Friday, November 5, 2004

SHABBAT-O-GRAM for November 5, 2004 and HESHVAN 22, 5765


November 5, 2004 and HESHVAN 22, 5765

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, Stamford, Connecticut

Shabbat Shalom

Send your friends and relatives the gift of Jewish awareness

a Shabbat-O-Gram each week, by signing them up at


To see my Jewish Week column on – guess what – the Red Sox’ victory (from a theological perspective),

click on




Friday Evening Candles: 4:27 PM EST.  for candlelighting times, other Jewish calendar information, and to download a Jewish calendar to your PDA, click on

Kabbalat Shabbat: 6:30 PM in the chapel

Tot Shabbat: 6:45 PM, in the lobby.  Thanks so much to Deb, Ken, Alyssa and Andrew Goldberg, who will be sponsoring Tot Shabbat

Shabbat Morning: 9:30 AM – Kahal (congregant led) service and lunch.  Also, Lunch and Learn for the 2005 B’nai Mitzvah families with Rabbi Hammerman

Children’s services: 10:30 AM

Torah Portion: Haye Sarah Genesis 23:1 - 25:18 (Following Sarah’s death, Abraham seeks a burial place for her and a wife for their son Isaac)

1: 23:1-4
2: 23:5-7
3: 23:8-12
4: 23:13-16
5: 23:17-20
6: 24:1-4
7: 24:5-9
maf: 24:5-9

Haftarah: I Kings 1:1 - 1:31

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 or, for Kabbalistic commentaries from the Zohar itself, 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 .  For a comprehensive Orthodox viewpoint from the Israeli rabbi, Yaakov Fogelman, go to the Torah Outreach Program at


Morning Minyan: Sundays at 9:00 AM, Weekdays at 7:30 AM – IN THE CHAPEL


We usually, but not always have a minyan of ten at our morning services. If you have a yahrzeit coming up and wish to ensure that there will be at least ten present, drop the rabbi an email at and he will e-mail to the congregation a “Guaranteed Minyan” request.  Indicate the date of the yahrzeit and whether it would be OK to use your name in making that request.




Minyan Mastery


Now you can become more comfortable with our minyan, and find out all about it at…



Spiritual Journey on the Web





One of the best puns in the entire Torah occurs in this week’s portion of Hayye Sarah.  As Abraham attempts to conclude a deal for some property in which to bury his wife, he deals with the Hittite Ephron. In Gen 23:7, we read that, out of respect and humility, Abraham “bowed low to the people of the land, the Hittiites.”  The pun, a double pun actually, only serves to reinforce this demonstration of humility.  For Abraham bowed to “Am Ha’aretz liv’nay Chayt.”  As we recall from the High Holidays, the word chayt means “sin.” Although here it is spelled differently in meaning “Hittite,” it sounds exactly the same.  So to ancient (and modern) Jewish ears, when hearing this phrase recited, we pick up the nuance that Abraham was bowing low to sinners.


Not only sinners, but those who were “Am Ha-aretz.”  Literally it means the “nation of the land,” but in later Jewish lore an “am ha’aretz” is considered a simpleton, the Jewish version of a “bumpkin,” one who is ignorant of Jewish law (find a definition at   Some interesting Halachic views on the Am Ha’aretz can be found at and, all reinforcing the need for humility, which is why Abraham humbled himself to them.

A rabbi once said that all wise men and women should keep two verses in their pockets: in one pocket, "For My sake the world was created," in the other, "Dust art thou and unto dust thou shalt return." The lesson we learn from Abraham here is that, that no one, no matter how uneducated, is beneath any one else -- and it is never beneath our dignity to be humble.

