High Holy Days Survey-Tell us what you think!
What are you looking for in this year's High Holy Days? Fill out the survey and let us know.
TBH On-Site Activities Remain Suspended in Response to COVID-19
View the calendar and join us online
Re'eh, Deuteronomy 11:26 - 16:17 - Parshat Ha Shavua for Shabbat, Saturday, August 15, 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound negative economic impact on our country as many of us shelter-in-place, or fear to go to work or patronize businesses because of the danger of infection, serious illness, and potential death. As small businesses and restaurants close and many of our fellow citizens cannot work, they are in danger of losing their homes, being evicted, or not being able to afford food and medicine. Unemployment benefits have cushioned the blow for some, but the impact is still profound.
Read last week's commentary
This week’s Torah portion, Re’eh, speaks to this problem which existed in ancient Israel, just as it does today: “For there will never cease to be needy ones in your land, which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11).
Chizkuni (Rabbi Hezekiya ben Manoah, 13th C, Venice) notices that this verse begins with the conditional, “For, there will never cease…” and comments that the use of “For” means, “if perchance your actions were not charitable enough to prevent the existence of destitute people among you.” In other words, what have we done as a society to raise our fellow citizens out of poverty and what do we do when people fall into poverty? Chizkuni, makes it clear that poverty is not just a natural condition, but rather is a result of social action.
As individuals and a society, do we do as much as we can to end poverty? That is our moral challenge, particularly in this moment of economic crisis.
From the President
Another week has passed and we are no closer to being able to come together in person. It’s frustrating and at times infuriating. In Orange County, CA. one of my former students was assaulted while trying to enforce the mask requirement at her place of work. Two hundred and fifty thousand bikers gathered with no masks and no social distancing. They are bringing the virus back to every state in the union with the possible exception of Hawaii – it’s difficult to ride a Harley to Hawaii. This ignorance and/or selfishness is prolonging this misery and yes it infuriates me. Many of us are isolated and scared. Anxiety is not an irrational response to this pandemic.
Yet we, our TBH community, continue to support each other. It has been said that we are a small and mighty congregation. I would like to add resilient. We are creatively adapting to horrible circumstances and making things work. We are getting things done. I am confident that we will get through this and emerge stronger than ever.
We are Temple Beth Hillel.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Read last week's letter
High Holy Day Services 2020 - Coming Together in Awe
Shana Tova! With the continued surge in COVID-19 infections and concomitant restrictions currently in place, this year’s Temple Beth Hillel’s High Holy Days will be entirely online. They may not be in person, but they will not be virtual. They will be real! Our volunteer leadership is working with Cantor Shayndel and Rabbi Dean to create a rich experience. Our services will be different but they will be profound and meaningful. We will be worshipping together, as a community, online, but our services will be shorter.
In addition to these “synchronous” services, we will be providing a series of asynchronous events, study sessions, recordings of songs, videos of drashot and the Torah service, memories and reflections by congregants and clergy, to ensure that the coming Days of Awe are a profound and special time. We look forward to worshipping together and being in community with you. More information will be forthcoming soon.
Thanks so much to those congregants who filled out the 5 minute High Holy Days survey! It helps us so much to hear from you. For those who haven’t gotten to it yet, this is your last chance to take the survey. Here is a link to the survey.
We also need your participation. If you have something you would like to share with the congregation, for example, a favorite High Holy Day recipe, a memory, or a reflection, please let us know by contacting email@example.com
These are strange and different times. Our hope is that if we work together as a community we can create a High Holy Day observance that will be very different, but still meaningful.
Join us for community Shabbat candle lighting this Friday, August 14th at 7:00 PM
Let’s begin Shabbat together by lighting Shabbat candles. Please join us at 7:00
In this way we can all be together in this time of physical isolation.
Recurring Shabbat zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/517749891
You can also join by calling
1 (669)900-9128 Meeting ID: 517 749 891
One tap mobile
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TBH Sandwich-Making for the GRIP Souper Center -- Wednesday, August 26
Wednesday, August 26, is our Temple's next day to make sandwiches for GRIP. We each make about forty sandwiches (your choice) and bring them to the Temple parking lot at about 9:45 AM. Please put the sandwiches in individual baggies, place them in a bag or box, and label the type of sandwiches made. If you can make sandwiches that day and/or if you have any questions, please contact Jane Kaasa (510)222-3221 or (510)421-7331.
Notes from the Board, July 15, 2020
The board discussed finances, plans for conducting High Holy Days remotely, and the renewal of Cantor Shayndel’s contract.