Rabbi Eichenholtz’s Message:
As Shavuot is upon us, I have been thinking about Torah. In our services when we take the Torah from the Ark we do so with the words “ וַיְהִ֛י בִּנְסֹ֥עַ הָאָרֹ֖ן וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֑ה קוּמָ֣ה ׀ יְהוָ֗ה וְיָפֻ֙צוּ֙ אֹֽיְבֶ֔יךָ וְיָנֻ֥סוּ מְשַׂנְאֶ֖יךָ מִפָּנֶֽיךָ׃ When the Ark was to set out, Moses would say: Advance, Adonai! May Your enemies be scattered, And may Your foes flee before You!” In the wilderness of the Torah, the Ark went out before the people, it was carried in front for guidance and protection. Not only was God showing the Israelites the literal path to follow but the belief was also that God was clearing the way, making it possible to journey more safely.
Though any reader of our Torah knows that despite God leading the way, the path isn’t straightforward, uncomplicated, and without hardship. Some of it comes from the Israelites own stubbornness and unwillingness to listen, some from external forces, and more still from God’s own testing, but ultimately that path is what brings us to the edge of the promised land, ready, willing, and able to cross over the Jordan and into Israel.
So what does any of this have to do with us today, as we have just ended the period of the Omer and begun the reading of the Book of Numbers, as we continue to count weeks of physical distancing, and yet we look to the phases of what comes next.
I am reminded in this time that, though we often think about the wandering in the wilderness as mostly the Israelites moving and complaining, actually when we look at the text, wandering is in fact in majority stillness and listening. From the moment we reached Sinai until the beginning of Numbers the Israelites are still at the foot of the mountain and listening to God, Moses, and each other. The Israelites are creating their community and building their infrastructure, physical and societal. They are learning about their relationships with each other and their relationship with God. By the end of the Bamidbar, we are once again still, no longer in the middle of the wilderness but now on the edge of the Jordan preparing to go into the promised land.
There has been quite a bit of stillness in our lives recently, and just as was true for the Israelites in Deuteronomy likely still more to come, but that does not mean we are untransformed. We have continued like our ancestors to build our community, our connections to one another, and to God. We have continued work on our physical sanctuary, even as we think more broadly about how and where God dwells among us.
The transition between receiving the Torah and planning their community, and putting it all into action was 40 years in the wilderness (and some conquering by Joshua), we don’t yet know what our transition between our planning now and what comes next looks like, but what I do know, what I’m certain of, is that we will continue to be together, be with God, and be Jewish, in our stillness and in our movement. We will continue to hold our values and our traditions dear, we will continue to learn and to grow together.
Our ancestors wandering in the desert, survived distance, plagues, and trials we can only imagine, but just as they did, so will we, just as they sometimes failed, so will we, just as they kept hope for the promised land, so will we.
As we enter this new month, this new book, this new season, may we all be blessed by our stillness and our wandering.
Shabbat Candle Lighting Times
Friday, June 5 – 8:00pm
Friday, June 12 – 8:03pm
Friday, June 19 – 8:06pm
Friday, June 26 – 8:07pm
**Services are online or over phone only**
Thursday Morning Minyan 8:30am
Friday Kabbalat Shabbat 6:30pm
Saturday Shabbat Service 9:30am
Sunday, June 7 at 9:30am over Zoom
If you need to make an appointment to speak to Rabbi Eichenholtz, please contact the office via phone or email to make an appointment. While the offices are closed to face-to-face meetings, Rabbi Eichenholtz is still available for consults over the phone.
The office will be closed:
Week of June 8 through June 12
Week of June 22 through June 26
Our Zoom link:
or use phone number: (646) 558-8656
Contact office for meeting ID and Password. Thank you!
*please download Zoom update by May 30*
MAY’S MITZVAH HEROES
The Worship Committee and Rabbi Eichenholtz
From the Ma’asim Tovim Jar:
This month our Ma’asim Tova Jar submission honors our Worship Committee and Rabbi Eichenholtz for their intensive efforts to allow us to be together at services even though we are physically apart. Thank you so much!
