Shabbat-O-Gram for June 21-22, Tammuz 11, 5762
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, Stamford, Connecticut
The Web link for this week's Shabbat-O-Gram is http://www.tbe.org/sog/020622.htm. The site is continually updated during the week with corrections and additions. Feel free to forward this link to your friends. People can subscribe to the weekly Shabbat-o-Gram at www.tbe.org. If you wish to unsubscribe, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous Shabbat-O-Grams are archived at http://www.tbe.org/sog/.
For information on the victims of this week’s terror attacks, go to http://www.walk4israel.com/ and http://www.jpost.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/Full&cid=1023716522190. See below for heartbreaking thumbnail bios.
This is the last full-fledged Shabbat-O-Gram you’ll be receiving before I head out for vacation next week (early High Holidays means early vacation), and there’s enough here to keep you busy for a while. The SOG will return in the middle of the summer. In this uneasy world, where it is so important to remain updated, I hope that we’ll all keep scanning the Net for accurate information about Israel. Although I’ll be away, life goes on here. You won’t want to miss our Men’s Club service next Shabbat (the 29th), featuring a scrumptious lunch, Chuck Donen’s “second Bar Mitzvah” of sorts and Hazzan Rabinowitz’ final Shabbat service before becoming Hazzan Emeritus. Cantor Jacobson begins her duties on July 1 and I hope you’ll flock to services to greet her – and bring friends! Our membership committee has designated three Friday nights in August, the 2nd, 9th and 23rd as official “Open House” Shabbats (complete with inspiring outdoor service and delicious Oneg) for members and prospective members to meet Cantor Jacobson. But you can come any other Friday or Shabbat morning during July and August for that too.
After July 1, please contact Cantor Jacobson in the event of emergencies while I am away. She will able to reach me if necessary. You can also contact our temple office during working hours. I will be checking voice mail periodically as well and would love to hear from you (good news too!) but most likely will not be returning calls until I return.
ISRAELI VENDORS FAIR REMINDER…
I want to take just a moment to ask you to give some time this Sunday, June 23 to help Israel by buying Israeli products at our community's Israel Vendor Fair, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. being held at Congregation Agudath Sholom. Thousands have come to similar fairs around the country and we in Fairfield County would like to make a solidarity statement by supporting the Israel economy in a big way. In addition, we need volunteers to help with a variety of tasks and if you can come and offer your help it would be wonderful.
We are also very fortunate and honored to have Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, speak to us at 1:30 p.m. at the Fair. Rabbi Riskin has been a distinguished Rabbi for over 35 years, founding the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan where he attracted many young intellectuals and professionals. In 1983, he pioneered the settlement of Efrat where Jewish education now flourishes for Jews from all over the world.
Come Sunday. It is a time to act on our concerns. Israel needs us now even more.
JUST THE FACTS: Services and Such (N.B. 7 PM Fri. night, OUTDOORS)
Friday Night: Candles: 8:09 PM
Kabbalat Shabbat service: 7:00 PM
P'sukey d'zimra (psalms and meditations) 9:15 and Shacharit: 9:30
MAZAL TOV to Joey Lieber, who becomes Bar Mitzvah this Shabbat morning.
This Shabbat morning we’ll also be honoring our Shabbat children’s service attendees (who will be feted with an ice cream kiddush) and doing our annual “going away to camp” blessings.
Children's Services: 10:30, in the chapel (grades 3 - 6) and downstairs in the Kindergarten room for younger grades.
TORAH PORTIONS: Hukkat-Balak -- a double portion featuring the story of Bilaam, the prophet sent out to curse Israel who instead blessed them. Read the Masorti commentary at http://www.masorti.org/mason/torah/index.asp. JTS commentary is at: http://learn.jtsa.edu/topics/parashah/. USCJ Torah Sparks can be found at http://uscj.org/item20_467.html. UAHC Shabbat Table Talk discussions are at http://uahc.org/torah/exodus.shtml. Other divrei Torah via the Torahnet home page: http://uahcweb.org/torahnet/. Test your Parasha I.Q.: http://www.ou.org/jewishiq/parsha/default.htm. CLAL's Torah commentary archive: http://click.topica.com/maaaiRtaaRvQhbV2AtLb/
Morning Minyan: Daily at 7:30, Sundays at 9:00
Spiritual Journey on the Web: A People that Dwells Alone, Privately
“A people that dwells alone.” That’s what Bilaam the Moabite prophet called the Israelites as he saw their lovely dwelling places sprawled out below. It’s also to a key to how we’ve seen ourselves over the ages, and how others have seen us. Independence of spirit has been seen for the most part as a good thing. But isolation is not. Yitzchak Rabin said during the early days of Oslo, “No longer are we necessarily ‘a people that dwells alone' and no longer is it true that ‘the whole world is against us.' We must overcome the sense of isolation that has held us in thrall for almost half a century. We must join the international movement toward peace, reconciliation and co-operation that is spreading over the entire globe these days --- lest we be the last to remain, all alone, in the station." (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0598/lipski1.html). But right now the words of Eric Hoffer in 1968 ring more true (http://www.aish.com/jewishissues/middleeast/Israeli_Premonition.asp): “The Jews are alone in the world. If Israel survives, it will be solely because of Jewish efforts. And Jewish resources.”
