SHABBAT SHALOM, GESHER SHALOM!


 
August 21, 2020
 
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Shabbat Times: 
Candle Lighting
Virtual services see below

7:26pm
 
 Forecast: 87
  
/partly cloudy





In Dubai Last Week:

On the Peace Bridge in Netanya This Past Weekend:

UAE Flag on Municipal Building in Tel Aviv







LAST CHANCE
This was inside this week's fortune cookie:
"To see your lucky number, take the 2020 Census"
Like at Yom Kippur's Neila service, the gates are rapidly closing on our country's pandemic-hampered Census count. That makes it all-the-more important for you to participate by the new, earlier deadline of September 30.

You can fill out the form online: Need help with filing? Please call or email me. kas
 
IMPORTANT NOTICE
Our Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur services will be held remotely (online, over-the-phone, streaming). We are still in the process of working out the specifics...The most important thing for you to know is that you won't have any worries about finding a parking space this year! That's because We Have Reserved  a Front Row Seat for You in YOUR House for the HiHo's! DETAILS FORTHCOMING....
 
IMPORTANT QUESTION
Would you be interested in attending a live, in-person, socially-distanced, outdoor SHOFAR SERVICE on Sunday afternoon, the second day of Rosh HaShannah? Please let me know.

How Are You? I really want to know.
Please reach out to me as I cannot possibly reach out to each of you. I welcome the opportunity for a quick check-in, for casual conversation or for something more serious.
Please call me or email me so we can arrange it. kas

Mi SheBayrach 
We make special prayers for those who are ill at every Shabbat Morning service and during our Monday & Thursday Minyanim. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have been adding a special Mi SheBayrach for those who have contracted the coronavirus. 
You can add a name (traditionally: Hebrew/Yiddish name and mother's Hebrew/Yiddish name, but we'll take English names and the names of those who are not Members of our Tribe) by calling or emailing me.
Or better yet: why not join us for the 9:00am weekday morning minyan, and read the Psalm (in English) just before we include the name of your family member, friend or acquaintance in the Mi SheBayrach?







Torah Reading 
SHOF'TIM
With Moses' days coming to an end, his focus turns to a number of issues and institutions, which will be necessary for the maintenance of law and order, once the Israelites possess the Promised Land.
 
Judges need to be appointed and they should exhibit a high degree of impartiality; they must resist bribes under all circumstances. Difficult cases are to be referred to higher authorities.
 
Idolatry is punishable by death by stoning - but only after a thorough investigation and upon testimony by at least two witnesses.
 
Provisions are made to permit a monarchy to develop. However, the king must remain devoted to the Torah; he must write his own personal copy to be kept in his possession at all times and he must study from it regularly. Several restrictions are placed on the king to prevent abuse of power and the amassing of wealth.
 
God will provide true prophets to guide the people; there is, therefore, no need to resort to magic and superstition. False prophets - those whose predictions do not come to pass or who attempt to lead the people astray into idolatry - are to be executed.
 
Willful murderers are to be turned over to their victims' families. Unsolved murder cases render the inhabitants of the town in which the victim was found culpable. The town's leaders must perform a ritual of atonement and expiation. Boundary markers may not be moved or removed; it is an act of theft. Witnesses who give false testimony are to be subject to the punishment the defendant would have received had s/he been convicted.
 
Rules of warfare and siege are promulgated. Certain individuals are exempted from military service. The Israelites must sue for peace prior to resorting to war. A scorched-earth siege policy is prohibited.

