Friday, October 31, 2003

SHABBAT-O-GRAM for October 31, 2003 and Heshvan 6, 5764


October 31, 2003 and Heshvan 6, 5764

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, Stamford, Connecticut


Shabbat Shalom

We now have over 900 on our e-mail list – send your friends and relatives the gift of Jewish awareness – a Shabbat-O-Gram each week, by signing them up at


Belatedly – but better late than never….

my annual World Series Prediction:


And, seriously, my most sincere,

heartfelt sympathies to all Yankee fans out there.



Beth El Israel Tour Information Meeting – THIS SUNDAY, Nov. 2 at Noon




On Sunday, Nov. 2, at noon, we will be hosting a representative from Keshet tours, organizers of next summer's Beth El Israel Family Tour, which Mara and I will be leading.  If you have even a remote interest in this trip, mark your calendar now to attend this meeting.  The meeting will be part of the 2004 B'nai Mitzvah Family Day program scheduled to take place that morning, but all are invited to attend this part and then to meet privately with the organizers afterward if you have additional questions.


This will be a thrilling 15-day experience departing on August 1.  The full itinerary, along with registration information, will be available at the meeting.  Keshet has a superb reputation for making history come alive and the trip will be filled with fun activities for all ages.  At times, the kids will have their own activities while adults explore the intricacies of modern (and ancient) Israel.  For background on Keshet, check out their Web site at



This unforgettable journey has something for everyone:


n      Bar/Bat Mitzvah affirmation service and celebration (with Klezmer music)

n      Wilderness experience in the Negev

n      Exploring Tel Aviv and the mystical city of Safed

n      Visit to an army base

n      Kayaking on the Jordan River, climbing Masada and floating in the Dead Sea

n      Bedouin dinner in the middle of the Ramon Crater

n      Tree-planting ceremony near the home of the Maccabees

n      Visit to our sister city of Afula

n      Visit with Ethiopian families near Jerusalem

n      Briefings from journalists on the current situation

n      Archeological dig in the Judean Hills

n       Tzedakkah project at the children's ward of Hadassah Hospital

n       A glorious Shabbat in Jerusalem


Please plan to come on Sunday and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.  I truly hope that many of us will decide to make 2004 the year to live the dream of visiting Israel (and you can make your pledge to visit and enter a sweepstakes for a free trip at



High Holiday sermons are available online at

And have you seen the photo albums from our Havdalah at the Beach and Family Program on the fall holidays???  They’re all at our Website,!






Healing Service at Stamford Hospital (every 1st and 3rd Friday): 2:30 PM – at the second floor chapel, or on the hospital’s channel 46.  The next one will be on Friday, November 7.  If you know of anyone in Stamford Hospital, please let him or her know.

Friday Evening – Shabbat

Candles: 4:34 PM  (for candlelighting times , other Jewish calendar information, and to download a Jewish calendar to your PDA, click on

Services: 6:30 PM in the sanctuary – “Challah-ween”

Shabbat Morning

Service: 9:30 AM

Mazal Tov to Benjamin Cohen who becomes Bar Mitzvah this Shabbat morning.

Children’s services: 10:30 AM

Torah Portion – Noah --   Genesis 6:9 - 11:32

Haftarah for Ashkenazim: Isaiah 54:1 - 55:5

Our reading is from the third triennial cycle (with slight adjustments). Click on these to see the text in the original and translation and to hear it chanted.

1: 11:1-4
2: 11:5-9
3: 11:10-13
4: 11:14-17
5: 11:18-21
6: 11:22-25
7: 11:26-32
maf: 11:29-32


See a new weekly commentary now available from the UJC Rabbinic Cabinet, at

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:  World Zionist Organization Education page, including Nehama Liebowitz archives of parsha commentaries: For a more Kabbalistic/Zionist/Orthodox perspective from Rav Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Israel, go to For some probing questions and meditations on key verses of the portion, with a liberal kabbalistic bent, go to To see the weekly commentary from Hillel, geared to college students and others, go to For a Jewish Renewal and feminist approach go to or to

Morning Minyan: Daily at 7:30 AM IN THE CHAPEL, Sundays at 9:00 AM IN THE SANCTUARY



Spiritual Journey on the Web



The observance of Halloween is not Jewish and many arguments pro and con about dressing up and going door to door for candy have been made over the years.  But there is no argument over the importance of Shabbat in our tradition. This year, Halloween comes out on Shabbat.  This year's confluence of October 31 with Friday night presents families (and synagogues) with a unique opportunity to make a positive statement to their kids about Shabbat, while not necessarily placing people into a position of conflict with the fun of Halloween. 