America also sees itself as a nation that often stands alone (http://www.commondreams.org/views01/1230-02.htm). A new poll by Pew research indicates that Americans simply see the world through different lenses than people in other countries, including those, like the Europeans, with whom we think we have most in common. This should come as no surprise, actually, in light of the dramatic differences of opinion among Americans and Europeans regarding the Middle East. Since Sept. 11, one might say that America and Israel each stand alone – together.
Other aspects of this notion of a people standing alone can be discovered at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0200/wein020400.asp, http://www.amitchildren.org/Magazine/Winter2002/post.html, and, at the Torah commentary found at http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/balak58/aliya.htm, go down to the 4th aliyah and find a popular midrash on the Hebrew alphabet explaining this verse. The question remains, is Bilaam’s remark a blessing – or a curse?
The portion of Balak focuses on individuality in more ways than one. The Mah Tovu prayer (“How goodly are your tents O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel…”) that we recite when we enter the sanctuary appears here as part of Bilaam’s series of blessings numbers 24:5). See Rashi’s commentary on it at http://www.tachash.org/metsudah/m07r.html, and other interpretations of the verse at: http://www.shemayisrael.co.il/publicat/bas_ayin/archives/adar/friends.htm and http://www.uahc.org/shabbat/stt/balak.html, to understand why the Jewish value of respecting the privacy of our neighbor is derived from this verse. It has to do with the formation of the entrances to the tents. Tomorrow’s sermon will discuss that very matter. The issue has lots of ramifications, including the question as to the rights of terror victims and grieving families to privacy, to not have the images of horrific murders exploited for political gain. The death of Daniel Pearl is case in point. To better understand this issue, read these two contrasting articles: the op ed from Tuesday’s New York Times by Danny Pearl’s father Judea, at http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/18/opinion/18PEAR.html, and “The Face of Evil,” from the New Republic, at http://www.thenewrepublic.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020624&s=notebook062402pearl. You can also look at the photos of this week’s victims at www.walk4Israelcom.
There are also technological implications to this issue of privacy in these days of the computerized Big Brother. To see the UAHC’s resolution on privacy, again based on these verses, go to: http://www.uahc.org/boston/preso/privacy.shtml, and for a more general perspective as to why online privacy is such a hot topic, go to http://www.cdt.org/privacy/guide/start/ and http://www.cdt.org/publications/lawreview/1999nova.shtml.
Just as the formation of the tents of the Israelites enabled the “people who dwells alone” to dwell together in mutual respect and dignity, so might the new wall being built roughly (though not exclusively) along the Green Line in Israel engender a greater sense of security for those living there. Nightline had an interesting feature on it on Thursday http://abcnews.go.com/Sections/Nightline/, involving an Arab community that the Green Line runs right through that will now be located on the “Israeli” side of the fence – and they like that. Can good fences make good neighbors? One opinion regarding Israel is found at http://www.israelinsider.com/views/articles/views_0111.htm. Another, from Robert Frost (the complete transcript of his “The Mending Wall,”), is at http://www.israelinsider.com/general/frames.htm?israelinsider&http://www.yoga.com/raw/readings/MendingWall.html.
“He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.”
REQUIRED READING AND ACTION ITEMS
Jerusalem Post editor Bret Stephens spoke (brilliantly) at the JCC on Tuesday on how we might assist Israel in its crucial P.R (Hasbara) battle. The main points of his lecture were taken from an article he wrote that appeared in the Post on June 7th: The main points (see What Should Israel be Telling the Media? for the full article):
- The territories are not "occupied" but disputed, and the presence of Israelis on them does not violate international law or the Geneva Convention.
