“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
“Where the rubber meets the road is the most important point for something, the moment of truth. An athlete can train all day, but the race is where the rubber meets the road, and they’ll know how good they really are.” (The Rock Group, Meatloaf)
My one-time cab driver father would quip when I got a flat tire, “Yes, but it’s only flat on the bottom!” As we will have emerged from the High Holy Days with its hopeful promise of transformation, the time ahead is daunting. After the spoken words, the lofty expressions of hope and the promises uttered to do better the proof of its implementation is when the “rubber meets the road!”
The mood of this seasons shifts dramatically after Yom Kippur with Sukkot. It is a joyous holiday though some elements are somber. Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) speaks of the transitory nature of all our lives, the impermanence of all things. “Vanities of vanities,” Kohelet declares in references the accomplishments and endeavors we cling to. A somber bit of solace is offered threaded through the pages of how living in the moment should be our ongoing concern. “To everything there is a season.” Long before Pete Seeger made those words popular through a musical offering (and don’t forget The Byrds’ version) Jews have taken heart from its imperative to find gratitude in the now.
Sukkot is a time to breathe. To take in the gifts of what is and focus less on what was and even on what will be. Not a mood of fatalism to be sure, but one of hopeful surrender, a faithful view that things may have happened and will happen for a reason. It is that realization that impels us to be more charitable as we notice those who have less for which to show gratitude. As our Thanksgiving observance of Sukkot arrives I hope that it will be one of joy for you and all your loved ones!
Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz, D.D.
Dear Congregation B’nai Israel Members,
I want to thank everyone who has made our high holidays services possible this year. Firstly, thank you to our dedicated Rabbi, who has put together the services and curated a wonderful team of musicians and vocalists. Our pianist is Steven Graff, our violinist is Courtney LaBaur, and our vocalist is Keith Jones.
Another large thank you goes to our Ritual Committee who is led by our own Dr. Mark Packer. Mark met with the Rabbi and several of our members including David Blumenfeld, Sandy Gordin, Bob Britanisky, Cheryl August, and Rex Russell to plan and offer the Aliyah’s to many of our members during this high holiday season.
Our Sisterhood deserves a huge thank you for the beautiful Oneg provided during Rosh Hashanah.
I would also like to thank Susan Abelkop for planning the Yom Kippur Break-Fast for us. The cost for Break-Fast is $10.00 per adult, $5.00 children 6- 10 years, under 5 is free. If you have not RSVP’d for Break-Fast, please do so.
The gorgeous flowers for our services during this High Holy Day season are in memory of Seymour “Speedy” and Marion Feinstein. They are given by their family: Lori and Rob Axelrod, Sandi and Gerald Friedman, and Sheree and David Kanter and Families.
Jan Stribling our incredibly talented secretary deserves a tremendous thank you for all the secretarial and organizational tasks that are taken care of behind the scenes each day and especially during high holy days.
Sharon Packer has been instrumental in taking care of our Facebook and social media presence. The board and I appreciate her time and expertise.
I would like to thank Avi Liebowitz for his technical advice so we can continue to be a presence each week on Facebook Live.
My message this month is brought to you by the Letter “B”. When I was thinking about what to write, the letter B kept coming up in my thoughts. I am not sure why. After thought and reflection I realized that two of my Temple Topic messages from this year were written with B’s in mind.
In February of this year, I wrote about becoming a human being. Yes, I know, we are all human beings. However, are you really a human being or a human doing? To be honest, I find I am a human doing, rushing around to complete the next item on my “to do” list so it can go on my “ta da” list. Then when I do have free time, I find I am looking for ways to be entertained by doing something like watching a movie, reading, or stitching on a needlepoint canvas. When am I ever just being – being still and reflecting – very seldom. However, I am grateful for my religion and Synagogue. Our beautiful Temple gives us a sanctuary to be a human being. Being still, being reflective, and just being. I hope you find when you are here or tuning in to our Facebook Live each week, you find a way to go from a human doing to a human being.
As I just mentioned, our beautiful Temple gives us a place to just be; it requires another type of “B” to thrive. It takes worker bees similar to a honeybee hive. When I was a teenager, my father took up bee keeping. In March of this year, I wrote about his hobby in Temple Topics. When my father went about setting up his hives I read and observed along with him. Honey- bees it turns out are very interesting creatures. I learned several life lessons from bee keeping, not just how to avoid being stung in life.
Learning about and watching bees taught me several life lessons.
I learned the importance of working well with others. Every bee has a job, and if each bee does their job and cooperates the hive thrives. If not, the hive dies.
I learned to plan for the future. Bees make extra honey to feed the hive during the winter; they plan ahead so their hive can continue growing.