Here are some more Jewish lessons from the Web, on the subject of humility: From the Jewish Virtual Library – a nice lesson developed from texts, similar lesson, but expanded, from the Hillel web site  I like the definition found here for humility: “Judaism defines humility as "living with the reality that nothing matters except doing the right thing." That means the humble person is not dependent on the opinion of others. Because sometimes doing the right thing is popular (and consistent with one's ego needs), and sometimes it's not. But the humble person can set his ego aside, if need be, in order to consistently do the right thing.” Moses and humility. A series of lessons (shiurim) on the topic -- “the Rav” (Soloveitchik) lessons on humility Quotations from Daniel Matt, from a kabbalistic perspective -- What the grape and humility have in common


And, my second day Rosh Hashanah sermon this year was all about humility as well – find it at our website,


There is also such a thing as being too humble.  That was the sentiment expressed by Isaac Leib Peretz in his classic tale “Bontsche the Silent.”  An 
English translation appears in "A Treasury of Yiddish Stories," edited by Irving Howe and Eliezer Greenberg (Viking Press, 1954).

Read about him, and that immortal story, at  Humility should never be confused with

meekness.  Abraham was no pushover.  But he knew when, and before whom, to bow.


Humbly yours,




Required Reading and Action Items





Palestine is Not Israel's Fault - Andrew Burmon and Victoria Degtyareva
Harvard professor Ruth Wisse told Stanford students on Friday that Israelis should not be blamed for the hardships of Palestinians. "The Palestinian people suffer - it is genuine, it is undeniable, they can't advance; the Jews would love to cure that suffering, but it is not a problem that the Jews created, and it is not a problem that the Jews can solve," she said. "The greatest scandal is that the Palestinians have allowed their people to remain refugees. This is not a creation of Israel, it is a creation of Arab rulers." (Stanford Daily)




Congress's Jewish winners and losers (The faces may change, but the number of Jews in the US Congress will stay the same.


Bush's Coalition of Churchgoers. By Steven Waldman and John Green (Beliefnet)


Faith breakdowns 2004 vs. 2000 (beliefnet)


Relax After the Election: Try a 10-Minute Meditation


How to Stay Centered After a Divisive Political Season




Bush: 24 Percent Of Jewish Vote – The Jewish Week

Numbers less than GOP expected; support for Israel, concern over domestic agenda seen in second term.

Gore Jewish Voters Choose Bush - Janine Zacharia (Jerusalem Post)
    "From our exit sampling, very strong support for Kerry. But strikingly, a fairly significant number of Jews switching from Gore in 2000 to Bush, somewhere in the order of 12-13%," said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, after examining a tiny sampling of 200 Jewish voters in five battleground states.
    Bush won 19% and Gore 80% of the Jewish vote in 2000, according to exit polling.
    Harris said that nearly all voters who switched from Gore to Bush "identified either Israel or terrorism (and) 9/11 as the first reason for their decision."
    AJC also separately polled 370 Russian Jews in New York and Philadelphia, where at least 75% said they were voting for Bush, citing his Israel stance and his strong leadership in the war on terrorism.

    See also 40,000 U.S. Citizens in Israel Took Part in Elections - Eliel Shahar (Maariv International)
    Some 40,000 U.S. citizens living in Israel have exercised their voting right during the past month, U.S. embassy officials have estimated.
    One official said about 150,000 U.S. citizens live in Israel, but not all of them are eligible to vote.

The Growing Religion Gap – The Jewish Week- Orthodox-secular rift now a chasm in wake of bitter election.


The New Wedge Issue – The Jewish Week - GOP strategy seemed to mark a turning point in Jewish community.


Stem Cell Debate – from Tikkun

Did you know that there are Jewish bikers?  Head down south and you would have found lots of them a few weeks ago, including a TBE member, Bruce Feinberg!  Find out what it’s all about at

Egypt Rejects Charges IAEA Chief Helping It with Secret Nuclear Program (AFP/Yahoo)
    Egypt's ambassador to the UN atomic agency, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, blasted as "totally baseless" a French newspaper report that the Egyptian head of the agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, was helping Cairo hide a secret nuclear program.
    The French newspaper Liberation, citing unnamed Western diplomats, reported that the now dismantled Libyan nuclear program "had Egyptian links."
   Libya had in its nuclear program "worked not only for itself but also, secretly, for the Egyptians," Liberation said.

