5/8 Jennifer & Michael Orseck
5/13 Roxanne & Bogdan Gheorghiu
5/13 Irene & Junie White
5/17 Deede & Jeffery Cohen
5/25 Sally & Louis Carnevale
5/30 Cathy & Jon Lewson
5/1 Murray Aronson
5/1 Eunice Sperling
5/3 Marion Feinstein
5/3 Hersh Revich
5/3 Solomon Silver
5/4 Phyllis Stauber
5/5 Ida Switzer
5/6 Jonathan A. Fishbein
5/6 Hyman Perlman
5/6 Andrew Teszler
5/8 Alvin Fox
5/10 Louis Reimer
5/10 Jack Tobin
5/11 Jack Steinbrock
5/13 Elizabeth Reemes
5/14 Sara Hecklin
5/14 Marthe Heymann
5/14 Fishel Steinbrock
5/15 Dorothy Brett
5/17 Edith From
5/18 Morris Unger
5/19 Harry Price
5/20 Gussie Levy
5/21 David Packer
5/22 Minnie Perlman
5/23 Ernest Emory
5/23 Simon H. Smith
5/23 Pauline L. Smith
5/23 Samuel Weiner
5/24 Hyman Greenfield
5/24 Jerry N. Hyder
5/24 Susan R. Wise
5/24 Rabbi Max S. Stauber
5/24 Jides Koser
6/26 Pauline Unger
5/27 Barry Goldman
5/27 Elizabeth Nabow
5/29 Mildred P. Gelburd
5/30 Hazel Abelsky
5/30 Yakov Feldman
5/30 Ethel Silnutzer
5/31 Rose H. Smiley
This Friday’s service will again take place via Facebook live on the Congregation’s page at 5:30. If anyone wants to practice safe social distancing and help Rabbi Liebowitz with reading part of the service, please let him know by emailing him or calling him.
The Promise Lyrics: S. Gordin/Music :C. McCarn
There is promise as the sun sets low
The week now comes to its close
The candles are lit and they shine
Inside a feeling of peace at this time
My mind drifts back to the week that’s gone
Things I wished I had said or maybe done
But growth happens no tears need be shed
If I’ve learned to handle what’s ahead
Shabbat is time for me to rest
To extend to my family and to my guests
My time and my ear and what I guess
Should allow me to grow to be my best
I hold the cup now say the prayer
Drink the wine and do I dare
Hold a grudge full of strife
Or be renewed and
refreshed in my life?
It’s Shabbat now
time to praise/time to think
Time to rest/time to grow
It begins now/as the sun
as the sun/ as the sun sets low
Believe Lyrics: S.Gordin/ Music C. McCarn
This life that I chose or did it choose me
It falls apart and now do I see
That somewhere down the line
I was blinded by ennui
And somehow down the line
I forgot to believe
Sitting in this hole I look out to see
A world outside much to my relief
Birds, fresh air, and the happy buzzing of the bees
And all of this makes me think
Why didn’t I stop before to believe?
My fathers fought in wars to be free
Against the odds and against tyranny
Through time and again throughout history
There’s a reason to look outside
ourselves to believe
So look inside
it’s not that hard
No need to look very far
Deep down inside we know we need
in good times and bad a reason to believe
One day the story it will be told
About the time we learned ten fold
That no matter how well off
we think we may be
We’re one heartbeat away beat away from
a reason to believe
I hope that you and all your loved ones are well and doing as best as possible given the difficulties we are experiencing with this pandemic. I am aware of some of the challenges that our members are facing along with other members of the community.
As with many of my fellow rabbis I am glad to contribute to the well being of our respective synagogues and temples. I have decided to tithe a portion of my income back to the temple some 10% each month. I am aware of the ongoing generosity of many of our members at this time and in times past to keep our congregation solvent. I ask you to consider doing whatever you can with respect to tsedaka, Jewish and communal. Carrie and I have included in our giving back pack lunches for children. In the past few weeks we are also glad to contribute to American Friends of Magain David Adom (Israel’s version of the Red Cross) for Israel which also has many sufferers and deaths from this pandemic. We also favor the ASPCA. Those commercials have gotten to us!
As antisemitism has become more prevalent, we also give to the Southern Poverty Law Center which thwarts prejudice nation wide.
Should you wish to help out in this regard or to help some of our members that I am aware of who are strained financially do contribute to the rabbi’s discretionary fund which is monitored by our president and our treasurer.