I learned to do good without a reward in mind. Bees are selfless. If one or two scouts know where some colorful flowers are, they don’t hoard the pollen for themselves so they will look like heroes to the other bees. They go to their hive and do a wiggle dance that tells all the bees exactly where the beautiful flowers are, so they can go gather pollen, too.
Overall, bees work to create a vibrant community that is achieved through communication, planning ahead, and doing the selfless hard work necessary to thrive.
Our Temple community is much like a beehive. We are each a bee in the hive. Like bees, we need to communicate, work, plan, and cooperate to keep our Temple vibrant and growing. Selfless contributions make our Temple a wonderful place to be.
Please consider how you can be involved; be a giver of time, effort, and money. The Rabbi, board, and I are grateful for every minute you spend at our Temple. With you we can continue to grow and be strong.
Money is important. It takes an incredible amount to keep our lovely sanctuary, Sunday school, kitchen, and office functional and thriving. If you are not a member, please join. We need you to be an official part of our congregation. We have in-town and out-of-town membership options. If you are currently a member, thank you. When it comes time to donate to our Annual Fair Share campaign, perhaps increase your donation. Every cent counts and helps our hive thrive.
So, my message brought to you by the Letter B is:
For us to continue to have a place to be a human being, we need to work together like bees in a hive.
I wish you each wonderful high holidays this year. I wish you peace, love, laughter, reflection, and moments of human being.
Congregation B’nai Israel, President
Planning is complete for the 46th annual SJHS conference, which will be held in Charleston, South Carolina, from October 21 to 23. Hosted by the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, the 2022 conference will take place at the historic College of Charleston. The theme for this year’s conference is “Southern Jews and the Atlantic World.” Once a major port in the Atlantic mercantile system, Charleston is an ideal locale to delve into the transatlantic history of southern Jewry. Charleston has remained at the heart of southern Jewish economic, cultural, and religious life for more than three centuries, and conference- goers will have the opportunity to participate in walking tours of Jewish Charleston, Shabbat dinner and services at the historic Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, and an evening with the treasures housed in the Jewish Heritage Collection at the College’s Addlestone Library. The conference weekend will also feature a variety of panels exploring various aspects of southern Jewish life and the Atlantic world.
The link for registration and conference schedule is HERE
I hope you all had a sweet New Year and have an easy fast.
Now that the holidays are almost over, Sisterhood is working toward a successful, though different, bake sale on November 3. You will find an order form for your favorites on the Temple web site. Remember, this year it will only be by pre-order for everyone’s safety.
November 3rd is our drive-thru pick up day. Consider coming for a couple of hours to sit at the table under the portico as we deliver the pre-orders.
Use the form in temple topics or on-line to place your own pre-order to insure the item you want is available. There are also forms available in the temple office. It will take all of us to make the bake sale a success. Because of health concerns, it is a very different way of holding our bake sale, and we need everyone’s help and understanding to make it a success.
Thank you in advance for your help and understanding. This is very different for all of us, but we begin again with a long tradition of successful Sisterhood Bake Sales at Congregation B’nai Israel.
Peggy Ann Buchman Sisterhood President
10/2 Lorraine Wachter
10/4 Sandy Gordin
10/7 Ansley Lyon
10/7 Robert Nabow
10/12 Raeleigh McArn 1
0/14 Jon Lewson
10/14 Harry Price
10/17 Ira Greenfield
10/18 Tom Barnet
10/18 Lorie Ederr
10/23 Jeffrey Cohen
10/23 Robert Lyon
10/25 Paul Friedberg
10/26 Carl McArn
10/31 Cashlin Bost
10/31 Roxanne Gheorghiu
10/18 Jori & Daniel Falcon
10/23 Rachel & Christopher Brough
10/1 Harris Abelkop
10/1 Sophia Robinson
10/2 Louis Farkas
10/6 Marsha Borew
10/6 Larry Buchman
10/6 Sonya Packer
10/7 Benjamin Frank
10/7 Joseph Kirshman
10/8 Moshe Weisz
10/11 Pearl Tanenbaum
10/12 Sydelle B. Bronstein
10/14 Morton Massey
10/14 Bella Price
10/14 Joe Rex
10/16 Minnie Sandler
10/18 Mark A. Fleishman
10/18 William M. Wimpy
10/19 Linda Rosenberg
10/19 Joel L. Tanenbaum
10/20 Bernard Litoff
10/24 Sigmund Litoff
10/25 Ethel Borew
10/25 Abraham Rabinowitz
10/26 Dora Price
10/27 Marian Unger
10/28 Dora Steinbrock
10/29 Pearl Bernstein
10/29 Louis Borew
10/30 Debby Gordin-Markel
10/30 Guenther Mortge
10/31 Anne K. Finke
10/31 Etta Flaum