A Tragic Coincidence - Jonathan Mark – the Jewish Week - Victim in Carmel bombing was at market shopping for son’s memorial dinner.

Shmuel Levy was well aware that the night of Nov. 1 was Cheshvan 18, seven years since his son Raffi, 26, was killed in a Tel Aviv car accident. So Shmuel, 65, went to the Carmel outdoor market to buy some fresh fruits and bread for that evening’s memorial seudah. He planned to say Kaddish that night in shul, and ... more...   


A new report based on National Jewish Population Survey data, Volunteerism among American Jews, is now available on the UJC website. This material along with other specialized NJPS reports and presentations may be accessed at


Tel Aviv Bombing a Signal to Abu Mazen - Danny Rubinstein
Monday's Tel Aviv suicide bomber, Amar al-Far, was only 16. "It is forbidden to give a mission of this kind to a boy," his tearful mother, Samira, said on television. Palestinian analysts said that in Arafat's absence there could be a marked increase in attacks against Israel since every faction would try to emphasize its existence by carrying out attacks. Abu Mazen, who is standing in for Arafat, is considered a moderate who favors talks and dialogue, and opposes terror. Monday's attack by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a faction of Arafat's PLO, was intended as a sign to Abu Mazen that the intifada activists do not accept his ways. (Ha'aretz)
    See also Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (IDF)




Fading Arafat Fights to Keep $1 Billion War Chest
While fighting for his life in a French military hospital, Arafat was engaged in another, secret battle last week as he tried to keep control of bank accounts that are central to his survival in power. Arafat's godfather-like sway over his people derives less these days from his revolutionary credentials than from the estimated $1 billion in bank accounts to which he alone has access. He was resisting all efforts to pry the key to this impressive war chest out of his hands.
    Arafat was constantly doling out money. "From flight tickets to refurnishing a house, from money for needy families to money for medical treatment, everything went through Arafat," said a Palestinian source. "Now there is nobody to authorize these payments." No wonder they were all praying for a speedy recovery. Palestinians can only hope that Arafat does not fall unconscious again before explaining how to access the bank accounts. (Times-UK)


Arafat's Ugly Legacy - Zev Chafets
Arafat realized early that Arab dictators would pay to keep the Palestinian issue alive because it gave them an all-purpose diversion from the disaster they were wreaking on their own societies. He became custodian of the Palestinian grievance for everyone from Egypt's Nasser to the Saudi royal family, from Libya's Khadafi to Saddam Hussein. Taking on Israel put Arafat in the big leagues. He became a hero to the Soviet bloc and, later, to European "progressives" who never really have seen the need for a Jewish state.
    Arafat has dominated Palestinian political life for decades for the simplest of reasons: He has always had the most guns. Who will replace Arafat? Western diplomats almost certainly will seize on one Abu or another as their designated statesman. But eventually this figurehead will run up against the local reality that Arafat fostered: The majority of Palestinians do not want peace if it requires a compromise with Israel. (New York Daily News)


A Terrorist at Twilight - David Frum
Arafat has been waging war on Israel for four decades, and yet Israel is still there, richer and stronger than ever. He has personified Palestinian Arab nationalism - and he has led the Palestinian Arabs from one disaster to another. Thirty years of Palestinian terrorism have dulled the world's moral outrage. At Nuremberg, the victorious Allies hanged German generals for atrocities against civilian populations. But atrocities against civilians are the only kind of war Arafat knows. (AEI-FrontPageMagazine)


Israel prepared for Arafat's demise (Jerusalem Post)


Arafat in Coma in Critical Condition (Reuters)
    Arafat is in a coma and in critical condition at a French military hospital outside Paris, a senior Palestinian official said Thursday.


