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Newsletter as PDF
P
PO
O Box
Box 17101
17101
Groenkloof
Groenkloof
0027
0027
www.betmenorah.org.za
www.betmenorah.org.za
President
President :: Wilfred
Wilfred Lautenberg
Lautenberg
Oct / Nov Newsletter 2016
Message from the President………
Parshiot for Sept / Oct……………..
A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady….
Art Spot …………………………….
Birthdays for September / October.
2
3-7
8 - 11
12
13
Services at Bet Menorah:
High Holiday Period 2016 ………. 14
Service Schedule …………………. 15
The Shabbat Project……………… 15
YAHRZEITS IN MEMORIAM…….. 16, 17
What’s on the Net…………………. 18
http://www.betmenorah.org.za
1
Visit
Visit our
our website!
website!
It is that time of the year again and may I, in my
personal capacity and on behalf of the Council of
Bet Menorah, wish all our members a happy and
healthy new year and well over the fast. It is yet
again pleasing to note that Bet Menorah will be
holding all the services required over this period
and thank you to all those that were involved in
enabling us to continue achieving our goal. Thank
you also to our choir for your valuable input.
Please assist in filling as many seats as possible
during this period and thereafter.
Shana Tovah.
Daily Yiddish
Bubbe (or bobe). It means grandmother, and bobeshi is the
more affectionate form. Bubele is a similarly affectionate word,
though it isn’t in Yiddish dictionaries.
2
Parshiot for
October/November
21 / 22 October – 19 / 20 Tishrei
(CHOL HA-MO’ED SUKKOTH)
Exodus 33: 12 to 34: 26
Our Torah portion for this special Shabbat Chol HaMo’ed Sukkoth recounts how Moses obtains from God
the promise to lead the Israelites personally to the
Promised Land, as well as a favour to allow Moses to
see God’s presence made manifest – albeit only from
behind. It further describes the renewal of the
Covenant between God and the Israelites following the
episode with the Golden Calf, with Moses replacing the
stone tablets he had smashed on that occasion, and
features the enumeration of God’s attributes of mercy,
famously recited three times on Festival Days when
removing the Torah from the Ark. This is followed by a
summary of mitzvoth to be observed by the Israelites
when entering the Promised Land, including the
destruction of the tribes already inhabiting it along with
their religious artefacts, the observance of the Feast
Days and Shabbat, the consecration of the firstborn
and the prohibition against boiling a kid in its mother’s
milk – the origin of the custom of separating meat and
dairy. (The haftarah is Ezekiel 38: 18 to 34: 26 and
prophesies the destruction of Israel’s enemies,
represented by the nations of Gog and Magog).
3
Parshiot for
October/November
28 / 29 October – 26 / 27 Tishrei (B’REISHIT)
Genesis 1: 1 to 6: 8
As another year commences we return once more to the
opening words of the Torah scroll and contemplate anew their
significance for us and our lives, recognising in the very first
line those seeming anomalies that allow for deeper analysis:
the absence of a definite article before the word “beginning”,
the odd choice of verb, and the plural subject. It is not “in the
beginning” but rather something closer to “at first”, or
“originally”, or even “in olden days”, signifying the beginning of
the story rather than of everything. This is reinforced by the
verb, literally meaning “to form by cutting” and suggesting a
pre-existing matter shaped into more useful stuff (rabbinical
opinion held that the universe was created from a part of God
himself). The plural subject (“gods” rather than “god”)
continues the theme of plurality, as does the invocation of
“heavens and earth”. The idea is one of orderliness created
from a former chaos via separation, in this possibly drawing
from a Zoroastrian influence (the latter religion, popular in
Babylonia during the time of the exile, held its creator god as
one who creates by making order out of chaos). In contrast to
Zoroastrianism however, Judaism acknowledges no dualistic
counterbalance to the orderly creator, forever seeking to reimpose primeval chaos, but holds God as sole source of
everything. Thus one can read the creation story as one of
divine dualism, with God’s mind imposing order on his own
material being in order to spark the evolution of all things (in
this model the mind-matter dichotomy would be represented
by the terms “heavens” and “earth”, a format to be mirrored in
God’s earthly agent, man). (The haftarah is Isaiah 42: 5 to 43:
10, and sets forth the following responsibilities of God’s
people: to be a light unto the nations, to open the eyes of
those deprived of illumination and to rescue prisoners from
confinement).
