Sunday, October 5, 2003

SHABBAT-O-GRAM for October 5, 2003 and Tishre 8, 5764 Shabbat Shuvah


October 5, 2003 and Tishre 8, 5764

Shabbat Shuvah

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, Temple Beth El, Stamford, Connecticut


Shabbat Shalom

And G’Mar G'mar Hatima  Tova

May we all be sealed for a good and sweet year



Rosh Hashanah’s sermons are now available online at



If you can’t get there directly, simply click on click on “news” and scroll down for the article








Please bring back your bags filled with food on Kol Nidre Eve for our annual Food Drive for Person to Person.

Volunteers are needed to sort the food on Tuesday morning at 9:30, at Person to Person, 1864 Post Rd., Darien. If you wish to help, contact Sue Greenwald at






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.  If you know of anyone in Stamford Hospital, please let them know.

Friday Night

Candles: 6:14 PM


Since this is the first week of the month, according to our T.G.I.S. schedule, we are in the chapel for a “traditional” Beth El service, designed to appeal especially to long-time Beth Elers (but appealing to everyone else too).  Hazzan Rabinowitz will also be here this weekend and will help to lead the service

Tot Shabbat: 6:45 (in the lobby)

Shabbat Morning

Service: 9:30 AM

Mazal Tov to Jordana Weisman, who becomes Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat morning

Children’s services: 11:00 – 1:00 

Torah Portion – Ha’azinu (with a special Haftarah for Shabbat Shuvah)

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:  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

Shabbat Afternoon

Mincha-Havdalah service: 5:45 PM

Mazal Tov to Natalya Chuchinsky, who becomes Bat Mitzvah this Shabbat afternoon

Morning MinyanDaily at 7:30 AM,  Sundays at 9:00 AM in the chapel  PLEASE SUPPORT OUR MINYAN AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN!


Yom Kippur Services:

Candles: 6:11 PM (Light Yahrzeit candle first)

Kol Nidre Service: Sunday at 6:00 PM

Yom Kippur Day: Monday at 8:30 AM


Mincha-Jonah: 4:00 PM

Yizkor: 5:15 PM

Ne’ilah: 5:45 PM

Shofar: 7:11 PM




The Highest Level of Tzedakkah


First but not least…

Mazal Tov to Cantor Jacobson on the news that the new and retitled edition of her book, 150 Jobs You Can Start Today: Creative Ways to Make Money Now, will be out Oct. 7th. This has been a difficult economy and we are making a concerted effort here at Beth El to help people who are looking for jobs.  Hopefully, this new edition will be another vehicle to assist people in their quest for work...


Other employment seeking ideas…


1) was created to serve as a resource for employers & job seekers to Post / Search Employment opportunities.  They have made inroads to the nation’s biggest corporations to receive their open positions to offer them amongst the Jewish job seekers on their job board.




Willow Solutions is growing!   

We are looking for a new Senior Sales Executive.  If you know of anyone interested - please let us know.  A short job description follows; details can be found on our web site at


Willow Solutions seeks an individual with proven track record at selling software to the financial industry, particularly within the hedge fund community. Must be expert in prospecting, selling, and closing - with a high energy level, a dynamic personality, and strong communications skills.


Since 1989, Willow Solutions, Inc. has specialized in the design and development of applications for the hedge fund and investment industry.  Our newest product, SubscriberScope, is an Investor Relationship Management system built specifically for the hedge fund marketplace.  We also build custom solutions based on both client-server and n-tier technology that provide integrated desktop access to market data, enterprise data, and Internet data.


Thanks for spreading the word!

