Friday, December 2, 2011

Shabbat-O-Gram for 12/3/11

The Shabbat Announcements are sponsored by Deborah and Joel Schoenfeld, in honor of Elise becoming Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat

Shabbat Shalom, and mazal tov to Elise Schoenfeld and family as she becomes Bat Mitzvah on Shabbat morning. Tonight at 7:30, we welcome Senator Dick Blumenthal, who will speak at the conclusion of our Kabbalat Shabbat service on how “Breaking the Gridlock.” He’ll also share some reflections on the Middle East. The service will be in the lobby, so get here early to get the best seats. Hazzan Rabinowitz will also be joining us this Shabbat, his first time at our services since the recent passing of Sandy z’l and the birth of their first great grandchild.

Have you heard the latest brouhaha about the Israeli government’s campaign to lure Israeli expats here in America back to the homeland? According to their most recent videos, it seems that American Jews are lying in wait for them, ready to marry and then corrupt them, luring them and their kids away from identification with all things Jewish? You can see the videos and read “Netanyahu Government Suggests Israelis Avoid Marrying American Jews - The Atlantic.” On Shabbat morning we’ll be discussing this, as there is a sharp connection between this controversy and the portion of Vayetze, where Jacob becomes the first person to both emigrate from and return to the Land – and he brings back some strange pagan objects with him. See this week’s parsha packet for a sneak preview.

During this holiday season, we are begged to go out and buy, buy, buy, as a means to save our fragile economy. This week’s Hammerman on Ethics column asks Is Spending to Help the Economy Ethical? We know it is patriotic, but is impulse shopping and conspicuous consumption good?

Join us tonight and tomorrow, and don’t forget that the cantor and I will be joining together on Thursday for our new comparative religions class looking closely at Christianity, Islam and Judaism as they interact in our postmodern society. We call it “Tweets of Abraham,” and the class will feature guest appearances by Christian and Muslim clergy.

Last but not least, Mara and I would love to have you join us at our home on Dec. 12 at 7:30 for a preview of next August’s TBE Israel Adventure. Read details about the trip here. We’ve got a great itinerary at a terrific price. Please RSVP to me if you intend to come to the meeting.

Shabbat Shalom!

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