High Holy Days Survey
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
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Devarim, Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22 - Parshat Ha Shavua for Shabbat, Saturday, July 25, 2020
Moses is described as “the most humble of all men.” (Numbers 12:3). Commenting on this quality, Ibn Ezra (14th C. Spain) writes, “Moses never asked for recognition, nor reward.” In other words, he did not lead to serve his ego, or for his own glory, but because God chose him to do so. Moses’ model of leadership was service.
This week we begin the fifth and final book of the Torah, Deuteronomy (repetition in Greek) or Devarim (words in Hebrew). This book is Moses’ final oration to the Israelites; his last opportunity to instill God’s laws, values and behaviors before they enter the Land of Israel.
Moses, who was once afraid of speaking, now finds the words for a final testament and teaching. Despite his humility he finds the ability to leave an ethical will for the people he has shepherded for the last 40 years. It is his final act of service.
Moses’ model of leadership seems in short supply these days, especially during this time of national crisis. Our leaders are more interested in acquiring wealth and power, justifying their behavior, and satisfying the needs of those who provide them with the funds needed for reelection.
How refreshing would it be to have leaders whose primary goal was to serve the needs of the nation? How much stronger and healthier might our society be? Perhaps it is time we sought out such leaders.
Read last week's commentary
From the President
This week, I want to give a huge thank you to Jane Kaasa and Arnold Farber for organizing our GRIP Wednesdays. I am writing this almost immediately after delivering sandwiches to the TBH parking lot to have them delivered to GRIP and I am humbled by the number of sandwiches donated by so many of us. In the midst of a pandemic, when GRIP in-person meal service cannot happen, and so many of us fear for our health and the health of people we love, TBH members worked for hours buying ingredients, assembling, bagging, labeling and delivering hundreds of sandwiches. Even in difficult times our dedication to Tikkun Olam and our community has remained strong. I am prouder than ever to be part of this small and mighty community and honored to serve as president.
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 Changes for 2020
With the continued surge in COVID-19 infections and concomitant restrictions currently in place, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to hold High Holy Day services at our synagogue, either indoors or outdoors. We also have many members who are in high-risk groups for serious health consequences from COVID, thus making congregant health and safety our first priority based on the Jewish principle of pikuach nefesh, that saving life is a paramount value.
This means that our Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services will be on-line. This will be a very different experience than in the past. The Ritual Committee, Cantor Shayndel and Rabbi Dean are working to create an experience that will be meaningful but also different, including live services on Zoom, which will probably be shorter than our usual services. We are exploring a number of “extra” programs that will be available to congregants online at any time, such as teachings and guided meditations to help promote times of deep reflection and teshuvah (penitence).
We will need your help. Last week you received a High Holy Day survey, which is critical to our planning and to responding to congregant needs. To date we have received 22 responses. We need your input. If you have not responded, please do. Here is a link to the survey. 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, we would like to find a way to share that.
Our high holiday choir will be virtual! If you are interested in joining the choir, please reach out to Cantor Shayndel firstname.lastname@example.org and Maggie 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, July 24 at 7:00 PM
Let’s begin Shabbat together by lighting Shabbat candles. Please join us at 7:00
.You can also join by calling:
1 (669)900-9128 Meeting ID: 517 749 891
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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.
Calling All Members - Photos Needed
As most of you have likely seen over the years, we do an annual postcard with the dates of the holidays and celebrations for the Temple, highlighted and accented with photos from the past year of Temple events and members that represent our wonderful community. Check your cellphones and cameras for some wonderful moments that we can share. Please send your photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.