- Beth

Beth Klingher
Willow Solutions, Inc.
(203) 777-5634 x100



Tzedakkah Corner

Yad Sarah

This year, the disabled and elderly in Israel can fulfill the physically demanding Mitzvah of building their own sukkah. Yad Sarah, once again responding to a great need, has undertaken to build a sukkah for those people who are physically unable to do so themselves. For this special project, Yad Sarah volunteers have joined with youngsters from the Ariel Youth Movement.  The volunteers will help in the building and decorating of the sukkah. They can be contacted through the many branches of Yad Sarah throughout Israel.  This special sukkah-building campaign will take place between Yom Kippur and Sukkoth.  For more information please contact David Rothner, Spokesman 972-2-6444430 


Yad Sarah is a countrywide community-based organization in Israel, which lends medical equipment and provides a spectrum of services helping people from birth to old age remain at home despite illness, disability or frailty. Aid is also extended to disabled tourists and visitors to the country. * 100 branches countrywide * 6,000 volunteers * Funded by donations, 80% of which come from Israel * Saves the Israeli economy $320 million a year in medical costs * Over 350,000 people use Yad Sarah's services annually * One out of two Israeli families has been helped by Yad Sarah Our web   Contact us at:





Spiritual Journey on the Web

Get Out Your Crystal Ball!


Time to take the 5764 Jewish pundit quiz on next year's news

From  (thanks to Judi Gladstein for forwarding it)

By Jonathan Tobin (former editor of the CT Jewish Ledger)


Was 5763 a good year? Let's just say it was worse for some people than others. For instance, if your name was Saddam Hussein, the answer is definitely worse.

As for the rest of us, it had a few ups and a lot of downs. The fall of Saddam's regime was definitely a high point, but another year of terrorist atrocities and failed peace plans (as in George Bush's road map) proved total downers.


The arrival of a new Jewish year has us all asking the same question about what's in store for us in 5764: Can things get worse? Sure, they can.


But even as we cope with horrible memories of terrorism and a lousy economy in the United States, we shouldn't lose what's left of our sense of humor.  So before the Almighty writes down just how much worse (or better) it will be for all of us in the proverbial Book of Life, I present (with apologies, as always, to New York Times columnist William Safire) the annual Jewish Pundit Quiz for 5764.


For the record, in last year's quiz, I correctly predicted the re-election of Ariel Sharon, the quick ouster of the Ba'athist regime in Baghdad by the United States, a stalemated peace process, steady U.S. support for Israel and an increased focus on the revival of worldwide anti-Semitism. Fortunately, I guessed wrong about the collapse of the Temple Mount.


Save this column and see if I, or you, do as well this time.

So guess, or should I say prognosticate, along with me about the coming year. My answers are at the bottom of the column. And remember, if you are worried about the outcome, teshuvah ("repentance"), tefillah ("prayer") and tzedakah ("acts of justice and charity") may avert the severe decree! L'Shanah Tovah Tikasevu!


1. The 2004 Democratic nominee for president of the United States will be:

a. Sen. John Kerry.
b. Sen. Hillary Clinton.
c. Gen. Wesley Clark.
d. Howard Dean.
e. Sen. Joseph Lieberman.


2. The presidential candidate who raises the most Jewish money in 5764 will be:

a. Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
b. Howard Dean.
c. Sen. Hillary Clinton.
d. Gen. Wesley Clark.
e. President George W. Bush.


3. The hottest American Jewish politician of 5764 will be:

a. Sam Katz, the newly elected mayor of Philadelphia.

b. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the sole Republican Jew in the House.

c. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who will make history again by winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

d. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who will be the first Jewish woman to run for vice president when she is picked by Wesley Clark as his running mate.

e. Columnist Thomas L. Friedman who will leave The New York Times for the campaign trail after he is tapped by Howard Dean as his choice to be the next Secretary of State.


4. By the end of 5764, the Middle East peace process will be:

a. On the brink of success as Yasser Arafat's forced departure from the country leads to the formation of a Palestinian government dedicated to reform and eradication of terrorism.

b. Still stalemated as Arafat retains control of the Palestinian Authority and the United States continues to restrain Israel from taking decisive action.

c. Forgotten amid the general chaos of the region after the overthrow of the Saudi monarchy plunges the Middle East into a general war of radical Islamists vs. pro-American moderates.


5. By the end of 5764, Yasser Arafat will be:

a. Rotting in his grave.

b. Still sitting in his ruined Ramallah compound, calling the shots in the ongoing Palestinian terror war against Israel.

c. Sipping coffee at a cafe in Paris with his wife as he enjoys the pleasures of a celebrity exile.

d. At the United Nations, where he will be preparing to take office as the new U.N. Secretary General after Kofi Anan resigns to become head of the Philadelphia public schools.


