Shabbat Bulletin for

the Temple Sholom Community

11 January 2024 ~ Rosh Hodesh Shvat 5784

Parashat Vaera

Shalom, chaveirim - hello, friends - 

I want to drop a column that is far more cultural than my 'usual' fare. What, you thought I spent all my time listening to the news and matters related to Israel? Well. I do ... but when I don't, I explore ... well, more things Jewish - though not always. I did go to an outstanding brewery a couple of weeks ago.

Bernstein on the Brain

Over Shabbat and the weekend, maybe you'll have a bissel of time for a shluff. When Shabbes ends, you could put on Netflix and enjoy a nice show - I hear Maestro is interesting - though not without its critics. I'm hoping to watch this weekend and would love nothing more than to discuss it with you! Speaking of Lenny (Bernstein) ... you will not want to miss a wonderful episode of The Bowery Boys, which is one of my favorite podcasts. As a lover of New York, The Bowery Boys is a delight to explore the intricacies of "The City." In their end of year episode, they discuss Leonard Bernstein and their website has a host of wonderful pictures and links. Treat yourself to "Leonard Bernstein's New York, New York." His story is a remarkable Jewish story.

Take some time for Yiddish

As for my dropping of the little bits of Yiddish I know ... if you have a minute to take a drive ... you might enjoy a run to the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst. This past fall, they opened a new permanent exhibit, Yiddish: A Global Culture, which I enjoyed greatly.

The Yiddish Book Center is a fascination in its own right - as it is a collection of over a million Yiddish resources - which "recovers, preserves, teaches, and celebrates Yiddish literature and culture to advance a fuller understanding of Jewish history and identity." For so many of us, Yiddish is the language of yesteryear and had we been alive 100 years ago, I imagine that most of our families spoke that remarkable language written with Hebrew characters yet made up of German, sprinkled with Russian, Czech, Polish, English and of course ... lots of Hebrew. Language tells the story of its speakers and Yiddish is no exception. In fact, its speakers led exceptional lives in many ways - influenced by and had an influence upon the world around them.

With all that is going on in our world right now, taking some time to enjoy the treasures that are a part of our Jewish people feels just about right, too. It's a great luxury - and whether it's an art or history exhibit, a show (if you have a chance - do not miss Harmony), a book suggestion from the Jewish Book Council, or a niggun for Shabbat ...

Gut shabbes! L'shalom,

Rabbi Mark Cohn

Recommended Resources from the Rabbi's Desk(top) for the weekend ...

Constant and important updates, podcasts, blogs, and articles from Times of Israel, Tablet Magazine, and Sapir Journal.


"Why I Quit My Dream Job at MIT," by Mauricio Karchmer in The Free Press.

"When it comes to the lives of those who are fighting with you ... you know what to do," by Rabbi Daniel Gordis on Israel from the Inside. The link includes music and videos.

"At these schools, Arab and Jewish students share their feelings, with each other," by Talya Minsburg in The New York Times where she highlights a vitally important school based in Jerusalem called Hand in Hand.


"Israel at War: The Hague" from Rabbi Donniel Hartman & Yossi Klein Halevi of the Shalom Hartman Institute on For Heaven's Sake. Donniel & Yossi raise critically important points of discussion in light of the recent case raised at the Hague accusing Israel of genocide.

"We should all be Zionists." From the podcast description: Dr. Einat Wilf, one of the most insightful thinkers on Zionism today, reads essays from her latest compilation of essays, "We Should All Be Zionists." Then, Dr. Wilf and columnist Blake Flayton discuss the themes of each essay and how they apply to Israel and contemporary Jewish life. Listen for insightful conversation on politics, conflict, peace, religion, revolution, past, present, and future. Currently: 10 episodes.


"1,000 Israeli musicians sing with one voice - BRING THEM HOME!" The national musical flagship project "HOMELAND CONCERT" - for the purpose of returning the hostages home, took place last week, with the participation of 1,000 musicians and singers from all over the country to the Caesarea Amphitheatre, playing and singing en mass music show.

"Lunch & Learn" with Rabbi Mark Cohn

NOON - 1:00 PM

Bring a friend! Bring lunch if you want (dairy only - no meat)!


January 16

February 6, 14*, 20


January 16th, Einat Wilf's essay: "Zionism as Therapy: How the Movement's Founding Texts Offer an Answer to Today's Bullies." Wilf effectively forecasted the December Congressional hearing with three major university presidents and their failure to acknowledge the dangers of anti-Zionism - let alone the illiberalism facing many campuses. In teaching college students, Wilf found Zionism as a balm to broken hearts.

NOTE: We'll explore the Table of Contents on January 16th and think about which essays to uncover in February.



Services & Study

Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday Evenings 6:30PM

VIA ZOOM - this week!!

January 12, 26


Meeting ID: 876 2982 2282

Passcode: shabbat


January 19


Shabbat Morning Torah Study - 9:30am


January 13, 20, 27