4
Parshiot for
October/November
4 / 5 November – 3 / 4 Cheshvan (NOACH)
Genesis 6: 9 to 11: 32
The opening verses of this portion opposes the “perfect
righteousness” of Noah to the “corruption” filling the rest of the
world, the use of the words “just” and “honest” to describe the
former suggesting that the corruption in question should best
be read as referring to widespread dishonesty and injustice
(as opposed to purely sexual immorality, which is often the
more common implication). This corruption is said to flourish
in the face of “the gods” (as per a literal translation), while
Noah himself is described as also “walking with the gods”. Of
course there are scholarly theories positing that Judaism may
have traversed a polytheistic stage early on in its evolution,
yet in our text the customary word for God (as mono-deity)
appears shortly after in its regular manner lacking definite
article. This suggests that the previous usages of the word
should not necessarily be interpreted as referring to divinity
but rather in a lesser fashion (for instance as “angels”, a notunknown employment of the same term). In this regard it
might be imagined that the purpose of the verses in question
is to convey a metaphorical or symbolic meaning rather than a
literal one, the way we might refer to a good person as being
“on the side of the angels”. The implication then is that Noah
was a man who observed the principles of justice and integrity
even in a world where such observance had become
outmoded, and that he did not sacrifice his principles for the
sake of expediency or gain. (The haftarah is Isaiah 54: 1 to
55: 5 and describes the reconciliation of God and his people
after a period of opposition and abandonment, doing so by
using the imagery of a husband and wife making peace after a
quarrel).
5
Parshiot for
October/November
11 / 12 November – 10 / 11 Cheshvan
(LECH L’CHA)
Genesis 12: 1 to 17: 27
Our portion opens with the famous command by God to
Abraham to leave his father’s house and travel to the land
of Canaan where, God says, he will make Abraham into a
great nation. At this point there is no talk of inheriting the
land itself, and no implied connection between Abraham,
his descendants and what would eventually be called the
“Promised Land”. But Abraham is told that all the families
of the earth would be blessed through him, an important
point. Far from merely electing Abraham for special
favouritism without regard for the rest of humanity, this
declaration instead suggests that Abraham is to become a
kind of divine instrument through which God would act so
as to improve the world for all humanity. In this way the
verse foreshadows the eventual obligation placed upon the
Israelites, namely to be a “nation of priests” and a “holy
nation” (i.e. a people charged with looking after and
advancing the spiritual welfare of their fellow humans).
Thus Abraham is deliberately uprooted from the comforting
confines of his family and his familiar surroundings, thus to
break through the introversion such security can create
and obliging him to interact with the rest of the world. In
this way God is able to work through Abraham and use
him as a means of affecting the peoples of the earth in a
positive way, advancing the causes of justice and sanctity
in exemplary fashion. (The haftarah is Isaiah 40: 27 to 41:
16; it instructs God’s people not to fear but to place their
trust in divine salvation).
6
Parshiot for
October/November
18 / 19 November – 17 / 18 Cheshvan
(VAYEIRA)
Genesis 18: 1 to 22: 24
This section recounts the famous tale of Abraham hosting
either God himself or three angels (interpretations vary)
and his subsequent efforts to save the city of Sodom from
divine wrath and destruction. It seems clear from the
narrative that God has little intention of leaving the city
unscathed and that his indulgence of Abraham’s objections
is somewhat akin to that of a father humouring a child
without taking him too seriously. Yet the moment is an
important one, since it represents Abraham’s accepting on
himself the quintessential responsibility of being Jewish.