- The conflict is not a battle between Jews and Arabs, but between democrats and dictators. Arafat, far from being the champion of his "people," is just another garden-variety Arab despot foisted on a nation that deserves better.
- The argument against terrorism must be placed in the context of an argument for the legitimacy of the State of Israel. That legitimacy is very much in doubt among too large a percentage of the Palestinian population, and the dispute over the territories is merely a proxy argument over this larger question.
To join the Israel Hasbara committee, go to http://info.jpost.com/C002/Info/Organizations/Hasbara/ .
http://www.isranet.org/isranetbriefings/briefing%20description.htm#today: A PEN IN DEFENSE OF ZION: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, with Bret Stephens, Jerusalem Post, June 13, 2002
Jerusalem Post editorial: “Enough is Enough” http://www.jpost.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/Full&cid=1023716517778
More from Krauthammer, from Thursday’s Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14472-2002Jun19.html: "A Guarantee of More Violence"
“Hitler is Dead,” a New Republic article by Leon Wiesletier, challenging us to rethink some of the demonizing archetypes we too easily succumb to in an era of increasing anti-Semitism. Fascinating and thought-provoking: http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020527&s=wieseltier052702
Understanding Arafat's Motives - Dennis Ross (Foreign Policy)
Debka file – the inside scoop we don’t read elsewhere -- http://www.debka.com/
Other Israel and Middle Eastern news links (from the Newspapers of the World web site): http://www.actualidad.com/east.html
Newswatcher – allows us to compare Arab and Israeli news sources on the same screen: http://www.modempool.com/starglider/newswatcher2.asp
The following list of websites that are pro-Israel, even though the names might suggest otherwise:
These websites vary in content and quality, but all types of sites are needed to reach people with different mindsets and varying attitudes. If you or someone you know needs help with a pro-Israel or Jewish website, please contact JIA: http://jewishinternetassociation.org/jia_contact.php
THE WAR ON NON-COMBATANTS: TARGETING TODDLERS, Sylvana Foa The Village Voice, June 5-11, 2002 http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0223/foa.php
CNN Chief Accuses Israel of Terror
Ted Turner, the billionaire founder of CNN, accuses Israel of engaging in "terrorism" against the Palestinians. "I would make a case that both sides are involved in terrorism," said Turner in an interview with the Guardian. Turner had called the September 11 hijackers "brave" in a speech in Rhode Island, sparking an outrage. (Guardian-UK)
CNN Chief Clarifies Remarks
Reacting to criticism of his comments that Israeli actions taken to protect its people are equal to terrorism, CNN founder Ted Turner stated, "There is a fundamental distinction between the acts of the Israeli government and the Palestinians." (CNN)
Human Rights Watch Condemns Bus Bombing Atrocity - Hanny Megally
"When Palestinian groups violate the most basic international law in order to draw attention to their own plight, revulsion is the only appropriate response; any other message is lost." (Human Rights Watch)
Ha'aretz reports Yasser Arafat was to have issued a similar "condemnation" but canceled it, "citing technical reasons."
Useful References: · Twenty Facts about Israel · Myths & Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Going on vacation and you forgot your trusty prayer book? See http://siddur.org/ for a web-based transliterated Siddur.
A course in Jewish healing and meditation (from JewishLink) http://www.jewishealing.com/courseinhealing_jun.html
http://www.clal.org/update_jpf.html Interesting forum by CLAL: Exploring The Jewish Futures: A Multidimensional Project On The Future Of Religion, Ethnicity And Civic Engagement
Thousands of marchers from across Israel came out for Jerusalem's first Gay Pride Parade on June 7, organized by NIF grantee Jerusalem Open House. Although initial estimates were for 500 to 3,000 participants, police estimated the turnout at about 4,000. The streets were bedecked with rainbow flags, but the march itself took a restrained tone to commemorate victims of terror attacks. Ultra-Orthodox groups that had threatened to disrupt the parade ignored it in the end so as not to draw public attention to it. After the parade, Open House Executive Director Hagai El-Ad wrote to supporters that the parade had given Jerusalem "...the chance to look different on the world's TV screens. It seems that we have delivered on this promise, as well as on our commitments to hold a diverse, relevant, non-commercial, happy and respectable event, perhaps one of the happiest days Jerusalem has seen in quite some time." Click here to read Ha'aretz's coverage
MSNBC is dropping Alan Keyes (one of the newsworld's strongest voices for Israel) due to Arab protests. They are replacing him with Ashleigh
Banfield who is a Palestinian sympathizer. It will only take a couple minutes but please call or write MSNBC protesting
this (see contact information below).