So this Friday night at services we're going to celebrate Shabbat with a unique twist.  One congregant suggested that we call it "Challah-Ween."  Whatever you choose to call it, please come!  Adults and children of all ages are welcome to join us at our regular time of 6:30 -7:30 PM, and if you happen to have a costume on because you are coming from trick-or-treating OR going afterwards, we still want you to come by and spend Kabbalat Shabbat with us.  Cantor Jacobson and I are planning a fun service, and we'll have plenty of candy here…I may even bring out my favorite Jewish ghost story, “The Rabbi Who Was Turned into a Werewolf.”


Another way that has been suggested to embrace Shabbat while allowing your child to have the "fun" of Halloween is to keep the NOAH theme (this week’s portion) when choosing a costume.  So, did Scooby Doo have a place on Noah’s Ark?


As you might be able to tell, I come from the “lighten up” school of thought when it comes to Halloween, although I do feel a far greater concern because of this year’s confluence with Shabbat.  But the question as to whether or not Halloween is “un-Jewish,” is far too complex to relegate to a few comments in a Shabbat-O-Gram.  So this Shabbat morning I’m going to devote some time to the fascinating subject of “Jew-sion,” the fusion of Judaism and surrounding cultures.  It’s a perfect time to discuss this, because there is a clear connection between the story of Noah (this week’s portion) and the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh, as well as other ancient legends.  I will lay out these parallels clearly at services and connect them to the more general subject of, for lack of a better term, “Jew-sion.”


What is also clear that, Gilgamesh aside, the Noah story has many universal themes.  It shows clearly how the destiny of all humankind is intertwined.  The commentaries below help us to understand that.  Check them out! -- direct comparison of the Noah and Gilgamesh stories -- Noah, from the Jewish Encyclopedia -- Flood, from the Jewish Encyclopedia

More commentaries on Noah (culled by

Biblical Affirmative Action: Noah As A Product Of His Generation by Ilan Haber and Avi Weinstein Provided by Hillel’s Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Learning, which creates educational resources for Jewish organizations on college campuses.

 The Children Of Noach by Rabbi Neal Joseph Loevinger Provided by KOLEL--The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning, which is affiliated with Canada's Reform movement.

 A Common Language by Rabbi Leslie Bergson and Mary Baron Provided by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the central body of Reform Judaism in North America.

Flooded With Violence by David Nelson Provided by CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a multi-denominational think tank and resource center.

God Of Jews, God Of Humanity by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson Provided by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, which ordains Conservative rabbis at the University of Judaism.

The Miraculous Nature Of Covenant by Rabbi Shimon Felix Provided by the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel, a summer seminar in Israel that aims to create a multi-denominational cadre of young Jewish leaders.

Lessons Of The Flood by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Provided by the Orthodox Union, the central coordinating agency for North American Orthodox congregations.

Protecting Biodiversity: A Covenant With Every Living Thing by Rabbi David Rosenn Provided by, an on-line Jewish magazine dedicated to pursuing justice, building community, and repairing the world.

Righteous Or Blameless by Alan Bayer Provided by the UJA-Federation of New York, which cares for those in need, strengthens Jewish peoplehood, and fosters Jewish renaissance.





Did you know that...

1.      Israel has more museums per capita than any country on earth including the legendary Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

2.      In addition to world-class Israeli hotels and hotel-chains, almost every international hotel chain is represented in Israel. Click here for detailed information.

3.      Two Israel hotels/restaurants are members of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux organization.

4.      France's legendary Gault-Millau food critics consider Israel one of the world's major food destinations, one of the only countries outside France on which it publishes a restaurant guide Check out Israel's Best restaurants!


