Weekly E-News 5784
February 9 - February 15, 2024


Everything Bagel Salmon
Vegetable Paella
Gazpacho Salad
Ice Cream Cake

Many thanks to Beth Bosman, Elise Shernoff, & Fran Middleberg
for preparing this week's celebration kiddush!

This week's kiddush was sponsored by Debra & Gil Rubin and by Sharon & Murray Galin. Happy birthday Sharon!

Please consider sponsoring a shabbat, in whole or in part, to celebrate a special achievement or celebration. You may also donate to the kiddush fund in any amount at any time.
Contact the office for more details.

Another way to help with our kiddushes is by donating kosher items from the pantry list published in each issue of the Hayom.
The synagogue's semi-annual meeting will take place Sunday, February 11th at 10 AM.
Please plan to attend!
Are you looking to send your children to Jewish sleepaway camp this summer? AA has three separate funds available to support you and your children's Jewish education: the Ramah Camp Scholarship Fund, the Melaver Fund, and the Sylvia & Morris Cohen Israel Travel Fund.

If you have any questions , please call Motti at 912-352-4737 or email him at [email protected].

The application is available by going to the link below and must be received by Monday, March 18th.
Class Updates
Motti's class on the history and culture of Israel will meet on Wednesday, February 21st, 10:30, at AA.
Support AA's Sisterhood!
Opportunities at AA
We're still looking for new members of the Fundraising Committee. This committee is charged with ensuring the long-term financial health of the synagogue. Planning events is not necessarily the goal! Please contact Adam if interested.
Friday Night Services
Upcoming Themes

2/9 - 8PM - Shabbat at the synagogue

2/16 - 8PM - Shabbat at the synagogue

Please add these to your calendars!
Rabbi's Message

At the end of this week’s parsha, after the giving of the laws throughout the entirety of the parsha, Moshe, Aharon, and the elders of Israel have an encounter with God. They ascend partway up Mt. Sinai, and behold a vision: God, enthroned, “וְתַחַת רַגְלָיו כְּמַעֲשֵׂה לִבְנַת הַסַּפִּיר וּכְעֶצֶם הַשָּׁמַיִם לָטֹהַר, and underneath his feet was like a pavement of sappir, like the very sky of purity.” But, we are told, God did not strike them down for beholding this vision. So what did the Israelites do? וַיֶּחֱזוּ אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְׁתּוּ. “They saw God, and they ate and they drank.”

Imagine! An encounter with the Divine, a vision of God with a floor so majestic, that we cannot even translate the word anymore. Sappir may mean sapphire, or lapis lazuli, or a red stone like a ruby, or a white stone like a diamond. This is an awe-inspiring moment. And Moshe the Israelites respond by eating and drinking! Where are the prayers? Where is the appreciation for the majesty of the moment?

Well, if they were eating and drinking, that does not mean that there were no prayers. Perhaps it is a little ahistorical, but there is a long Jewish tradition of making a beracha before and after we eat. And perhaps Moshe and the elders made those berakhot upon eating and drinking, and blessed God when they were finished. And by doing that, through eating and drinking, they were appreciating the moment, they were basking in the divine.

There is something very special, and very uniquely Jewish, in responding to seeing a vision of God by eating and drinking. It is not just that we Jews love food—we can’t claim to be the only minority group with a special appreciation for the culinary arts. But by blessing our food before and after we eat, by giving thanks to God through eating, we take the most mundane of human activities—consumption of food so that we can continue eating—and make it holy. We elevate an everyday activity into a sublime moment.

That is our task as Jews: to take the everyday, the everyday, and make it holy. To find ways to constantly see the world not just how it is, but how it could be. Moshe’s eating and drinking before God showcases how even the most basic of human acts can be made into something special. May we all find the way to turn the little, everyday parts of our lives into acts of holiness.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gelman
Service Leader Sign Up

Are you interested in leading services? Reading Torah? You can sign up on our service leader sign up sheet! If you are interested in learning how to read Torah or lead services, contact Rabbi Gelman at rabbi@agudath-achim.com.
In Person Service Times:
Tuesday: 7:30 AM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM
Friday: 8:00 AM & 6:00 PM or 8PM
Shabbat: 9:45 AM
This Shabbat: 

2024 | 5784

Candle Lighting: 5:47 pm
Havdalah: 6:43 pm
(all times are for Savannah)
Annual Torah reading: Exodus 21:1-24:18
(Etz Hayim pp 456-480)
Triennial Torah reading: Exodus 22:4-23:19
(Etz Hayim pp 465-474)
Haftarah: Isaiah 66:1-24
(Etz Hayim pp 1220-1223)
We are looking for megillah readers!

February 10th
Michael Dobbs

February 11th
Sharon Galin
Bunny Montag

February 12th
Bruce Hyman

February 14th
Stephen Herman
Sandra Seligman

February 15th
Kenneth Sadler


February 12th
Lauren & Timothy Mescon

Mitzvah Grams

If you'd like to wish AA members Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary, the Sisterhood will be glad to send cards for you!
The cost is just $.75 for individual names or $50.00/ 6 months for all members with a date to celebrate.

For more information or to enroll, call Natalie Hyman at 518-265-6777 or email her at [email protected].

February 9 - February 16

Thursday night/Friday, February 9 - 30 Shevat
Harold Benjamin - father of Robert Benjamin
Mary Friedman - mother of Stephen Friedman
Samuel Rubin - grandfather of Elise Shernoff
Joseph Schwartz - father of Mark Schwartz
Charles Sussman - brother of Harvey Sussman

Monday night/Tuesday, February 13 - 4 Adar-I
Israel Dunn - father of Joan Moore
Ronaldo Lewin - father of Luciana Warman
Benjamin Selfon - uncle of Karyn Gross,
great-uncle of Shellie Jensen

Tuesday night/Wednesday, February 14 - 5 Adar I
Isadore Weitz - father of Julian Weitz,
grandfather of Stephen Friedman

Thursday night/Friday, February 16 - 7 Adar I
Esther Kaminsky - grandmother of Toby Friedman,
Myron & Danny Kaminsky

Commemoration of the Yahrzeit begins the evening of the first noted date.

Community Events
Donor Dues Program
Rabbi Samuel Gelman
Adam Fins, President
Motti Locker, Executive Director

Congregation Agudath Achim | [email protected] | 912-352-4737 | www.agudath-achim.com