6. The most surprising event for American Jews in 5764 will be:

a. The end of Sen. Arlen Specter's political career after his defeat by conservative Rep. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania's Republican senatorial primary.

b. The release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard from prison after a federal court overturns his life sentence because of government misconduct during his trial.

c. The failure of Mel Gibson's film "The Passion" to whip up anti-Semitism as the actor's grisly re-enactment of Jesus' death in Aramaic and Latin tanks at the box office and video stores.

d. The decision of The New York Times to buck the journalistic tide and use the word "terrorist," rather than "militant," to describe those who murder Israelis.

e. The victory of think-tank scholar Daniel Pipes on television's "Survivor" reality show, the latest installment of which maroons 16 Middle East experts on a desert island in the Red Sea, where they're forced to read each other's books.


7. The long overdue release of the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01 leads to:

a. An increased focus of organized Jewry on Jewish education as the most effective way to combat assimilation.

b. An increased focus of organized Jewry on outreach to the intermarried and the non-affiliated.

c. A dramatic rise in fundraising by Jewish federations.

d. More debate about the futility of such surveys and continued lack of national leadership on continuity issues.


8. The most significant event in Jewish history to take place in 5764 will be:

a. A wave of anti-Semitic riots at universities in Europe, inspired by pro-Arab hate-mongers.

b. The vote by the World Jewish Congress' board to oust billionaire Edgar Bronfman as president for his undermining of Israel's government.

c. The continued advance of the neoconservative/Jewish conspiracy to take over the world as Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz replaces Dick Cheney as President Bush's running mate.

d. The acceptance of gay rabbis and religious weddings for gays and lesbians by the leaders of Conservative Judaism.

e. Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's austerity budget, which finally kills Israeli socialism and lays the foundation for a free-market economy.


9. The most popular figure on the Jewish lecture circuit in 5764 will be:

a. Former President Bill Clinton.

b. Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.

c. Advice guru and Jewish apostate Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

d. Rev. Al Sharpton, whose public conversion to Judaism will lead to his appointment as Abe Foxman's successor at the Anti-Defamation League.

e. Philadelphia Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal.


10. The most hotly debated issue among American Jews in 5764 will be:

a. Day schools vs. synagogue Hebrew schools.

b. Whether or not President Bush is a true friend of Israel.

c. Media bias against Israel.

d. Whether America is winning the war on terror.

e. Anti-Semitism on American college campuses.


Tobin's answers: 1. d, 2. e, 3. a, 4. b, 5. b, 6. c, 7. d, 8. e, 9. a 10. b 


JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the <>Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here. This past month Mr. Tobin won first places honors in the American Jewish Press Association's Louis Rapaport Award for Excellence in Commentary as well as the Philadelphia Press Association's Media Award for top weekly columnist. Both competitions were for articles written in the year 2002.


On Yom Kippur and Sukkot

For Yom Kippur-related articles, go to  You’ll find a wide variety there, including A guide to Yom Kippur prayer services; Fasting & Asceticism: Traditional Yom Kippur prohibitions ; "Averting the Severe Decree": What that means; and a  Mini-course: Learn more about Yom Kippur .

For Sukkot, check out How to build a sukkahHow to buy a lulav (palm branch) and etrog (citron)Themes & theology of sukkot, also at





Required Reading and Action Items


To read my choice for Top Ten Taboo Sermon Topics for 5764, check out my Jewish Week column at


In my sermon last week I mentioned an excellent web site that discusses all the details of the security fence (or “Seam Zone,” as the Israelis call it, including up to date maps.  See it at


