CONTACT THE RABBI
If you need to contact Rabbi Brickman in between his visits to Pinehurst, please do not hesitate to do so via phone or email
cell phone: 917.533.4120
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A $54.00 donation (3 times chai) to our Prayer Book Fund provides the sponsor an opportunity to dedicate a book in someone's honor or memory or to highlight a life cycle event. A special bookplate will be affixed to the inside cover recognizing this gift.
For those interested in purchasing a book, please send a check of $54.00 to the congregation's mailing address (PO Box 2121, Pinehurst, NC, 28370) and include the following information:
- Name of inscriber(s) - how you want it on the bookplate
- Name of honoree or person being remembered
- Reason for the inscription
For more information on making a dedication click here
Honoring the Yahrzeit of a loved one is a wonderful Jewish tradition. It is a mitzvah to remember your loved one with tzedakah in their memory. A donation of at least $18.00 chai is suggested.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rabbi: Ken Brickman
Building & Grounds:
Several years ago I was at LaGuardia Airport waiting, along with a multitude of others, for a flight that had been delayed. It was chaotic. In the hubbub of passengers trying to reschedule, quiet restless children, or line up for food, I was scrambling to find a seat. I found one between two women, one a bit younger, one a bit older, and we started talking as a way to calm our frustrations. It must have been karma because they were both Jewish and, of course, that is what we talked about. The younger woman was Modern Orthodox and told us about her arranged marriage and some of her traditions; the other was very unobservant. As we shared our feelings, a momentary bond was created between us. Later, as flights were being reinstated and we were getting ready to line up, the young woman asked the two of us if we celebrated Shabbat. At that time, my children were grown and our Friday ritual had changed, so I said not always. The other woman indicated not at all. Our new friend told us to light candles on shabbat - that way we would always remember our LaGuardia experience. And I have not forgotten.
A recent article in Ten Minutes of Torah that I receive every day online helped me relive that memory. It dealt with the origins of the Sabbath and it piqued my interest. What are the origins, was the Sabbath celebrated in antiquity, and if so, how?
According to Rabbi Rifat Sonsino in his book " And God Spoke These Words", the Sabbath is one of Judaism's greatest gifts to humanity. People in the ancient Near East had nothing similar to the Jewish concept of a weekly sacred day of rest. However, the origin of the word is obscure. Some say it was ordained by God in the bible, others say that it was adopted from other people. In reality, he contends, we do not know how pervasive Sabbath observance was in biblical times, but there is evidence in the Book of Amos, 8th cent. BCE, which indicates that by this time, Sabbath was observed by the Israelites.
After 70 CE, when Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, the ancient rabbis worked to establish and adapt biblical traditions. In the process they created the foundation of rabbinic Judaism, which serves as the basis of modern Jewish life - and one of the major precepts was observance of Shabbat. In the midst of how the Israelites were building the Tabernacle, the rabbis of antiquity deduced that all labors necessary for constructing should serve as the blueprint for Shabbat prohibitions. There could be no creating, making fire, plowing, gathering wood.
In our modern world, while Friday and Saturday come automatically, we have to make Shabbat happen. Today, with our hectic schedules, that is not always easy. When my son and daughter were small, Shabbat was celebrated at Grandma Fran and Grandpa Aaron's house - no matter what! And it was special. That is where my daughter learned to recite the blessing over the candles, in her grandmother's tradition, and my son tried to emulate the dramatic way his grandfather sang the blessing over the wine! There was always a "conference" between grandparents and grandchildren at the end of the meal, when it was decided that there would also be a sleepover, which was great for mom and dad, too! But all families don't have the luxury of living close and making their own traditions and memories.
While the history and modern observance of Shabbat is really in Rabbi Brickman's bailiwick, and I hope I have represented the facts accurately, I think most would agree that from biblical to modern times, Shabbat celebration constitutes both personal and communal identity. When our congregation gathers on the third Friday of the month to celebrate Shabbat in Sandhills Jewish Congregation style, and we sing and pray as an extended family, the spirit and spirituality of the holiday is so meaningful. As we hug our neighbor and say "Shabbat Shalom" truly, at that moment, in our little corner of the world, all is at peace.
Recently I have felt like the "wandering Jew". On Memorial Day Jackie and I drove up to Washington D.C. which I vow I will never do again as the last thirty miles took us two and one half hours. We went up to attend my oldest friends grandson's Bar Mitzvah. Five days later I flew to Canada to attend the retirement party for the Rabbi I had hired when I chaired the Pulpit Committee twenty five years ago. The two Congregations and facilities could not have been more different. In Washington the main sanctuary could easily seat over two thousand congregants, while the one in Canada is just a little bit bigger than our own Temple. Despite the discrepancy in size, at both affairs I felt wrapped in a warm cocoon of "Jewishness", familiarity and belonging as we chanted the same melodies and performed the same rituals as we practice in the Sandhills, and for that matter, throughout the world. Even though many of the faces were unfamiliar the feeling of belonging was overwhelming. It is my hope, and I have great confidence, that when strangers and visitors to our Temple gather for prayer with us that they leave with that same wonderful feeling I experienced in Washington and Canada.
When I was in Rabbinic School, I had a classmate who was dating a man whose family celebrated the anniversaries of their sons' Bar Mitzvahs. At the time her boyfriend was turning 23 and the family hosted a large party in celebration of the 10th anniversary of his Bar Mitzvah. I had never heard of that custom and to be honest I have not heard of it since. However as I celebrate the 50th anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah, I am thinking that perhaps the anniversaries of life cycle events besides birthdays and weddings are worthy of celebration. On June 15, 1968, I stood on the pulpit of Temple Emanuel in Worcester, Massachusetts and became a Bar Mitzvah. As a result of the post war baby boom there were so many young men becoming Bar Mitzvah (Girls were not yet allowed to become Bat Mitzvah, at least at my temple.) that we all had to share our Bar Mitzvah services.
As a sign of how things have changed since then, the rabbi only allowed luncheon receptions immediately following the service at which music was not allowed. Evening parties were also not allowed. In those days, the respect given to the rabbi of our congregation was such that no one would ever challenge these rules. When we sold my parents' home we discovered that my mother had recorded every detail of my Bar Mitzvah reception. The gift list indicated that most people gave me $5.00. Some gave $10.00. Others purchased a $25.00 United States Savings Bond which cost around $18.00. A couple of very wealthy guests gave me the whole $25.00 so I would not have to wait for the savings bond to mature. If these gifts seem miserly, you must know that my mother also saved the bill from the caterer. The luncheon which was strictly kosher only cost about $6.00 a person, so the gifts were in keeping with the old rule of thumb that one's gift should cover the cost of your meal for such an event.
Sadly many of those who shared that milestone with me have passed on. Nevertheless, recalling that day on which I became a man in the Jewish community, fountain pen and all, still makes me smile. I guess that was the day on which I took my first step on the road that led me to the rabbinate. Throughout my career I have stood on the pulpit with many young men and women becoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Though obviously much has changed in the 50 years since I reached that milestone, it is still a transformative moment in the life of the celebrant and the family. So while the caterer's bill may have increased substantially and the gifts have grown proportionately, the meaning of the event remains as it always has been - the moment when a young person stands before our community and takes his/her place in the long chain of our tradition.
Rabbi Ken Brickman
- Friday, June 22, 7 PM Shabbat Services
Oneg Shabbat Hosts - Alex & Trudi Porter,
Shelly & Sheila Rappaport, Marc Benard & Jan Winter
- Saturday, June 23, 10 AM - Torah Study
- Sunday, June 24, 10 AM - Annual Meeting
- Sunday, September 23, 2 PM - Book Club