ISRAELI POSTER CENTER At this site you can see over 600 Israeli posters.  Over 2,500 posters not on site.  Able to find for you almost any Israeli poster that you desire.  ELI ZARINI is a graduate of the "Bezalel" School of Art in Jerusalem and started collecting Israeli posters 25 years ago.

This Day in Israel’s History - October 30

The Yishuv-Aliyah Hadashah (New Immigration) political party was formed.

The British Broadcasting Corporation began broadcasts in Hebrew.

Yitzhak Ben-Zvi was elected to a third term as president of Israel.

Yitzhak Navon became the first Israeli president to visit Egypt.

The Madrid Peace Conference opened with the participation of Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinians under the patronage of the United States and the former U.S.S.R.



Required Reading and Action Items


The Torah reading this week in Jewish tradition includes the story of the Flood, the Ark, and the Rainbow.   See Rabbi Arthur Waskow’s work on environmentalism and eco-spirituality at the Shalom Center’s Web site:, including the article “And the Earth is Filled With the Breath of Life,” at


Go to to see Rabbi Danny Gordis’ superb response to the latest anti-Israel diatribe penned by Professor Tony Judt of New York University in the New York Review of Books.  Judt’s article, “Israel: The Alternative,” can be found at  Thanks to Chuck Donen for alerting me to this.


Arafat Planning Medical Operating Room at Ramallah HQ - Galit Yitzhak (NewsFirstClass-Hebrew)
 Arafat has instructed his staff to check into the possibility of setting up an operating room inside his Ramallah office, the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal reported Tuesday. Arafat recognizes that he needs an operation, and recently failed to win guarantees from Arab and Western nations that Israel would allow him to return to PA territory after he went to Cairo or Amman for surgery.


Declarations - Martin Peretz
As anyone who watches Palestinian media on the Web surely knows, the United States is the declared enemy of each and every armed militia in the territories that our government so desperately wishes will soon become Palestine. The difference between the Palestinian militias and al-Qaeda is merely one of scope and public relations. It is time we stop pleading with the PA to clamp down on terrorism. They won't. (The New Republic)


Is the EU With Us, or With the Terrorists? - Editorial
Foreign fighters are not the only ones providing aid and comfort to the enemies of Iraqi reconstruction. As more Syrian links to attacks in Iraq are exposed, the European Union (EU) is increasing economic links to Syria. In Damascus, a weekend business conference funded by the EU brought 180 European officials and business executives to strengthen economic cooperation and pave the way for a Syrian-EU trade pact by the end of the year. It is clear that this European coddling of Syria is a direct response to the growing movement toward American sanctions against the nation. It is difficult to determine whether the EU is for us - or for the terrorists. (Washington Times)


Report: British Muslims Planning Terror Attacks Against Israel - Douglas Davis (Jerusalem Post)
Israeli military officials have asked security agencies in Britain to help track down several of the estimated 50 young British Muslims who have "gone missing" after traveling to Syria in recent months, who might be planning terrorist attacks, according to the London Times on Monday.   See also Muslim Radicals in UK Training New Suicide Bombers - Vijay Dutt (Hindustan Times). Three young British Muslims have been identified as being hidden in the Gaza Strip by terrorist groups.  A diplomatic source said that these young militants would be utilized for attacks in Iraq, but as some are of Pak-origin, India could at some stage become a target.

The Hashemite Solution for Iraq - Bernard Lewis and R. James Woolsey (Wall Street Journal) Iraq already has a constitution. It was legally adopted in 1925 and Iraq was governed under it until the series of military, then Baathist, coups began in 1958 and brought over four decades of steadily worsening dictatorship. It has some very useful features that would permit it to be used on an interim basis while a new constitution is drafted.