Israel's Cabinet Approves Barrier Inside West Bank
Israel's government on Wednesday approved construction of new barriers deep inside the West Bank to shield several large Jewish settlements. Despite criticism, the government overwhelmingly backed the next phase, which includes building several horseshoe-shaped barriers 10 to 15 miles inside the West Bank. The new fences would run along three sides of Ariel. The Israeli proposal calls for eventually extending the fences westward from the open side of the settlements until they connect with the main barrier.
    Dore Gold, an adviser to prime minister Sharon (and our Hoffman lecturer on Oct. 28), said Israel had suffered nearly 1,000 dead in Palestinian attacks over the past decade, and the government believes "it has every moral right in the world to put this fence where it sees fit." Israel will erect two parallel fences east of Ben-Gurion Airport to keep potential attackers with shoulder-fired missiles well away from Israel's main airport. To the south of Jerusalem, Israel will extend the barrier to incorporate the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements. (New York Times)


After 3 Years, Some Palestinians Disillusioned with Intifada - Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson (Knight Ridder/Jewish World Review)


U.S. to Reduce Involvement in Israeli-Palestinian Dispute - Ben Caspit, Eliel Shahar, and Miriam Fox
Jerusalem believes the U.S. is planning to reduce its involvement in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. According to a recent estimate in diplomatic circles, "it is possible that the current situation, with its heavy external and internal pressures, will require the [U.S.] government to focus on Iraq and free the president, to a certain extent, from intensive involvement with other issues, including Israeli-Palestinian ones." In Jerusalem it is believed that the problems in Iraq and the decline in Bush's popularity have affected American self-confidence in its ability to broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians. (Maariv-Hebrew)


Hamas Holding Back to Protect Arafat
Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin said last week that his group is not interested in a truce deal that incoming Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei wants to negotiate with Israel. Hamas also confirmed for the first time that it has held off retaliating for recent strikes against its members because of Israel's threat to boot - and even kill - Arafat. "Hamas doesn't want to have a black historical score that it was the reason for expelling Arafat," a member said. (New York Daily News)


Cabinet to Okay Ariel Fence "Gap" - Aluf Benn
The Israeli cabinet will vote Wednesday on the route of the central section of the separation fence between Israel and the West Bank, which includes the Ariel salient - a segment jutting some 12 miles inside the West Bank to the east of Ariel and Kedumim. However, this section of the fence will not yet be connected to the main fence near the "green line." In another eight months or so, the government will discuss the issue again with the American administration, after which it will decide whether to fill in the gap.
    The fence will put a conclusive end to dreams of annexing the West Bank by creating the first physical barrier between it and Israel. Yet it will also realize the long-standing Israeli dream of widening the country's "narrow waist." (Ha'aretz/Reuters))


Sharon: Security Fence to be East of Ariel - Zvi Zrahiya
The separation fence between Israel and the West Bank will be built east of Ariel, Prime Minister Sharon told the Likud Knesset faction Monday. He said that the cabinet will formally approve the fence's route at its meeting Wednesday. "The separation fence will be built east of Ariel and east of Kedumim," Sharon said. "If we reach a point where the matter once again creates a dispute, we will sit with the Americans again."
    Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the meeting, "Ariel, Kfar Sava, and Ra'anana are one and the same," comparing Ariel to two other bedroom communities of Tel Aviv. "This route brings 40,000 Israelis and 4,000 Palestinians" inside the fence. He added that an agreement had been reached with the Americans whereby construction of a fence east of Ariel would begin in conjunction with work on other segments of the fence. However, the fence east of Ariel will apparently not initially be connected to the main separation fence. Mofaz said, "If I thought that the conflict would end in another year, I would say that we don't need the fence. But the conflict is protracted, and any agreement is years away. There will be no significant breakthrough unless Arafat leaves the region." (Ha'aretz)


Fatah in Uproar over Pro-Dahlan Demos in Gaza - Khaled Abu Toameh
Fatah leaders in the West Bank Monday called on Arafat to investigate demonstrations in the Gaza Strip during which protesters burned effigies of senior Fatah officials. Upon learning that former security minister Muhammad Dahlan had been excluded from the new cabinet of Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala), thousands of demonstrators marched in the city of Khan Yunis and other places over the past three days in support of Dahlan. Fatah leaders accuse Dahlan of trying to stage a coup d'etat. Dahlan has called for elections for the Fatah central council, which were last held 14 years ago. A Dahlan supporter said the current struggle in Fatah is between the "old guard," veteran Fatah officials who returned with Arafat from Tunis, and the majority of activists who grew up in the territories and played a major role in the first and second intifadas against Israel. (Jerusalem Post)