Last Friday Evening

 
Despite Shuttered Shuls, Members Say They Feel Less Lonely










SHABBAT SCHEDULE
ALL our Synagogue Prayer Services and Programs are conducted over ZOOM

You can participate in one of two ways 
          • Dialing in - or - 
          • Using internet access and a smartphone, tablet or computer
 
Do You Need to Obtain a Siddur? Please call or email me for details. kas
 
Do you need a CROSS-REFERENCE GUIDE to pages in the old Sim Shalom (Blue cover) for Shabbat and Holidays (when we are using Lev Shalem)?...
Or
to the Weekday Services in Lev Shalem (when we are using the burgundy weekday Sim Shalom)?
Call me or e mail me for the GUIDE




Shabbat Services
Friday evening at 7:00 pm  CLICK HERE TO ATTEND                                              
Dial in by phone:  929-205-6099   Meeting ID: 869 8266 6380 

Shabbat Morning at 10:30am  CLICK HERE TO ATTEND                                          
Dial in by phone:  929 205 6099     Meeting ID: 874 8132 0020 
 
Havdalah at  8:30pm      CLICK HERE TO ATTEND
Dial in by phone:  929 205 6099    Meeting ID: 729-396-135

This Week's Yahrzeit Observances
We hope that our weekly listing of yahrzeit observances will serve 2 purposes:
1)     To remind those who have the yahrzeit for a second time, much closer to the date of the actual observance
2)     To alert friends and acquaintances that someone they know is observing a yahrzeit. We hope that you will show them your support by joining them at our (virtual) minyanim, and helping to assure that Kaddish can be recited with a minyan 

Myrna Block will be observing yahrzeit for her grandmother, Bella Rosen on Saturday evening, August 22nd
Iris Coleman will be observing yahrzeit for her sister, Karen Coleman on Saturday evening, August 22nd
Gerald Koszer will be observing yahrzeit for his father, Sidney Koszer on Sunday evening, August 23rd
Rona Topiel will be observing yahrzeit for her mother, Tillie Weissman on Sunday evening, August 23rd
Larry Lesh will be observing yahrzeit for his grandfather, Sam Leshefsky on Sunday evening, August 23rd
Doryne Davis will be observing yahrzeit for her father, Jim Gerstein on Sunday evening, August 23rd
Marilyn Saposh will be observing yahrzeit for her father-in-law, Nathan Saposh on Tuesday evening, August 25th
Ellen Yuder will be observing yahrzeit for her husband, Paul Yuder on Tuesday evening, August 25th
Hilde Straus will be observing yahrzeit for her son, Peter Straus on Wednesday evening, August 26th
Marvin Platt will be observing yahrzeit for his father, Herman Platt on Wednesday evening, August 26th
Stuart Goldsmith will be observing yahrzeit for his father, Max Goldsmith on Wednesday evening, August 26th

Birthdays & Anniversaries
Bradley Skolnik
Ira Erlichman
Marvin Kochansky
 Nili Cohen
Sue Ann Koby
 
Amy Rosen & Hugh Gilenson
Ilene & Paul Cohen
 



 
OUR WEEKDAY MINYANIM
  
Sunday - Friday Mornings at 9:00 am CLICK HERE TO ATTEND
Dial in by phone: 929 205 6099     Meeting ID: 110 379 215
 
Sunday - Thursday Evenings at 7:00 pm CLICK HERE TO ATTEND
Dial in by phone: 929 205 6099       Meeting ID: 338 747 559
 
Special Request: if you purchased or downloaded Siddur Lev Shalem (Shabbat and Holidays) and/or Siddur Sim Shalom (Weekdays), please let Rabbi Stern know. (Please call him or email him).
 
 
UPCOMING PROGRAMS
 
Our Weekly Programming  
 
GPS is on HIATUS
Guided Prayer Service
Please join Rabbi Stern for a series of explanatory talks that will reveal the structure, choreography, and varied functions of the prayers we say. 
 
No, not really. Linda Richman will not be joining us...but join us for schmooze anyway!
 
Every Wednesday, 12 Noon with Rabbi Stern
BYO coffee, lunch, etc.
CLICK HERE TO ATTEND
Dial in by phone: 929 205 6099           Meeting ID: 814 6433 7599
 
Those of us who "attended" this past Wednesday's Coffee Talk were wowed by Marvin Chertkoff's encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible, as he pulled narratives-some of them obscure-from all over the TaNa"KH.