Sharon-Arafat: Danse macabre (Jerusalem Post) The premier has always wanted to see the elimination of the arch-enemy of the Jewish state.

Adieu, Yasser Arafat - Uri Dromi (Forward)

  • Though I am now one of the many Israelis who has become disillusioned by the outbreak of the second intifada, back then I was fully committed to the Oslo Accords and, as Rabin's spokesman, I played a role in painting a more positive picture of the peace process.
  • A few days after the signing ceremony of the Cairo Accords in May 1994 handing over Gaza and Jericho to the Palestinians, Arafat gave a speech in Johannesburg at a local mosque. Believing he was among friends only, he talked about the agreement he had just signed: "This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Muhammad and Qureish."
  • For those not versed in Islamic history, the agreement, also known as the al-Khudaibiya agreement, was a 10-year peace treaty between Mohammad and the tribe of Qureish. After two years, when Mohammad had improved his military position, he tore up the agreement and slaughtered the Qureishites.
  • Now that Arafat seems to be on the way out, the big question is whether he has been the sole obstacle to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, or whether he simply has been representing a phenomenon common to all Palestinian leaders.
  • Can we at last sit down with people who, instead of double-talking, will for once keep their word? Personally, I'm not holding my breath.

The writer is director of international outreach at the Israel Democracy Institute.


The Eclipse Of The Curse - Joshua Hammerman - Special To The Jewish Week

      Side by side in my office hang photos of Boston and Jerusalem. My exilic existence has been marked by a constant yearning for redemption in both of my ancestral homes. For one that meant a thriving Israel, freed from fear. For the other it meant a Red Sox World Series championship.
      Through the misty sky last Wednesday night, a ruddy moon glowed from behind the earth’s shadow. At the precise time of the lunar eclipse, the Red Sox won the World Series and Yasir Arafat lost his grip on the reins of terror. In the scheme of things, I would classify that as a very good day. At long last, it appeared, definitive proof that there is a God.   more...


Hope, Jews, and the Boston Red Sox – from Aish

Jewish and Israeli Links…




Israel Defense Force,
Israel Government Gateway, links to Government Ministries,
Israel Knesset,
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Israel Prime Minister's Office,
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics,
Israel Tourism Ministry, North America,
Buy Israeli Products,,
Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies,
Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies,
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs,
One Jerusalem,
Twenty Facts about Israel
Myths & Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Jerusalem Archaeological Park,


Israel Info Center - Israel Activism Portal,
US White House,
US State Department,
US Senate,
US House of Representatives,
THOMAS (search for US Legislation),
United Nations Watch,
Embassy of Israel - Washington, D.C.,

Media-Related Links:

Jerusalem Post,
Jewish Telegraphic Agency,
Ha'aretz English Edition,,
Independent Media Review and Analysis,
Maariv English Edition,
Middle East Media Research Institue (MEMRI),
Palestinian Media Watch,
Britain-Israel Communications and Research Centre,
Israel Insider,
Jewish World Review,
America's Voices in Israel,
@The Source Israel,


Other Jewish Sites


The best Jewish kids' site on the Web is , with games, virtual tours and “J-Pod” downloads, kids of all ages will LOVE it. 


Another superb educational site is -- you can be a self-taught “maven” on all things Jewish!


See the contents of nearly the entire Babylonian Talmud, in translation at


A Jewish Guide to the Internet:


On Jewish Vegetarianism and Animal Rights: (hey, you KNEW I’d put this one in)


How many Jewish hockey players are there? (None right now…there’s a lockout).  Find out at


Glossary of Yiddish Expressions:  )Please be patient, this page is farshtopt with information)


You can find an online Hebrew dictionary at


Nice Jewish parenting site  Jewish Gates is an amazing site, filled with material on Jewish history, ritual and culture. Go straight to the linked index at and go to town!  The Jewish Super Site; a similar site is and my personal all-time favorite,


The sourcebook for Jewish history (all periods) can be found at

Online Texts Related to Jewish History.  All the primary sources “fit to print.”


