Friday, December 5, 2003

SHABBAT-O-GRAM for December 5, 2003 and Kislev 10, 5764


December 5, 2003 and Kislev 10, 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


THIS WEEK’S 6TH GRADE SHABBATON HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE WEATHER – we hope to see all of you here this Shabbat instead!

And remember to generously support our United Jewish Federation this Sunday, Super Sunday, when you receive the call!


Temple Beth El Congregational Shabbaton – Jan. 16 – 18

At the Nevele Grand Resort

Space is Limited, and it’s filling up FAST

 Theme – Dreams: The Spiritual Quest

Guest Scholar: Rabbi Seymour Rossel

Get your reservations in TODAY!!!




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 this week, on Friday, December 5.  If you know of anyone in Stamford Hospital, please let him or her know.

Friday Evening – Shabbat

Candles: 4:08 PM – believe it or not, that’s the earliest it’s gonna get!! Next week we’re back to 4:10  (for candlelighting times, other Jewish calendar information, and to download a Jewish calendar to your PDA, click on

Services: 6:30 PM, in the chapel – a good old fashioned Traditional Beth El service 

Tot Shabbat: 6:45, in the lobby

Shabbat Morning

Service: 9:30 AM

Mazal Tov to Adam Pollack, who becomes Bar Mitzvah this Shabbat morning.

Children’s services: 10:30 AM

Torah Portion – Va-Yetze – Jacob’s Journeys – Genesis 28:10 - 32:3

Haftarah: Hosea 12:13 - 14:10Haftarah for Sephardim: Hosea 11:7 - 12:12

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: 31:17-21
2: 31:22-24
3: 31:25-35
4: 31:36-42
5: 31:43-45
6: 31:46-50
7: 31:51-32:3
maf: 32:1-3

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






Our main services on Shabbat morning and Friday evening are never cancelled, regardless of weather conditions.  Please use your better judgment when deciding how and whether to get here. Tune to WSTC radio for announcements on Tot Shabbat and religious school.  On weekday mornings when Stamford public schools are cancelled or have delayed openings, or on Sunday mornings when religious school is cancelled, the morning minyan is also cancelled for that day.



Thanks to the few of you who immortalized my latest e-mail blooper when I wrote that Ronnie Fein “immoralized” our brisket recipes a couple of months ago.  It was certainly a risqué brisket, or, as they say in the Mohel biz, “bris–kit.”




Spiritual Journey on the Web

Jewish Law in the Cyber Era


Can a Jew maintain a Web site that “does business” on Shabbat???



Thanks to Joe Heyison  for forwarding this fascinating question, also found at


I have a website which sells Judaica. The site is operated by an Internet company which exists somewhere in cyberspace. Naturally, the site is accessible on the Sabbath and people can make purchases. Is this in violation of the laws of Shabbat?

The answer to you question has six different possible problems:

1. Putting a stumbling block before a blind man.
2. Business dealings on the Sabbath.
3. Earning money on the Sabbath.
4. Deriving pleasure from the desecration of the Sabbath.
5. Things which appear forbidden in the public eye.
6. Trivializing the sanctity of the Sabbath.

According to the Rambam (1) it is clear that the Torah verse "You should not put a stumbling block in front of a blind man," has in addition to its literal meaning, the prohibition of not doing anything that might lead a person to sin. First of all, it is forbidden to enter a website on the Sabbath for five reasons:

1. Writing is forbidden, even on a computer. (2)
2. Building is forbidded, including recording data on a hard disc. (3)
3. Creating things on the Sabbath is forbidden, including completing an electrical circuit. (4)
4. Burning is forbidden, including the lights on a computer hard drive. (5)
5. Leading a person to make a purchase on Shabbat. (6)

One cannot cause a person to commit any of these transgressions on Shabbat. However, this is only considered putting a stumbling block before a person if he cannot acquire the commodity in any other fashion except on the website. (7) Also if a large expense is involved in removing the stumbling block, a person does not have to do so. (8)

