Weekly E-News 5784
November 24 - November 30, 2023


Cream Cheese

Thanks to Eva Locker
for preparing this week's kiddush!

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.

Please call the synagogue to make your reservation!
The cost is $10 per person and $20 per family.
Save the Date

January 26th - SCAD/Hillel Dinner at AA.
$10 per person and $20 per family.
Please plan to attend!
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

11/24 - 8 PM - Shabbat at the synagogue (demand permitting)

12/2 - 6PM - PJ Shabbat - Come join us for our intergenerational PJ Shabbat! We invite everyone to come in their comfiest PJs and get cozy with us, as we sing songs to welcome in Shabbat, read a book all about Purim, and pray together as a community. The person in the best set of PJs wins a prize! This slightly abbreviated service is for people of all ages.

Please add these to your calendars!
Class Updates
History & Current Events in Israel
Motti will teach this class at the synagogue every other Wednesday
at 10:30. The next class is scheduled for November 29th.

The Soul of Prayer
For many of us, when we come to services, whether that is twice a year or twice a month, we open the prayer book and are immediately faced with questions. What do these words mean? Why am I saying this? Why do I bow here? Why are Shabbat morning services 3 times as long as Shabbat evening services, which are 5 times as long as weekday evening services? Join Rabbi Gelman as we work our way through the prayer book. We’ll examine the origin of Jewish prayer, what the words mean, and the where the order and stage directions come from. Together, we’ll answer the question: why and how do we use a siddur to pray?
We will be holding class twice a week: on Tuesdays at 4 PM on Zoom and on Thursdays at 10 AM in person. Both classes will cover the same material, so feel free to come to whichever class is most convenient.
Rabbi's Message

In Fiddler on the Roof, the revolutionary student Perchik gives an interesting interpretation of the story of Lavan tricking Ya’akov into marrying Leah: “you must never trust an employer!” he thunders. Hodel slyly says “I doubt the Rabbi would agree with your interpretation” As a rabbi, I will say: they are both right. Perchik’s interpretation is a little crass and over-simplified, but if we read Lavan as a man obsessed with money over everything else (and the Midrash insists that we do: it sees Lavan’s act of embracing and kissing Ya’akov as searching for whether or not Ya’akov has stashed jewels on his person or even in his mouth), then the Torah teaches us quite clearly not to trust that sort of man. If someone values money over human beings, they will see human beings only as a way to make money.

But Hodel is also right that this is an oversimplification of the story. We have plenty of stories in the Torah about rejecting greed, or seeing people as more important than money (we can look to Avraham’s refusal to take even a shoelace for rescuing the captives taken the War of the Kings). And this story is not just a story of Lavan’s trickery. It is a story of Ya’akov being tricked.

All last week we saw Ya’akov acting as the ultimate trickster, deceiving both his brother and his father. His birthright now secure, blessing in hand, and away from his murderous brother, this should be the best time of Ya’akov’s life. But it is not. He is himself tricked—into working an additional seven years, into marrying a woman he does not love, which will negatively affect his personal life. Lavan constantly tries to change Ya’akov’s wages, after he finishes working for his wives. And ultimately, in the coming weeks, Ya’akov will be hit by the cruelest deception of all, when his own sons trick him into thinking that his beloved Yosef is dead.

Ya’akov receives a taste of his own medicine: middah keneged middah, measure for measure. He learns what it is like to be deceived the hard way. So this story is not just about Lavan being cruel—it is about Ya’akov facing that cruelty. He has to face the mirror-image of himself in Lavan to grow us a person, to realize that he cannot, should not treat people as Lavan treats him.

So Perchik may be right, to not trust someone who uses others for money. But there is more to the story. There is a warning that we should not become that type of person. Because we learn from this story that the deeds we commit find their way back to us, that the chickens do come home to roost. And rather than spend twenty years learning that lesson, it is better for us to read it in the Torah, engage in self-reflection, and try improving our own character today.

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 (followed by breakfast) & 8:00 PM
Shabbat: 9:45 AM
This Shabbat: 

2023 | 5784 

Candle Lighting: 5:03 pm
Havdalah: 6:00 pm
(all times are for Savannah)
Annual Torah reading: Genesis 28:10-32:3
(Etz Hayim pp 166-187)
Triennial Torah reading: Genesis 30:14-31:16
(Etz Hayim pp 176-181)
Haftarah: Hosea 12:13-14:10
(Etz Hayim pp 188-193)


November 25th
Gerald Caplan
Gale Hirsh
Morgan McGhie

November 27th
Michelle Allan

November 28th
Rachel Israel
Timothy Mescon

November 29th
Lynn Berkowitz

November 30th
Amy Kaminsky

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 njhyman@aol.com.

November 24 - December 1

Thursday night/Friday, November 24 - 11 Kislev
Rosa Selfon - aunt of Karyn Gross, great-aunt of Shellie Jensen

Friday night/Saturday, November 25 -12 Kislev
Hannah Mastel - mother of Eric Mastel

Saturday night/Sunday, November 26 - 13 Kislev
Alan Simon - husband of Lynn Simon

Sunday night/Monday, November 27 - 14 Kislev
Marcia Lebos - wife of Harvey Lebos
Helena Silvers - mother of Lisa Kaminsky
Allan Ullman - son of Harriet Ullman, brother of Susan Slotin

Tuesday night/Wednesday, November 29 - 16 Kislev
Helen Arkin - mother of Steve Arkin
Max Kreh - father of Stavie Kreh
Joseph Stock - husband of Dorothy Stock, father of Marla Geffen

Wednesday night/Thursday, November 30 - 17 Kislev
Janice Alterman - sister of Edward Cohen
Yaakov Ehrlich - grandfather of Motti Locker
Morris Kaminsky - father of Leah Gross,
uncle of Toby Friedman, Danny Kaminsky, & Myron Kaminsky
Eleanor Seidman - mother pf Alan Seidman
Aaron Udinsky - grandfather of David & Gary Udinsky

Thursday night/Friday, December 1 - 18 Kislev
Charles Caplan - father of Gerald Caplan
Arthur Feldman - father-in-law of Nancy Feldman
Irving Hoffman - father of Kenneth Hoffman

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

The Art Show at the JEA beginning December 1, 2022, will feature the
Fiber Guild of the Savannahs
The Fiber Guild of the Savannahs is a group of fiber artists who meet regularly (via Zoom meetings at the moment) to share inspiration and techniques using a wide variety of fiber-related arts. Spinning, weaving, dyeing, quilting, knitting, basketry, rug making, paper manipulation, needle felting, and crocheting are just some of the crafts our members explore. We have a strong sense of community service and volunteerism. Our members demonstrate traditional pioneer crafts to children and families at the annual festivals at Oatland Island Wildlife Center. All persons—beginners, amateurs and professional fiber artists, are all welcome to join the guild.

JEA Art Gallery Reception

Fiber Guild of the Savannahs

Thursday, December 3—2  

Donor Dues Program
Rabbi Samuel Gelman
Adam Fins, President

Congregation Agudath Achim | office@agudath-achim.com | 912-352-4737 | www.agudath-achim.com