Join us... Next Wednesday, AUGUST 26 for: Par t II: MARVIN CHERTKOFF's second of 3 lectures on WOMEN IN THE BIBLE

"Talk Amongst Yourselves; I'll give you a topic: Discuss..."        
 
LINDA RICHMAN is looking for VOLUNTEERS to share their passion or expertise with the COFFEE TALK crowd....
Your profession
Your avocation
Your hobby
Your expertise
Your life experiences
Your travels
Please be in touch with the Rabbi

Rabbi's Weekly Class 
TAKING A BREAK
Below please see information about the class, we will let you know when it resumes
 
Dial in by phone: 929-205-6099      Meeting ID: 886 1779 2509



Important/Interesting Reads
Navigating the Pandemic, Separated from the Ones We Love                         
The "Crown" of Grandparenting 
And I also read that Tamika Mallory from last year's BDS & Farrakhan-supporting Women's March leadership participated in this forum:
Biden Campaign Disavows Linda Sarsour After She Speaks at a Democratic Convention Forum 
Ancient Muslim Texts Confirm the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem                                                                           
Group Set Up by German Soccer Stars Donates $80,000 to Auschwitz Museum   
 
In the Netherlands, Judges Can Fine and Incarcerate Jewish Men Who Refuse to Give Their Wives a Religious Divorce
27 Years Ago Israeli Spies Smuggled Rare Jewish Bibles Out of Syria. Israeli Court Rules the Treasures Stay in Jerusalem 


Israel 
This First Knesset Address by Tehila Friedman, a New Member, Has Israelis Fired Up About Political Moderation
250,000 New Immigrants Will Arrive in Israel in Next 5 Years, Jewish Agency Estimates                                                            
Shifting Dynamics of the Mideast Pushed Israel and U.A.E. Together   
The Back Story: How 9/11 and the Coronavirus Pushed the UAE and Israel Together                                          
The UAE's deal with Israel is a 20-year tale of business, technological, and personal ties   
 
Israel's History of Arab Realpolitik                                                                           
For a long time, Israel has been quietly making common cause with the victims of aggression in the Middle East. That's now coming to light.

Israeli Peace Deal Coaxes Emirati Investors Out of the Shadows                     
Hopes rise that the new pact will be the economic boon that Israel's peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan never were. 
 
200 Israeli Companies Are Already Doing Business in the UAE Israel Says It Expects Bahrain and Oman to Follow UAE in Formalizing Ties 
Israel and UAE Launch Direct Phone Lines                                                               
 **UAE foreign minister calls his Israeli counterpart    **Abu Dhabi authorities remove block on calls between countries and allow access to Israeli websites                     
Understatement: A fly in the ointment:
Trump Administration Pushes Arms Sale to U.A.E. Despite Israeli Worries   The Trump White House is quietly planning sales of F-35 stealth fighters and advanced drones to the Emiratis as part of a wider plan to realign the Middle East, but Israel and Congress may object. 
On the other hand:
Palestinian Analyst: Normalization with Israel Will Force PA to Accept U.S.-Israeli Solution                                    
Accessibility for Disabled Swimmers.       
                                                              
This platform gives those in wheelchairs the opportunity to make their way to the shoreline at the beach in Akko (Acre).
 
Denial Over Coronavirus Leads to High Infection Rates in Arab Neighborhoods of Jerusalem      

BDS / Anti-Semitism / anti-Zionism
 
Former NYPD Commissioner Kelly to Jews: "Protect Your Communities." 
 
