Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 all TBE events and services including KBE Religious School are now cancelled through March 19.

Friday, March 13
6:27pm Candle lighting

Saturday, March 14
7:37pm Havdalah

A great list of streaming service options can be found here.
TBE-mail for the week of March 13 - March 19, 2020
17 Adar - 23 Adar 5780
Parashat Ki Tisa

Torah Readings:
Annual : Exodus 30:11 - 34:35
Trienniel: Exodus 30:11 - 31:17
Maf.: Numbers 19:1 - 22
Haftarah: I Kings 18:1 -18:39
I was thinking...
By Rabbi Carolyn Braun

Passover 5780: 
Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Urchatz, Yachatz, Urchatz, Maggid, Rochtza, Motzi Matzah, Urchatz, Maror, Urchatz, Korech, Urchatz, Shulchan Orech, Urchatz, Tzafun, Urchatz, Barech, guess what?
Say Kiddush, Wash your hands, Eat something that grows from soil, Wash your hands, Break the middle matzah, Wash your hands, Tell the Passover Story, Wash your hands, Say the blessing for eating matzah, Wash your hands, Eat the bitter herb, Wash your hands, Eat your Hillel sandwich, Wash your hands, Eat dinner, Wash your hands, Find and eat the Afikoman, Wash your hands, Say Birkat HaMazon, Guess what….

OK, forgive my dark humor, but today is Purim, and last night’s celebration with Temple Shalom, Auburn, Etz Chaim, and TBE was an absolute joy. I’m still smiling. Thanks to the wonderful staff at Maine Craft Distilling, Rabbi Sruli and Rebbitzen Lisa’s freilicheh tunes, our talented readers, hamentashen bakers, organizers and community, it felt like Tel Aviv on Purim, well, maybe Brooklyn, which isn’t so bad either!

Tonight we return to reality: Pesach. politics, and coronavirus. Leaving politics out of it (or keep it in, whatever you like), they all have something in common. Most obvious is that they all share some aspect of a plague. Each of them also gives us a lot to talk about - all night long, if we wish! Finally, and less obvious is the hand washing (or maybe with politics, it’s hand wringing) aspect of these three pieces of reality. 

Hand (and foot) washing are quite ancient traditions which relate to purity rituals. The Kohanim who worked in the two Temples in Jerusalem were very concerned about purity. Anyone touching the holy vessels or offering sacrifices had to be ritually pure. As it says in Exodus: 

When they enter the Tent of Meeting they shall wash with water, that they may not die; or when they approach the altar to serve, to turn into smoke an offering by fire to the LORD,they shall wash their hands and feet, that they may not die. It shall be a law for all time for them—for him and his offspring—throughout the ages.Ex. 30:20-21

Not washing brings on death, according to Exodus. As usual, the Torah is a little melodramatic, but while impurity is not the same as bad germs, there are similarities. Both can be harmful, and both are mysterious. After the destruction of the Second Temple, our tables became symbolic of the Temple’s altar, and we became the Priests who would offer the sacrifices. So before we eat a meal with bread (think challah), we ritually wash our hands like the Kohanim at the altar so that we eat in purity. At the Pesach Seder, we wash before dipping the parsley into the salt water because impurity can be passed (among other ways) through liquids. That, in fact is why most washing cups have two handles; when you take the first handle, your hand is impure and so is the handle. You pour water on your other hand and then grab the other handle, which doesn’t have the impurity of the first handle and voila...all pure!

And now a word about TBE and the Coronavirus pandemic. There are people who come to our building who have auto-immune issues or are otherwise compromised. So as a supportive community it is important that we remember to act in a way that will be protective of all of us. First of all, DON’T PANIC! We will get through this. As you already know, we thought it would be best to cancel our minyans. There is something counterintuitive about this because these are the times that being together feels so right. I suggest that we take this Shabbat time to find a beautiful place to daven and ponder the Torah and Haftarah. If you use the phone, reach out to others. If you don’t, wait till Havdalah and then reach out. Whatever you end up doing, please include a prayer for the earth and its creatures.

I imagine many of the laws of purity come from our need to try to control things that are beyond our understanding. This virus is concerning, and we need to pay attention, but if we approach it the way I approach kids in the winter - carefully and from a safe distance, we’ll get through it.