Al-Quds U. Spared Fence - Arieh O'Sullivan
Defense Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron agreed in a meeting with Al-Quds University President Sari Nusseibeh Monday that the security fence in Jerusalem would not pass through the middle of the campus as originally planned. (Jerusalem Post)


Palestinians Must Face Up to Hamas, Arafat - Secretary of State Colin Powell
As long as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad can just sit back and make their own judgment as to whether they think things are going well or not and decide whenever they wish to that they're going to blow up another bus full of children and bring the whole thing to a halt again - until the Palestinians take on that challenge and say to them "No, enough of that. This is no longer an acceptable way to achieve our political objectives. We will never get a Palestinian state as long as we try to do it by blowing up innocent people. We're blowing up the dreams of our own people." And until the Palestinian leadership takes on that challenge, we can have conferences, we can have plans, we can have proposals, we can have timelines, but it will be very difficult to go forward.
    We painfully came to the conclusion that Chairman Arafat was not a partner for peace. The Israelis had come to that conclusion some time ago. President Clinton came to that conclusion at the very end of his administration. The last day of his administration he called me about Yasser Arafat and how a great deal had been put before him and he didn't take it. I went into the Muqata'a and I sat there across from him when he had a machine gun on his desk and told him that you've got to change or I'm not going to be able to deal with you. He didn't change. Arafat is still seen by the Palestinian people as their leader. But the Palestinian people have to start looking at what that leadership has gotten them. It's not gotten them one day closer to the Palestinian state. (Detroit Free Press)


Syria and the New Axis of Evil - Editorial
In recent testimony before the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Middle East, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton made it clear that President Bashar Assad's Ba'athist dictatorship is well on its way to attaining pariah status with the Bush administration - an unenviable position to be in, as his Ba'athist neighbor Saddam Hussein found out six months ago. Bolton listed Syria, along with North Korea, Iran, and Libya, among "rogue states" that pose "threats to our national security." Bolton said that Washington is determined to "roll back" and "ultimately eliminate such weapons from the arsenals of rogue states and ensure that the terrorist groups they sponsor do not acquire weapons of mass destruction."
    Unlike U.S. policy toward Iraq, there is strong, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for legislation to penalize Syrian misbehavior. Indeed, 272 House members and 75 senators have supported legislation to impose a sweeping set of economic sanctions to force Damascus to dramatically change its behavior. Should the administration eventually decide it is necessary to take decisive action against Assad's regime, it will begin with a surprisingly bipartisan, strong level of support in Congress. (Washington Times)



Mitzvahs for Free (Jewish Focus) Stories and links on helping Israelis - person-to-person

The Battle of Ariel - Moshe Arens (Ha'aretz)

  • The city of Ariel, with its 18,000 inhabitants and the College of Judea and Samaria, with its student body of 7,000, are as much in need of protection against Palestinian suicide bombers as are the residents of Kfar Sava or Hadera.
  • The Palestinians have only themselves to blame for the fence. Each and every murder by a Palestinian suicide terrorist contributed to the government's decision to build that fence.
  • It may very well be that the fence's location will affect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, when and if they take place. But the protection of Israel's citizens at this time must take priority over such considerations. Leaving the residents of Israel unprotected is not an option that Israel's friends should urge on the Israeli government.
  • If the location of the fence remains a source of disagreement between Israel and the U.S., this is an issue on which Israel should not give in. If we disagree on a matter that is of vital importance to the U.S., it is Israel that should defer to American wishes. But if it is a matter of vital interest to Israel, it is the U.S. that should defer to Israel's position. With few exceptions, that has been the tradition of U.S.-Israeli relations in past years, and that is how it should continue.

