list for automatic receipt: Send an e-mail to with the following in the body of the message: SUBSCRIBE torah


These announcements were found in shul newsletters and bulletins.  In lieu of a Web journey this week, let's just lighten up a little and enjoy.

1. Don’t let worry kill you. Let your synagogue help. Join us for our Oneg after services. Prayer and medication to follow. Remember in prayer
the many who are sick of our congregation.

2. For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

3. We are pleased to announce the birth of David Weiss, the sin of Rabbi and Mrs. Abe Weiss.

4. Thursday at 5:00pm, there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All women wishing to become Little Mothers please see the rabbi in
his private study.

5. The ladies of Hadassah have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the basement on Tuesdays.

6. A bean supper will be held Wednesday evening in the community center. Music will follow.

7. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the JCC. Please use the large double door at the side entrance.

8. Rabbi is on vacation. Massages can be given to his secretary.

9. Goldblum will be entering the hospital this week for testes.

10. The Men’s Club is warmly invited to the Oneg hosted by Hadassah. Refreshments will be served for a nominal feel.

11. Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Rob, who are preparing for the girth of their first child.

12. We are taking up a collection to defray the cost of the new carpet in the sanctuary. All those wishing to do something on the carpet will
come forward and get a piece of paper.

13. If you enjoy sinning, the choir is looking for you!

14. The Associate Rabbi unveiled the synagogue’s new fund-raising campaign slogan this week: “I Upped My Pledge. Up Yours.”

That's all for this week.  As I head to Israel, I pray that we find peace and security on both sides of the ocean, in my going and in my returning, in our home country and in our homeland.  I look forward to sharing the stories of this journey when I return.  You will be able to follow the steps of my journey next week in the pages of the Advocate.  Wherever I go, I'll convey your love and support for the people of Israel.  And at the same time, wherever I go, I'll be thinking and worrying about all of you back here. 

"Hold the fort" while I'm gone!

"Shabbats" Shalom

This Shabbat-O-Gram goes out weekly to hundreds of Beth El congregants and others. Feel free to forward it to your friends, and if you know of anyone who might wish to be included, please have them e-mail me at To be taken off this e-mail list, simply click on "reply" and write "please unsubscribe" in the message box.
For more information on the synagogue, check out Beth El's Web site at To check out some previous spiritual cyber-journeys I have taken, see my book's site at