Regarding the transgression of conducting business on Shabbat, even though the person who enters the site and buys is violating the Shabbat, the person who owns the website is not, if he is indeed passive during the transaction. (9)

The next consideration, earning money on Shabbat is more complicated. If the Jewish owner of the site does not have a gentile partner who can take the Sabbath earnings for himself, then the Jew has a real problem. However, a minority opinion states that a violation of Shabbat only occurs if the Jew actually does a physical act in making the transaction, as opposed to a process carried out automatically by a machine. (10)

Regarding deriving pleasure from a transgression on Shabbat, this only applies to pleasure derived directly from the transgression - and not, for instance, receiving funds which result from the transgression. (11)

Things which appear forbidden in the eyes of the public, like the operation of a
sidewalk video-tape dispenser belonging to a Jew, is not a problem since everyone knows that the dispenser is automatic. The owner of the dispenser is not considered to be violating the Sabbath. (12)

Finally, regarding the trivialization of the Shabbat, obviously a Jew should spend the Shabbat in Torah study and prayer and not in his everyday activities. However since the website is totally automatic, and the owner of the site is doing absolutely nothing
connected with it on Shabbat, he is not trivializing its sanctity. (13)

All things considered, while there is room for stringency in not having a website which operates on Shabbat, there is sufficient halachic basis for appearing virtually in cyberspace even on Shabbat.

1. Rambam, Book of Mitzvot, Negative Commandments 299.
Sheveit HaLevi, Section 6:36.

2. Shmirat Shabbat, Vol.2, Ch. 66:55 in the name of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.

3. Beit Yitzhak, Yoreh Deah, Vol. 2, Index to section 31.

4. Achi Ezer, Vol.3:60.

5. Shulchan Oruch, Oruch Haim, 306.

6. Ibid, Yoreh Deah 151:1, Rama.

7. Maharil Diskin, 151: Section 145.

8. Maharam Shik, Orach Haim, 131.

9. Maharshag, Vol.1 Oruch Haim 65.

10.Mishna Berurah, 318:4.

11. Rabbi Ishon in the book "Keter" Vol.2 Pg 197, Footnote 17.

12. Helchat Yaacov, Orach Haim, Section 69.

13. Bear Moshe, Vol.6, Commentary on Electricity, section




Beth El Israel Tour – Next Aug. 1-16




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





Required Reading and Action Items


More on Israel’s Security Fence (“Seam Zone”)


The Seam Zone has been the subject of many unfair and inaccurate assertions in the media lately.  My own column on the fence, “The New Kotel” can be found in this week’s Jewish Week, at

You can see the latest maps of the fence’s prospective route here, by clicking on Map, or, for an extremely detailed Adobe version, click on Download Full Map. Both maps come from the left-wing watchdog group, B’tselem, which is often highly critical of Israeli government polcies.  In other words, the map you see will not whitewash any areas of potential conflict and you can judge for yourself how much of a “land-grab” this is, as opposed to a legitimate security issue.



Also, see the following from

Communique: 4 December 2003


Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,  

Photos portraying the Israeli security fence as a massive wall, towering over hapless Palestinians, are in news outlets everywhere these days ― these are from AP and Reuters this week:

This wave of pictures distorts the physical reality of the security fence. While nearly all news photos show an enormous concrete structure, in fact only 3% of the security fence will be constructed from concrete. Such sections are in high terror-risk locations such as eastern Jerusalem (above) and adjacent to Kalkilya, where in June Palestinian snipers burrowed under the fence, shot and killed 7-year old Noam Leibovitch in her family car.

Fully 97% of the barrier will be a chain-link fence. The fence ― necessitated by three years of relentless Palestinian terror ― is a temporary, defensive measure, supported by 80% of Israelis. Death at the hands of terrorists is permanent and irreversible. The inconvenience caused to Palestinians by the security fence will end once terrorism stops and peace is achieved.

Meanwhile, the media is falsely presenting the fence as a new "Berlin wall" ― which makes for a far more dramatic news photo.

