July 16th, 2014

Sinai Update – Week of July 13-19, 2014

Parashat Mattot (Numbers 30:2 – 32:42)

Reflections on Current Events & the Torah Portion – Rabbi Andy Vogel

The Torah seems to approve of acts of warfare and revenge in this week’s Torah portion, including the killing of the Midianite women and their innocent children, and the anger of Moses. And yet, despite this narrative, the Rabbis of Jewish tradition oiced their discomfort with aspects of Moses’ and the Israelites’ behavior.

In Midrash Numbers Rabbah 22:4, the Rabbis imagine Moses’ internal struggle with God’s command to exact revenge. They write: “When the Holy One had told Moses, ‘Seek vengeance,’ God used the singular form of the verb (n’kom), meaning, ‘You yourself shall do it.’ But Moses sent others [by recruiting troops, and not going to war himself]! Moses thought: It is not right for me to cause distress to a people who have been good to me! As the proverb puts it: ‘Do not cast a stone into the cistern from which you drank.’”

This passage demonstrates the Rabbis’ discomfort with the Midianite war. Didn’t Moses experience compassion and shelter in Midian, and weren’t Moses’ wife and beloved father-in-law Jethro both Midianites? The Rabbis depict Moses as remembering his personal experiences with them, and as remembering that elements within the Midian people are capable of goodness and compassion. Indeed, they have been his very family members. Moses sees the basic humanity of those against whom he is commanded to engage in war. He is moved by this realization, moved to examine his personal responsibility regarding the war. This is an alternative perspective on violence, and it is our ancient Rabbis who give expression it.

Read the full D’var Torah: http://rabbiandyvogelsinai.blogspot.com/2014/07/dvar-torah-for-shabbat-mattot-numbers.html

-           Rabbi Andy Vogel

Shabbt Candles for Update

This Shabbat @ Temple Sinai  

Join us at 6:00 p.m. this Friday, July 18, for summer Shabbat services in air-conditioned Ehrenfried Hall, led by Temple Sinai members Jeremy Wolfe, Janet Richmond, Elynn Finkelstein and Janet James. The pre-service nosh is sponsored by Robin Orwant.  All are welcome!

In our lives….
We offer our condolences to our member, Ilse Leeser, on the death of her sister-in-law, Hilda Leeser, who passed away on Sunday, July 13, in New Jersey, after a long illness. Funeral services are scheduled for today in New Jersey.

The Reform Movement supports the “Stop the Sirens” campaign

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) is working to help support millions of Israelis in harm’s way, many huddled in bomb shelters. The Reform Movement has joined with the Conservative Movement and JFNA (the Jewish Federations of North America) to raise and distribute funds to provide emergency aid and alleviate the pain and suffering of our Israeli brothers and sisters. At times such as these we especially feel connected to our people. Please join the URJ in doing our part by contributing funds to this critical joint effort. To donate, click to: https://secure-fedweb.jewishfederations.org/page/contribute/operation-protective-edge


JCRC/CJP rally to support Israel, tomorrow, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

Five million Israelis have been the target of more than 1,000 rocket attacks from Hamas in the past week. Join community leaders and friends of Israel from around the region as we come together to let the world know we stand with Israel and its right to defend its citizens from terror. Rally to Support Israel: Thursday, July 17, 2014, at Congregation Mishkan Tefila, 300 Hammond Pond Parkway, Chestnut Hill, Doors open 6:30 p.m., Event begins 7:30 p.m. This is a free event. Please bring photo identification and allow time for traffic, parking and security check-in. Please leave bags at home. Signs brought from outside will not be allowed in. For more information or special accommodations, please contact Lauren at laurens@cjp.org or call 617-457-8848.

Adult Learning:   “Elijah: The Prophet Who Comes Back” – tonight  July 16, 7:30 p.m. in Weintraub Auditorium  

Every Pesach, we make room for Elijah. Every week, we sing about him at havdalah at the end of Shabbat. We don’t do these things for Isaiah, Ezekiel, Amos, or any of the prophets even though they have whole books named for them in the Tanach. Elijah just appears in a few chapters of Kings in the Bible, but he looms large in rabbinic midrash and folklore. For Christians, Elijah also represents a critical link between the Tanach and the Christian New Testament. Please join Temple members Robin Orwant and Jeremy Wolfe this July as we investigate this fascinating character. The class will take continue  on Wednesday evenings at7:30 p.m. on July  23, and 30 in Weintraub Auditorium.    Come to any or all of the sessions. All are welcome!