One MSNBC Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Phone: (201) 583-5000
Fax: (201) 583-5453
BIOS OF THE 19 VICTIMS OF THE SOUTH JERUSALEM BUS BOMBING
Nineteen Israelis were killed and 74 injured on Tuesday when a homicide bomber blew himself up on a crowded bus in Jerusalem, YEDIOT AHARONOT reported. Thanks to Julie Trell for forwarding this information for the SOG. These are the names and stories of some of the victims:
Rahamim (Rami) Zidkiyahu, 51, from Jerusalem, worked as a bus driver for the Egged bus company since 1975, and was the driver of the bus that exploded. Rami replaced the scheduled driver, who was late for his shift, and was
killed in his seat, with his hands still on the steering wheel. His cousin Yaron described him as a man who loved life, always smiled, and who always gave of himself to others. Rami was planning to take his youngest son, Ron, to Euro Disney in Paris to celebrate his bar mitzvah next month. He was buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem and is survived by his wife, Miriam, their three children, and a daughter from a previous marriage.
Boaz Aluf, 54, from Jerusalem, was on his way to work at the Tsfahot Bank's computer department, where he worked for the past 27 years, when he was killed in the attack. Friends and relatives described him as modest and gentle person, a family man that loved helping everyone. Boaz and his wife Gila just celebrated their son Barak's bar mitzvah a month ago. Boaz was
buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife and five children aged 10 to 18.
Shani Avi-Zedek, 15, from Jerusalem, a 10th grade student at Boyer High School, was on her way to a "Fun Day" organized by the school, when she was killed. Shani, an excellent student, was chosen to fly next Sunday to Berlin as part of a youth delegation to meet with German youth. She was supposed to celebrate her 16th birthday next month. Shani danced for many years in the Mehola dance troupe and mentored the child of a disabled veteran, as part of a personal volunteer program.
She was buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem and is survived by her parents, Eli and Bella, and three brothers.
Leah Baruch, 59, from Jerusalem, worked for the past 23 years as head of housekeeping at the President's official residence. She kept house for presidents Chaim Herzog, Ezer Weizman and Moshe Katsav. Her co-workers described her as a compassionate woman - towards people, towards the cats and dogs she adopted, and towards the plants she nurtured at the
President's residence. Leah immigrated to Israel from Iraq at the age of six, and helped support the family during the day and learned to read and write in evening classes. Leah Baruch was buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem And is survived by two daughters.
Mendel Bereson, 72, from Jerusalem, immigrated to Israel from St. Petersburg in 1991 with his wife Sophia and their daughter Nina. His son Simion immigrated a year earlier. Mendel, a shoemaker by profession, was on his way to work in downtown Jerusalem when he was killed. Simion said his father was "a true Zionist who always said that the Jews have only one state. At the same time, until his last day, he was optimistic and believed in peace with the Palestinians." Mendel was buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem and is survived by his wife, two children, and three grandchildren.
Rafael (Rafi) Berger, 28, from Jerusalem, graduated from the Hebrew University high school in Jerusalem. After completing his army service in the armored corps, Rafi received a B.A. degree in chemistry from Tel-Aviv University. Last month, he completed his Master's degree in physical chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A year and a half ago Rafi
married Orit, a music teacher, and the couple moved to Gilo. His mother said that Rafi was a talented musician, who loved poetry, literature and traveling. He is survived by his wife Orit, his parents and siblings.
Michal Biazi, 24, from Jerusalem, worked in the Ministry of Tourism in Jerusalem. She and her husband Barak were in their car on their way to work, when she remembered that she had forgotten the bag she had prepared with a change of clothes for a family celebration later in the day. Barak went back home to get the bag and Michal, who did not want to be late for work, boarded the bus and was killed in the attack. Michal was buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. She is survived by her husband, her parents and six brothers and sisters.
Tatiana Braslavsky, 41, from Jerusalem, immigrated to Israel 11 years ago from Russia with her husband Alex and son Igor. Tatiana worked for a construction company as an engineer and regularly took that bus to work. Igor, 15, who used to accompany her every morning, left the house early on Tuesday. Her friend Ina said that Tatiana "was always optimistic and had a smile on her face." Tatiana was buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem and is survived by her husband and son.