*  *  *

In print, such distortions are sometimes exacerbated by outright factual errors: On December 3, the Boston Globe published an op-ed by Tom Wallace entitled "Israel's Unholy Wall," a completely one-sided screed against the security fence that contains this claim:

If built according to current maps, the wall will confiscate 55 percent of the Palestinian West Bank, including eight critical water wells.

Whose map is Wallace using?  Israeli Ministry of Defense's operative plan places the fence very close to the "Green Line": see even the map provided by the left wing group B’tselem, at As illustrated here, no more than 10-15% of the West Bank will be on the western side of the security fence.  It's also important to remember that the West Bank's "Green Line" has never represented an international boundary ― the 1949 armistice agreements specifically refer to this fact. And there's never been a recognized sovereign entity in the West Bank.

So on what basis did Wallace make his exaggerated claim of "55 percent of the Palestinian West Bank"?

Comments to:

Here is a succinct response to the security fence's critics, by Israel's ambassador to the US, Daniel Ayalon:

Those who oppose the fence say it's really a land grab, that we are prejudging any political outcome and making life harsher for the Palestinians. But we say no, it's not any of these. Categorically, this is a buffer zone. It's certainly not a political border because it can be removed at any time. If the Palestinians stop terrorism, we won't need a fence. By stopping terrorism I mean dismantling their infrastructure, collecting illegal weapons and closing the explosives labs. We can't allow them to regroup; the leaders must be arrested. Do this and we won't need a fence.

More excellent background material on the security fence is online at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which contains information like this:

Israel has made the use of public lands a priority in building the security fence, in order to avoid, as much as possible, the use of private lands. If this is not possible, then private land is requisitioned, not confiscated, and it remains the property of the owner. Legal procedures allow every owner to file an objection to the use of their land. When private lands are used, owners are offered full compensation, in accordance with the law; this compensation is offered both as a lump sum and also on a monthly basis.

Also, see the explanatory site of the Israeli Defense Ministry.

HonestReporting encourages subscribers to respond to distorted and inaccurate portrayals of Israel's security fence in your local media.

Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.



Also read an article about why Israel needs the fence from the Jerusalem Post  – and ask out loud why we didn’t read THIS in the New York Times today.

Palestinian Suicide Bomber Caught on Way to Blow Up School - David Rudge and Margot Dudkevitch
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, whose offices are in Damascus, sent two suicide bombers to attack Israeli schoolchildren at the ORT Alon junior high school in Yokne'am. The two were captured Wednesday by security forces. A security source confirmed that Munir Rabiah, 23, of Gaza City, and Morad Zeitoun, 20, of Zbubeh, near Jenin, are both members of the PA security forces. Security officials found the 10-kg. explosive belt that Rabiah was to have worn in the attack on the school after he was arrested inside a mosque in Bardaleh. Zeitoun had worked on renovations at a site near the school last year and knew the area well. The two told investigators they had chosen the location where they planned to cross into Israel because there is no security fence in the area. (Jerusalem Post/Yediot Ahronot)





For you Jewish liturgy buffs, December 4 or 5 is the day we begin adding a phrase to the weekday Amidah, requesting rain “Tal U’Matar” for the land of Israel.  What did the rabbis know of December 4, anyway???  Download a nice, detailed response in Adobe at  Here, briefly is why: According to the Talmud (tractate Ta'anit), the date on which we start saying it outside Israel is 60 days after Tekufat Tishrei -- the autumnal equinox.  (In Israel we begin on the first of Heshvan).  Since the equinox generally falls on September 23, this would fall out on November 22.  Indeed, this date is given by the Abudraham and brought down in the Beit Yosef Halachic codes.  However, our practice is to use Tekufat Shmuel (Shmuels’ reckoning of the seasonal calendar, form the Talmud) -- a system which assumes that the solar year is exactly 365.25 days long, the same assumption that is behind the Julian Calendar, which was in general use in the time of the Abudraham.  Nowadays, since we use the more accurate Gregorian calendar, our date of December 4 reflects the fact that Tekufat Shmuel is 13 days after the actual equinox.




