Learn to lead a minyan
Rabbi Stanway to lead training session
One of the great mitzvot is bringing comfort to the mourner. One way we do this is by bringing the temple to them in times of sorrow during shiva for a loved one who has died. The minyan is an important part of that process and Beth Miriam needs more minyan leaders.
Rabbi Stanway is happy to announce a one hour training session on how to lead a minyan. The training will take place on Sunday , December 7 at 12 PM right after Religious School. There is no charge.
THERE WILL BE PIZZA SERVED FOR LUNCH SO BRING AN APPETITE. PLEASE RSVP TO THE TEMPLE TO LET US KNOW YOU WILL BE IN THE TRAINING SESSION AT 732-222-3754
Anyone who is Jewish and over the age of bar or bat mitzvah can participate. Younger minyan leaders will also have the opportunity to work with an adult to help them perfect their leadership skills. If you ever wanted to lead a minyan, now is the time to learn.
“Over 1,000 people EVERY day experience Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) in the United States. Sadly, about 9 out of 10 of those sudden cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. It is the leading cause of death, by far, for people over the age of 40 in the US. However, statistics prove that when more people know how to perform CPR, and use an AED, the chances for survival increases dramatically! When bystanders intervene by giving CPR, and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) before EMS arrives, four out of 10 victims will survive!
Our Temple has an AED mounted outside our sanctuary, but our community needs more folks who are trained in their use. Temple Beth Miriam, therefore, has teamed up with congregants Beth and Tim Knotts, American Heart Association Instructors, to bring CPR/AED training to our community!
The training will take place on Thursday, June 5th, at the Temple. The class will start promptly at 7:00 pm (so come a little early for paperwork!), and end no later than 10:00 pm (class could get out earlier, depending on the skill level of the class and how fast the material can be gotten through). This training is good for all ages, but especially those who are around infants, young children (baby sitters, young parents & grandparents) or elderly adult members of our community. The course will cover CPR/AED procedures for infants, children and adults, as well as how to respond to choking for all three groups.
The class will cost $5 per person (this goes directly to the AHA for the card). If participants want the manuals that go with the class they will be available for purchase, but at an extra charge (at the AHA’s cost).
The class has a maximum attendance of 14, so call the Temple office to sign up right away! The class is designed for anyone over the age of 12, but it will require class participants to get down on the floor to practice CPR and AED use on dummies (this is were CPR and AED use occurs!). Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. This is a hands on class!
Please contact Marje Richter at the Temple office (732-222-3754) to sign up for the class, again, as soon as possible so you are not left out! We expect this class to fill up fast! The $5 will be collected the night of the class. Contact Beth Knotts (732-259-0038) for any questions or more details about the course.”
By SaraAnn Yerushalmi Stanway
Judaism is a religion centered on learning. As children, we learn prayers, our Alef Bet, the holidays. As B’nei Mitzvah, we discover the Torah and our own personal faiths. As young adults, we are taught our history as a people, our responsibility to the community. And through it all, we are taught to love Eretz Israel, the Jewish homeland. But can this be taught? No, not in a four -walled classroom, not by the best of professional educators, nor even the most enthusiastic of rabbis. But as I discovered this summer, 30,000 feet in the air en route to the Holy Land, it can be learned, and Israel would be my schoolhouse. The moment I got my first glimpse, all I could think was that in the next month, this place would become mine. I was eager for the term to begin.
Period 1 – Phys. Ed, to be completed in the Negev. Here I learned how to wake up at four in the morning and scale a mountain before eight, how to push myself farther and harder than I ever have, and how to take in the vast, unforgiving beauty of the mountains surrounding me. I learned that my counselors truly believed that the only thing standing between me and death by sunstroke was my trusty kova,(hat) and that there is nothing so terrifying as getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and becoming utterly convinced you’ll never see the Promised Campsite when I was, for a minute, unable to find my way back.
Period 2 – Jewish culture and history, which took place in Jerusalem, Masada, and everywhere in between. Evyatar, my favorite counselor, would fearlessly dress up in robes and laurels, toting a stuffed sheep and staff with him to educate us about the First and Second Temples and the Zealots’ last stand on top of Masada, where we all shouted “AM ISRAEL CHAI!” – the nation of Israel survives – into the valley below. When I pulled off my blindfold and saw the ancient and modern blend of the Jerusalem landscape for the first time, I thought of how far the Jewish people has come. And when I waited in an ankle-length skirt and long sleeved sweater on a sweltering day for my turn to pray at the overcrowded, silent women’s section at the Kotel (Western Wall) while on the other side, men danced and sang, I realized how far we have yet to go.
Period 3 – Health, which included a free tour of all of the many lovely emergency rooms in Tiberius. It was here that I discovered that my counselors actually meant it when they said we’d end up with an IV if we didn’t drink our three liters daily.
Period 4 – Social Studies and Diplomacy, my classroom being the dinner tables in the homes of the Israeli teens who joined our group in the last week. This course, one of my favorites, united me with friends I still miss dearly and taught me how to break through a language barrier, allowed me to peer into the everyday life of teens so much like myself, but whose nurseries were built in bomb shelters, who actually knew how to avoid getting swindled in the shuk, and whose attempts to rid my Hebrew of a horrendously New Jersey accent were valiant but doomed from the start.
By the time the bell rang, my backpack was stuffed full to bursting with experiences between which the head of the trip warned us we would have to discriminate, packing some in our suitcases to remember and leaving others behind. When we boarded the plane and I stowed that precious carry-on at takeoff, I couldn’t stop myself from shedding a few tears, unsure of when school would be back in session. But even if this recess is long, one thing is for sure: I’m heading back to get my diploma.