Army Seizes Terrorists Hiding in Hospitals
IDF soldiers arrested two Palestinian terror suspects at hospitals in the West Bank city of Nablus before dawn Saturday. In Nablus' Anglican Hospital, soldiers took Khaled Hamed, 25, a Hamas militant who was badly injured Wednesday when explosives inside a car he was riding in went off accidentally. A military source said Hamed had planned suicide bombing attacks. At Rafidiyeh Hospital troops arrested an armed member of the violent Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, linked to Arafat's Fatah faction. Jawad Ishtayeh, 27, was hiding out in the hospital's cellar and armed with a pistol. Palestinian security sources said the man was not a patient and was using the hospital as a hide-out. Israeli army spokeswoman Maj. Sharon Feingold said Palestinian militants were making a new strategy of hiding out in hospitals to avoid arrest. "Hospitals should not be used to harbor terrorists," Feingold said. (AP/Jerusalem Post)

The Mahathir Affair: A Case Study in Mainstream Islamic Anti-Semitism - Manfred Gerstenfeld (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • At the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit, Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad Mahathir, the conference host, represented relations between Muslims and Jews as a worldwide frontal confrontation, offering some new examples of a "Jewish conspiracy." His words were broadly applauded.
  • Since an EU summit was being held at the same time, it was proposed to include a condemnation of Mahathir's remarks in the summit's final statement. However, this was blocked by French President Jacques Chirac and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Instead, the condemnation was delegated to the Italian EU presidency.
  • New York Times editorial said the EU's refusal to condemn Mahathir's speech at its own summit adds "a concern that displays of anti-Semitism are being met with inexcusable nonchalance," while a Le Monde editorial noted that "such words are common currency in the Arab Islamic world where they pass for evident truth...and this direct form of racism, purely and simply is practiced as a normal category of the 'political debate.'"
  • The importance of the Mahathir affair is that it has exposed in a short time and in a concentrated way the profound anti-Semitic thought present among major layers of both mainstream Muslim elites and society.
  • The Mahathir affair is also an important case study for the analysis of Western reactions to Islamic anti-Semitism.

Report: U.S. Capitol Was Sept. 11 Attackers' Fourth Goal (Reuters) The U.S. Capitol Building, not the White House, was the fourth target of the Sept. 11 attackers, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported Sunday, citing results of interrogations of suspected al-Qaeda leaders Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the attacks, and Ramzi bin al-Shaibah, the man suspected of coordinating them. The fourth hijacked plane crashed in Pennsylvania before it could reach its target in Washington.

Dubious Promises from Iran - Editorial
Last week's announcement that Iran has vowed to suspend its effort to produce enriched uranium for nuclear weapons should be taken with a heavy dose of skepticism. Even if Iran formally agrees to do this, there is scant likelihood that the deal will do anything to dissuade the radical Islamic regime from its goal of obtaining nuclear weapons. The European deal with Iran will not prevent that government from building more centrifuges, which are needed to make weapons-grade uranium, and there is nothing in the agreement to prevent Iran from resuming uranium enrichment in the future.
    Gary Milhollin, director of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, says the Iran deal buys time for a government that has no intention of halting its nuclear program. A more productive approach, Milhollin believes, would have Washington mobilize its Western European and Japanese allies to stop selling Iran dual-use items like machine tools, computers, and high-strength steel used to produce ballistic missiles unless Iran agrees to give international inspectors access sufficient to determine that it is really dismantling its nuclear weapons program. One thing should be crystal-clear when it comes to heading off this danger: Time is not on our side. (Washington Times)

The Egyptian Underground: Rooting Out the Terrorists - Jonathan Schanzer
While Egypt may not be directly responsible for the attacks that take place in Gaza, it has indirectly allowed Gaza's terrorists to arm themselves using underground tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Over the last ten years, the Israelis have found 70 or more tunnels originating in Egypt. These tunnels are a crucial supply line of weapons - everything from armor-piercing weapons and automatic rifles to mines and rocket-propelled grenades - for groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
    The September arrest and subsequent interrogation of a PA security official revealed to Israeli intelligence that the PA had smuggled in eight anti-aircraft missiles through these tunnels that could threaten Israeli helicopters and commercial airliners. One high-ranking Israeli official reports that "in some cases, Egyptian soldiers are directly involved. They receive bribes or other incentives for keeping the tunnels open." Washington should ask the U.S. embassy in Egypt to undertake its own survey work along the Egypt-Gaza border to determine what assistance would be necessary to close the tunnels. If Egypt still does not see the light, a team of multinational forces and observers should be considered. The writer is a Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (National Review)

Poll: 59% of Europeans Say Israel is Greatest Threat to World Peace (AFP/EUBusiness)
According to a Eurobarometer poll carried out for the European Commission, to be published next Monday, 59% of Europeans believe Israel poses the biggest threat to world peace, ahead of the U.S., Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea, the Spanish daily El Pais reports.