Just before the encounter God decides to confide his plans
to Abraham precisely because the latter was chosen to
raise his offspring in a religious manner and “doing charity
and justice” (Gen 18:19), thus demonstrating that the
special nature of Jewish “chosen-ness” lies not primarily in
some nebulous genetic or cultural characteristic but in
serving as an active force for good in the world. And by
standing up for the rights of the innocent (and ultimately
even the wicked), Abraham demonstrates his willingness to
accept this role for himself and his descendants. If we are
truly to be “children of Abraham” then it is not enough
mindlessly to maintain religious rituals or to bury ourselves
in some empty cultural or nationalistic sense of “Jewish
identity”, but rather to work daily towards the promotion of
charity and justice and thus to help make the world a better
place. (The haftarah is II Kings 4: 1 to 37, describing two
acts of charity performed by the prophet Elisha and
suggesting that our generosity and kindness will indeed be
7
rewarded one day).
“A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady”
1 of 4
In 1890, Ray Frank became the first woman in the US
allowed to give a sermon on Yom Kippur, and although
she spoke with reference to her own community, her
sentiments remain relevant for us today:
Ladies and Gentleman, and - considering this is Yom
Kippur eve, I know you will permit me to say - friends,
brothers and sisters; for surely to-night is one of the most
solemn and sacred periods in the lives of Israelites, for tonight, at least, we must be brother and sister in letter and
spirit. My position this evening is a novel one. From time
immemorial the Jewish woman has remained in the
background of history, quite content to let the fathers and
brothers be the principals in a picture wherein she shone
only by a reflected light. And it is well that it has been so;
for while she has let the stronger ones do battle for her
throughout centuries of darkness and opposition, she has
gathered strength and courage to come forward in an age
of progressive enlightenment and do battle for herself if
necessary, or prove by being a noble helpmeet how truly
she appreciates the love which shielded her past.
I can scarcely tell you how much I feel the honor you have
this evening conferred upon me in asking me to address
you. For a woman to be at any time asked to give counsel
to my people would be a mark of esteem; but on this night
of nights, on Yom Kippur eve, to be requested to talk to
you, to advise you, to think that perhaps I am to-night the
one Jewish woman in the world, mayhap the first since the
time of the prophets to be called on to speak to such an
audience as I now see before me, is indeed a great honor,
an event in my life which I can never forget…
8
“A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady”
2 of 4
I have been requested to speak to you concerning the
formation of a permanent congregation. On Rosh Hashana
I was surprised to find such a large number of you
assembled here for worship, and at that time the idea of a
permanent congregation first occurred to me. Mentioning
the matter to some of the prominent Jewish gentlemen of
Spokane, I was informed that the number of Hebrews and
their financial standing was sufficient to warrant an
established congregation. “Then,” said I, “how is it you are
content to go on this way having neither schule nor a
Sabbath School? Do you think you are doing right towards
yourselves, towards your children who are growing up
without a creed of any kind, a most dangerous thing for
society and a most ungrateful way of paying tribute to God.”
I was answered that such a difference of opinion existed
among you, so many were prejudiced against reform, the
remainder stubborn for orthodoxy, that it would be a
hopeless task to organize a permanent congregation. Think
of it, ye Israelites, the “chosen of the earth,” so divided as
to how you will worship Jehovah that ye forget to worship at
all! You who have received divine protection through
centuries of danger and oppression, you whom the
prophets say are to survive for the grandest destiny of man,
you to whom has been vouchsafed every blessing,—
because you cannot agree as how you will do this or that,
how you will say thank you, Almighty, therefore you do not
say it at all. O, you intend saying it all in good time! There
may be repentance at the eleventh hour, but who can say
which hour may not be the eleventh one? This is the time
for action—right now, and our solemn Yom Kippur is the
right now of our existence.
