Shabbat-O-Gram, February 7, 2003, I Adar 6, 5763
Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, Stamford, Connecticut
Previous Shabbat-O-Grams can be accessed directly from our web site (www.tbe.org).
Lots of new “E-mail from the Front” this week, including correspondences with my sister, as well as a letter from another Israeli with local ties: Jan Gaines. Go to http://www.tbe.org/sog/Emailfromthefront.htm and scroll down to the most recent entries.
DUE TO THE ANTICIPATED SNOW ON FRIDAY, WE ARE POSTPONING THE VISIT OF SCHOLAR-IN-RESIDENCE ANDREA COHEN-KIENER, NOTED KABBALIST AND TEACHER, WHO WAS SCHEDULED TO TEACH DURING FRIDAY EVENING SERVICES. SHE WILL, HOWEVER, STILL BE WITH THE KADIMA KIDS ON SHABBAT MORNING, AS PLANNED.
JUST THE FACTS…
Candles: 5:01 PM (we broke the 5:00 barrier! Spring is on the way!)
Tot Shabbat: 6:30 PM (in the lobby)
Kabbalat Shabbat: 7:30 PM, in the chapel
Service: 9:30 AM
Children’s services: 10:30 AM (the older service will be led by our 3rd graders)
Kadima service, led by Andrea Cohen-Kiener, followed by lunch (for grades 6,7,and 8 only)
Torah Portion: Terumah (the design of the sanctuary, the aron (ark) and priest’s clothing – the prohibited types of creative work on Shabbat (the 39 Melachot) are derived in large measure from this portion, based on the types of work employed in the construction of the sanctuary)
Read the Masorti commentary at http://www.masorti.org/mason/torah/index.asp. JTS commentary is at: http://learn.jtsa.edu/topics/parashah/. USCJ Torah Sparks can be found at http://uscj.org/item20_467.html. UAHC Shabbat Table Talk discussions are at http://uahc.org/torah/exodus.shtml. Other divrei Torah via the Torahnet home page: http://uahcweb.org/torahnet/. Test your Parasha I.Q.: http://www.ou.org/jewishiq/parsha/default.htm. CLAL's Torah commentary archive: http://click.topica.com/maaaiRtaaRvQhbV2AtLb/. Nehama Liebowitz archives of parsha commentaries: http://www.torahcc.org/nechama/gilayonarchives.htm. For a more Kabbalistic/Zionist perspective from Rav Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Israel, go to http://www.geocities.com/m_yericho/ravkook/index.html
Morning Minyan: Daily at 7:30 AM, Sunday at 9:00 AM in the chapel
Reminder of our “No School No Shul” policy: On days when Stamford public schools are cancelled or delayed, morning minyan is also cancelled. On Sunday, when our religious school is cancelled because of weather, minyan is also cancelled. Friday night and Shabbat morning services are never cancelled, but people are asked to use their own good judgment (we call it “sechel”) on days when the weather is very bad.
IF YOUR LOVED ONE IS IN THE MILITARY…
Please note: USCJ has established a new listserv, TheBrave@USCJ.org, for families of our Jewish active military. TheBrave@USCJ is a new listserv established and hosted by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for the families of Jewish active duty military. Our servicemen and women face the uncertainties of the coming months ; those who love them are discovering the need to be brave, just as those who serve. This listserv provides a place for family members to feel
connected to others who understand this unique challenge. To subscribe to the list, simply send an E-Mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org with NO SUBJECT (some providers demand one so use a "," or a SPACE) and type "subscribe the brave Your Name" as the message.
Or join the list via the web at: http://uscj.org/archives/thebrave.html
Israel Education Month
The Jewish Agency, UJC and other organizations have declared this to be Israel Education Month, with the goal being to educate and inspire diaspora Jewry, to bring us all close to Israel. Some good material on Israel can be found at http://www.ujc.org/israel_home.html, where you can take a virtual tour of Israel and see some fabulous multimedia programs. Check out the 360-degree panorama of Haifa! It’s ALMOST like being there. There’s one view of a hotel room near the old city wall in Jerusalem. I think I stayed in that suite once .. in my dreams! The Web is filled with superb stuff about Israel this month. There is some nice source material at http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/iem/res1.htm. Read the poetry of Yehuda Amichai at http://www.jrf.org/edu/israel2002-study-poetry-amichai.html. Get the facts straight about democracy and terrorism at http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/downloads/rot.html. More educational materials can be found at http://www.ujc.org/content_display.html?ArticleID=38208. Visit Israel’s many National Parks at http://www.goisrael.com/discoverisrael/ecotourism/index.asp and when you’ve done all this, take the Israel Education Month quiz, at http://www.jewish-world.org.il/whatsnew.asp?id=3&Language=english&pagelink=194, if you dare.
