Rabbi Zehavi’s Message…
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the attack on Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill. The rabbi has been in touch with the local clergy to offer our community’s condolences and blessings.
[Note: I wrote this message before the tragic events in Squirrel Hill. While the ills I write about, narcissism and isolation, do not address fully the horror of this attack or the hatred that motivated it, I believe the cure is the same: to affirm, in compassion and love, the interconnection of all people and to strengthen the bonds of respect and mutual support that are necessary to build the kind of world that we want to give to our children.]
The news coverage leading up to the midterm elections reminds me of a painful truth that is hard to deny: we live in a challenging time of alienation and isolation. There is much discussion of the loss of personal (and in-person) interaction, the decline of social organizations (including places of worship), and an increase in loneliness or, its twin, narcissism. It seems that many of us today shift back and forth between the sadness of being alone and the assertion that we and our whims are all that matter.
My teacher and recently installed Hebrew College President, Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, reminded me several weeks ago of the extent to which Jewish life and teaching push us away from this type and thinking to a very different insight: our individual inadequacy should be a source of joy.
The Talmud (Berakhot 63b) teaches: “The Torah can only be acquired when one studies in a group.”
Pirke Avot (ch. 10) hints at why this might be necessary. It lists 48 virtues that are required for acquiring Torah. Some of these relate directly to the student: attentiveness, a perceptive heart, insight, minimizing distractions, patience, awe, humility. Others address the student’s relationships: ministering to one’s teachers, clinging to one’s colleagues, knowing one’s place, contentment with one’s lot, loving God, loving all creatures, crediting one’s sources. These latter make it especially clear that truly worthwhile achievements are accomplished in relationship.
The Vilna Ga-on stresses the point further: “Torah is acquired through 48 virtues and whoever has more of these 48 has more Torah. But it is impossible for one person to have all 48; rather, one has some of them, another has others, so that collectively we have all 48. Only thus can all of Torah be acquired.”
If narcissism is the bandaid that we place over our feelings of loneliness and inadequacy, it may indeed bring relief but at the cost of healing. For what we truly need is each other. It is through teaching each other, complementing one another’s strengths, appreciating and honoring each other, that meaningful change happens.
As we head closer to winter, may we each strengthen the bonds that tie us to one another and that make true healing and growth possible.
Shabbat Candle Lighting Times
Friday, Nov. 2 – 5:17pm
Friday, Nov. 9 – 4:09pm**daylight savings ends**
Friday, Nov. 16 – 4:02pm
Friday, Nov. 23 – 3:57pm
Friday, Nov. 30 – 3:54pm
Fridays: 6:00 pm
Saturdays: 9:30 am
Thursdays: 7:15 Morning Minyan
Congregation Agudat Achim
will be holding a Veterans’ Service
Friday, November 9th at 6:00pm
Happy Birthday to
Adam Camerer, Lorne Carter, Xavier Cruz, and Madelyn Fisher!
Seth & Kim Arum are happy to invite the congregation to a Kiddush luncheon following services on November 10, when their daughter, Callia Arum will be called to the bimah as a Bat Mitzvah.
Please RSVP for the luncheon to Sarah Jane in the office or to the Arum family
(We have many pairs of prescription glasses in the lost and found in the lobby. If you are missing your glasses, please check the lost and found!)
I will be donating unclaimed glasses next month.
Thank you to everyone who has submitted their membership pledge forms!
If you haven’t sent back your form yet, please return it to Sarah Jane in the office as soon as possible. Thank you!
We are making a phone list for those who do not receive our emails:
If you would like me to notify you of scheduling changes via phone, please call the office. 978-534-6121
(If you are not on our email list and would like to be, please email email@example.com and let me know!)
Dave Fashing is looking to hold a game and trivia event for baseball fans in the community, most likely Nov. 25, and he needs a few volunteers to help him organize and run the event.
Please call Dave at 978-534-9550, or contact the office 978-534-6121 or reply to this email.
WE WANT TO BE GREENER:
We are looking to improve our sustainability practices here at Congregation Agudat Achim.
If you would like to be involved in helping us reduce our carbon footprint, we would love your help! We will be forming a committee to look into ways to reduce waste and increase efficiency.
We would especially like to invite our youth members to get involved and share their ideas!
Please contact the office to sign up. 978-534-6121, or reply to this email.
A big Thank You to everyone who donated to the cat shelter for Oliver’s Bar Mitzvah!
“CaRMaH is very appreciative of their generosity (and we are too!). Thanks so much to everybody who helped support Oliver!” –the Stevens family
Cat Rescue of Marlboro & Hudson posted a lovely thank you on their Facebook page:
“Oliver used his Bar Mitzvah to collect donations and raise funds for CaRMaH.
We are deeply touched by this young philanthropist and all of his guests. Thank you so much!”
See the post (and cute cat pictures) here:
Our own Gail Joseph is the featured artist at the Leominster Public Library for November!
Stop by the library’s community room
Monday to Thursday 9:00am-9:00pm, or Fri and Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm
to view her work.
Free parking in the lot behind the library, on Pearl St.
Rabbi Zehavi is excited to invite you for upcoming opportunities for middle/high school students, approx. ages 13-16:
- On Friday night, November 2nd, we look forward to welcoming the youth from First Church in Sterling to continue their study of Judaism through a discussion with us at 5:00pm, followed by Kabbalat Shabbat at 6:00pm. It would be wonderful and enriching to have our families participate that evening as well.
- The following Sunday, November 4th 12:00-2:00pm, a group of Christian students will visit us at the synagogue and the Rabbi will lead a program introducing them to Judaism. Please consider participating to help welcome them, take part in discussing their thoughts and questions, and thinking about Judaism through their eyes.