Dr. Moshe Gottlieb, 70, from Jerusalem, immigrated to Israel with his family from the United States 24 years ago, was a chiropractor and maintained a private practice in both Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. Moshe used to treat the needy for free every Tuesday. He was on his way to Bnei Brak, where he was due to work with a group of three brothers with Down Syndrome. The children's mother said that the family "owes him a lot. People would arrive to our house and he would treat them also, voluntarily. He used to say that "Tuesday is a day of righteousness and I'm not willing to take money." Moshe
was buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, two children, and 12 grandchildren.
Baruch Gruani, 60, from Jerusalem, was a retired employee of Israel Military Industries. His son Doron described Baruch as "a religious, modest, quiet, humble man, who helped everyone who needed it." Baruch was buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife, Esther, and four children.
Orit Hayla, 21, from Jerusalem, whose family immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia, was born and raised in Ashkelon, and attended the Washington Hill high school near Ashdod. After graduating, she began attending classes in Jerusalem to complete her matriculation, while working in a warehouse. Her brother Carmel said, "Orit was so happy. She wanted to study. She loved Jerusalem and wanted to live there." Orit will be buried in Ashkelon.
Helena Ivan, 63, from Jerusalem, lived with pediatrician Dr. Irina Minei and her son Yon in Gilo. Yon said Helena had no relatives. She began to work for the Minei family about 35 years ago in Romania, and she rescued Yon and his
sister from an earthquake in Bucharest. Helena came to Israel with the Minei family 20 years ago. "She tied her fate to ours. She was like a second mother to me," Yon said.
Galila Bugala, 11, from Jerusalem, was born in Israel to a family of Christian Ethiopian immigrants. Shortly after her birth, the family returned to Ethiopia, but four years ago, they moved back to Jerusalem, where her parents worked in the hotel industry. At school, Galila was busy planning her class's end-of-year party, of which she was in charge. Her friend
Sapir was very upset when she heard of the news. "I departed from her last night and we were laughing. She was a very gentle girl and wad really scared of terrorist attacks," Sapir said. Galila is survived by her parents and one brother.
Iman Kabha, 26, was the sixth in a family of seven children from the Arab Israeli village of Barta in the Lower Galilee. Iman was a first year student at the David Yellin Teachers College in Jerusalem, where he was studying special education and Hebrew. He had been working for a few years, saving up for the tuition. He rented an apartment in Beit Safafa together with two fellow students. One of his roommates, Osama, said Iman "was handsome, worked hard and was everybody's friend. He loved to cook." Iman waited for the bus together with other Arab students of the college from Beit Safafa. The terrorist was waiting at the same bus stop. Iman was buried in Barta. He is survived by his parents and six siblings.
Shiri Nagari, 21, from Jerusalem, would have celebrated her 22nd birthday in ten days. Her brother Shahar, 15, said that Shiri, who worked in Bank Leumi, missed her regular bus to work and their mother had taken her on a short cut so she could board it at another stop. Shiri died of her wounds on the operating table. During her army service, Shiri served as a teacher, working with young adults who had dropped out of school. After her army service she traveled for two years in the United States and South America. She planned to study dentistry or biology at Hebrew University. Shiri Nagari was buried
at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem and is survived by her parents, two brothers and two sisters.
Liat Yagen, 24, from Jerusalem, took the same bus as her 16-year-old brother Yoni. Liat sat toward the front of the bus and was mortally wounded from the blast. Yoni, who sat toward the back with some of his friends was lightly injured and ran to help his sister. "I felt her pulse and talked to her," he recalled. Liat died at the hospital. Liat worked in a lawyers' office, after completing her Sherut Le'umi service (National Service duty, an alternative to IDF service for religious women) in the police headquarters. Liat was buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem and is survived by her
parents, three brothers and a sister.
Gila Nekev, 55, from Jerusalem, lived in Gilo with her youngest daughter Noa. She was born in France and immigrated to Israel 30 years ago to fulfill her mother's dream, after her mother, a Holocaust survivor, died of cancer. Gila was a travel agent in Jerusalem for many years and in recent months began to work in the offices of the archaeological excavations in the City of David. Gila is survived by three daughters, and a grandson.
