Parashat Shelahlekha / Shabbat Mevarekhim haHodesh
3rd Triennial Numbers 15:8-15:41
Read the Portion on - you can click a verse for commentary
Speak to the children of Israel and say to them that they shall make themselves tassels (tzitzit - צִיצִת) on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and are to put on the corner tassel a thread of blue-violet (תְּכֵלֶת). It shall be for you a tassel, that you may look at it and keep-in-mind all the commandments of YHVH and observe them...

- Numbers 15:38 (Translation Everett Fox)

The instruction about tassels (tzitzit) which concludes our Torah reading this week is also a part of the liturgy of the Shema, traditionally recited twice each day. As a reminder of all the mitzvot, there's a lot hanging on those little threads! How is this supposed to work? Midrash Tanchuma explains: Rabbi Meir said, “Why is blue-violet (תְּכֵלֶת) different from all other colors? Because blue-violet (תְּכֵלֶת) is like [the color of] the sea, and the sea is like the sky, and the sky is like sapphire, and sapphire is like the Throne of Glory.”

So, according to Rabbi Meir, the tzitzit-reminder-strategy is deeper than just tying a string around your finger in order to remember to do something.  The single blue thread connects us first with the ocean, then the sky and then the Creator.  The charge is not just to remember to do a task, but to look out to the horizon and then to the sky and take in the awesome grandeur of creation. The tzitzit connect us to the awesome universe and our place and responsibilities within the vastness of creation.  The reminder therefore is not just what we are instructed to do. It is the why - because human beings are part of the God's creation and have very serious responsibilities, and the how - with reverence and awe.  We are supposed to be partners with something beyond ourselves in the ongoing creation and find ways to remind ourselves and each other of this sacred task.  



Please join us at one of the three meet-and-greet events July 5-7!

Tuesday, July 5, 10-11 am at TAA
Join us for a "meet and greet" with Rabbi Kudan. Light refreshments will be served. This event will be outside in front of the Temple if the weather is good or inside the Temple if the weather is bad.

Wednesday, July 6, 8-9 pm on Zoom
If you would prefer to meet Rabbi Kudan on Zoom, he will be hosting the "meet and greet” on-line.

Thursday, July 7, 4-5 pm at TAA
Join us for a "meet and greet" with Rabbi Kudan. Light Refreshments will be served. This event will be outside in front of the Temple if the weather is good or inside the Temple if the weather is bad.


The events honoring Rabbi Lewis were an amazing success. Not only were they a great send off for Rabbi and his family, but it also brought us closer as a community. People saw people they hadn’t seen in person for more than two years!

Thanks go to:

The Celebrations Committee who organized the festivities: Joan Brooks, Bruce Davison, Alan Feldman, Abigail Gold, Ellen Gradwohl, Marilyn Kramer, Tarin McAdoo Comer and Dale Rosen. 

The Carnival Crew who organized the family-friendly event on Sunday: Abigail Gold, Katie Kanter (and her family), Linda Gipstein, Audrey Fraser, Jeff Marshall and Ruth Budelmann. Also to Bob Kramer, Jack Schwartz, Beth Gordon and Arley Pett.  

The TAA Players who performed the skit on Sunday: Dale Rosen, Phil Cutter, Laila Goodman, Mark Farber, Fern Miller and Phoebe Potts. And to Bruce Siegel who contributed a song.

Abigale Reisman who joined Rabbi for the “last act” Friday Night Kabbalat Shabbat and led the Pop-Up Choir during Shabbat Morning Services. And the members of the Choir: Elaine Byrne, Suzanne London, Miriam Pett, Beverly Bookin, Carole Sharoff, Amy Farber and Choir organizer Susan Federspiel.

The volunteers who led prayers and read Torah and Haftarah and Natalie Simon who led Shacharit.

The members who spoke of the impact Rabbi Lewis has had on them: Debbie Hilbert, Fern Miller, Dale Rosen and Rebecca Dowd.

Tarin McAdoo Comer and Leigh Eck who created the scrapbook of writings and images from the congregation.  

Janet Cline, who arranged the food for all three events, and the Kitchen Crew of Judy Rose, Eric Kaplan, Susan Cohen, SueAnne Adams, Gail Pepe and Ally Kramer.

And to all we may have inadvertently omitted.

People have asked about gifts. The congregation is giving several gifts from the community. However, if you would like to make a personal gift, Rabbi has asked that you consider a donation to the Geller Endowment Fund to support the Sylvia Cohen Family Learning Project. (link)

Marilyn Kramer
Chair of the Celebrations Committee
Friday, July 15, 5:30-7:30pm 
Kabbalat Shabbat on Good Harbor Beach!
Please join our community and welcome Rabbi Kudan at our Annual Shabbat on Good Harbor Beach!! Come for a Kabbalat Shabbat Service and light pizza dinner on the beach. (If the weather does not cooperate, we will have this event at the Temple).