Send the office your submissions for the Ma’asim Tovim jar!
(Feel free to nominate yourself! Your good work counts, too)
You can call the office outside of business hours and leave an anonymous voicemail, submit anonymously through the “contact” link on our website, or just let SJ know!
On Reopening: We are closely watching the guidance of the Rabbinical Assembly and the USCJ. At this time, we plan for our building to be closed until at least mid-June.
We will keep you in the loop as this changes—check your email or our website regularly!
Details for upcoming events to follow. Thank you for your patience and understanding!
In these times of physical distancing, please make sure the CAA community knows how we can be of service. Contact the office or the Rabbi.
We wish everyone good health:
Here are some of the best ways to stay safe from coronavirus:
- Please stay home when you can
- Please wear a mask in public spaces to protect yourself and others
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others when outside or at grocery store, etc
- Wash your hands often, for 30 seconds, with soap
- Don’t touch your face
- Cover your cough with your elbow (not your hand!)
- Stay calm, stay in touch, stay safe!
Reminder: If you feel unsafe at home, help is available.
Journey to Safety is 1-781-647-JFCS (5327) –a program of Jewish Family and Children Services – Boston.
National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233 –also available by text and internet chat on their website.
We would also like to remind you that Congregation Agudat Achim has an online subscription to the Jewish Advocate. If you would like to read the Advocate online, please call SJ for details 978-534-6121
Sunday Community Learning
We resume our Sunday Learning Sessions with
Talmud Study on June 14 at 10:00 am.
All are welcome, no experience is required! Please join us!
The Joseph C. Foster Religious School cordially invites you to
Graduation and Closing Exercises
During Friday night services on Friday, May 29th at 6:30pm
The purpose of these brief sketches is to highlight members of our Agudat Achim community so that we may all get to know each other a little better. If you’d like to suggest someone else to spotlight, please contact me at 603 899-2221 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your feedback. –Roberta Gordenstein
I could probably write a book rather than a column about Mim Linsky but as she says, she’s 91 years old and has had a lot of experiences! The first thing she remembers growing up in Fall River is learning the ditty about Lizzy Borden that we New Englanders all know. After her father died when she was 14, she and the rest of her family went to live with her grandmother and aunt and uncles who all spoke Yiddish, so that was her second language. It was a very observant household.
Later she attended Sweet Briar College, majoring in English and French. She always loved to write and wrote advertising copy for Gilchrist’s Department Store in Boston. She also wrote the senior shows at Sweet Briar and the yearly musicals at the Jewish Community Center in Fitchburg. Besides writing, Mim loves listening to jazz and has an extensive collection of records of the jazz greats.
Mim was married to Elliott Linsky (Link), and together they had four children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Link was a chemical engineer for Borden Chemical Company, which is why they came to the area. Originally, they belonged to the Fitchburg shul but joined Agudat Achim for a younger congregation and Rabbi Lowenstein.
Mim and Link did a lot of traveling to Israel, Alaska, and the Caribbean. They were very active and Mim played tennis for a long time. In 1968 they were in New York and Link suggested she take the test to be a contestant on Jeopardy since she always knew the answers when they watched the program. She passed, and won $1500 in three days!
Mim is so enthusiastic and has a lot to say about her experiences and life in general. Next time you’re in shul, take the opportunity to chat with a fascinating member!
Congregation Agudat Achim’s Golden Book:
This June we highlight page 167 of our Golden Book, from June 2001:
“Honoring B’nai Mitzvot of
the Jewish Lifestyles Class of 2000-2001:
Jonathan Benson, Kira Lew,
Reesha Katcher, Kimberly Hanson, and Natanya Zadek
–Michelle Drury, teacher”
Thanks to everyone who participated in our CAA mask fundraiser!
Together you purchased over 180 masks, and raised over $2,000 for the synagogue!
Thank you for your generosity.