Now is a most excellent time for you to consider the
question. It is the time for you to decide whether you will
effect a permanent organization or whether you will
continue to go on and hold only one or two services a year.
9
“A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady”
3of 4
There are here, I know, certain disagreements as to the form
of worship, whether we should cling to the old orthodox style
or take up the reform that has gradually been instituted in the
Jewish church.
This is a progressive age, and some of the customs of two or
three thousand years ago will not do for to-day, and at the
same time many customs which were good then are just as
good now, and can be just as appropriately used. It would be
well for you to throw aside all little disagreements and unite in
the one cause—that of upholding the creed of our religion…
Whatever you do for religion, or whatever you give, must be
voluntary and sincere. Coming here because your neighbor
does is not religion; neither is it religion to give a certain
amount because some one else has done the same. True
religion is true repentance for our many sins and mistakes.
…You have always said that in union there is strength,
therefore it is necessary that you should unite, giving help to
each other through the creed you all believe in. Drop all
dissension about whether you should take off your hats during
the service and other unimportant ceremonials, and join
hands in one glorious cause. We are all Israelites, and
anxious to help one another. Look up to our creed and live up
to it. It is not necessary to build a magnificent synagogue at
once; that can be done in time. The grandest temples we
have ever had or the world has ever known were those which
had the blue sky for a roof, and the grandest psalms ever
sung were those rendered under the blue vaults of heaven…
Form yourselves into a permanent congregation as soon as
possible, and organize a Sabbath school. Unless one is
established soon your children will grow up without any creed
at all.
10
“A Lay Sermon by a Young Lady”
4 of 4
One must believe in something, and one must
have faith in something or become a menace to
society. Keep one day holy, and teach your
children to do the same. It isn’t good for you to
do as you are doing. We are no longer a nation
of people, although we are often spoken of as
such. We have no ruler, but are simply citizens
of the country we live in. We are loyal to the civil
rule that governs us, and we should be loyal to
the religious rule that we all bow to.
Friends, I thank you for the patience with which
you have listened to me, and in the name of all
we Hebrews hold most dear, I ask you to be
patient with each other. Drop all personal feeling
in this matter, and meet each other half way
over your differences; give each other a hearty
handshake for the sake of the cause, and I
prophesy Heaven will crown your efforts with
peace and prosperity.
From to-night on resolve to be something.
11
ART SPOT
Yosl Bergner was born in Vienna in 1920,
and is the son of Melech Ravitz, a Yiddish
poet. Bergner grew up in Warsaw and in
1937, he and his family emigrated to
Australia. In 1950, Bergner moved to Israel
eventually settling in Tel Aviv. He was
awarded the 1979-1980 Israel Prize for his
paintings. Bergner is also well known for
designing scenery and costumes for the
theatre, and has also illustrated several
books.
Yosl Bergner's style
incorporates several
areas
from
expressionism
to
surrealistic painting
with
characteristic
Israeli elements. In
recent years, he has
returned
to
expressive painting
void of surrealistic
features.
Since
1950, he has held
several exhibits of
his work in both
Israel, and abroadin Europe, Brazil,
and elsewhere. His
pieces
hang
in
museums
and
private
collections
across the globe.
12
A very Happy Birthday to all
members who are celebrating their
birthdays during
October & November
Karen Batley
Lauren Blumberg
Tali Cassidy
Tamar Cassidy
Merle Cohen
Joshua de Miranda
May Horwitz
Joel Levy
Kitty Schneider
Rosetta Suttner
Liesl Wolder
Merwyn Wolder
We apologise for any omissions and appeal to all
our members to notify the office of any simchas,
bereavements, achievements and news.
13
Services
Services at
at Bet
Bet Menorah
Menorah for
for
the
the High
High Holy
Holy Day
Day Period
Period
2016
2016 (5777):
(5777):
Erev Yom Kippur (Kol Nidrei):
Evening
Tue.