Israel Campus Beat – to get all the latest information on Israel relevant to students on college campuses








It's A Long Way for a Falafel


Tuesday, November 2, 2004


(TBE members Barbara and Marvin Gold left for Israel this wee.  Here is a letter describing the anticipation leading up to their departure…)


Our trip to Israel really began when we heard UPS at the door and opened a package containing a digital camera from our children.  An early Hanukkah gift to use while we are in Israel.  The trip is taking on a certain importance.  Take pictures and bring back memories of Israel.


It was June when we told my sister in law and brother in law, Ruby and Gene, that we would join them on their visit to Israel in November '04.  Since then, we thought about the trip, but it was still a long way off…not nearly a reality.  If I did not already have a degree of tension regarding travel to Israel, unsolicited comments by others did add a note of caution. "Oh, that's one place I wouldn't want to go now." "Aren't you concerned?"  "Why do you want to go there?"  And the best, "Are you crazy?"


While others straddled their opinions with, yes there is reason for alarm, but it will be ok, and it's certainly going to be wonderful.  Specific comments included, "I'd love to go back, but frankly I'm afraid."  "I'm too nervous to go… but you'll love it."  "It will be fine." "Enjoy yourselves and be safe."  Several fondly remembered their trips to Israel but qualified that those were calmer times.


And then there were those who spoke with reverence and love toward visiting Israel. "When the plane landed and you see all the Israeli flags, you're overwhelmed,"…or "and when my feet touched the ground, I felt like I belonged there."


One comment I received by email made me feel this was really to be a special voyage, "I'm very excited for you.  For me going to Israel was like going home."


Our clothes are packed…except for this and that…"casual dress," Gene says.  "That's Israel.  Chino pants and good walking shoes."  Never really ready, always seem like I have a million things left to do.  But they will wait.


We're travelling El Al because that's the safest, Ruby says.  We're renting a car.  We won't take public transportation.  We'll stay out of shopping malls.  There's that safety factor again. 


So what are my thoughts?  Am I excited people ask?  Yes, because I have never visited Israel, nor have I traveled that far.  And we will be meeting relatives of Marvin for the first time. To actually see sites, I have only seen as photos or on television. 


Am I afraid.  Well after the mixture of comments I've heard from people, I should be; I admit to a some amount of anxiousness… about going to Israel and about the amount of time we will be away from home... seventeen days.  So used to sending emails to my boys or hearing from them by email or by phone.  So used to my daily email or call from Sally.  But there are Internet Cafés.  We can get a phone card.  My stomach is jumpy and lately, I move at a quick pace.


We leave from Newark Airport this Wednesday, November 3, at 3 p.m. (to allow for voting).  It's incredible to believe that Marvin and I will be in Israel this Thursday.


Ruby and Gene take the train from Baltimore and will meet us at the airport. We will enjoy lunch together, cheese, bread, yogurt and fruit brought from our homes.  An "airport picnic", and the real start to our journey. 


I love my own kinds of food and need to know I can nosh on my own schedule.  So for the flight, I will pack my usual stash: nuts, apricots, crackers, health bars, waters, and cookies for Marvin.  If I can't sleep, I'll eat.


Last night on the news we heard a report of a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, in a market.  Won't we be going to a market?  I'd like to visit a market.  Hmm…more food for thought.  Well, we're going.










Beyond Introduction to Judaism I & II 

 Rabbi Selilah Kalev


After 5000 years of Jewish history there is always more to learn!  Join us for this “Anything goes; what you have always wanted to know and were afraid to ask” class for a basic and broad survey of Judaism; its religion, culture and traditions.  As an ongoing series of three classes each, we will cover one topic at a time.  Please feel free to join us for one topic, or all of them.

I: Introduction to the Conservative Shabbat Service

Tues. evenings from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on November 9th, November 16th, and November 30th

Even if you haven’t sent an RSVP as of yet – feel free to just show up!