And for all our pre-Bar/Bat Mitzvah students, head on over to the Jewish Agecny’s Bar Mitzvah Forum at http://www.jewish-world.org.il//forum/ViewForumReg.asp?Language=english&pagelink=161&lesson=&unit=&session=&ForumBunchID=1&ForumID=206&title=0&arrange=7, and chat with some American and Israeli kids!
But beyond all the virtual experience of Israel that Israel Education Month provides, there is a very real one that I want you to visit, especially if you can have a fast Internet connection. It is a video tour of Israel from above that was taken by the Columbia astronauts 11 days into their flight, nearly two weeks ago. And it is incredible. Go to http://spaceflight.sc.wip.psiweb.com/gallery/video/shuttle/sts-107/html/fd11.html (I’ve enlarged it so the casual browser of the Shabbat-O-Gram might be enticed). It’s the NASA Web site, featuring videos taken on this star-crossed voyage. Click on the top one, and watch, and listen, and imagine yourself floating above it all, looking down on our beautiful, sacred land. It looks so beautiful from up there that even the Dead Sea appears teeming with blueness and life. Recalling the words of Ilan Ramon on seeing this sight, President Bush quoted him at the memorial service, saying, “The quiet that envelops space makes the beauty even more powerful, and I only hope the quiet can one day spread to my country."
When Ilan Ramon died he was nearly home, and, as almost always occurs in space flight, his craft was traveling eastward. It reminds me of the medieval Spanish poet Judah Halevy, who evoked the classic Zionist vision when he wrote a poem that can be found at http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/iem/res1.htm:
My heart is in the east
and I in the far off west-
How can I find an appetite for food?
How shall it be pleasing to me?
How shall I render my vows and my bonds
while Zion lies beneath the fetter of Edom
and I in Arab chains?
It would seem to me to be easy to leave all the
good of Spain, as the dust and destruction of the sanctuary has
become precious to my eyes.
Halevy died in Egypt, on his way to the Promised Land, in 1141. Like Ramon, he was so close to home, yet so far. Like Ramon, he was headed east. And he died, in fact, exactly where that space video was shot (just 200 miles straight down).
Our hearts are indeed facing east during this Israel Education Month, this month of elections, disasters and, most likely, a war. Our hearts are in the east.
And they are broken.
Ilan Ramon and the Space Shuttle Disaster
http://www.jajz-ed.org.il/100/people/iramon.html -- Ilan Ramon Memorial Site of the Jewish Agency
Many of you may have seen Beth El congregant Richard Blomberg on several news shows this week. It was his recent testimony before congressional committees that raised concern over the safety of the space shuttle. Read his testimony before the Senate at http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=5960
TO EXPRESS CONDOLENCES FOR THE ASTRONAUTS
The IDF has set up a special e mail address to send condolence messages to the Ramon family and the Israeli people. the address is: email@example.com Thousands of people from around the world, including Palestinians, sent condolences to the family of Ilan Ramon, killed in the Columbia shuttle disaster, within hours of the opening of a Web site mailbox on Monday, the IDF said.
Among the 5,000 messages was one from Issa, a Christian from Beit Sahur, next to Bethlehem.
"It is a big loss for the world to lose an astronaut like Mr. Ramon," he wrote.
A businessman from Nablus wrote that Ramon was "a courageous person who lost his life for the sake of humankind."
Mariam, 27, from Teheran, wrote, "The Iranian people also feel the depth of your pain."
The IDF supplied copies of the e-mail messages to the media, requesting that the full names of the senders not be published. Other messages came from the US, Nigeria, Turkey, Malaysia, and several European countries. The IDF said that most of the messages came from Diaspora Jews.
It plans to leave the address open for a month, and then it will present the Ramon family with a bound volume of the letters along with a CD. The IDF's site is http://www.idf.il .
If you wish to leave a message regarding all the other astronauts, you can go to http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/feedback/condolence/
PLANT A TREE IN ILAN RAMON’S MEMORY – A MESSAGE FROM THE JNF (“ILAN” MEANS TREE)
It is with much sorrow and a deep sense of commitment to the legacy of Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon and his fellow Columbia crew members that we send you this email today. It seems unbelievable that only one week ago we emailed you with Mr. Ramon's request to have "13 or 14 million new trees planted in Israel exactly one year from now, on the anniversary of the [Columbia] launching."
