Join TAA's Janet Cline for a Zoom Cooking Class to make Sufganyot (Jelly Donuts) for Hanukkah! Register hereto receive recipe, video and Zoom link by email so you'll have time to gather ingredients and prepare dough before Zoom Cooking Class!!!
Thursday, December 10th & Saturday, December 12th - 17th
Candle Lighting with Rabbi Lewis and members of the congregation. Stay tuned for details!
Saturday, December 12th
Join us for a Chanukah party for the whole congregation. Candle lighting, stories, music and a skit performed by our SCRS students.Details to follow....!!!
Sunday, December 13th at 4 pm
FREE PJ Library Family Hanukkah Concert The community is invited by the Lappin Foundation!
The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations
To honor the memory of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (z"l) we are having a communal reading of his book The Dignity of Difference. We will discuss the book in four conversations following Shabbat zervices on January 2, 9, 16 and 23. You can attend as many sessions as you like. We encourage you to order the book from the library or a local bookstore. If purchase of the book is a barrier to participation please contact Rabbi Lewis as there are funds specifically donated to assure cost will not be a barrier to participation.
The Book of Genesis is full of seeming repetitions of the same stories. In this week’s reading there are two episodes in the life of Isaac and Rebecca that are remarkably similar to narratives from the life of Abraham and Sarah.* In his excellent book, The Art of Biblical Narrative, Robert Alter explains these repetitions as “type-scenes” (a concept from Homer scholarship). Type-scenes, Alter argues, are not some accident or “stammer in the process of transmission,” but rather, are part of the artistry of biblical storytelling.
The variations in each telling of these stories elegantly articulates details of personality and motivation. So, for example, in the betrothal scene at a well, which occurs three times, only Rebecca draws the water. (In the other scenes, it is Jacob and Moses who draw water for their future wives, Rachel and Zipporah.) This tells us something about Rebecca. While Isaac seems passive, she is the one who controls the narrative. Most dramatically this is demonstrated when she orchestrates Jacob’s stealing of the blessing first-born from Esav (chapter 27).
These repetitions of stories got me thinking about the type-scenes in our own lives, so many of which have been cancelled or dramatically changed over the last eight months. For most of us, we are planning a very different Thanksgiving scene than we have ever experienced. As with Passover, in many cases, forethought and planning allowed new patterns and opportunities to emerge.
My cousin who hosts the family Thanksgiving dinner, this year gave us assignments so that our normal roles in the family gathering can be maintained. My brother-in-law will invent the Thanksgiving 2020 cocktail (and I expect will make a video of how it should be properly constructed). I will provide a Thanksgiving blessing, and those who want to zoom will share songs. I also plan to make my grandmother’s mandelbrot recipe with my mother’s variation (candied ginger) and mail it to relatives around the country.
It is emotionally painful that we cannot be together physically. Yet, we do still have some control of how we want to create the scene in a way that says something about who we are and what is important to us. May we have the creativity and perseverance to create rituals that celebrate the best in ourselves.
* For example, compare 26:1-17 to 12:10-20 and 20:1-18.
UPDATE ON OFFICE TRANSITION
Never were the words, “It takes a village” more true! So many TAA members have stepped up to take on various office tasks. The mail is being opened, phone calls returned, emails read, and the newsletter is being updated and sent out every Tuesday. The support of the Board of Directors has been remarkable and we are grateful to all.
As we move forward, we ask for your patience. We are doing our very best to provide a smooth transition.
A job description has been written and we will keep you updated as we determine next steps.
In the meantime, if you have a question or concern, feel free to reach out. You can still leave phone messages for the office, Rabbi Lewis, Phoebe Potts, and Laurie Williamson, our bookkeeper. To email the office please use firstname.lastname@example.org. We are checking voicemail and email daily and will get back to you asap.
We appreciate your understanding!
Mazel Tov for Beverly Neighborhood Shabbat!!
who joined together last week for candle lighting, blessings, Shalom Aleichem and catching up.
Our building remains physically closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff is checking email and voicemail. We welcome you to join us for any current Zoom offerings and we look forward to re-joining with you in person again soon! Stay healthy and safe.