Sharon's Balancing Act - Jim Hoagland
The decision - in principle - by Sharon's cabinet two weeks ago to "remove" Arafat "should be considered as a last warning to Arafat to give up terrorism," a senior Israeli official said last week in the wake of talks between Dov Weisglass, Sharon's chief of staff, and Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national security adviser. They have reportedly worked out a series of unannounced "understandings" that would avoid clashes over the road map, Israeli settlements, and the system of security barriers, or "fence," now being built across the West Bank. Sharon has responded to indirect threats from Washington to withhold aid that would be spent on the fence with soft words rather than with the bluster and the appeals to Congress that were employed at times by his Likud predecessors. (Washington Post)


Rewriting the History Books in Baghdad - Vivienne Walt
Iraqi children heading back to school this week are in for a historic surprise. Saddam Hussein will have vanished - from their classroom walls, from their school textbooks, and from their teachers' lessons. A team of Iraqi officials has spent the summer rewriting the history books to expunge all mentions of Saddam and his once-powerful Ba'ath Party, under a project funded by USAID. About 17 million edited texts have been printed. The far more daunting task ahead is to unravel decades of education practices imposed by Saddam's regime. (Toronto Star)

From for 9/26/03:  New Israeli Device Saves Crops from Fruit Flies (Channel News Asia-Singapore)
Scientists in Israel have developed a high-tech device that they hope will eliminate the fruit fly, believed responsible for billions of dollars in damaged crops and plants worldwide.  The device lures female fruit flies to a death trap by mimicking the chant of amorous male fruit flies.

From  "....DEBKAfile's Palestinian sources disclose the publication of an underground pamphlet printed in only 300 copies from the pen of Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen, who was forced to quit as prime minister by the machinations of Yasser Arafat. Muzzled by his foes, he has resorted to this method of exposing some of the hidden afflictions he could not fight. Copies of the pamphlet are circulating under their own steam by fax and copying machine. DEBKAfile finds three passages pertinent and worthy of general disclosure: 


One: "The concept of retirement has never caught on with us (the Palestinians). But how long must we endure the employment of the grandfather, his son, grandson and great-grandson all together in the same ministry, when our universities turn out 18,000 fresh graduates every year and they are condemned to ending up on the street for lack of jobs? Every time I spoke of this, I was called a traitor. " 


Two: "We have a forum called the United Palestinian Command Leadership which is headed by Yasser Arafat. Never mind who sits on this forum and who does not, but one day they decided to appropriate 15 percent of every Palestinian salary. With about 150,000 wage-earners in various jobs, the people sitting round that particular table are helping themselves every year to $72 m dollars. The same leadership group also set up monopolies for the import of fuel, cement, cigarettes, paper and flour. One can only wonder about the destinations of the $72 million."


Three: "You call me a collaborator, a spy, a traitor? I can live with that even if it is not true. But tell me, why is the Palestinian people's only airport not the property of the Palestinian Authority but of the Palestinian Liberation Organization - PLO? And why does the port of Gaza not belong to the Palestinian people but again to the PLO? Why is it Yasser Arafat's wish to deprive the ministers serving the Palestinian Authority of control over their staffs? Show me one place in the world where things are run that way."....





From the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)

Many in the media fail to convey the individual stories and humanity of Israeli victims of terror, thereby omitting key context, and making Israel's military and security policies less understandable. Continue to ask editors to follow up on those terror victims still recovering from severe injuries.  But at the same time, avail yourself of other means of educating the public.

Create a collection of photo images with brief bios of the victims. On a foam core board, paste photos of some of the Israeli victims of terror over the past year, especially the babies, mothers and teenagers.  Beneath each photo, attach a short biography  (Details below on how to get photos and bios).  Do not include any bloody or gruesome photos.  Only include photos of the victims as they were in life.

* Ask your rabbi or minister if you can display this poster in your synagogue or church.  In front of it, you can provide a handout that lists all the victims of terror (with their bios) from the past year.  Most people are unaware that almost 900 Israelis have been killed in terror attacks.  Since so many people will be attending Yom Kippor services next week, now would be a great time to do this project.  It is especially fitting because of the memorial service (Yizkor) that is traditionally part of Yom Kippor. 