Facebook Algorithm Found to 'Actively Promote' Holocaust Denial        
 Similar content is also readily accessible across Twitter, YouTube and Reddit, says UK-based counter-extremist group
Push Against Anti-Semitism on Facebook                                                           
Last week, more than 120 organizations signed an open letter calling on Facebook to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of anti-semitism.              
Another great feature of socialism! (One of the reasons why I am a capitalist):
"Do You Pledge Not to Travel to Israel?"
NYC Democratic Socialists Chapter Ask City Council Candidates Who Are Seeking Their Endorsement  
Left-Wing Activists Call for Boycott of Anti-Defamation League                 
 
Liberal Jewish Groups Defend ADL After Renewed Attack from Progressive Coalition        
 
These Colleges Claimed Anti-Semitic Incidents Weren't Hate Crime I'm Not Done Converting Yet & I'm Already Dealing With Anti-Semitism            I never thought I'd be dealing with anti-Semitic comments at my workplace. 
In truth, the Jewish Community in Antwerp has suffered fewer than 20 deaths, but...
Belgian Daily Runs Cartoon Seen to Label Jewish Neighborhood 'Coronavirus Village'                                                     

Iran / Syria / Hezbollah
On the other hand...
The UAE-Israel Agreement Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be                                   
The deal defers the idea of annexation rather than burying it, and could exacerbate tensions between Iran and the Gulf States. 
Seismological Data: Six Explosions before Massive Beirut Blast  Iran Will Pre-Sell Crude Oil to its Own Citizens to Fight Back Against US Sanctions    
Officials say it's an attempt to overcome the country's budget deficit.  
Lithuania Bans Hezbollah-Affiliated Persons from Entering Its Territory  Assad Takes Revenge on Largest Palestinian Refugee Camp in Syria
I can't figure this out: Russia props up Assad, but also supports an anti-Assad rebel group Sunni group...
Pro-Russian Sunni Forces in Southwest Syria Provide Buffer Against Shiite Groups     Hizbullah's School of Cyberwarfare and Fake News                                               


The Palestinians
Saeb Erekat, Chief Palestinian Negotiator: "I Never Expected This Poison Dagger to Come from an Arab Country"  Mufti of Jerusalem: Visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque Through Israel-UAE Agreement "Forbidden"     
They have threatened to assault and mistreat any Muslim who visits the site under Israeli auspices.     
Thousands of Palestinians Enter Israel, Head to Beaches; Soldiers Turn Blind Eye        
For a week, West Bank families have been going to Israeli beaches, crossing illegally via holes in border fence, as authorities ignore trend, or even aid entry                                                      
Israel Continues Airstrikes on Gaza in Retaliation for Hamas Balloon Bombs      
Clashes and protests break out along border 
And because Israel cut off fuel to Gaza as punishment for the incendiary balloons...
Gaza Sewage Overflows into Israel                   
Turkey Grants Citizenship to Hamas Operatives Plotting Terror Attacks from Istanbul            
Why Palestinians Need to Reclaim the PLO                                                          
The Palestinian Authority has failed to deliver democracy or sovereignty to the Palestinian people. It's time for a new generation of leaders to deliver accountable governance and freedom. 

Hi-Tech       
Israeli Company Develops Smart Cane for the Blind 
Firm Founded by Israelis Uses AI to Speed Traffic Flow in Phoenix 
Solutum-Solving the Plastic Problem 
 
A New Type of Artist                                                                                              
 Cupixel founder and CEO Elad Katav explains how his technology, which combines augmented reality and patent-pending art tools, allows anyone to become an artist, right from their own homes.
Data-Driven Homeschooling                                                                         
GiantLeap helps parents drive their child's development by making data-driven decisions from the comfort of their own home. Ori Hofnung, founder and CEO of Israel's GiantLeap, discusses his innovative technology-technology that is especially helpful today as parents homeschool their children.    





MERCAZ Reads Israel is a partnership of
MERCAZ USA, Mercaz-Masorti Canada, and the Israel Forever Foundation

This past spring, we launched our MERCAZ Reads Israel online book club by reading and discussing Avigail Graetz's A Rabbi's Daughter. Nearly 200 individuals joined us for our first book club meeting in early June!

Our next selection is Ilana Kurshan's book, If All The Seas Were Ink.

We will be joining together via Zoom on Wednesday, September 23 at 1:00 p.m. EDT to reflect on Ilana Kurshan's memoir, with the author herself!