Move in U.S. Congress on Jews from Arab Countries - Ran Dagoni and Itamar Levin
A resolution to recognize the distress of Jewish refugees from Arab states has been initiated by U.S. House of Representatives members Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). It seeks to awaken public opinion in the U.S. to the suffering of Jewish refugees, which is virtually unknown, in comparison with the suffering of Arab refugees. The initiators of the motion say the world must recognize that there are two refugee populations in the Middle East - Jewish and Arab. The thriving Jewish life in the Arab world came to an end in the 1940s and early 1950s when almost 900,000 Jews were driven out of Arab countries. (Globes)

Sen. Clinton Blasts PA for Teaching Children Hate - Melissa Radler (Jerusalem Post)  The anti-Semitic indoctrination of children by the Palestinian Authority must stop, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) told a Senate hearing on the education and indoctrination of Palestinian children Thursday, chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA).

View the video documentary - "Ask for Death," presented at the Senate hearing. (Palestinian Media Watch)


Economist: Growth in Israel Much Higher in 2004 - Zeev Klein (Globes)
    The British weekly The Economist Thursday published an optimistic updated forecast for the Israeli economy, predicting that growth in Israel would be much higher in 2004, led by exports.    Recovery in economic activity and tax revenues had begun as early as mid-2003.

Taking Satan Seriously  By E.J. Dionne (from The Washington Post) October 31, 2003
"When Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin... told a religious audience that America's real enemy was "a guy called Satan," the general was no doubt expressing the views of tens of millions of Americans.... The obvious response to the Boykin case is to say that because he is now deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, he should be relieved of his post.... But without intending to, Boykin has revealed the difficulties with our usual arguments on behalf of religious liberty.... It's easy for nonbelievers to condemn fundamentalists, because many agnostics and atheists see religion as a bunch of hooey. For Christians, Muslims and Jews who are believers but have relatively liberal theological views, toleration is also an easy reach.... The larger problem is that the very idea of religious liberty is theologically difficult for many believers...."

Prayer Groups Proliferate on Capitol Hill By Michelle Gabriel (The Religious News Service ) October 31, 2003
"Before they debate issues that affect millions of Americans' lives, many legislators meet for informal prayer sessions and Bible studies. Organized prayer breakfasts also are held weekly for Senate and House members, which Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., called "the finest hour of the week."..."

Love and Intermarriage By Vanessa Ochs (The New Jersey Jewish News ) October 31, 2003
"The thoughts I offer here on Jews and intermarriage will not be popular, and in advance, I apologize. I am not suggesting that my ideas about intermarriage should be adopted by anyone or should be used to bolster one's unpopular case in heated family arguments. No child should read this and say, "But if it's OK if her children date or marry non-Jews, how come you won't let me?" I am speaking in a personal way - in fact, I'm not sure that my own family shares my perspective...."

Another "Hudna"? - Khaled Abu Toameh
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei believes Hamas and Islamic Jihad are eager for a deal that eases the pressure on the groups' leaders; over the past four months, the majority of leaders in the Gaza Strip have gone underground. "Their normal life has been severely disrupted," notes a veteran Palestinian journalist in Gaza City. "They have been forced to leave their homes....Life for them has become intolerable."
    Qurei's ambitious plans include elections in the West Bank and Gaza in July 2004. However, many in the Palestinian leadership are opposed to holding elections. Apart from the possibility that elections could exacerbate feudal and factional tensions, many legislators and mayors are comfortable with the status quo. "He's a serious man with good intentions," remarked a legislator from Ramallah. "But I can't believe that he's so naive as to believe he would be able to eliminate corruption as long as Arafat and his cronies are around. In fact, Abu Ala [Qurei] is himself one of these cronies." (Jerusalem Post)






TBE Discussion Group


Featuring Rabbi Joshua Hammerman discussing the topic:


Intermarried Families & Trends in American Jewish Life




At the home of Chuck and Ellen Donen

10 Maher Drive in Norwalk

Request directions when you RSVP at 847-5667







First class is this coming Tuesday at 7















ART AUCTION November 15



             Art lovers, mark your calendars for Saturday, November 15, when Temple Beth El will hold an auction of fine art and sculpture on Saturday, November 15.