Our sympathies and condolences are extended to:
The family of Robert Chernoff who passed away April 30, 2020
The family of Baba Shirazi, who passed away May 1, 2020
Yahrzeits for June 2020
June 1-6: Ruth Borofsky, Lisa Buzanoski, Irvin Chaplin, Ralph Epstein, Rose Ensler, Rebecca Frankel, Naomi Hirschfield, Melvin Kahn, Ben Katz, Morris Nissenbaum, Jacob Parnes, Abraham I. Rome, Leon Rome, Lester Rome, Isaac Rosenberg, Jaqueline Rubin, Richard Schack, Gertrude Schwartz, Laurel Slotow, Harriet Spitaleri, Maxwell Treewater, Ida Winthrop, Benjamin Willner
June 7-13: Miriam Bernstein, Beccie Bolinsky, Bessie Britton, Sadie Britton, Louis Forgelman, Merrill Garber, Samuel Grand, Bess Green, Paulina Green, Samuel Horwitch, Meyer Isserliss, George F. Joseph, Calvin Kahn, Joshua David Kalin, Lillian Kay, Leyzer Kotlyar, Harry Levine, Rebecca Ligom, Julius Lowy, Lillian Rome, Etta Rosen, Blanche Shapiro, Lena Shuman, Estelle Tharler, Harris Winthrop, Harold Zibel
June 14-20: Jeannette Alt, Joan Augustine, Alice Bloom, Max Falk, Harry Flaum, Eva Friedman, Sarah Friedman, Janet Goldman, Herbert Jones, Vivienne Jones, Samuel Kahn, Joseph Levin, Zelda Lewis, Jennie Cline Mendelsohn, Miriam Rome, Israel Rosenbloom, Fannie Sarah Sharpe, Seymour Tharler, Gerald Wiederlight, Jack Weiner, Suzanne Winthrop
June 21-30: Isadore Braune, Bessie Brodsky, David Cohen, Edward Eli Dunn, Lessa Feingold, Ida Fine, Mollie Fiegar, Esther Flaum, Dorothy Gordenstein, Albert Greenfeld, Harry Greenfeld, Benjamin Hirsh, Israel H. Joseph, Lillian Kander, Corrine Levin, Fay McCrensky, Herman Medoff, Harry Benjamin Mendelsohn, Mary Ann Mendelson, Josef Monsberger, H. James Rome, Marilyn Rosenbaum, Sidney S. Shindler, Aziz Shirazi, Sylvia Sidlower, Eli Silverman, Shirley Student, May Wexler, Solomon Weinbaum, Benjamin Weiner, Rose Wolfson
CALENDAR FOR JUNE 2020
**all events are still remote via Zoom**
Thursday, June 4: Morning Minyan 8:30am
Friday, June 5: Kabbalat Shabbat—worship materials on our website & facebook
Saturday, June 6: Shabbat Services—Worship materials on our website and facebook.
>>Sunday, June 7: Annual Meeting 9:30am
>>Monday, June 8: Office Closed this week
Thursday, June 11: Morning Minyan 8:30am
Friday, June 12: Kabbalat Shabbat—worship materials on our website & facebook
Saturday, June 13: Shabbat Service—Worship materials on our website and facebook.
>>Sunday, June 14: Talmud Study Community Learning, 10:00am via Zoom all welcome!
>>Monday, June 15: Office Reopens
Thursday, June 18: Morning Minyan 8:30am
Friday, June 19: Kabbalat Shabbat—worship materials on our website & facebook
Saturday, June 20: Shabbat Service—Worship materials on our website and facebook.
>>Sunday, June 21: Talmud Study Community Learning, 10:00am via Zoom all welcome!
>>Monday, June 22: Office Closed this week
Thursday, June 25: Morning Minyan 8:30am
Friday, June 26: Kabbalat Shabbat—worship materials on our website & facebook
Saturday, June 27: Shabbat Service—Worship materials on our website and facebook.
>>Sunday, June 14: Talmud Study Community Learning, 10:00am via Zoom all welcome!
>>Monday, June 29: Office Reopens
**As of right now, services will remain via phone and online. We will keep you posted when we know more. Thank you for your patience and adaptability!