Below is a step-by-step guide to walk you through everything you need to know to register for our upcoming book club meeting, and participate in our book club discussions!


Get Ready to Participate in our next
MERCAZ Reads Israel Book Club Meeting!
Buy the book, If All The Seas Were Ink on Amazon. The book is available for purchase in soft cover, hard cover, Kindle, and audio book formats.
Register to participate in our book club discussion, via Zoom, on Wednesday, September 23 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Note: You may need to scroll down a bit on the page to see the registration form. After you click 'Submit,' be sure to copy, paste, and save the Zoom meeting login information that will be displayed on the page. (To see the login information display, you may need to scroll up a bit in your browser after you hit 'Submit.')
Read an article about the book by author Ilana Kurshan, review the discussion questions, and watch an Eli Talks presentation to dive deeper into the book, and prepare for our book club meeting!
Begin discussing the book now, in our online book club group on Facebook! Join our MERCAZ Reads Israel group on Facebook, then go to our If All The Seas Were Ink unit to begin sharing your thoughts about the discussion questions with fellow book club members!
We hope that many of you will join us on Facebook (now) and via Zoom (on September 23) to dive deeper into If All The Seas Were Ink!
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at sarrae@mercazusa.org.
L'Shalom,

Sarrae G. Crane
Executive Director

P.S. Please consider supporting MERCAZ USA by becoming a member of MERCAZ USA or making a donation. Your support makes exciting Israel engagement opportunities like MERCAZ Reads Israel possible. Thank you!



FROM THE FORWARD
Dear Reader,
This summer marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed a woman's right to vote. An enormous expansion of the voting franchise that arrived after decades of activism, the amendment was a milestone in the ongoing journey towards equal representation in America.
Its 100th anniversary comes in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, another unprecedented moment in our country's history. We won't be able to celebrate this landmark date with parades or parties. Instead, we're remembering the women who have shaped Jewish history, from ancient times to our modern moment.
The women profiled here were born in ancient Judea, in Portugal, in Bombay, in Berlin. Against the odds they ran businesses, wrote books, taught Talmud to young men, and stood up to authoritarian regimes. 
But although they left their stories for us to find - in letters, in legal documents, in exhaustive diaries, in oral traditions - these women's names are unknown to many. We've often underestimated their contributions to our tradition, or overlooked them altogether. Our series "Unsung Women" is an effort to reverse that trend, to lift up the legacies of these formidable thinkers and leaders. 

Below are introductions to eight women you won't want to forget. You can view the full collection 
here.


Art by Yehuda Blum.
The Jewish businesswoman who funded the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey
Sara G. Marcus
She managed to serve time in the Tower of London, and then return to running a fabulously successful business.
Babatha: The real housewife of ancient Judea
Irene Connelly
Babatha's story offers a window into the lives of ancient Judean women, showing that they could own property and stand their ground in court.
Regina Jonas: The female rabbi you never knew about
Irene Connelly
"Almost nothing halachically but prejudice and lack of familiarity stand against women holding rabbinic office," she said.
 
Felice Schragenheim: Bravely partisan, openly queer
Irene Connelly
Schragenheim is perhaps best known for her enduring affair with Lilly Wust, the young wife of a Nazi soldier.
Miriam Spiria-Luria
Irene Connelly
If Miriam Spira-Luria were alive today, she'd be a public intellectual and a prominent voice on Jewish Twitter.
Dona Gracia Nasi Mendes
Sara G. Marcus
She called herself a 'nasi' - a communal leader - in the 16th century Ottoman Empire.
Gluckel of Hameln: The original Yiddish tell-all writer
Irene Connelly
Gluckel was a woman determined to have it all - in 17th-century Germany.
Asenath Barezani: A 16th-century female sage
Sara G. Marcus
Her marriage contract forbade her husband from preoccupying her with domestic work, so she could devote herself fully to Torah study.