RUMMAGE SALE 2019 !
Sunday, November 4th, 8 a.m. to 12 noon
Volunteers needed for:
set-up the week before, during the Sale, and break-down on Nov. 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*no longer taking donations*
Please contact Rachel Carter
30 Years of Jewish Learning
Saturday, Nov 17 5:30-10:00pm
Congregation Beth Israel
15 Jamesbury Drive, Worcester MA
Join us November 17th for this annual event which brings together Jewish communities from around the region
for a special Havdalah service and Melaveh Malka songfest, followed by classes led by local Rabbis, cantors, and Jewish educators.
A list of offered classes is available on the table in waiting area outside SJ’s office, or online at www.jewishcentralmass.org/torathon
These hour-long classes will be offered from 7:00-10:00, followed by a dessert reception and social hour.
Tickets are $20 in advance (before Nov 15) or $25 at the door
(Student tickets $5 in advance or $10 at the door)
www.jewishcentralmass.org/torathon to order advance tickets
“Turning Thanks into Action” – An Interfaith Community Gathering
Sunday, November 18, 3:30pm
Congregation Agudat Achim **The service has been moved to CAA in a demonstration of solidarity–please come here to the synagogue for the service!**
583 Main Street, North Leominster
Please join other local congregations for an interfaith service on the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 18.
Each congregation is asked to bring cookies to share for a “potluck reception” following the services, as well as canned and dry goods for the offering.
*more information to follow nearer the date*
We received a lovely thank you letter from MIHN:
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and guest families of the Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network,
we wish to thank [Congregation Agudat Achim] for your generous donation of assorted goods [from your High Holiday donation drive].
Thank you for your continued support of MIHN and our families.
Dr. Jon Hogue, Executive Director
Thank you so much for supporting the MIHN homeless shelter.
The items will surely be used! –God Bless, Jon”
CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 2018
Thursday, November 1: Morning Minyan 7:15am
Office closing early at 3:00pm
Friday, November 2: Youth Event—First Church in Sterling visits CAA
for interfaith discussion, 5:00pm all youth welcome to join!
followed by Kabbalat Shabbat 6:00pm
Saturday, November 3: Shabbat service 9:30am
**Set your clocks back on Saturday night!
Sunday, November 4: Rummage Sale 8:00am – 12:00pm
Youth Event—Christian and Muslim students visit CAA
for introduction to Judaism w Rabbi Zehavi 12:00pm – 2:00 pm all youth welcome!
Wednesday, November 7: By-laws Committee meeting 7:00 – 9:00pm
Thursday, November 8: Morning Minyan 7:15am
Friday, November 9: Kabbalat Shabbat and Veterans’ service 6:00pm
Saturday, November 10: Shabbat service 9:30am
Callia Arum’s Bat Mitzvah
Monday, November 12: Executive Board Meeting 7:00pm
Board Meeting 7:30pm
Thursday, November 15: Morning Minyan 7:15am
Friday, November 16: Kabbalat Shabbat 6:00pm
Saturday, November 17: Shabbat service 9:30am
Tot Shabbat 10:30am
Torathon 5:30pm at Congregation Beth Israel
Sunday, November 18: “Turning Thanks into Action”
Interfaith Community gathering, 3:30pm at Congregation Agudat Achim **note new location**
Tuesday, November 20: No religious school
Thursday, November 22: Morning Minyan 8:30am (note later time)
Friday, November 23: Kabbalat Shabbat 6:00pm
Saturday, November 24: Shabbat service 9:30am
Sunday, November 25: No religious school
Thursday, November 29: Morning Minyan 7:15am
Friday, November 30: Kabbalat Shabbat 6:00pm
“Yahrzeits for November 2018”
Nov 1-10: Vilge Angelini, Ellen Black, Jacob Bloom, Sandi Braune, Samuel Claman, Morris Coplon, Zygmunt Gabel, Bertram Gaynor, Arthur Goldstein, Sana Gould, Louis Hard, Joe Joseph, Minnie Lazarowitz, Abe Levin, Abraham Levine, Maurice Messerman, Julius Miller, Harry Nathanson, Julia Newmark, Arthur Rafer, Sally Ross, Sarah Sarkin, Robert Schwartz, Harriet Sirota, Netty Weedon, David Zerinsky, Jack Zonderman
Nov 11-17: Shirley Bloom, Jerry Boro, Marvin Charney, Mordecai Cohen, Eli Ebb, Charlotte Feingold, Frances Goldfarb, Ane Grossman, Annie Horwitch, Irene Levine, Morris Levine, Rose Lipkind, Sarah Novick, James Poppel, Bette Robinson, Freda Sandrof, Abram Weinstein
Nov 18-24: Milton Bernstein, Sadie Borowsky, Edith Brenner, Pearl Cohen, Simon Cohen, F. Drury, Nathan Aaron Feinberg, Jean Freed, Samuel Goldfarb, Pearl Graham, Meyer Green, Anne Grossman, Dora Jaffe, Moses Kander, Bertha Kerzner, Ruth Levin, David Mankoff, Rebecca Marshall, Lee Rome, Abraham Rothstein, Samuel Sandrof, Ruth Shaevel, Michael Simmons, H. Peter Solomon, Pinachas Tieger, Wallace Weinbaum
Nov 25-30: Harry Berger, Jacob Borowsky, Abraham W. Britton, Marjorie Brodkin, Sidney Feinberg, Louis Feingold, Sylvia Gaynor, June Gill, Benjamin Goldberg, Bessie Goldberg, Adeline Heimberg, Jack Herman, Bella Holzer, Felice Lubin, Rosalyn Malin, Joseph Muller, Bertha Nissenbaum, Harry Rice, Howard Rome, Samuel Skurnick, Ida Weisner