To fulfill this dream and the requests from many of our supporters worldwide, JNF is coordinating a global effort to plant trees throughout Israel, including on Airforce Bases. JNF is also establishing a memorial in American Independence Park in Jerusalem in memory of all seven astronauts who were aboard the space shuttle Columbia. American Independence Park was developed more than 25 years ago as an enduring symbol of the partnership between the United States and Israel. A memorial for the crew of the Challenger is also located in this park.
If you or someone you know would like to plant trees in Israel or to donate toward the memorial, please use our toll-free number or website: 800-542-8733 or www.jnf.org. We will be obtaining the addresses of the family members of crew members Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark and Ilan Ramon should you wish to send them a tree certificate directly.
Many congregations and schools have inquired about taking part in the memorial project. If you or your congregation or school would like more information on the memorial project, please contact your local JNF office at 888-JNF-0099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us join together to memorialize these seven remarkable individuals who were taken from us much too soon and much too tragically with a gift that gives life--trees. Let us meet this catastrophe with the perseverance to fulfill the aspirations of Ilan Ramon.
May all of the families of the astronauts be comforted among the mourners of Zion. We pray for the strength of the families and the people of the United States and Israel.
Ronald S. Lauder
COMFORT: IN POETRY, SONG, ART, AND OTHER ATTEMPTS TO FIND MEANING IN THIS TRAGEDY
”High Flight” http://www.callofduty.com/articles/highflight.html (beautiful poem evoked by President Reagan after the Challenger disaster)
The song that has been going around in Ilan’s memory is Zemer Nugeh. His wife radioed it up to him one morning while he was in space; evidently a favorite of his from way back; and its sad concluding words are almost prophetic – find it at http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-zemernugeh.htm
The poem read by the Jewish chaplain to open the memorial service on Tuesday in Houston: “After My Death,” by Bialik.
After My Death (1904):
Chaim Nachman Bialik
After my death mourn me this way:
"There was a man--and see: he is no more;
before his time this man died
and his life's song in mid-bar stopped;
and oh, it is sad! One more song he had
and now the song is gone for good,
gone for good!
And it is very sad!--a harp too he had
a living being and murmurous
and the poet in his words in it
all of his heart's secret revealed,
and all the strings his hand gave breath
but one secret his heart kept hid,
round and round his fingers played,
and one string stayed mute,
mute to this day!
And it is sad, very sad!
All of her days this string moved,
mute she moved, mute she shook,
for her song, her beloved redeemer
she yearned, thirsted, grieved and longed
as a heart pines for its intended:
and though he hesitated each day she waited
and in a secret moan begged for him to come,
and he hesitated and never came,
And great, great is the pain!
There was a man--and see: he is no more,
and his life's song in mid-bar stopped,
one more song he had to go,
and now the song is gone for good,
gone for good!
This most appropriate poem can be found on the website of The Hannah Sennesh Legacy Foundation, www.hannahsenesh.org.il . This Website gives the original text in Hebrew, along with the following translation:
There are stars whose radiance is visible on earth
though they have long been extinct.
There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world
though they are no longer among the living.
These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark.
They light the way for humankind.
“When Pride and Dreams Turn to Tears,” How Israeli Children Cope With the Tragedy http://www.israelnewsagency.com/ilanramonisrael.html
A Subtle Call to Jewish Earthlings - Shlomo Gestetner
Said Ramon: "My mother is a Holocaust survivor who was in Auschwitz, and my father fought for the independence of Israel not so long ago. I was born in Israel and I'm kind of the proof for my parents and their generation that whatever we've been fighting for in the last century is coming true. I feel I'm representing the whole Jewish people." (Jerusalem Post)
Tragedy Underscores "Incredible Bond" Between U.S. and Israel - Susan Jones
"This is not just an Israeli astronaut," said Dan Gillerman, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, referring to Israeli Air Force Colonel Ilan Ramon. "This is a very special person...who carries with him the hopes, the aspirations of Israel at a very difficult time, when this in a way brought a ray of hope and light and something positive into a very difficult situation we are in." The fact that Ramon perished along with six American astronauts was "a manifestation and a testimony to the incredible bond between the U.S. and Israel - a bond of excellence, a bond of hope, a bond of freedom, and of bravery." (CN
Ilan Ramon, Prince of Israel: http://www.thejewishweek.com/top/editorials.php3
"The Hearts of Americans and Israelis Beat as One" - Herb Keinon
Israeli and U.S. flags were lowered to half-mast at a brief ceremony at the Prime Minister's Office Sunday morning to commemorate the Columbia space shuttle tragedy. Prime Minister Sharon spoke by phone with President Bush soon after the Columbia disaster became known. Sharon sent his and Israel's condolences to the American people and the families of the Columbia crew members, and said that in times like this "the hearts of Americans and Israelis beat as one."