Hanukkah Gifts for College Freshman and Sophomores


Our sisterhood wishes to send Hanukkah gifts for college freshman (and sophomores since last year we sent them an IOU because Hanukkah was during winter vacation). Please submit college freshman and sophomore addresses to Denise Greenman at or phone:  329-8594.  Please send both the snail mail and e-mail addresses, so we can be sure to include all students on our college e-mail list as well.





at Border’s Book Store

High Ridge Road, Stamford, Connecticut


Meets monthly on the second Tuesday evening of the month.

7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.





Rabbi Joshua Hammerman - Temple Beth El

Rev. Douglas McArthur - First United Methodist Church

Dr. Behjat Syed - Stamford Islamic Center


Next session: November 9

Topic: Environmentalism and Animal Rights: 

The Responsibilities of Stewardship –

also, a primer of Ramadan





Lunch ‘n Learn with Rabbi Hammerman:  “Hot Button Halacha”



What does Jewish law teach us about today's most controversial issues, including Gay Marriage, Tattooing and Body Piercing, Stem Cell Research, Assisted Suicide, Domestic Violence, Surrogate Parenting and Smoking in Public Places?  Recent opinions of the Conservative Movement's Committee of Law and Jewish Standards will be discussed.  Meets at:  Benjamin Gold, P.C., 350 Bedford Street 4th floor (parking is available behind the building).


Next session: November 10, 12:30- 1:30 p.m.

 Topic: Gay Marriage, Homosexuality and the Jewish Tradition

It doesn’t get more “hot button” than this!



High Holiday Sermons

High Holiday sermons are now up on our web site at  Please feel free to forward them to others – and I would love to hear your feedback


Jewish Book Month


On Sunday, November 14 at 9:30 am at Temple Beth El, Dr. Marc Brettler, co-editor of the new Jewish Study Bible will speak on the recent publication of this important work. The Jewish Study Bible breaks exciting new ground in Jewish study of the Bible, for it is a full Bible with introductions, annotations and background, and interpretive essays that together provide the reader with a guide to the meaning of the biblical text and to the history of Jewish interpretation of it. It combines in one volume a guide to the meaning of the Bible in its historical contexts, and an overview of the engagement of the Jewish people with the Bible from biblical times to the present. It is the first study Bible of its kind, incorporating the history of interpretation into every part of the study materials, and providing a living experience of how biblical interpretation has developed over the course of 2,500 years. This program is co-sponsored with Temple Beth El and is free to JCC and Temple Beth El members.  The program is open to the general public for a six dollar fee.



Hanukkah is just around the corner!



for kids & adults of all ages!

Join us for the TBE


Sunday, November 21st

8:45 AM - 2:00 PM

(upstairs in the triple classroom)


All students will have a chance to browse during Religious School with their class.  A schedule will be sent home so you can be there when your child visits the Book Fair…  You can also, of course, check out the selection at drop-off and after pick-up!


Take advantage of this great opportunity to express your appreciation of our teachers by purchasing books on their wishlists!


All proceeds from the Book Fair will benefit the Temple Beth El Religious School! 



CCJE of United Jewish Federation

In partnership with the JCC and the Board of Rabbis

Save the date



A Community Celebration of Jewish Learning


Saturday night, November 20, 2004

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm


at the Jewish Community Center (JCC)


Sample just a few of our classes…

The Jewish View of Human Sexuality

Kabbalah for Dummies

Organ Donations: A Jewish Perspective


For more information and reservation,

please call Ilana De Laney, at UJF at 321-1373, ext. 114



The Annual Louis J. Kuriansky Conference will be held Sunday, November 7, by the Center for Judaic & Middle Eastern Studies at UConn in Stamford,  The conference title:  "Among the Nations:  A Kaleidoscope of the Jewish Experience," will feature 3 renowned speakers, Dr. Hasia Diner on Jewish History in the US:  A Very Different "Galut" (diaspora); Dr. Gabriel Schoenfeld on The Return of European Anti-Semitism; and Dr. Richard E. Rubenstein on Jews and Muslims:  Causes of the Conflict & Prospects for Resolution.

