Author of "Embracing Auschwitz" and "Mensch•Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi - Wisdom for Untethered Times." Winner of the Rockower Award, the highest honor in Jewish journalism and 2019 Religion News Association Award for Excellence in Commentary. Musings of a rabbi, journalist, father, husband, poodle-owner, Red Sox fan and self-proclaimed mensch, taken from essays, columns, sermons and thin air. Writes regularly in the New York Jewish Week and Times of Israel.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
In This Moment for Shabbat Shuvah
In This Moment
Shabbat Shalom and G'mar Hatima Tova (may you be sealed for a good year).
Join us on Friday evening, Shabbat Shuvah, outdoors, at the special time for September of 6 PM. We have adjusted our times since, as Yogi Berra used to say, "it gets late early" these days. But the weather should be lovely, so take a break and join us, or check it out on Zoom. Please bring a mask.
Special mazal tov to old friends Karen and Joel Liffmann, who became grandparents on August 31st. Rachel and Peter Sinensky gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Mia Eden Sinensky. 7lbs 4ozs. Karen and Joel have moved out west, so we will miss them and hope they continue to stay in touch as part of our growing TBE diaspora.
And finally, I was looking back over the Shabbat-O-Grams I sent out over that period, and came across this timely anecdote from 20 years ago. And as a follow up to my sermon, it seems the last Jew in Afghanistan has made his way to Israel at last. Here's a little comic relief:
LAST TWO JEWS IN AFGHANISTAN DO NOT GET ALONG—(Kabul)Isaac Levy and Zebolan Simontov, the only Jews residing in Afghanistan, maintain two old synagogues and do not speak except to exchange curses across a courtyard. Both say they spent time in jail because of something the other had done. Each accuses the other of theft and of falsely telling the Taliban that the other was an Israeli spy. Levy—a rabbi and former businessman--claims that Simontov falsely denounced him to the Taliban as a spy and that he spent 57 days in prison; Simontov, a store-owner, says Levy accused him of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity and told the Taliban he brought prostitutes home. (N.Y. Post, Nov. 27)
I've posted the annotated text and audio for my two Rosh Hashanah sermons, "The Two Jerusalems" and "Lost and Found." You can find them by clicking here.By all means, feel free to share!
I hope to have video from the services to share very soon, hopefully including some of the amazing music that Cantor Kaplan and our musicians shared with us. This really was a special new year, despite or perhaps because of the unique circumstances. Thank you to all who helped it to come about.
May the new year bring you and your family only sweetness, good health and joy.