Former Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said: "Today is a day of mourning and pain for all the people of Israel. I have no words to praise the tremendous behavior of Ilan Ramon who, during the peak of his fame, displayed courage, modesty, and Israeli patriotism, and in his cruel death left us all orphaned." (Jerusalem Post)
"Americans and Israelis are Brothers on Earth and in Space" - Gideon Alon
American Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, who was invited to address the Israeli cabinet, said "Americans and Israelis turned their eyes toward the heavens with pride and anticipation as the Columbia space shuttle lifted upward carrying seven brave astronauts. Our two nations shared joy and admiration for the heroism and bravery of the crew. We shared hopes and dreams of the advances that this mission promised for the betterment of humankind," Kurtzer said. "As we share triumphs, we also share misfortune," the ambassador continued. "Americans and Israelis are brothers indeed - on earth and in space." (Ha'aretz)
Ramon Represented Us All - Matthew Gutman
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Sunday, "We saw Ilan put on the blue and white badge that represents us all. He bore our national symbols and flag with pride and achieved something that few have done before. We will never forget that white stripe that scarred the heavens while below on Earth everyone was preparing to celebrate his return." (Jerusalem Post)
OTHER REQUIRED READING AND ACTION ITEMS
To see the Daily Alert, filled with links to articles about Israel, contact the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Thanks to Bruce Minkoff for this one, from the LA Times: Rabbis and sports are odd mix, but devotion carries over to games they love” http://www.latimes.com/la-sp-rabbi1feb01004424,0,6487558.story
Ahava has lost it's entire European market due to their boycott of Israel. It's a shame. They are excellent products. If you wish to help against the boycott, when you go the drug store, grocery or department stores, take a break from your usual store brands (many of which are European made products) and purchase Israeli products or Ahava directly online at www.ahava.com. (AHAVA products cost the same as the products we already purchase.). There are many Israeli companies that are suffering terribly due to other countries and unions boycotting. We can easily help in our local areas. When you go to the supermarket, go to the international foods aisle and purchase the Israeli products in lieu of the ones you normally purchase. When you go to purchase bedding, beauty products, clothing, leathers, gems, etc....look at the packaging, ask the salesperson, look at the tags, and patronize the country that is fighting the war on terrorism for us all...ISRAEL!
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030210fa_fact The Unknown, by Jeffrey Goldberg (New Yorker) The C.I.A. and the Pentagon take another look at Al Qaeda and Iraq.
Does Israel Need a Plan? - Daniel Pipes (Commentary Magazine) The conflict continues into its sixth decade because Arabs expect they can defeat and then destroy the State of Israel. Israel cannot end this conflict unilaterally, by actions of its own. It can only take steps that will make it more rather than less likely that the Arabs will give up on those expectations. The only way to make progress in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is by inducing the Palestinians to surrender their murderous intentions vis-a-vis Israel. Not only would the rewards of such a surrender be very great but, ironically, they would be yet greater for the Palestinians than for Israel.
The Failed Palestinian Cease-Fire Talks in Cairo - Amira Howeidy
Syrian Occupation Suffocates Lebanon, and the World Shrugs - Claudia Rosett
From the Arab world, so full of dictators professing deep concern over democratic Israel's dealings with the Palestinians, there comes not a croak of indignation that despotic Syria continues to occupy Lebanon. There has been no serious effort to lever Syria out of Lebanon, or to end Syria's support for Hizballah - whose terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut in the 1980s, and today carry out assaults on Israel and threaten the U.S. itself. (Wall Street Journal)
The Case for U.S. Action in Iraq - Editorial (Washington Post)
CLAL: Praying for What We Need In theory, praying for what we need should be easy. Who knows better what we need than we do? You would think the words would just pop into our mouths, but they don't. We wonder, is it okay to ask for the very private things that are important to us? Should we be distinguishing between what we want and what we need? And we may wonder: if we ask for what we need and are answered, what are we bound to do in return?
Litman, In Defense of Liturgical Creativity (CLAL) "Judith Bleich makes two dubious assumptions in her critique of newly created birth ceremonies for female Jewish infants. The first is that all parts of the Jewish community have the same difficulties with non‑Jewish traditions that she, an Orthodox Jew, has. The second is a far more serious error; it is her extremely narrow and halachically oriented definition of what is traditionally Jewish, and thus subtly hostile viewpoint toward innovation...."