Directions on how to get photos and bios of terror victims:

To get the photos and bios, go to:
Scroll down to "In memoriam", the last item in the Terrorism section. Or just go to:
To see photo, click on a name of victim.  To print out photo, place the cursor over the photo and  right click on it.  Then click on Print Photo.  Then click on options to choose photo quality and size choices.
  Then click on Print!
To get bio, go back to In memoriam web page.  Click on name.  Highlight the bio, hold down control and C to copy it, paste it into a new document (hold down Control and V) and edit.  Then print it out and put it beneath or beside the photo.





So What Happened Last Week With Tashlich?


Several people have inquired as to why Tashlich was cancelled last Sunday.  Since several people showed up only to be disappointed to see the cancellation sign on the door, you are entitled to a full explanation.  Here’s the whole scoop…


For those who have no idea what Tashlich is, it’s an old folk custom to symbolically cast off one’s sins on Rosh Hashanah by tossing breadcrumbs into a body of water.  It’s usually done on the first day, unless that falls on Shabbat, in which case it is done on the second day.  Tashlich is not part of the official High Holidays liturgy and in fact for centuries the rabbinic establishment tried to eliminate it because of its pagan origins and magical overtones.  So it is not a service, although there are suggested psalms and other passages that have come to be included in various Tashlich services.  What Tashlich is is a fun activity for families, restless from an entire day of praying and eating.  Several years back, with the cooperation of our neighbors at Doral Farm, I began to offer Tashlich as an afternoon family outing, in that spirit of fun (we actually shlepped over to the creek at June Road for a few years before working things out with Doral).  So, what is most important to clarify is that Tashlich is not a required SERVICE, but rather a FUN ACTIVITY.  If people began to really believe that tossing breadcrumbs into a pond relieved them of the responsibility

of their sins those killjoy medieval rabbis who tried to ban the custom would be proven right.  As we learn in our service, Teshuvah, Tefillah (prayer) and Tzedakkah are what “avert the evil decree.”


For an excellent essay on the historical development of this fascinating custom, click on


Over the years, the popularity of this program has grown here, much to my satisfaction. On a nice day (and we’ve been blessed with mostly nice weather on Rosh Hashanah), we’ve had a hundred people show up to take the short walk and “dump our sins” in the pond.  God willing, next year we’ll have sunny weather and 120!


Last Sunday was not such a picture-perfect day.  With torrential rain pelting us all morning, it occurred to me during services that Tashlich would likely have to be cancelled.  My prime concern was health and safety related. The ground would be very wet and slippery near the pond, and over the years we’ve often had near accidents with kids leaning dangerously close to the water.  Also, given that this custom is not a service, it was something that could readily be cancelled (as we have done in bad weather in the past), and in fact should be.  With many colds going around, I was not of a mind to promote sickness (or catch cold myself during this busy time, for that matter).  Regrettably, when the time came for announcements, that particular announcement slipped my mind in my haste to begin the sermon and move the service toward its conclusion.  I apologize for that, as well as for the fact that the announcement sheet didn’t clearly state, “weather permitting,” as it almost always has in the past. 


Immediately after the service, someone asked about Tashlich but it was too late to bring everyone back to announce the cancellation.  So I decided to wait and see if the weather improved.  I asked Alberto to create and post large signs on the door indicating that the event was cancelled, just in case.  I waited until 5:00 PM to make the final decision (a half hour before the scheduled time for Tashlich).  The rain had pretty much stopped but the weather had not improved markedly.  I walked over to the temple, felt the rawness and wind, with a light mist still coming down.  The ground was also extremely wet and slippery.  I asked myself if I would encourage my own children to be out in this weather for a family activity.  I made what I felt to be the responsible decision and cancelled the program.  A small, stalwart group of about five families did show up and, although they did see the sign, elected to do Tashlich on their own, which was fine.  For those children, especially, who so looked forward to Tashlich with their Beth El community and were disappointed, I can’t apologize for the weather, but I certainly do feel badly that the cancellation wasn’t made clearer at services that morning.