I do hope that you have been able to catch up with us through Facebook live services regularly offered on Friday afternoon at 5:30 and our Torah study at 10 o’clock Saturday morning. The latter Torah study is through Skype and you can easily get on my contact list which is ezrabbi. We are preparing for a virtual Bar Mitzvah for Reuben Falcon this mid May. It too will be offered via Facebook live. Mazal Tov Reuben!
This coming Monday, April 27, at 5:30 pm, in honor of Israel Independence Day Yom Ha’atsma’ut, I will be offering a Facebook live with some songs, poetry, and prayer in celebration of the Jewish state.
Once more thinking of you and looking forward to the time when we can greet one another in person.
Prayers for our people!
Prayers for our nation!
Prayers for the world!
Rabbi Yossi Liebowitz D.D.
Join our Rabbi Liebowitz for a virtual Seder: Facebook live (Congregation B’nai Israel) on Wednesday and Thursday evenings starting at 6:30 p.m. Look forward to you joining our small Seder from our home to yours.
Hezekiah taught (Jeremiah 50:17): “Israel is like scattered sheep” – Why is Israel lik- ened to a sheep? Just as a sheep, when hurt on its head or some other body part, all its body parts feel it. So it is with Israel when one of them sins and everyone feels it. (Numbers 16:22): “When one man sins [will You be wrathful with the whole communi- ty].” Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai taught a parable: Men were on a ship. One of them took a drill and started drilling underneath him. The others said to him: What are sit- ting and doing?! He replied: What do you care. Is this not underneath my area that I am drilling?! They said to him: But the water will rise and flood us all on this ship. This is as Job said (Job 19:4): “If indeed I have erred, my error remains with me.” But his friends said to him (Job 34:37): “He adds transgression to his sin; he extends it among us.” [The men on the ship said]: You extend your sins among us.
I recall seeing a cartoon when I was very young. It showed a boy looking up to his mother and
complaining: “Mom, every time I ask Dad for a quarter, I get a lecture on the depression.“ In my youthful head I understood that cartoon, but not in my heart. I knew nothing from such poverty growing up middle class in the ‘60’s. My dad was a depression kid. I recalled during our “Friday Night live” Facebook “service (5:30 – Congregation Bnai Israel) how my father would place cardboard in the bottom of his shoes to make them last just a few more months until the tops had worn off. This pandemic has assaulted all of us for we are all in the same boat! Financially, psychologically, and socially! The isolation that many of us are experiencing can be as wounding as anything. Just recall how our GI’s in Korea faced that kind of torture which broke many a strong soldier.
I have always favored congregational rabbinate because I have had faith in the power of community. As I am well into my second decade of service to you in this congregation, I am still impressed by the efforts of our congregants to reach out, if only through phone, skype, and zoom Oh my! I am thinking of Sandy Smiley who just days before her procedure pulled herself together to go visit some of our homebound with me and Nancy Rosenberg. What a job they do! I think also of two relatively new members Karen Greenberg and Kim Pickett; Karen who offered to go shopping for anyone and in the second instance, Kim who baked Challahs for those in want. And there are many others!
The calls I have made and received are buoying and sustaining of the spirit. They are the glue that keeps us together spiritually. I am also grateful to those who generously support this Temple through thick and thin. I do not name them as their giving is from the heart and is private. Thank you!
I hope, as possible, you will continue to give to our food barrel to support those in need. A little bit can go real far! Jan, who is working mostly at home, can receive the donations when she is present, or you may leave them under the overhang in the portico near the door.
As I write to you today, I am preparing for our services to continue, including Torah study through Zoom. The passages we are reading from our weekly portion about sacrifices are from Va-yikra meaning “and He called!” We are called to be patient and caring to one another during this very difficult time. The word for sacrifice in Hebrew is Karban. The English translation does not adequately convey its deeper sense, as Karban means to “draw near!” As we sacrifice, we draw nearer to God and to our more spiritual selves. Even as Tseda- ka does not mean charity exactly, but “righteous giving,” so may we reach out to one another! Alas! No longer with our physical hands but with our spiritual hearts! I look forward to the time when we can hug each other once again.
Rabbi Yossi J. Liebowitz D.D.
4/6 Willz Lyon
4/8 Aviva Halley
4/9 Nancy Kleinfeld
4/9 Nancy Lyon
4/11 Sandy Nabow
4/17 Karen Greenberg
4/18 Robert Axelrod
4/20 Roger Fuller
4/20 Monika Koser
4/21 Beth Blumenfeld
4/23 Jori Falcon
4/23 Leah Keen
4/29 Olivia Russell