“Why haven’t you killed more Israelis? You know what needs to be done.”—P.A. Chairman Yasser Arafat calling for stepping up attacks on Israelis at a February 2001 meeting of Palestinian terrorist chiefs, according to a transcript recently released by Israeli officials. [Referring to the never-before published conversation, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz charged that “the Palestinian plan was to cause a few thousand Israeli deaths within a number of months, so that Israel would give in to them... It was tantamount to giving a green light to the suicide terror attacks against Israel.”] (New York Post [Column by Uri Dan]; Ha’aretz, Feb. 1)
"The quiet that envelops space makes the beauty even more powerful, and I only hope the quiet can one day spread to my country." (Ilan Ramon, as quoted by President Bush at the memorial ceremony this week)
DON’T FORGET THAT THE DEADLINE FOR JOURNAL ADS FOR OUR ANNUAL DINNER DANCE, HONORING JENNIFER AND MARK LAPINE, IS FRIDAY, FEB. 14!!!!!
Celebrate the Arts Jewishly
Our Big Family Program of the Year!!
Sunday, Feb. 9, 9-11:30 AM
Join us for a morning filled with activities designed to put your family in a festive state of mind.
PURIM FOR ADULTS
THIS YEAR, ONCE AGAIN, WE’LL BE CELEBRATING “PURIM FOR ADULTS” ON PURIM NIGHT, MARCH 17. AFTER THE REGUALAR (FAMIL ORIENTED) MEGILLA READING AND CARNIVAL, WE’LL READ THE FULL MEGILLA AND HANDLE PURIM IN A MORE “ADULT” WAY. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SERVE ON A SMALL COMMITTEE PLANNING THIS EVENT, OR IF YOU SIMPLY HAVE IDEAS AS TO HOW IT CAN BE INCREDIBLY PURIMY, PLEASE CONTACT ME ASAP, AT RABBI@TBE.ORG
The Westchester/Fairfield Hebrew Academy offers an open house on Feb. 10 at 7:00 PM. The new day school, located in Greenwich, offers a creative curriculum with a Conservative orientation, comparable to the Heschel School in Manhattan. Go to www.wfha.org for more information
On March 15, our teens will lead the main service,
opening the ark,
YOU NAME IT!
LET US KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE A PART!
Contact Ilana Ginsberg-322-2003 email@example.com or
Ariel Savransky- 329-2990 firstname.lastname@example.org
Or me (Rabbi H) at email@example.com
To see what’s happening in the region, check out the USY Website at http://www.hanefesh.org/
USY (Grades 9-12)
Mid-winter Convention, Manchester, CT
February 7th - 9th
KADIMA (Grades 6-8)
Saturday, February 8th
Tuesday, February 18th
Trip to see the Sound Tigers Game
Thursday, February 20th
RE-CONNECT WITH CAMP RAMAH IN NEW ENGLAND
Camp Ramah in New England (previously Camp Ramah in Connecticut) is celebrating its 50th year Jubilee in 2003 (Yovel). Camp Ramah has been a profoundly positive experience for thousands of Jewish youth from Maine to Florida. We recognize that a summer at Camp Ramah has a deep lifelong impact on Jewish lives. We want to reconnect with you. Camp Ramah in New England is currently searching for all staff and camper alumni. Our Alumni Association is organizing alumni chapters in several cities.
Please forward your current contact information and e-mail address, with years at Ramah, to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the camp office at (781)449-7090. If you are a parent of an alumnus, please forward the contact information of your children who have moved to other locations and/or ask them to send us their contact information themselves.
We also invite you to visit the Alumni Association web-site www.Ramahnik.com where you can learn about alumni activities, register with the alumni directory, search our records for staff and camper alumni of Camp Ramah in New England and Camp Ramah in Connecticut, and read the alumni newsletter.
Two large community celebrations will mark the Yovel. On the evening of March 5 Israeli staff and Americans who have made aliyah will gather in Jerusalem. Attendees are expected from throughout Israel and the United States. Day long festivities are also planned for May 25, 2003 at the Ramah campus, in Palmer, Massachusetts. This family-style reunion is expected to draw alumni and community leaders from 1953 through 2003.
By submitting your current contact information you will be updated about Yovel events.
Reconnect with Ramah, as we celebrate the past, present and future of our exciting community
The Web link for this week's Shabbat-O-Gram is - http://www.tbe.org/sog/030207.htm - 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 www.tbe.org. 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 email@example.com.