If anyone wishes to do Tashlich on your own between now and Yom Kippur, stop by the office and I’ll pass along a how-to sheet including our list of special breads for various types of sins (e.g. for sins of levity: rye bread).  And as for the many others who regret the washout and did not come out in the mist, there’s always next year.







Decorate the fabuloud Beth El Sukkah with Jeannie Kasindorf: Tues. Oct. 7 and Thurs., Oct. 9, from 4-6


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

(on October 17, we will be welcoming Young Couples and the theme will be nature)


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)



You are cordially invited…

To the Hammerman Sukkah

Just next door

After services on Sunday Oct. 12

The second day of Sukkot


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








"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 Sayed -- Dr Sayed is a lay representative of the Islamic Center of Stamford and a chiropractor, who has spoken in Islam before many groups locally.



Oct. 15 -- Celebrating Birth: When does life begin?  Is abortion ethical? What are the rituals of birth

Nov. 19 -- Celebrating Coming of Age: What are the rituals marking the passage from childhood to adulthood (Bar Mitzvah, Confirmation, etc)?  When is one an "adult?"

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.






















Temple Beth El is having an art auction on November 15 at 7 pm.  We are going to have a variety of artwork and can request specific artists and works.  We are serving finger foods, wine, beverages and dessert.  Admission is $10 pp/$18 per couple by November 7. At the door, the admission is $15 pp/$25 per

It's an easy way to support TBE.  There's free babysitting, with sign up by November 7.  There's a registration form and more information at  It's listed under "upcoming events" on the right hand side of the page.


This promises to be a wonderful evening.


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 on Wed. Nov 5, 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)







Q     What is the Jewish equivalent of seeing

       every kid in Yankee stadium raising their

       bats high on bat day?


     A:  Seeing every kid in our synagogue

              enthusiastically waving his/her

              lulav & etrog on Sukkot!

So nu...

How do we make this happen?


Well, we are offering a very special student

lulav and etrog set for only $18.00!!!


        Unbelievable...but true!!!! You can wave your very own lulav and etrog in our gigantic Lulav Parade on Sunday October 12th. But the fun doesn’t stop there. You can wave your lulav & etrog every morning, and when Sukkot is over, we’ll teach you how to turn your lulav and etrog into a havdalah set!!





Name                                                                              Phone                                       


# of sets                at $18.00 per set Total = $                         


Please return this form  by October 5th with your check payable to:

Temple Beth El Religious School

350 Roxbury Rd, Stamford, CT 06902




E-mail from the Front” 

Go to and scroll down to the most recent entries.




Time for a Joke…


This week’s courtesy of Roz Rubin… (and very appropriate given last weekend’s sermon)


As a general principle, Jewish holidays are divided between days on which you must starve and days on which you must overeat.  Many Jews observe no fewer than 16 fasts throughout the Jewish year, based on the time-honored principle that even if you are sure that you are ritually purified, you definitely aren't.  Though there are many feasts and fasts, there are no holidays requiring light snacking.


Note: Unlike Christians, who simply attend church on special days (e.g. Ash Wednesday) on Jewish holidays most Jews take the whole day off. This is because Jews, for historical and personal reasons, are more stressed out.


The Diet Guide to the Jewish Holidays


Rosh Hashanah -- Feast

Tzom Gedalia  - Fast

Yom Kippur -- More fasting

Sukkot -- Feast

Hashanah Rabbah -- More feasting

Simchat Torah -- Keep feasting

Month of Heshvan -- No feasts or fasts for a whole month. Get a grip on yourself.

Hanukkah -- Eat potato pancakes

Tenth of Tevet -- Do not eat potato pancakes

Tu B'Shevat -- Feast

Fast of Esther -- Fast

Purim -- Eat pastry

Passover -- Do not eat pastry

Shavuot -- Dairy feast (cheesecake, blintzes etc.)

17th of Tammuz -- Fast (definitely no cheesecake or blintzes)

Tisha B'Av -- Very strict fast (don't even think about cheesecake or blintzes)

Month of Elul -- End of cycle. Enroll in Center for Eating Disorders before High Holidays arrive again





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 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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