Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Ain – December 1, 2017

Shabbat Shalom! This week we read Parashat Vayishlach. In this Torah portion, God tells Jacob to return home. Worried that his brother Esau will kill him, Jacob divides his clan into two camps, so at least some will survive in case of a fight. Jacob sleeps alone in the desert and is awoken by an angel who wrestles him through the night. Jacob survives and is blessed by the angel and renamed Israel. Jacob meets his brother and, surprisingly, they embrace. Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, is raped by Shekhem, who then proposes to Jacob that he marry her. Shimeon and Levi brutally murder Shekhem and his clan. Rachel has another child, whom she and Jacob name Benjamin.

Friday night services are at 6:15 pm and Saturday morning services are at 9:15. Candle Lighting is at 4:11 pm. There is Jr. Congregation at 10:30 am and Tot Shabbat at 11 am. We will celebrate as Adam Kaplan become as Bar Mitzvah.

Thought question: In light of the news scandals about sexual harrassment and abuse it is telling the the Torah portion this week names such an incident. However, Dinah’s voice is never heard. It isn’t until Anita Diamant’s, The Read Tent, that her voice is heard. How do we elevate women’s voices today to be able to share their story?

I would like to thank all those who fasted this week in honor of the fallen Torah. They include: Joe Baratz, Laine Rosenbluth, Hal Brill, Susan Goodman, Vera Winitch, Ann Brown, and Ethan Lippman .

Here are reflections of many of those who completed their fast during this past week:

Vera Winitch

I promised myself I would attend morning minyan to begin my fast. Upon entering the Sanctuary, I was greeted by my SPS family. It mattered not that I rarely attend morning minyan:  their smiles, their warmth melted the block of anger lodged in my chest, caused by an email I had received earlier. I remained after minyan to slowly reread last Shabbat’s parsha, Vayetzev: sibling rivalry, insignificance of women, deception, dishonesty, a stairway, and angels of God.  In the notes, I also read how “we ascend toward God, one step at a time, making small changes in our lives…miss a step falling back, but we recover and keep climbing….” I read how we need different “angels” to guide us. Indeed, SPS minyanaires were my “angels” the day of my fast, surrounding me with comfort. I was at morning minyan to fast, to show respect for our fallen Torah. I left with gratitude for our Torah and the joy with which being Jewish fills me.


Hal Brill

I woke up early yesterday realizing that I was fasting and thought that I should at least read some Torah, the lunch time arrived with me wanting to eat, but quickly passed and night came really fast. A daytime fast this time of year is really no trouble at all and I am glad to have participated.


Ethan Lippman

I think it’s all about showing remorse for a mistake that was made.  Because the torah fell, we, as a community, must band together for 40 days to fast and show the respect to the torah that it deserves.

There’s a few highlights in it for me:

1) Humility – we made a mistake, we must find humility in that

2) Remorse – we disrespected something holy, we must be remorseful in that

3) Community – as a community, in hard times, we must come together, lean on each other, and succeed as one unit


PLEASE NOTE: In light of the upcoming conclusion of the 40 days of fasting on DECEMBER 21, please join with me at SPS at 5 pm to study Torah and to conclude the fast with the mincha/maariv service together. 

UPCOMING EVENTS

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS’ SHA-BAPPY HOUR
Friday evening December 8th, following services
Giving Season: Sha-bappy Hour
We encourage you to join us whenever you can at Friday night services but especially on December 8. Following services, there’ll be a cocktail reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, plus a special Holiday season program.
As this is a Social Action-based evening, we will be inviting representatives from a group of “giving” organizations to discuss their missions and tell us how our donations can help them in their work.

IMPORTANT SHABBAT MORNING SPEAKER

On Saturday Morning December 9 we will welcome Mark Hetfield, the CEO of HIAS, who will share his thoughts on the role the Jewish community can play in welcoming the stranger. CLICK HERE for details.


NIGHTS OUT WITH THE MEN’S CLUB

Do you want to get to know fellow SPS members! Come to a NY Islanders Hockey Game with the Men’s Club. CLICK HERE for more information for this December 11 Outing or join them on Thursday night December 14th for a Latke making party! CLICK HERE for more details.

CHANUKAH TOY DRIVE

It’s that time of year again to start shopping for the Chanukah toy drive that will benefit Mishkon. The toy drive will take place in the lobby from Monday, November 27 through Friday, December 8th.
Please bring all donations UNWRAPPED as we will be holding two afternoons of wrapping paper decorating/gift wrapping as a way for our KNS children to be even more connected to this charitable initiative.
 

PLEASE NOTE THAT MISHKON HAS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED THE FOLLOWING TOYS:

* GAMES
* PUZZLES (BIG PIECES IF POSSIBLE)
* REGULAR PUZZLES
* ARTS AND CRAFTS
* CHILDREN’S BOOKS
* TOYS THAT MAKE NOISE
* TOYS THAT LIGHT UP

If you’re bringing a toy that requires a battery, kindly include the battery with your donation.

WELCOME OUR NEW MEMBERS at a A CHANUKAH MUSICAL KABBALAT SHABBAT SERVICE, DINNER & MORE
All members of SPS are invited to a very special program and dinner on FridayNight December 15th where we will welcome our newest members to the SPS family.
Kabbalat Shabbat Musical Service: (Note special time) 5:30 – 6:15 pm
OR
KabalTOT Service: 5:45 – 6:15 pm (2nd floor of SPS building)
THEN:
Dinner: 6:15 pm we will all join together in the ballroom for food, fun & festivities – something for everyone.
$25 per person – children 12 and under are free
Complimentary for all members who joined after January 1, 2017
Mark your calendar and make your reservation NOW!
Email sps@spsnyc.org or call office 212-593-3300
Debby Eisenson, Dinner Chair


Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Ain