New Feature: “The Highest Level of Tzedakkah” -- TBE Job Shidduch
According to Maimonides, the highest level of tzedakkah is not to give money to another, but to provide that person with the means to earn a living on his/her own. In these difficult economic times, many within our Beth El family find themselves “downsized” out of a job for the first time in many years. It is incumbent upon us to help them. It would be an honor to utilize the Shabbat-O-Gram for this kind of mitzvah. If you are looking for employment right now and would like the help of the congregation, please e-mail me a brief paragraph describing your needs and qualifications. Anyone with potential leads can then contact me and I will in turn forward to that person contact information. Everything will be handled in the strictest confidence. I can personally vouch for any of the individuals whose particulars are featured here.
This week we have two announcements:
MARKETING PROFESSIONAL seeks challenging position. Has 15 years of marketing/advertising and communications experience and having spent the last 8 years working in Account Management roles, primarily at agencies. Role in serving clients involved everything from developing marketing strategies to the daily management of the account. Prior to agency experience, was a freelance consultant primarily in the area of event marketing.
This week we are also looking for job contacts for a senior level professional with extensive experience in accounting, financial planning and credit and collections. Here is his personal request:
“I need to build my job search network real fast. Recently my company filed for bankruptcy, which was expected. As a result of the bankruptcy there was an additional 30% of the workforce let go including myself, which was not expected. Any suggestions or contacts would be appreciated. At this point due to the minimal severance package (which is subject to approval of the bankruptcy court) I would be interested immediate opportunities in the areas of, finance, client services or human resources; even if it was on a consultancy basis.”
If you have any leads or wish to contact this person directly, contact me at email@example.com.
Quotes of the Week:
N.B. This week’s portion of Balak contains the famous encounter between the Moabite prophet Bilaam and his enchanted donkey, where the donkey questions the cruel treatment he has received.
“Through the quality of Ohev et HaBriyot (loving all creatures), we are taught to embrace all the creatures God fashioned.
Perhaps our sensitivity to animals originates in the Book of Genesis when God gave Adam the power to name his creations. The responsibility to assign names is an awesome power, one that brings us into relationship with that which we name. Think about when we give a name to our children and how much care we take in selecting that name. In Genesis, Adam is given the responsibility to name the animals, establishing a bond between him, his descendants, and all animal life.
When you don’t know someone’s name, it is easy to ignore or dismiss his or her needs. However, once a name becomes known, we enter into a more personal relationship with that individual that requires more of us. In Genesis, not only did Adam name the animals, but God also commanded Adam to protect His creations. Thus, it has become our responsibility to care for each living thing and to ensure its survival. Let us take heed to cause no harm to our fellow creatures and to appreciate the diversity of life in our world, so as not to take advantage of God’s creations, both big and small.”
Rabbi Lori Forman, Director of The Jewish Resource Center, UJA-Federation of New York
“Following P.M. Ariel Sharon’s discussions with the leaders of the political parties in the coalition and top security establishment officials, it was decided to take several military actions against the Palestinian Authority and the murderous organizations. This includes—inter alia—a change in the way Israel responds to murderous acts of terror: Israel will respond to acts of terror by capturing P.A. territory. These areas will be held by Israel as long as terror continues. Additional acts of terror will lead to the taking of additional areas. As a result of yesterday’s murderous acts of terror in Jerusalem, Israel will shortly take P.A. territory as outlined above.”—Statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office following Tueday’s Hamas homicide bombing in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood, which claimed the lives of 19 Israelis, and injured 74 (Israel Foreign Ministry, June 19)
“The horrible pictures of the acts of Palestinian murder that we saw here are stronger than any words…[W]hat kind of Palestinian state [do] they have in mind?…What are they talking about? The horrible thing that we see here is a continuation of Palestinian terrorism, and against this terrorism we must fight and struggle, and that we will do.”—P.M. Ariel Sharon visiting the site of yesterday’s terrorist attack, and underscoring in advance of U.S. President Bush’s expected Middle East speech what he views as the absurdity of talking about a “provisional” Palestinian state, while Palestinians are blowing up children on their way to school [President Bush’s Middle East speech originally planned for today and which is reportedly to tie together Palestinian statehood with reform of P.A. institutions, will be delivered according to the White House, sometime “soon”.] (Jerusalem Post, June 19)
“The same lips that issue the orders to kill are the same ones that issue the condemnations. Nobody here will talk about a [Palestinian] state. Nobody can sit down and talk to anybody as long as this continues.”—Government spokesman Arieh Meke (National Post, June 19)
Letter from Jerusalem
The following dispatch was received from my colleague Rabbi Paul Freedman, reacting to recent events in Israel. He saw our Bi-Cultural 8th graders there last week and informs me that the meeting was very enjoyable and that all are well:
We sit on out terrace in Jerusalem. The early evening light turns to gold the ancient walls of the Old City. Below, in the grounds of the adjoining hotel, the beat of loud music and the pre-teenagers milling around the pool typify Jerusalem's blend of ancient and modern, medieval and contemporary.