Wishing you a peaceful and healthy Shabbat. 
Due to mounting concerns about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we will not be hosting the Red Sox Opening Day party and fundraiser. Though we were counting on this event to help support our annual budget, the risk of possible exposure has made it inadvisable. If you have already purchased tickets we will be in touch with you directly. If you would like to support TBE by making a tax deductible donation, click here or contact the office at (207) 774-3649.
Todah Rabah (Thank you):

To everyone who contributed to last week's Shabbat services:
  • Sara Kahn-Troster, Barbara Dichter and Fae Spath for preparing Kiddush.
  • Gary Prolman, Hagai Bernstein and Fred Barlow for serving as shomrim.
  • Isabella Filler, Debbie Kanter, and Sandrea Kornblum for leading services.
  • David Freidenreich and Morton Gold for reading Torah and Haftarah and Ellie Miller for giving the d'var Torah.

And to everyone who made our Purim celebrations extra special:
  • Barbara and Gil Dichter for preparing over 700 hamentashen.
  • Tom Berman, Ben Weiss, Ariel Bernstein, Gary Prolman, Michal Frank and Charlie Miller who helped with the kid's party.
  • David Freidenreich, Rob Aronson, Paul Greene, Fred Farber, Ellie Miller and Barbara Dichter our Megillah readers (and Joy Krinsky for finding them)
  • Fred Farber and the staff at Maine Craft Distilling.
  • Rabbi Sruli and Lisa Dresdner for the fabulous music.
  • The indefatigable Olivia Solodar, Elliott Wincele, Andre Skalina and their mighty team of Shalach Manot preparers and deliverers: Brian and Sarah Allenby, Abby Halpern, Jill Epstein, Pat Reef, David Hecht, Irwin Gratz, Sandrea Kornblum, Fran Broeder, Irrae Wood, Jean Aron, Rachelle Mack, Armand and Jacob Lucier, Hannah Shulman, Susan Most, Madeleine Segal, Fred Barlow, Noah, Amanda, and Jodi Satin, Sara Cooper, Isaac Anolik, Susan Trusiani, Morah Satin's KBE class, Sharon Craig, Elaine Kahaner, Norma Filler, Chick Levine, Ilana Dew, Joan Barkin, Nadia Margolis, Judy Weisman, Riva Krut, Debbie Bornstein, Sam Milton, Fred Farber, Jonathan and Ellen Handelman, Ariana Solodar-Wincele, Sabrina Novick, Robert Aronson, Luchy and Josh Fuller, Bob and Marjorie Goldberg, and Jonathan and Fae Spath.
It may have slipped your notice in the long list of "thank yous" above, but our service leader last Friday was none other than recent TBE Bat Mitzvah, Isabella Filler. Rabbi Braun was unable to be at services Friday night but found the following reaction online:

I’m going to break my rule about tweeting on religion to say I just left a Conservative Jewish service led by a high school girl wearing blue jeans and I haven’t felt as good about this imperfect world in a very, very long time. Shabbat shalom!

Mazel Tov Isabella on a job well done!
Puppy Raisers Wanted!
Emily Darhower, another recent TBE Bat Mitzvah is raising Elle, a Guiding Eyes puppy as her mitzvah project. Emily has been had Elle for 5 months and she will continue to raise her for another 7 - 9 months, before having to say goodbye when Elle goes on to receive her official guide dog training.

In order to raise awareness for the Guiding Eyes foster program, Emily is planning a community event at
Breakwater School
(856 Brighton Ave., Portland)
March 21st from 4:00-6:30pm.
The event is open to the public and she would love for you to attend!
There are so many people buried at Mount Sinai and Smith Street Cemeteries whose stories are lost to time. Often, the only thing we have are their names and some dates. How wonderful it would be if we could collect some of their stories and photos! We will post a photo of a headstone and share what info we have about them. If you have a story, information or a photo, please share them with SMJCA .

Today we share the headstone of Shirley (Levine) Bogg - Simcha Masha bat Zavil Yitzchak – Nov. 16, 1929 – Apr. 10, 2007 and her husband, Norman G. Bogg - Nachum Gershon bar Avraham Zev – Feb. 29, 1928 – May 18, 2004. Click   HERE   to read more about Shirley and Norman.
Saturday, March 14 / 18 Adar
Morton Brody
Bessie Gold
Harry Marcus
Martha Pinansky
Anne Schultz

Sunday, March 15 / 19 Adar
Anna Peck

Monday, March 16 / 20 Adar
Charlotte Rosen
Muriel Shapiro
Wilfred Sohn

Tuesday, March 17 / 21 Adar
Dora Aronson
William Schultz

Wednesday, March 18 / 22 Adar
David Bickman
Bertha Ellner
Ira Goldberg
Harry Herman
Sigmund Rath

Thursday, March 19 / 23 Adar
Alice Teitelbaum

Friday, March 20 / 24 Adar
Sam Gwint