Reservations can be made by calling the Center at 251-9525; the conference starts at 10 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m., lunch is included in the fee of $50.





Sunday, November 7th 2-5PM  Hanefesh Kadima Regional Kick-Off Fun Day at Smiles Entertainment Center in MilfordCT.  Applications are available in the Youth Lounge. 


Sunday, November 21nd.  Atid travels to Disney's Finding Nemo on Ice.  Bus leaves TBE at 1PM.  Ticket information is available in the Youth Lounge



Your children can be made "members" of Atid, Kesher, Kadima, and USY for $36 per child, for the school year.  As a member of the Temple Beth El Youth Group, they will receive free admission to many programs that takes place in the temple.  In addition, they will receive a discounted rate on most outside programs.  For teens in the Kadima or USY Program, becoming a member will enable you to attend Hanefesh Regional events and exciting activities with other teens from Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.  As a member, Temple Beth El will pay Regional and International dues on your behalf, and you will receive the International age-appropriate Magazines.  Joining the Temple Beth El Youth Group also entitles your child to the "official" TBE Youth Department light-up pen.  Let the TBE Youth Department light up your child's life- make them members TODAY!




Time for a Joke


How late night talk shows dealt with the Red Sox

Including this exchange, “live” from Ramallah, on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”…


Stewart: "But obviously we want to get to the big story that's going on tonight in the Middle East. Yasser Arafat, his health has been a matter of speculation for the last 24 hours. Our senior Palestinian correspondent, Rob Corddry, joins us right now from Ramallah, which is in the West Bank. Rob, thanks for joining us."

Corddry (grinning): "What's up, Jon? How ya doin'?"

Stewart: "... Uhh, I'm doing well, Rob. Now bring us up to speed. We're hearing all sorts of reports out of the Palestinian areas, what is Yasser Arafat's condition as of now?"

Corddry: "Jon, the situation here is very bad! Yasser Arafat is gravely ill and in the advanced stages of a deadly disease! ... Jon."

Stewart: "... Uhhh ... all right, Rob. Thanks for the update. You know, uh ... you seem to be pretty up. Is everyone there in such good spirits?

Corddry: "Nuhhuhoooo! Not at all, Jon! The lamentations, the rending of the garments, there's no denying it, Jon. The Palestinian people don't want their leader going, going, gone! Say goodbye!"

Stewart: "Rob, I'm gonna take a wild guess and say you caught the Red Sox game on satellite last night."

Corddry: "Whooooo! (as he puts on a Red Sox cap.) ... Yeahhhhhh! ... Whooo!"

Stewart: "Now, Rob, I mean, uh, congratulations on the game. I know you're a huge Red Sox fan, but the situation there in the Middle East is still very dire. I think you should be acting somewhat more appropriately."

Corddry: "Hey, believe me, Jon. I know a thing or two about decades of misery and disappointment. Heh, or at least I did! ... Jon, Jon, Jon, like I've been trying to tell the Palestinians here, 'Cheer up, man, anything can happen.' But, Jon, they seem unable to look past their own grinding poverty. Still ... whooooo!

Stewart: "Rob, thank you for your report. Rob, keep us posted on the happenings there."

Corddry: "Sure, Jon. And on a more serious note, people always said there would be peace in the Middle East before the Sox win a World Series. And I just have to say, 'They were wrong!' Yeah, this place is a disaster! Man and it's only getting worse! In your face, Middle East! (Bringing his palm in front of his face.)

"Let's go, Red Sox! (Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap.) Whooooo!"

Stewart: "Thank you, Rob."


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



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, where you can also find some of my other writings and sermons. You can also check out my recent books, : Seeking God in Cyberspace and I Have Some Questions About God.  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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