In the Torah portion for this week, there is a famous verse that reads:
כִּ֤י תִבְנֶה֙ בַּ֣יִת חָדָ֔שׁ וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ מַעֲקֶ֖ה לְגַגֶּ֑ךָ וְלֹֽא־תָשִׂ֤ים דָּמִים֙ בְּבֵיתֶ֔ךָ כִּֽי־יִפֹּ֥ל הַנֹּפֵ֖ל מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃
“8 If you build a new house, you must construct a guard rail around your roof to avoid being culpable in the event someone should fall from it.” Though the Sages disagree about whether or not it is a mitzvah to build it – mitzvah, in this case being defined as to whether or not one says a blessing upon building it (since ‘the Sages obligated us in this thing because of danger and we do not recite blessings on things that are due to danger.’) – the consensus is that it is indeed because of danger but also because building a guard rail on the top of the roof is the same kind of thing as putting up a mezuzah. So, though it is to protect anyone from falling off the roof, it is also there as a symbol. But a symbol of what?
Here is what Rebbi Levi Yitzchak, a Chassidic personality wrote: “This is the intention in the verse: “when you build a new house” – when you experience some new joy – “you shall make a parapet” – you should raise this joy higher and higher through the letters, as above. This is the significance of “ma-akah (parapet)”, since we build the parapet on the highest part of the house.
But, this also is the meaning behind the word “legagekha (your roof)”, to bring the joy into the letters. As we know (Zohar II 126b), the power that animates the letters is Hashem, HVYH (the Name of God); the power is in the very letters of the Name HVYH. And, the numerical value of “gagekha” is, like that of HVYH, twenty-six.”
The language is a bit terse but basically he is saying that the ‘parapet’ is on the highest part of the new home. So when we build the parapet, we are sharing the joy. And when we share a joyous moment, we burst out in blessing in what we call the Shehechiyanu moments. These are the moments of blessing where we acknowledge that, with God, we accrue so many blessings.
But we are not just sharing the joy. There is another side to this as we can see from Reb Yitzcahk. There is a symbol to the parapet. It goes around the top of the home and it looks like a crown. A crown – that parapet which goes on the roof – the word ‘roof’ having the same numerical value as ‘YHVH’ – God’s name! When we put the parapet on the roof, we are, symbolically crowing God. We are openly proclaiming that God is the One really in charge. Our blessings are really acknowledgement of God’s gifts.
As human beings, we are taught from a very early age that if we work hard enough at something, we can achieve it. As Jews, we are a people dedicated to education and learning so that we can master the world around us, education being the one essential key to succeeding. But we sometimes fall into the trap of self-congratulation and of believing that we have done it on our own. Too often we fail to see the angels that surround us, our teachers, coaches and different inspirations which guide us and were there for us at the right times of our lives. They are the builders and we are the built. We may have achieved great things, but almost never alone. Thanking God for their presence in our lives is an acknowledgement that we can never live in a soloverse – a universe where only we exist. All creation, all of God’s world, comes together to create and is always creating.
There are things that no amount of training or education will ever get us to the level we may wish to be. I long ago accepted that I can never be a great athlete. You may have the same regrets about something, as well. There may be disappointment and sadness but there is a spiritual antidote to that feeling: though I may never be an athlete, I still have the wherewithal to stand on my own legs. Not surprisingly, there is a blessing for that. It does not say “O God, thank you for making me stand straight now grant me the power and strength to run faster than anyone else.” No. Rather is says “Praised are You, O God, who raises the bowed down.”
We are often bowed down by disappointment or sadness or simply not feeling strong on a particular day. But the blessing, the real blessing, is that we won’t stay that way and that there is joy and blessing in waking up, being able to move, and even being able to get out of our holes of sadness and disappointment. For that, we give thanks to God and, especially, for God’s angels who encourage and sustain us in our moments of weakness and when we are in need of strength.
Have you said your blessings today for your gifts?
Beth Miriam has been doing first and last day Festival services for many years. (The Festivals are Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuot). However, attendance has been very limited, especially when the Festival lands on a weekday. Therefore, to adapt to this, Beth Miriam is going to launch the Festival Experiences.
At each Festival, there will be an experience of some variety based on the Festival’s theme. The date will be the evening of the last day of the Festival and will include some kind of text study, some activity related to the Festival, music, and the Yiskor Service. Note that there will NOT be morning Festival services and that the Yiskor service will be part of the Festival Experience.
The Passover Experience will take place on April 20, 2014 at 10 AM. We will be doing the Yiskor service, a text study, and a mezuzah making experience! Families are welcome!
HIGH HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
Sunday, September 8
Cemetery Service 10AM
Friday, September 13
Kol Nidre 8 PM.
Saturday, September 14
Children’s (1-5yrs) 9 A.M.
Morning 10 A.M.
Study with the Rabbi 1 P.M.
Community Family 3 P.M.
Musical Spiritual Reflection 4 P.M.
Yizkor (Memorial ) 4:30 P.M. (approx.)
Neilah (Closing) 5:30 P.M.(approx.)
Tuesday, September 24
SUKKOT EXPERIENCE – 6:30 PM
Wednesday, September 25
Simchat Torah Service 7:00 P.M. dancing with
the Torah to follow
Between the Holidays Cemetery Service
Simchat Torah Celebration!
Join us on September 25 at 7 PM. We will read the last paragraphs and the first paragraphs of the Torah as we start the cycle again, dance with the Torah and enjoy some refreshments. Bring the whole family. There will be live music and we will roll the Torah open and learn a few things about it.
Exciting news: Beth Miriam is planning to go to Israel from March 2-11, 2014. Rabbi Stanway will be leading the trip with the professional staff from ITAS Tours, professionals who are experts in Israel trips. There is an active committee of 9 congregants who are planning the trip with the Rabbi.