Friday, October 25, 2002

Shabbat-O-Gram, Oct. 25, 2002 and Heshvan 19, 5763

 Shabbat-O-Gram, Oct. 25, 2002 and Heshvan 19, 5763

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, Stamford, Connecticut



Previous Shabbat-O-Grams can now be accessed directly from our web site (, or more directly at -- and our Web site now also has High Holy Day sermon postings and recent youth group photos.



“Parnassa” Corner: (Parnassa is the Hebrew word for “livelihood.” Of Maimonides 8 levels of tzedakkah, the top one is to assist someone in gaining employment… which is why this is placed at the top of the Shabbat-O-Gram

Help Wanted: Stamford attorney seeking part time secretary/legal assistant.  Position requires typing skills, organization skills and ability to perform independently.  Experience not necessary but helpful.  Will train. WordPerfect a plus.  Heavy client contact.  Hours flexible.  Contact me at for more information



Mazal Tov to Adam and Jamie Kagan  on the birth of Alexander (Alex) Michael Kagan, this week in Stamford Hospital.

Mazal Tov to Naomi Graubard and Mark Kinderman, who will be married this weekend.

Mazal Tov to Alix and David Eben, whose daughter Sydney Rachel Eben will be named here this weekend.  Also Mazal Tov to grandparents Joe and Barbara Field.

Mazal Tov to Jennifer Lapine on being named the Advocate’s Community Leader of the Year

Mazal Tov to Andy and Rebecca Lehrfeld on being honored for their years of service by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Connecticut Region


JUST THE FACTS: Services and Such (featuring our 1st Family Friday Service)

L’hitraot to our 6th graders, heading off to their class Shabbaton this Friday! 

Friday Night: Candles: 5:42 PM, Services at 7:30 PM in the sanctuary… our first FAMILY FRIDAY SERVICE!!!!

Tot Shabbat Services with Nurit will return NEXT Week

Shabbat: Beth El Cares Shabbat: “The Plight of Argentinian Jewry” Guest Speaker: Tommy Haendler

Torah Portion: Vayera Service begins at 9:30 AM, with children’s services at 10:30.

Read the Masorti commentary at JTS commentary is at: USCJ Torah Sparks can be found at UAHC Shabbat Table Talk discussions are at Other divrei Torah via the Torahnet home page: Test your Parasha I.Q.: CLAL's Torah commentary archive:  Nehama Liebowitz archives of parsha commentaries:  For a more Kabbalistic/Zionist perspective from Rav Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Israel, go to

Mazal Tov to Allison Kruk, who becomes Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat morning.

Morning MinyanDaily at 7:30 AM, Sunday at 9AM

We have had request for a GUARANTEED MINYAN, From Roz Feinstein, who has yahrzeit this Sunday morning.  Please join us if you can.


Don’t forget to turn back the clocks this weekend!



Spiritual Journey on the Web: 


The Akeda, the Binding of Isaac, has fascinated people of all faiths for centuries.  From a historical perspective, it’s significance has shifted over the generations.   Within the Bible itself, this incident receives surprisingly little play.  While the story is told quite dramatically in Gen. 22, it is not repeated anywhere else in the entire Bible.   Other elements of Abraham’s life are, but not this.  Yet by the time we get to the rabbinic period, the Akeda has taken on new significance, for Jews and early Christians as well, and then for Moslems, who debated whether it was Isaac or Ishmael who was brought up to the mountain. 

Here is an annotated list of Web sites looking at the Akeda from a variety of perspectives: a wide variety of interpretations: Jewish, Christian, Moslem, even Kierkegaard. Excellent!  from Rav Kook – Abraham as a champion of faith. -- The Akeda as an existential, rather than a moral tale.  Excellent -- links to images of Abraham and Isaac (see for a 6th centuty mosaic that is particularly striking) -- Akeda image from the ancient Bet Alpha synagogue in Israel. -- Judaism on the “cutting edge.” -- topographical look at Mount Moriah, site of the Akeda did it really happen? Sound and Spirit playlist -- nice bibliography Elie Wiesel on, among other things, the Akeda




Required Reading and Action Items


Israel, Iraq and Terrorism:


Victims of the Bus Bombing
Professor Yehuda Hiss, head of the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute, said that it could take several days to identify the remaining victims because the bodies were mangled and burned. Only one victim was recognizable visually. The others can only be identified through DNA testing. He said he couldn't remember an attack after which identifying the victims was so difficult. (Jerusalem Post)
    See also Bombing Victim was Heading Home for Sister's Wedding (Jerusalem Post/AP)


 Mother, I Could Not Find Any Jews to Kill
The Hamas Website recently published an interview with a Palestinian mother who sent her son to carry out a suicide attack against Israel. "Prior to the attack in which he was killed, Mahmud went on two other missions, before which I had to bid him farewell. I waited anxiously to hear of his death. The following evening Mahmud entered, and I asked him what happened. He answered: I could not find any Jews. I asked him not to be afraid [in fighting] against the Jews - that he kill [as many] as he can and leave none alive." (Israel Defense Forces)

Sharon Calls Quartet Road Map "Problematic" - Aluf Benn (Ha'aretz)

  • In his first public reference to the "road map" peace plan draft worked out by the Quartet - the U.S., EU, UN, and Russia - and presented to him in Washington last week, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, "It's not credible that Israel takes irreversible steps while the other side only makes statements. There is a danger Israel will face a timetable that only it is required to keep to."