             High quality works of art are now being collected and catalogued for an evening that promises excitement and opportunities to meet fellow art lovers.  Patrons can enjoy dessert and light refreshments while previewing the works in the synagogue's social hall.  Free babysitting is available to those who pre-register by November 7.


             New and seasoned collectors will have the opportunity to bid on pieces that will enhance their home and office decors while helping to support the area's largest Conservative synagogue.


            Admission is $10.00 per person ($18.00 per couple) in advance, and $15.00 per person ($25.00 per couple) at the door.  All major credit cards will be accepted for the auction.  Temple Beth El has ample and secure parking.  The preview runs from 7:00 to 8:00, just before the auction.  For more information, please contact Janice or Michael Greenberg

at (203) 322-6221 or go to>>upcoming events.



Lunch and Learn Series

Led by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman


Judaism, Business and Ethics for Our Time –


Using rabbinic sources, the group will explore the ethics of the marketplace, including deceptive advertising, employer-employee relations, consumer rights (and wrongs) and insider trading.


Meets Monthly, next THIS COMING Wednesday, Nov 5, 12:30 -1:30


At Benjamin and Gold, P.C., 350 Bedford Street 4th floor

Parking in rear of building (at corner of Pedigree Ski Shop), or metered parking on the street in front of building and also behind Baby and Toy Superstore, across the street.

(many thanks to Dan Benjamin for providing the space)



Please join us NEXT THURSDAY

November 6th at 7:30 p.m.


Temple Beth El


“Conservative Judaism in the Midst of Israel’s Challenges”

Rabbi Elisha Wolfin


First Masorti Rabbi in Zichron Ya'akov to develop a Conservative Congregation,

Beit Midrash for Adult Study and Tali School

Rabbi Elisha Wolfin, born and raised on Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi in the Galilee, served as an officer in the Intelligence and Education Corps and earned his BA at the Haifa University. He was a shaliach at the Hillel of Berkeley and a Jewish educator. He began his rabbinic studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and transferred to the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem, where he was ordained in 2001. Rabbi Wolfin has extensive experience in informal education with all age groups, especially in the field of educational travel around Israel, prayer and meditation.  Please join us for this dynamic speaker and important topic.

Co-sponsored by Congregation Beth El of Norwalk and Temple Shalom of Greenwich



Sisterhood Paid Up Membership Brunch


Ready for your home or office

to have a new look?


Please join us for our Annual Paid-Up Brunch

and get inspired.



10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon


Meet our guest speaker...Carol Brewer


Carol has been an interior designer for twenty-five years with assignments that include beautiful homes and apartments in the US, Canada and even the West Indies (on the exotic island of Nevis).  Carol will share her creativity and experience with you and answer all the questions you’ve been eager to ask someone who really knows.


Free for Sisterhood members.

New members are welcome to join.


For further information, please call:

Jackie Herman (Chair) 595-0085

or Cheryl Bader-Goldblum 329-1911


A Note From the Cantor:

I look forward to seeing you at Temple Beth El on Saturday evening, Nov. 8th, at 7pm as we welcome Magevet, Yale University’s coed a cappella grou, devoted to singing Jewish, Hebrew, and Israeli Music. Founded in 1993 in the Calhoun College sauna (the reason for the unusual name, which in Hebrew means “towel”), Magevet is known worldwide for its sweet blend of voices and unique repertoire. Throughout the year, Magevet travels around the globe.  They appeal to an audience of ALL ages. I brought them to West End Synagogue, where I served as Cantor before coming here, and everyone loved them. They have a varied, innovative repertoire and a warm, interactive performance style.  They recently recorded their 4th CD, which will be on sale at the concert and in our gift shop along with their other CD’s.