U.S. Lowers Interest in Israeli-Palestinian Dispute - Aluf Benn
The U.S. administration has lowered its level of interest in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and ceased efforts to renew the political process as it focuses on the war in Iraq and President Bush's reelection. Israeli sources said American moves cutting loan guarantees to match Israeli investment in settlements were very low-key and that the U.S. is working to foil a Palestinian effort to move the fence issue to the international criminal court in The Hague. U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer is working closely with Mike Herzog, the defense minister's military secretary, to reach an agreement on the number of outposts that must be removed. Many of the outposts are regarded as extensions of existing settlements.
    With National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice focused on Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the hands of Elliot Abrams, who is micromanaging the daily events. Secretary of State Powell has stepped into the vacuum left by Rice, and he no doubt is enjoying getting back at Sharon, such as with his readiness to meet with the Geneva Accord organizers. After the failure of PA prime minister Mahmoud Abbas, a Bush favorite, the administration is in no hurry to embrace Ahmed Qurei. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns told Qurei during their meeting over the weekend to stop posing preconditions for a meeting with Sharon, Israeli sources said Sunday. (Ha'aretz)



Is Bush Selling Out? - Claudia Rosett
There is a curious U.S. sellout afoot of our most beleaguered democratic ally, Israel. Israel is told it must forgo even the building of a protective fence, and instead leave the roads open to Arafat's cult of bombs and blood. An "alternative" peace accord in Geneva, representing neither the democratic government of Israel nor any democratic leader of the Palestinians (there is currently no such person) gets not only a hallelujah from such dictator groupies as Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan, but one from the State Department.
    In those places where democracy, in the face of terrible threats, and against huge odds, has established itself, such as in Israel's democratic outpost in the Middle East, it is crucial that we yield no ground. To nudge Israel yet again in the direction of the peace-at-any-price crowd is to embrace standards so frail that the result can only be to embolden our enemies and erode the very progress we are at such pains to achieve in Iraq. (Wall Street Journal)


Listening to Arabs - Joshua Muravchik
A summer institute in Greece for 83 students from the Balkans, the Mediterranean basin, and the U.S., brought me into closer contact with Arabs than I had been before and left me with new impressions. "How can you say Israel is a democracy when they invaded us in 1967?" demanded one Syrian, revealing volumes about his education. An Egyptian girl pointed out that America could not be considered a real democracy because "no leftists are allowed to teach in American universities," something she had heard from her professor, the daughter of former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
    Later in Morocco at a symposium on "Europe, America, and Islam," I decided to speak bluntly about the three decades of attacks visited on Americans by Middle Eastern terrorists. These were not an expression of Islam, but rather an outgrowth of an unhealthy political culture of violence and extremism that held sway in the region. A professor of political science from the American University of Cairo, unable to control her rage, shrieked that my remarks were "unacceptable" and, because they were being heard by such a large audience, also "dangerous." Was it a coincidence that here, as at the summer institute, the shrillest voices were Egyptian? Asked their overall opinion of the U.S., 86% of Egyptians said unfavorable and only 14% favorable in a poll by Zogby International. (Commentary)



Give Tzedakkah and Win!!


This winter, Rob Zabronsky of our congregation will be going to the Pan Am Maccabi Games in Chile.  He has been asked to represent the United States as a goalie for the US Soccer Team, Masters Division (35 yrs and older). These games bring together Jewish Athletes from approximately 20 nations, including North, Central and South American countries, Great Britain, Australia, South Africa and a special delegation from Israel.

Although sports competition is the primary focus of this Maccabi event, the goals of the Pan American Maccabi Games are to promote friendship and camaraderie, to share Jewish culture and traditions, to foster a sense of unity and pride among Jews from around the world, and to show support for Israel.