11 Oct. @ 18:00
Yom Kippur:
Morning
Wed. 12 Oct. @ 10:00
Minchah
Wed. 12 Oct. @ 15:00
Yiskor Wed. 12 Oct. @ 16:30
Ne’ilah Wed. 12 Oct. @ 17:30
Break Fast & Sukkah building @ 18:40
Sukkot:
Evening
Morning
Sun.
Mon.
16 Oct. @18:00
17 Oct. @10:00
Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah:
Evening
Morning
Sun.
Mon.
23 Oct. @ 18:00
24 Oct. @ 10:00
Morning service including Yiskor
14
Lay
Lay Leadership
Leadership is
is
scheduled
scheduled to
to lead
lead the
the
following
following services:
services:
October
Fri 14
Shabbat Evening
18h00
Clayton Lautenberg
Fri 21
Shabbat Evening
18h00
Wilfred Lautenberg
Fri 28
Shabbat Evening
18h00
Giddy Lief
November
Fri 4
Shabbat Evening
18h00
Clayton Lautenberg
Fri 11
Shabbat Evening
18h00
Wilfred Lautenberg
Fri 18
Shabbat Evening
18h00
Giddy Lief
The Shabbat Project 2016
Bet Menorah will once again be participating in the Shabbat
project by hosting a communal dinner at Jaffa on Friday 11
November. Cost will be confirmed nearer to the date, and
booking may be made at the office.
15
Yahrzeits will be announced and Kaddish will be
recited on Friday evenings which will follow the
services which begin at 6.00 pm
16 October to 22 October – 14 Tishrei to 20 Tishrei
Necha Joss
-
grandmother of Allen Joss
Evelyn Lewis Moncrieff
-
mother of Joan Moncrieff
Riva Blankenstein
-
mother of Milton de
Miranda
23 October to 29 October – 21 Tishrei to 27 Tishrei
Donald Blackburn
-
husband of
Susuan Blackburn
-
father of Samantha and
Jonathan Blackburn
Thomas Macaskill
-
father of Don Macaskill
Abraham Gorbat
-
father of Nelida Danon
Think
Think about
about honouring
honouring your
your loved
loved one
one with
with aa
gold-inscribed
gold-inscribed wooden
wooden board
board for
for aa donation
donation of
of R250.
R250.
ItIt will
will be
be displayed
displayed on
on the
the Memorial
Memorial board
board
16
Yahrzeits will be announced and Kaddish will be
recited on Friday evenings which will follow the
services which begin at 6.00 pm
30 October to 5 November – 28 Tishrei to 4 Cheshvan
Colin Langman
-
husband of Judy Langman
Max Tucker
-
father of Ivor Tucker
Brandon Kruger
-
son of Crystle Kruger
6 November to 12 November – 5 Cheshvan to 11 Cheshvan
Henry Cohen
-
husband of Eda Cohen
-
father of Steven Cohen
Harold Esakov
-
father of Roy Esakov
Sam Danon
-
husband of Nelida Danon
13 November to 19 November – 12 Cheshvan to 18 Cheshvan
Avis Blumberg
-
mother of Paul Blumberg
Michael Schewitz
-
brother of
Selwyn Schewitz
Louis Henry Suttner
-
father of
Rosetta Suttner- Scalco
Vaughan Joss
-
son of Allen and
Jennifer Joss
Think
Think about
about honouring
honouring your
your loved
loved one
one with
with aa
gold-inscribed
gold-inscribed wooden
wooden board
board for
for aa donation
donation of
of R250.
R250.
ItIt will
will be
be displayed
displayed on
on the
the Memorial
Memorial board
board
10
17
WHAT’S ON THE NET?
Thank you so much to those who
have posted on our Facebook
page this month.
DON’T MISS OUT
COME AND JOIN US!
DID YOU KNOW?
You can pick up the latest
edition of our Newsletter on
The Bet Menorah Facebook
page!
18
Ata design studios 2016

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