Weekly E-News 5784
November 17 - November 23, 2023

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Tuna Salad
Pasta Salad
Green Salad
Baklava
Assorted Cookies

Thanks to Libby Waldman-Strugatch and Bruce Strugatch
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.

Join us in celebrating Chanukah on December 13th!

There will be a latke bar, donut filling station, games, contests, and more!
The cost is $10 per person and $20 per family.

Please call the synagogue to make your reservation.
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


11/17 - 8 PM - Dessert & Drash at 404 Wheeler Street - A short Friday night service held at the Rabbi's house followed by dessert and a study session on the week's Torah portion

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

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. Classes began the week of October 1st
Rabbi's Message

If you are a parent of multiple kids, you’ve probably been asked by them: do you have a favorite child? Most likely, you said no. It’s the very rare parent that admits to playing favorites. But in this week’s Torah portion Toldot, we get a rare inside look at who Yitchak and Rivkah love more out of their twins, and more importantly, why they love them more. We are told וַיֶּאֱהַב יִצְחָק אֶת־עֵשָׂו כִּי־צַיִד בְּפִיו וְרִבְקָה אֹהֶבֶת אֶת־יַעֲקֹב. “And Yitzchak loved Esav for bringing him game (literally ‘for he put game in his mouth’), and Rivkah loved Yaakov.” Both parents clearly have their favorites, which will ultimately pit both parents and siblings against one another.

But let us look at Yitzhak’s reasoning for loving Esav. “For he put game in his mouth.” The commentator Chizkuni cleverly looks at this phrasing and deduces that “Yitzchak did not love Esav all the time, but only at those moments where he ‘put game in his mouth.’” In other words, shockingly, Yitzchak’s love for Esav was conditional: because Esav was a mighty hunter who brought him his favorite foods, he loved Esav, but when Esav failed to deliver, that love diminished. However, Rivkah’s love, notes Chizkuni, has no conditionals attached to it. She simply loves her son, always. There is no reason given. She just loves him. And yet, that unconditional love is only for Yaakov. We don’t learn why she does not give the same love to Esav. She just loves Yaakov.

It is probably no chiddush (novel idea) to you that it is better to love all of your children unconditionally than to love them because of what they do. But think about how easy it is fall into that trap. We learn that no less a person than our forefather Yitzchak, noted his righteousness, who survived the ordeal of almost being sacrificed by his father, loved his oldest son more because that son brought him the food he liked. If Yitzchak could fall into this trap, how much more so can we? And if Rivkah, who loved unconditionally, could only do that for one of her children, what about us?

And here is perhaps an even more radical idea. It is one thing to talk about loving our children unconditionally. What about each other? What if we could learn to love and care for each other not for the value that we add to the world, but simply because we are all human, all alive? To truly strive to love everyone just for being human?

An impossibility, I know. If Yitzchak and Rivkah couldn’t love both of their children unconditionally, how could we love everyone? And yet we have this story in the Torah, to teach us where conditional love takes us. To Esav crying on the floor, and Yaakov fleeing for his life. We can, and should learn from ancestors. May we learn from our ancestors’ mistakes, and we may learn to have our love for one another be like Rivkah’s for Yaakov. Timeless, unending, unconditional love.

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 

Toldot
Candle Lighting: 5:06 pm
Havdalah: 6:02 pm
(all times are for Savannah)
Annual Torah reading: Genesis 25:19-28:9
(Etz Hayim pp 146-161)
Triennial Torah reading: Genesis 26:23-27:27
(Etz Hayim pp 152-157)
Haftarah: Malachi 1:1-2:7
(Etz Hayim pp 162-165)

Birthdays

November 18th
Jeffrey Lasky
Bert Tenenbaum

November 19th
Sherry Jacobson
Stephen Morris

November 20th
Hilary Kronowitz
Gil Rubin

November 22nd
Lynn Simon

Anniversaries

November 17th
Natalie & Bruce Hyman
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].
Yahrzeits

November 17 - November 23

Thursday night/Friday, November 17 - 4 Kislev
Evelyn Neidich - mother of Linda Hoffman

Friday night/Saturday, November 18 - 5 Kislev
Hilda Broome - grandmother of Simone Wilker

Saturday night/Sunday, November 20 - 7 Kislev
Louis Nathan - grandfather of Michael Konter
Hedwig Richtman - grandmother of Lewis Schneider

Sunday night/Monday, November 21 - 8 Kislev
Rose Hirsh - mother of David Hirsh

Tuesday night/Wednesday, November 22 - 9 Kislev
Frances Weil - mother of Loren Weil

Wednesday night/Thursday, November 23 - 10 Kislev
Harvey Rosengart - husband of Helen & father of Russell Rosengart

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

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

To be performed by Savannah Theatre
November 3rd - 19th

This important cultural touchstone is being put on and supported by our non-Jewish community in a difficult time. Rabbi Gelman has a role in the matinee productions on the 5th, 12th, 19th, and the evening productions on the 11th, 16th, & 18th.
Use the code Samuel at checkout for a discount of $7.00 per ticket.

Donor Dues Program
Rabbi Samuel Gelman
Adam Fins, President

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