See also Palestinian Statehood Fades - Nicole Gaouette (Christian Science Monitor)
As William Burns arrives in Israel bearing a road map to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israelis and Palestinians are increasingly questioning whether an independent Palestinian entity is even feasible.


No More Cat and Mouse - Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Even if the UN passes a clear and tough resolution and the inspectors got on some of the right trails, they would run up against delays, obstructions, bugging, and a succession of manufactured crises and diversions. Inspections are a trap. The only way to force Iraq to get rid of its terrible weapons is to rid the country of the regime that builds them. Washington must not pause in its push to depose Saddam. (U.S. News)


Sniper Suspect Sympathized with Islamic Terrorists
John Allen Muhammad, arrested on Thursday in connection with the sniper shootings that have taken 10 lives in the Washington, D.C., area, may have been motivated by anti-American sentiments in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. A Muslim convert and former soldier, he was known to speak sympathetically about the men who attacked the U.S., sources said. (Seattle Times)

Hizballah Appreciates Jews' Return to Israel - Badih Chayban     Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Tuesday that "if they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."
(Daily Star - Lebanon)



Special for College Students:


Remembering Malki Roth - Killed One Year Ago in the Sbarro Explosion - Yaeli Bronstein (American high school student)
Malki accomplished so much in her short life and she had plans for her future. That future was taken away from her in a split second when her life was so unfairly cut short. Malki has taught me that although we feel that we have our whole lives ahead of us to do everything we plan, now is the time to put your dreams into action. An innocent 15-year-old girl is gone forever and my world has turned upside down. (New York Jewish Week - "Fresh Ink")


Halloween and Judaism – The October Dilemma: For me, the October dilemma consists of finding Halloween candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters that I will not eat, no matter how desperate or distraught I become.For my children, the challenge is creating peer- and parent-approved costumes that will also work for Purim. But for many Jewish parents, who associate the holiday with demons, death and wickedness - as well as with Christianity - Halloween is problematic.  We live in America, our kids go to public schools and Halloween is unavoidable.  How to skip Halloween so your children won’t hate you What various faith groups think of Halloween Halloween can remind Jews to Hallow God’s presence  Lots of Kabbala links (Judaism has its dark side too!) Abraham and the Addams Family (Really!)




 Quotes of the Week: 

“The passengers aboard the bus yesterday [14 people were killed and 50 injured on Monday by Islamic Jihad suicide bombers] had the basic human right to live and not be burned to death, and this was violated in the most shocking and horrific way. No one in Europe has ever experienced suicide attacks. If you want to rebuild homes of terrorists that we destroyed, why not repair blown-up buses and bring people back to life?”—F.M. Shimon Peres at a meeting in Brussels of European parliament faction heads, responding to a member of parliament’s question about Israel’s alleged violations of Palestinians’ human rights. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 23)







Upcoming Special Kabbalat Shabbat Programs led by Rabbi Hammerman and Cantor Jacobson

(all services open to everyone) in the chapel: @7:30 PM

Young Singles Shabbat: Nov 1

The community Young Singles Program will be our guests

Join us to welcome them that night!




Paramus Productions and Mark W. Beckerman/Senior Prom Productions invite you to a reading of a new comedy

“Sex and the New Age in Paramus,” 

by Jordan Jacobson

Where: Studio 3A @ the Duke Theatre

When: Monday, November 4

Time: 6:30 PM Refreshments, 7:00 PM Reading

RSVP Tel: 212-769-6449, email




Hanukkah Concert

Nov. 24 @ 4:00 PM

Fun for all ages,

a musical celebration, and lots more (with latkes too!)

With our Junior Choir




See our very own Nurit Avigdor and Annie Nirschel, this week on TV!  Cablevision channel 71, Tues and Thurs, @ 9:30 and 11:30 PM!




A Night of Magic and Comedy

Saturday, November 16, 2002

8:00 pm—Meet and Mingle

Open Bar with wine and soft drinks

Wandering Magicians

Comedic Skits by Ensemble Studio Workshop


The Main Act:

The Magical Duo-George Schindler & Nina


A Surprise Finale-- Starring Cantor Deborah Jacobson


Temple Beth El

Followed by Ice Cream and Dessert Buffet

Desserts by Thyme for Kosher


RSVP by November 5

For Information on Ticket Prices--- Contact the Temple Office or

Check the Website






Tuesday, November 19, 2002
7:30pm at Rich Forum in Stamford, CT.

