Please come to Friday night services via zoom tonight, Friday May 29 at 7 PM. We are honored that Adam Loewy will be giving an inspiring Dvar tonight. The topic is titled “the Lessons of Mr. Friedman” (with the topic devoted to Tzedakah). Adam is a personal injury lawyer and owner of the Loewy Law Firm. He and his amazing wife, Phil, are very active in the Austin Jewish community. They are the proud parents of two little boys, who keep them very busy. Adam has lived in Austin since 2000, and we are so happy to welcome him this evening.
This week we begin the reading of Sefer B’midbar with the parshah of the same name. The book is called “Numbers” in English because it begins with a census of the People of Israel-or more precisely, the military strength of the People of Israel. After over a year at the foot of Mt. Sinai, God is ready for the People to move towards the Land of Israel and fight for it.
Since Sunday is Rosh Hodesh, the New Month of Sivan, the haftarah is the one called “Mahar Hodesh”-“Tomorrow is the New Month”. It deals with the friendship between Yehonathan, the eldest son of King Shaul, and David Ben Yishai, who would himself become king, the founder of the royal dynasty of Judah. The friendship between the two is held up as the very best kind-one not based on anything but genuine love between two people. David and Yehonathan had no agenda with each other, and there were no expectations between them. When Yehonathan died in battle along with his father, David composed a beautiful dirge in his memory, and when he became king, the son of Yehonathan became a member of David’s court. We should all be so lucky as to have a friendship like that of David and Yehonathan, which did not end even with the death of one. Shabbat Shalom.
Hazzan Yitzhak Ben-Moshe
Candle lighting in Austin at 8:05 PM.
Mazal Tov to our Beth El BERS! We hope you have the best summer possible. Please look for special summer youth programs, including MITZVAH MENTSCHES, hangout and virtual game or movie nights, and an afternoon of social distancing on Town Lake Kayaks! Yesher Koach to our Dream team of teachers, Maya, Meital, Noa, Iris Daniel, Hila, Lorin, Bam and the Hazzan – and of course the awesome Carol Rubin! Our community values you so much and is truly blessed to have such amazing educators and families!
Our departure from Austin and from you was more immediate than we would have liked. We were hoping to say our proper goodbyes to all those who have been and are such a wonderful part of our lives. We do mean wonderful in all sense of the word. What a wonder it is that we came to Beth El to restore our Judaism, to learn and to explore the marvel that we all cherish so dearly. It’s the marvel that Jews are all about the same thing. We all want to be more than what we are at any one moment, and share in the pursuit of that. We teach and we learn and as we learn, we teach. We do these things for many personal reasons, but on one thing we all agree. Our heritage is so precious, so unbroken through so much adversity that we all feel a great responsibility to honor our ancestors who gave us so much. They gave us an undeniable certain knowledge that G-d is the best and only thing we can rely on and how to do that. Through Torah and mitzvot our lives can be more than we ever imagined. Through fellowship in this pursuit we all benefit.Gracie and I came to a Beth El because we were attracted to the Beit Kinneset family like atmosphere and community there. I, Jared, came after 40 years of not being so involved in Judaism since young adulthood. Gracie came after a generation had past for her, and 500 years had past from her Spanish roots. I knew I was Jewish beyond doubt because we were. I was Bar Mitzvah and spent more time in shul than I would have liked as a kid. Gracie knew she was because she asked her dad “is there any chance we are Jewish?” Her dad responded” “yes, I asked my father and he said yes” Gracie said “how do you know?” Her dad said “my father told me we are Jewish , but we are not bad people” So Gracie asked her dad “why didn’t he go to shul?” He said “because I was scared”. There was some family disconnect that was lost in Gracie’s dad’s generation. But when we came to Beth El , it was as if we had never left. Quickly, we knew who we were and what we desired to do. That was to live the rest of our lives as the best Jews we could be.I mentioned once to someone at Beth El how much Beth El had increased our yidishekeit. The response I got was that “oh no you have increased ours”. I was and am so touched by that. That’s what it’s all about and that is our greatest hope and obligation. An elder at Beth El says it all. He says” I really love this place”. We really love this place, what more is there to say? What’s not to love? The place is nice, the people are nice, the food is nice, the beer is cold and nice, and most of all the Torah is in its place in the shul and in our lives.I, Jared, was struck by the passing of Elaine Shapiro and all of our founders as if they were my family members and they were. What else could we possibly ask for? The dedication of our forebearers is more than evident. Beth El is what they envisioned and so much more. “Ma tovu ohalecha Yaakov mishcanatecha Yisrael.”” L’dor v’dor”. How goodly are your tents O Jacob, your dwelling places O Israel”, “Generation to Generation.”We are proud to be a part of that, to be that.