Participation in this event also includes fundraising that will help to perpetuate the Maccabi and Zionist Movements.  The Maccabi/USA organization has put together a raffle.  There are only 1000 tickets to be sold, each at $100, which is tax deductible.  The prizes are exciting and the cause worthwhile.  All prizes are for two, double occupancy, land only.  Sports events include accommodations and extras:

Grand Prize: Choice of Master Golf or Wimbledon or Hawaii or Israel Trip or  HDTV or Cash
Second Prize:  NCAA Final Four or Super Bowl or Caribbean Cruise or  His or Hers Rolex Watch or Cash
Third Prize:     US Open Golf or NBA All-Star Game or Baseball All-Star  Game or San Francisco or Broadway Trip or Entertainment Center or Cash

They draw the winners as every 1,000 raffles are sold.  If you are interested, call the Zabronskys at 968-8610 or send an email referencing the "Maccabi games/raffle" to  Good luck to Rob – and also to Dan Madwed, who will also there, competing in swimming events!  BRING HOME THE GOLD!



A Zillion Hanukkah Links – Guaranteed to Last for Eight Nights (and then some)!

Nice articles on the spirituality of lighting the candles: and

Listen to (and watch, via streaming video)) Israel’s song in the 2002 Eurovision contest, “Light a Candle,” sung by Sarit Hadad.  It’s half in English and half in Hebrew, and in its simple yearning for hope captures beautifully the mood in Israel today:

Links and lots of material:

Educator Cherie Kohler Fox's eight ways to celebrate Hanukkah meaningfully:

Chanukah educational links, coloring books, songs, etc

Hanukkah @ JTS

Virtual Jerusalem - Chanukah Megasite Real Audio (blessings, classes, songs)

Chanukah Fun & Coloring Book (Torah Tots)

Kidskourt Hanukkah Coloring Pages

Kid's Domain Chanukah Coloring Pages

My Hebrew Dictionary - Chanukah Related Words

Akhlah for Kids (includes blessings)

Everything Jewish: Hanukah

Being Jewish: Chanukah Gateway Chanukah

Jewish Holiday Consumer - Chanukah

Project Genesis - On-Line Menorah

ORT's Hanukkah section

Torah From Dixie Chanukah Articles

NCSY: Chanukah Articles

Neveh Zion Chanukah Pages

Halacha sheet for Chanukah

Darche Noam Chanuka Page

Israel Museum: Galleries of Menorah (English & Hebrew)

Machon Chagim: Chanukah (English)

Machon Chagim: Chanukah (Hebrew)

Jewish Agency: Chanukah (Easy Hebrew)

Judaism 101: Chanukkah

Chanukah Gateway

JIS: Online Chanukah Course

Chanukah on the Net

Nishmas: Customs of Chanukah

For Every Jew: Chanukah

DundaWare ShockDreidel (req. Shockwave)

CleverMedia: The Hanukkah Dreidel Game (req. Shockwave)

ZigZag Hannukah Lights (req. Java)

Chanukah Word Search (req. Java)

Not Just for Kids: Hanukkah Certificates

Hanukat: Celebrate Hanukkah with the Kids

It's not your Father's Hannukah (Yet it is...)

Billy Bear's Hanukkah

Surfing the Net: Hanukkah Coloring Book

History Channel: Amazing Hanukkah Feats (largest...)

Hanukkah in CyberSpace

ICJI: Chaunkah

Misrash Ben Ish Hai (Sepharadim customs)

WZO - Holidays with a Twist (Humor, 1996)

Virtual Chanukah (Russian, 1999)

Clipart for Hanukkah Clipart

Free Graphics Chanuka Graphics

Bitsela Hanukkah Clipart

Hanukah - Jewish Agency Pedagogic Center

JOI Hanukkah Activities

Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song (Humor)

Chanukka Midi Music

Chanukka Humor

RFCJ: Hanukah Recipes

Epicurious: Chanukkah Recipes

Blue Mountain Animated Greeting Cards

Care2 Animated Greeting Cards

123 Greetings

Sealing Wax Greeting Cards

Awesome Animated Greeting Cards

Judaic Greeting Cards by Raz

Greetz Greeting Cards Greeting Cards





Saturday, December 13, 2003 at 6:15 p.m.