In Person at TAA 

Coming Up:

Friday, June 24 
Monday June 27 
(Note: Friday, June 17 is cancelled)

All sessions run from 10 to 11:15 am in the Social Hall for Fully Vaccinated Unless Moved to Zoom - please watch your emails for updates!

Join TAA's new Israeli dance community for beautiful & upbeat music, to exercise your mind & body, and even learn a little Hebrew, French, Yiddish and Ladino!

For your listening pleasure: TAA Israeli Dance June Tunes!

We'll continue learning popular circle and line dances for beginners danced near and far!
 Balcony Doors will be open for fresh air ventilation and social distancing 
 will be maintained while dancing.
Don't forget a water bottle, supportive footwear and dress in layers.
Please contact Beth Gordon if you are planning to attend to join the email list for last minute updates. 
Look for the words "[Message clipped]  View entire message" at the bottom of the page, then click on "View entire message" to open the full newsletter in a new tab.
"The Color of Law”
Book Discussion
Thursday, June 23rd from 7:30-9pm

Join Sam Silverman for a discussion of the book
“The Color of Law." This event will take place via Zoom or in person outside (depending on the weather) Thursday, June 23rd from 7:30-9pm. (Please note, this is the new date for this discussion.)The author, Richard Rothstein, presents a shocking expose of the racist policies of the federal government during the 20th century. As examples, in this riveting book, Rothstein chronicles how the federal government denied Black World War II veterans the GI Bill benefits of a subsidized college education and reduced mortgage rates on housing. Rothstein also reveals federal government-approved policies to deny Blacks the opportunity to buy homes in newly-built suburbs like Levittown on Long Island, New York. If you are interested in reading this book and participating in the discussion, please contact Sam Silverman.
Janet's Cookies are available for catering small-to-medium sized events!
Torah Study, Thursdays, 11 am REGISTER TO JOIN ON ZOOM
Shabbat Service, Saturdays, 9 am REGISTER TO JOIN ON ZOOM
Sunday Morning Minyan, Sundays, 9 am REGISTER TO JOIN ON ZOOM

The TAA Membership Committee is looking for a
couple new members with good ideas and a welcoming spirit.
If you'd like to join, please contact Rich Huttner or Elaine Bryne.
The Mt. Jacob Cemetery Committee is looking to increase its pool of volunteers who lovingly assist in laying to rest community members who leave our midst. Because this mitzvah necessarily must be performed on short notice, we need a large reserve of potential helpers who can assist on any given day. Qualifications include having a relatively flexible schedule and being minimally able-bodied. For more information, please call Mark Farber at
508-566-6654 or email
The TAA Kitchen Crew is looking for community members to join our terrific team. You choose when, how often and the amount of time in the kitchen. If you have any questions or ideas please email Janet
TAA’s Everyone Eats! Team provides lunch supplies each Sunday at Gloucester's Action Shelter. To join the team or find out more, email Martha
"Chesed" is loving care in Hebrew, and the Chesed Committee provides support to families in our community. To join the Chesed Committee or find out more, email Audrey Fraser or Elaine Byrne
Join the Caregivers Support Group for their Tuesday 10:30 am meetings
Through July 3, 2022

The Cape Ann Museum is hosting an exhibit by TAA member Judi Rotenberg Ross Zuker,
Mazel Tov Judi!

Click here for more information and please come and visit. You will be delighted by what you see!

Have you heard? TAA member Stuart Siegel is the new Executive Director at Schooner Adventure.
He is hoping to recruit some energetic congregants to volunteer on deck and dockside this summer as docents and educators. No prior experience or knowledge necessary. This is a great opportunity to sail aboard a 95-year old original Gloucester fishing schooner! Contact Stuart to volunteer and learn more about Schooner Adventure.
Know Someone Interested in Joining our Community?
Refer prospective members to Richard Huttner and Elaine Byrne
Shop AmazonSmile to support Temple Ahavat Achim.
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86 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 281-0739 
Myron Geller, Rabbi Emeritus
Amy Farber, President
Phoebe Potts, Director of the Sylvia Cohen Family Learning Project
Laurie Williamson, Bookkeeper 
Jasmine Epstein, Office Coordinator
In-Office hours: Monday 9 am - 3 pm; Tuesday 9 am - 4 pm; Wednesday 9 am - 3 pm; Thursday & Friday 9 am - 2 pm