Yesterday morning, the phone rang as our youngest son called to reassure us that he and the family were "all right". For ten minutes, until he called back, we worried about our eldest son. Others were not so fortunate: their children, their parents, their friends were on 31a bus from Gilo, a southern suburb of Jerusalem.
So too, now, as we sit on our terrace, the phone rings once again . We go inside to tune on the eight o'clock news. French Hill, this time. We call our friends there. Shaky voices, but thank God, they and their daughters are safe.
Our eldest granddaughter, Ma'ayan, is here with our middle son, his wife and her brothers and sister. After dropping in at the Zionist Congress, this morning and davening Shaharit with Merkaz, we took her out to the Jerusalem Mall in Malka to buy books for her summer reading list, to eat ice-cream , to rejoice in her obvious happiness at being here in Israel, at being able to eat kosher pizza , linger over the choice of ice cream. This evening she has gone with her other grandparents to a family barbeque in Efrat, home to Ma'ayan and her family, and to our eldest son, his wife and daughters.
To the attendees at the Zionist Congress - thank you for being the wonderful people that you are . Thank you for donating blood , for visiting hospitals , for mourning with us.
This Shabbat we are hosting a Birthright group. Two weeks ago, we had a community high school from Stamford, Connecticut for Kiddush and an adult group from Rabbi Larry Kaplan's Temple Israel of Wilkes-Barre, Pa Keep coming, guys. There are many ways to fight this war, and this is definitely one of them.
Meanwhile, next door, the kids are still partying. That too is a way to fight.
From Yerushalayim, Paul Freedman
ISRAELI VENDOR FAIR
(an opportunity to support Israel)
SUNDAY, JUNE 23rd, 2002, 10:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M.
at Congregation AGUDATH SHOLOM
350 Strawberry Hill Avenue
co-sponsored by Temple Beth El and other community organizations
PLEASE SIGN UP TO ASSIST VENDORS IN SETTING UP AND TO ASSIST ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT!!!!
Shifts available on Saturday night and Sunday
Call Linda Spilka at 968-2380, Agudath Sholom at 358-2200, or fax the UJF at 322-3277.
Beth El YOUTH…MARK YOUR CALENDARS...
WHO: Entering Grades 6-12 Teens from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Regions
DATES: August 20-25
WHERE: Camp Ramah in the Poconos
watch your mail for more information, or contact Marcie at 322-6901 ext.324 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
2002 Senior Class: watch your mail for staff application
APPLICATIONS ARE ON THERE WAY!
Outreach to Young Jewish Singles
So, you’ve come to the Greater Stamford area and you are interested in the who’s who and the what’s what in the Jewish world. Well, you’ve come to the right place to find out. Through a grant provided by Michael Steinhardt, project SHA’AR was developed to provide information about and/or formulate welcoming Jewish educational, cultural and social programs that are geared to the interests of young Jewish singles. SHA’AR is your link to existing Jewish organizations in the Greater Stamford community.
SHA’AR will provide information about the existing Synagogues, so that you can find the one that fulfills your religious needs. A number of programming options will be available to fulfill your Jewish religious and educational desires. Additionally, SHA’AR can connect you to the popular Young Jewish Professionals singles group to accommodate your social interests.
Our program is unique, due to the fact that SHA’AR involves you in the development process of the project and that its coordinator is 26, single and can relate to and understand the needs of the young Jewish single.
For more information please contact Dan Rozett, Coordinator of SHA’AR, United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien.
203.321.1373 ext. 115 or email@example.com
The 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 sign up at www.tbe.org. You can unsubscribe by contacting our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on my synagogue, check out Beth El's Web site at www.tbe.org. To check out some previous spiritual cyber-journeys I have taken, see my book's site at www.thelordismyshepherd.com.