Please do join us at 7pm for Havdalah …Magevet has a wonderful rendition of Eliyahu Hanavi that you don’t want to miss…  Followed by their concert.  Then stay after the concert and meet these impressive young men and women over dessert and coffee.  Spread the word so we give them a great Beth El turnout.  I thank Milton and Norma Mann for underwriting part of this program.  Suggested Donation for the evening is $10.



WEDNESDAY, Nov 19, @ 7:30





"Sacred Passages: A Multicultural Exploration of the Peak Moments of Our Lives."



Rabbi Joshua Hammerman -- Temple Beth El

Rev. Douglas McArthur - First UNited Methodist Church

Dr. Behjat Sayed -- Dr Sayed is a lay representative of the Islamic Center of Stamford and a chiropractor, who has spoken in Islam before many groups locally.



Oct. 15 -- Celebrating Birth: When does life begin?  Is abortion ethical? What are the rituals of birth

Nov. 19 -- Celebrating Coming of Age: What are the rituals marking the passage from childhood to adulthood (Bar Mitzvah, Confirmation, etc)?  When is one an "adult?"

Dec 17-- Celebating the Season: How are the sacred days of December linked?  How do they differ?  How can we all celebrate so that no one feels left out?

Jan 21 -- Celebrating Relationships:  Courtship and Marriage in different faith traditions.  How do different faith groups respond to homosexuality?

Feb 11 -- (2nd Wed.) Celebrating Family: What are the responsibilities of parenthood and the role of family in various traditions?  How do we handle divorce, domestic violence, etc., as well as the proliferation of non-traditional family units?  Where do singles fit into all of this?

Mar 17-- Celebrating Diversity: How do we coexist despite our differences?  How do we approach dual faith families?  What are the limits of missionary activity?  How to we handle conversion?

April 21 -- Celebrating Healing:  How do we confront illness in our various traditions and how do we define "wellness?" How do we approach the patient? Where do spirituality and medicine intersect?  Special focus on AIDS.

May 19 -- Approaches to the End of Life: Death, Dying and Life Eternal in different faith traditions.


TGIS (Thank God it’s Shabbat)


A rotating series of Friday night experiences

For all tastes and all ages

At 6:30 PM

Week 1 --- in the chapel, a traditional Beth El Service

Week 2 --- in the Sanctuary, Family Friday

Week 3 --- in the lobby: a creative Theme services

(on October 17, we will be welcoming Young Couples and the theme will be nature)


Week 4 --- a Carlebach-style service, featuring Hasidic nigunim and joyous meditation.


Plus our ongoing Tot Shabbat series (weeks 1 and 3 at 6:45, and Tiny Tot Shabbat on week 2 at 4)




Previous Shabbat-O-Grams can be accessed directly from our web site (


United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien
2004 Annual Community Campaign

December 7, 2003

On December 7, 2003, United Jewish Federation is holding its annual
SUPER SUNDAY phone-a-thon at the Stamford JCC.

Please answer your phone and make a generous gift to the 2004 Annual Community Campaign.

If you would like to volunteer to assist with phone calls or other critical tasks on SUPER SUNDAY,
please fill out the attached Sign-up Sheet and send to:



Time for a Joke



One Sabbath afternoon, Jacob was in the Rabbi's office and was looking out the window when he said, "Rabbi, if one sees a cow drowning on the Sabbath, is it permitted to save it or should one let it drown?"

The Rabbi looked up and said, "No, my son, it is not permitted to break the Sabbath over a cow."

"That's a shame," says Jacob. "A cow has fallen into the lake and it's drowning."


The Rabbi replies, "Yes, it's too bad."

Jacob continues, "Its head is now going under and it's certainly going to die. I feel sorry for the animal."

"Yes," said the Rabbi, "it is not a nice thing to happen, but what can one do on the Sabbath?"

"And I feel so sorry for you," Jacob said.

"Why me?" said the Rabbi looking up.

"It is your cow."



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