WOOD RIVER JEWISH COMMUNITY
WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
May 3 , 2022
Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut are celebrated on the fourth and fifth of Iyar, respectively this year, May 3-5) unless that date should occur on Shabbat, in which case they may be moved forward or back a day.  

Following Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron honors Israeli veterans, fallen soldiers, and Israeli civilians killed by acts of terrorism. It is a day observed with moments of silence, the blasting of a siren throughout the entire country, and ceremonies at cemeteries and official venues across Israel. 

The day ends as the sun sets, and Yom Ha’Atzma-ut, Israeli Independence Day, begins with raising the Israeli flag on Mount Herzl from the half-mast position it flew in on Yom HaZikaron to the top of the pole. The link between these two days is obvious; without the sacrifice of those in the armed forces, there would have been no independent Jewish state. Our sorrow must be followed with joy and hope.

Yom Ha’atzm’aut is celebrated with parades, family gatherings, public shows, and dancing. It concludes with awarding the "Israel Prize," the most prestigious award given by the State of Israel, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions in their field or to Israeli culture. Jewish communities all over the world celebrate as well, with parades, charitable giving, concerts, festivals and more. 
Matthew Karatz and Lindsey Edelman
and their 3 children Levi, Sam and Izzy
from Los Angeles

Torah Portion of the Week
Kedoshim (the holiness code) Leviticus 19:1–20:27

* Kedoshim begins with the statement: “You shall be holy, for I, your God, am holy.” This is followed by dozens of mitzvot (divine commandments) through which the Jew sanctifies him or herself and relates to the holiness of God.

* Some of the notable mitzvot: Prohibition against idolatry, the mitzvah of charity, the principle of equality before the law, Shabbat, sexual morality, honesty in business, honor and awe of one’s parents, and the sacredness of life. What elevates our lives and creates just societies? Temple-based purification ceremonies are part of the so-called Holiness Code, but it's by following the everyday rules for curbing our negative tendencies and respecting the vulnerable that we elicit the best in ourselves. Leaving the corner of every field for the poor is a Biblical command, not just a suggestion, and one that shapes our values until today.
Within Kedoshim is the dictum which the great sage Rabbi Akiva called a cardinal principle of Torah: “Love your fellow as yourself,” of which Hillel said, “This is the entire Torah - the rest is commentary”

The context for the prohibition against same-sex relations suggests that it is less about sexuality and more about cultural identity, including the interpretation that the prohibition was about two men and sexual misconduct regarding the cruel sexual mistreatment of women. God tells the people that they must separate themselves from the practices of the Canaanites. In this context, it makes sense that the culture of the Canaanites be demeaned in the Torah. If homosexual relations were deemed relevant to Canaanite culture, their prohibition may be more to do with establishing power over a united, and distinct, people than condemning the practice for something inherent to it. This often misunderstood prohibition has turned a lot of Jews away from Judaism and continues to be a cause for hatred, fear, and misunderstanding in world.

Rabbi Robbi
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Counting of the Omer

The period between Passover and Shavuot marks two kinds of movement through time: the passage of the seven weeks between the barley offering and the first wheat offering at the ancient Temple during these spring festivals, and the transition from slavery to true liberation. On Passover, we leave Egypt, but on Shavuot we receive the Torah, which gives us our purpose as a people, answering the question of the ultimate goal of our collective freedom. For many people, the "counting of the Omer"—these 49 days—provides a time for reflection and growth, often using the seven “lower” emanations of God in the kabbalistic system as spiritual themes for each day and week, that include lovingkindness, awe, beauty, endurance, humility, foundation, nobility.
Donations of the Week
PATRON OF THE MONTH SPONSOR
David Kaye and Judy Teller Kaye

BUILDING FUNDS
Jay and Debra Platt
Jamie Hyams

JEWISH LIFE
Bob Kantor and Laura Boyd
Cissie Swig
Josh and Rowena Kleinman in honor of Ron and Susan Green, to be honored as founders of Greensboro B'nai Shalom's Day School
Carlyn Ring in memory of Gustave Ring

WHERE NEEDED MOST FUND
David Kaye and Judy Teller Kaye in honor of Ron and Susan Green, to be honored as founders of Greensboro B'nai Shalom's Day School
Bob and Claudie Goldstein in honor of Ron and Susan Green, to be honored as founders of Greensboro B'nai Shalom's Day School
Bob and Claudie Goldstein wishing a speedy recovery to Paul Wolff
David Kaye and Judy Teller Kaye wishing a speedy recovery to Paul Wolff

Yahrzeits of the week
Jennie Friedlander, Mother of Bernard Friedlander
Ira Kirshbaum, Father  of Bruce Kirshbaum
Stuart Mason, Husband  of Flora Mason
Irving Mendelsohn, Father of Karen Saks
Gustave Ring, Father of Carlyn Ring
Sara Rae Sekerman, Mother of Janet Becht
Mickey Weiss, Father of Dennis Weiss
The Caring Committee is here to support the WRJC members by preparing meals, phone calls, delivering care packages and providing general assistance. Please don't hesitate to call us.

This Month's Chair is Cathy Goldstein
cdgoldstein1@gmail.com
415-385-2464

If you would like to join The Caring Committee to bring support to our community please reach out to Conifoster@hotmail.com
BIRTHDAYS
Debra Levin
Mila Lyon

ANNIVERSARIES
Lynda and Alan Maybruck
Bunker and Larry Frank

Paul Wolff
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Board of Directors 2021-2022
Josh Kleinman, Co-President
Susan Green, Co-President
Jeff Rose, Vice-President
Dana Berntson, Co-Vice President
Noa Ries, Co-Vice President
Judy Teller Kaye, Treasurer
Coni Foster, Secretary
Linda Cooper
Phil Goldstein
Ron Greenspan
Amy Kroll
Marty Lyon
Marshall Meyer
Juli Roos
Bob Safron
Rabbi Robbi Sherwin
Claudie Goldstein, Executive Director
WRJC STANDS WITH ISRAEL