Sponsored by the Jewish Federations of Fairfield County

Attend a benefit concert for Argentinean Jews.
Proceeds will fund JDC (Joint Distribution Committee) hunger and social
service programs at 70 welfare centers in Argentina.

Tickets available @ $100  per person.
Available through the Greenwich UJA/Federation at 552-1818.

($1,000 and higher levels includes multiple tickets and post performance
dessert reception.)

Program for the evening includes performances by:

The Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir under the baton of conductor Eli Jaffe
The renowned Raul Juarena Tango Band and dancers
Argentine Soprano Raquel Mendelsohn
Local Cantors including Cantor Deborah Jacobson from our synagogue

The current crisis involves 200,000 Jews currently live in Argentina - the
5th largest Jewish community in the world.

       - 60,000 Jews live below the poverty line and are unemployed.
       - 70% of small businesses owned by Jews have closed.
  - Thousands are homeless and on food rations.

Save the date!!!! 


Sisterhood FASHION SHOW.       

Dessert and coffee. Come for an evening of fun, food, friends, and fashions by FOX'S.  Please make reservations. For additional information call Marlyn Agatstein 3247390 or Ronni Ginsberg  322-2003.





          In support of the State of Israel, the Sisterhood of Temple Sholom in Greenwich proudly announces SHOP ISRAEL LIVE! A daylong shopping extravaganza featuring top-of-the-line Israeli vendors that will take place at Temple Sholom, 300 East Putnam Avenue, on Sunday, Nov.3 from 10 am – 6 pm.

          Featured vendors for SHOP ISRAEL LIVE! will include an eclectic group of artists and manufacturers who will bring with them a wide range of merchandise.  Artists include Agam, Chagall, Ben Avram, Udi Merios, Ginzburg, Raphael Abecassis, Bracha Lavee, Bradshaw Guy, Naim Basson, Haddad and a host of others. Jewelry designed by Ayala Bar, Shula Shek, Dganit Hen Amit Yair and others will be available for purchase. Ceramics, pewter and Judaica by Chaim Perez, Rachel Cadmor, Ramatis and Elanomii in addition to a selection of jams, honeys, halavah, Ahava beauty products, and Kakadu wood items will all be available. All proceeds will go directly to the vendors.

          In addition to shopping, attendees will have an opportunity to hear Mr. Eran Doron, the Director of Trade and Investment from the Government of Israel Economic Mission and representative of the Consulate General of Israel in New York. Mr. Doron, a former professional soccer player in Israel and director of its professional association, will be speaking at 1:00 pm.

          Lunch and Israeli snacks will be available for purchase throughout the day.


AND…On Sunday, October 27, from 10 am to 6 pm, the Rosenthal JCC of Pleasantville is also holding an Israeli Festival and Marketplace.  The purpose of the fair is to assist Israeli merchants, artisans, and small manufacturers who are suffering from the serious decline in tourism, to earn a living and to stay in business in spite of terrorism's crushing impact on Israel's economy. Over fifty Israeli vendors will present close to eighty booths of quality merchandise for sale, all 'Made in Israel.'



Adult Education

Learn to Read Hebrew for Adults

with Shirley Fish

Sundays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. in the Library

Cost:  $50 for 10 week session


A Celebration of Rosh Chodesh
Held monthly with Barb Moskow & friends

7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in the Youth Lounge


Shabbat Morning Learner's Minyan

with Barb Moskow

Begins November 16th

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.



Don’t Miss the JCC’s Jewish Film Festival, Oct 26th-Nov.3rd (Beth El is a co-sponsor)


Saturday, October 26

The Believer - 8:15pm, State Cinema


Sunday, October 27

I’m Alive and I Love You - 10am, Crowne Theaters

Company Jasmine - 3:30pm, Garden Cinema  This is an Israeli film made in 2000 and is 56 minutes long. The movie is in color with English subtitles. 

Company Jasmine is the first in-depth look at the prestigious Women Field Officers School of the Israel Defense Force. The film follows five cadets through their 17-week training as they deal with questions of identity, femininity, battle readiness and command worthiness. A discussion with former and present Israeli military officers will follow the film.


Last Dance - 7pm, Garden Cinema


Wednesday, October 30

Mama Drama - 10:30am, State Cinema

Autumn Sun - 7:30pm, State Cinema


Saturday, November 2

Gripsholm - 7:30pm, State Cinema


Sunday, November 3

Trembling Before G-d - 2pm, Garden Cinema

I’m Alive and I Love You - 3:30pm, Garden Cinema

Trembling Before G-d - 7pm, Garden Cinema – (featuring commentary by Rabbi Steven Greenberg)







The Web link for this week's Shabbat-O-Gram is - - 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   I also send out mailings to college students, Gen Xers and teens, so let us know if you wish to be placed on any of those lists.  If you wish to unsubscribe, contact  


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