Join with your friends to root on the Red Sox at  Jewish Heritage Night at Fenway Park! Register for tickets  by July 23 

Sit with friends from Temple Sinai to root on the Red Sox, and join with hundreds of members of the Jewish Community from across Jewish Boston! Tickets for the game,  which takes place onWednesday evening, August 20, are available from the Temple office.  The   Right-Field Grandstand seats are $30 each (discounted from $40).  Please send a check, payable to Temple Sinai, by July 23, so we can order seats and sit together for a beautiful night of baseball & celebrating the Boston Jewish community!

Erev Tisha B’Av service – Monday, August 4, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

A combined Tisha B’Av service for members of Temple Sinai, Temple Israel and Temple Ohabei Shalom will take place at Temple Ohabei Shalom on Beacon Street on Erev Tish B’Av, Monday, August 4. All are welcome

Interested in a Master Plan update? – Board of Trustee meeting, August 7

Please come to the next Temple Sinai Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, August 7. The Board will meet in Executive Session at 7:30 p.m. However, at 8:00 p.m. the Master Plan Committee and Architect Don Mills will present cost outlines for each of the potential areas of work identified in the Master Plan as a follow-up to the congregational meeting on June 18. We look forward to your input as the Board of Trustees works to define the priorities for Temple Sinai – with the understanding that only a portion of the items identified can be completed in Phase 1. All are welcome.


Save the Date: Board meeting September 4: The Master Plan Committee will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees at the Thursday, September 4 Board meeting and the Board members will vote on the recommendations at that time. All Board of Trustee meetings are open to the general membership and Temple members are welcome to attend that meeting, too.

Crane Lake logoSunday, August 10 - Come visit Camp Eisner and Crane Lake Camp

Want to learn more about the Reform Jewish overnight camps Crane Lake and Camp Eisner? If so, join Mike Klau and Heidi Smith Hyde on Sunday, August 10 when they lead prospective families on a day long trip and tour of URJ Crane Lake and Eisner Camps in the Berkshires. Parents as well as prospective campers are welcome and encouraged to attend.  To learn more about our URJ camps, visit www.eisnercranelakecamp.urjcamps.org/index.cfm.

 “Parenting Through a Jewish Lens” class offered at Temple Sinai in the fall!

“Parenting Through a Jewish Lens,” sponsored by Hebrew College and Combined Jewish Philanthropies, is a ten-week program that brings expert facilitators together with caring parents to foster greater understanding of their vital role in their children’s lives. Using the wisdom of our Jewish forebears – biblical, rabbinical and modern – the class is a launching pad for exploring what it means to be parents today, raising Jewish children of all ages. We are pleased to offer this course at Temple Sinai in the fall, beginning Sunday, November 2, from 7:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. For more information and to register, please contact www.hebrewcollege.edu/parenting .

~Heidi Smith Hyde, Director of Education

Register NOW for trip to Eastern Europe, May 16-27, 2015!

You can now register for Temple Sinai’s congregational trip to Eastern Europe, including Budapest, Prague and Berlin, which will take place on May 16-27, 2015, led by Rabbi Vogel. Registration is limited to 30 participants, and will close when we reach that number, so register now through the ARZA Travel website, http://www.arzaworld.com/temple-sinai-brookline-europe-trip-2105-register.aspx. For more information, call ARZA or speak with Rabbi Vogel. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime tour with members of your synagogue community!

Oneg sponsors needed for our summer services  — and for next year, too! 

We are seeking  are sponsors for the “nosh” which precedes our summer services and for the onegs following services beginning in September.  .  If you have never sponsored an oneg/nosh before, written instructions are available and we would be happy to pair you with another member.  Many date choices available!  Please contact Kathy Arnstein, assistant@sinaibrookline.org if you can help.

Register for Religious School ONLINE

This year for the first time, we are doing ONLINE religious school registration. Please make sure you register your K – 12 child by visiting http://www.sinaibrookline.org/education/our-school/online-religious-school-registration/    In addition, to reserve your child’s place, kindly send in a $100 (per child) deposit  to Temple Sinai, 50 Sewall Avenue, Brookline, MA, 02446. Questions? Contact Director of Education, Heidi Smith Hyde, at 617-277-5883 or school@sinaibrookline.org .

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