Friday night services, November 2 at the regular time of 7 p.m. Please join us for SOLIDARITY SHABBAT as Jews across the country, and indeed around the world, go to their houses of prayer in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who were murdered last shabbat in Pittsburg.
Cantor Ben-Moshe’s Weekly Message:
As we all know, as we were beginning our services last Shabbat morning, horror was unfolding at Congregation Etz Haim in Pittsburgh. An evil gunman, responding to lies and conspiracy theories murdered the early davveners, staining the sanctuary with the blood of the innocent. These martyrs were the most dedicated members of their congregation, the ones who were there regularly to make the minyan.
In their memory, let us resolve to act as they did in their lives. Let us come to services in the spirit of joy and pride, celebrating Shabbat with our community. The gunman meant to terrorize not just the Jews of Pittsburgh, but all Jews everywhere. We can show that we will not give in to fear. Shabbat Shalom.
Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe
Shabbat candle lighting times are at 6:25 p.m.
Congregation Beth El Friday November 2 at 7 p.m.
CHAI MITZVAH ADULT CLASSES
We look forward to seeing all our participants next Thursday, 11/8 at 7 PM at CBE.
This month’s topic will be Tzedakah.
We encourage you to read the packet ahead of time so you are ready to participate in our discussion.
Also, remember that we will also be sharing your other personal goals.
We look forward to hearing what you are planning for:
*Personal study – on a Jewish topic
*Ritual – a Jewish ritual you would like to begin or more fully participate in
*Social Action Project
We welcome new members to our group. If you were not able to attend last month, but would like to join this time, meet us at Beth El!
See you soon,
Scott Berman & Shereen Ben-Moshe
SISTER HOOD EVENT: On Monday November 5th, we will join the Austin Jewish Book Fest at the J to meet author Iris Martin Cohen as she discusses her book The Little Clan. We’ll have our own table. Please see www.shalomaustin.org/bookfest for more details and of course, let us know if you would like to attend.
Sunday Funday with the BERS this Sunday at 10.
SAVE THE DATE for for the following Sunday, November 11. In conjunction with GLOBAL DAY OF JEWISH LEARNING, we are inviting Jan Hart, celebrated author, who will act out the story of her great grandmother who immigrated to Galveston from Europe over a hundred years ago and talk about her many adventures.
Huge thank you to our Chai Mitzvah Teens who volunteered at the Umlauf Botanical Gardens last Sunday. Tikkun Olam at it’s best! They brought cheer and good will to so many families and we are so grateful to them and to our precious Shereen Ben-moshe who leads the amazing Chai Mitzvah Program.
Rabbi Dr. Peter Tarlow’s weekly Parashat Chaye Sarah
You will find this week’s Torah portion, Chaye-Sarah in the book of Genesis 23:1-25:18. Its name is one of the more ironic titles. Called “Chaye-Sarah meaning the “Life of Sarah” it provides details of Israel’s first matriarch’s death and burial. Having “buried” Sarah the text moves onto her “replacement”. Rebecca will now become Israel’s second matriarch. The text is brutally realistic. We live our lives, we die, and someone else takes our place. Generations come and generations go, and to deny life’s finiteness is to deny reality. The text teaches this lesson both actively and passively. Actively, Isaac carries Rebecca into Sarah’s tent and passively, as we read the text Sarah rapidly fades from our memories and we focus our attention on her replacement Rebecca.
Yet ironically, despite the fact that the people change, each new generation must face the same eternal problems, simply presented to us with new characters and context. Reading this week’s portion makes us realize how names and places change but the dramatic plot that we call life often repeats itself.
One of the central themes found throughout this week’s portion is a concept of commitment transformed into action. It is not style but substance that counts. The text cares less about words than it does about actions. For example, we read of Abraham’s commitment to his wife in seeking for her an appropriate burial site. We also learn about our national commitment in the purchase of the Ma’arat Ha’Machepelah (or Cave of the Multiplication) where the Bible’s first family is to be buried. Finally, we learn of about personal commitments as we study the loving relationship that develops between Isaac and Rebecca.
In every case within this week’s parashah this same theme seeps through: that commitment means having a plan and following through on that plan, that good ideas must be transformed into real actions. The parashah teaches us that commitment is also related to the concept of patience. To be patient is to have the fortitude to stick with a goal even when there are many obstacles along its path.
In the modern world we often suffer from a lack of patience. How often do we demand instant gratification? On the other hand, commitment in the extreme also can lead to our becoming obstinate, to a refusal to seek, when necessary, political and personal compromises.
How do we balance a sense of ethical commitment with the flexibility needed to survive in a dynamic and constantly changing world? One of the Torah’s answers is that the basis for our commitments must be the eternal ethics given to us by G-d. In other words, people change, but that eternal truths in a dynamic and ever-changing world are eternal. What do you think?