Join us for Havdalah, a delicious pasta dinner, Israeli dancing and a night out with your friends!


RSVP by November 29th

Call Joy Katz, 329-3359 to reserve and for information.

Sponsored by Temple Beth El Sisterhood




Sunday, December 21st at 4:00 p.m.

Led by Cantor Deborah Jacobson

featuring our TBE Adult & Jr. Choirs and YOU!

Potato latkes, sufganiyot, candle lighting, dreidel tournament, raffles, prizes, A SPECIAL GIFT FOR EVERY CHILD TO TAKE HOME, special guest appearances, FUN FOR ALL AGES!



USY Gift Wrapping Service for Charity!

DECEMBER 14th (during Hebrew School) 8:30am - 1:30PM

Please help support the needy by allowing USY to wrap your holiday gifts for only one dollar per item.  The proceeds will be donated to a worthwhile charity and we will also be accepting donations of wrapping paper and toys to give to kids in need.

Please stop by and support our Young Adults in performing "Tikun Olam" - repairing the world!



Helen Golin Judaica Gift Shop


Hannukah is December 19-26, 2003!


Visit the gift shop for all of your Hanukkah needs:

Dreidels, menorahs, candles, gelt (chocolate, of course!).


For those of you traveling during the winter break, we have electric menorahs, too, plus lots of gift ideas for all ages:

Games, puzzles, books and music, jewelry, keepsake boxes, Judaica items


Are you going to a party? Some suggestions for hostess gifts:

Wine bottle or wine glass coasters, small jeweled boxes, pretty serving dishes, decorative dreidels


As always, all of our merchandise is discounted 20% off of retail prices!!!


The Gift Shop is open Monday and Thursday 4:00-6:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. For added convenience, during the month of December only (until Hanukkah) it will be open on Wednesday mornings from 9:30-11:00 a.m.


If you have any questions, please call Mia Weinstein at 595-0528.  Happy Hanukkah!





Presenting the Dramatic Cantata “Cry of the Children”


Performed by award winning vocal chamber ensemble


Musica Plenti!


Wednesday, December 10th at 7:30 p.m.


Please join our TBE community, come hear this “call to all humanity” and share with these talented musicians (including our own Jodi Maxner!) as we celebrate Human Rights Day.  (Reception to meet the composer and artists will follow the  40 minute presentation.)  all proceeds will go to MAZON, which helps feed hungry children everywhere.


Tickets:  $15/Temple Member and $20/Non-Member

Special Student Price:  $10





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, Dec. 3, 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)






The Hanukkah luncheon scheduled for


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7TH at 1:00 p.m.




We wish you a happy Hanukkah!






WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17, @ 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 Syed -- Dr Syed is a lay representative of the Stamford Islamic Center and a chiropractor, who has spoken in Islam before many groups locally.



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.


Save the date:






with Nigel Savage of Hazon






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


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)



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:




2003 Christmas Dinners at Pacific House & St. Luke’s Lifeworks

It’s time to begin planning for our annual dinners at local residences!  If you would like to help, please email Sue Greenwald-  or call 329-1662.



Read a book...

Illuminate your mind!


Winter Book Fair at BCDS



Sunday Dec 7th  10-2

Monday Dec 8               8:45-3:15

Tuesday Dec 9              8:45-3:15

Wednesday Dec 10       8:45-3:15

  Thursday Dec 11           8:45-11:00


Come and see for yourself the wonderful NEW selection of secular and Judaic books!



“Through Their Eyes: Paintings by Autistic Adults”

an exhibition at the JCC, for the benefit of

ALUT: the Israeli Society for Autistic Children

Dec. 10 – Jan. 16

Opening Reception: Sun. Dec. 14, 3-5 PM



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   I also send out

No comments: