Beth Am News of the Week
Thursday, May 21 - Thursday, May 28
Cantor Emeritus’s Corner: Missing a Smile

Roberta and I recently had a virtual (Zoom-call) Friday evening Shabbat dinner. During the call, at the point when we blessed our children, an explanation was offered for the reason we ask that our sons be like “Ephraim and Menashe” as opposed to our Patriarchs. The suggested reason was that these two children of Joseph were perhaps the only set of siblings in the Torah who loved each other. I do not recall any supporting evidence in the text – but certainly, other siblings did NOT get along. 

I would take that concept one step further. We are currently into the Torah texts describing the Israelites’ 40 years being nomads in the wilderness, comprising the better part of 4 of the 5 books in the Torah. In the entirety of these texts, there are numerous descriptions of interactions among people. Since the time the Israelites crossed the Sea of Reeds and began their trek, the Torah has been a preponderantly serious work, often dramatic and tense. That is, since Egypt, I do recall any times that are joyous or even pleasant. We could guess that the Israelite families may have enjoyed life together in some manner, having senses of humor or just smiling or hugging, but that kind of “small” detail is not in the narrative. Even with the main character of Moses, we know little of his family life with his wife or children. The Torah is clearly not a modern novel or history text; rather, it intends that we absorb our morals and behaviors as a serious undertaking, and that perhaps we learn best from mistakes (of which there are plenty in the wilderness). I personally agree that we humans can be more naturally attuned (at least once our kids get older) to react to bad behavior, rather than to appreciate the normal good behaviors, but that does not mean we are unable to learn from acts of goodness and kindness. A simple reinforcing smile can be simply powerful.

Shabbat this week
Saturday, May 23, 2020
29th Iyyar 5780

  • 9:10 AM - Shabbat Yachad with Rav Daniel and Abby Woloff
  • 9:30 AM - Shabbat Morning Services with Rav Daniel and Abby Woloff.

Follow along with us!

Our building may be closed,
but our community is open!
We have been working hard to create points of virtual contact so Beth Am'ers and friends can continue to build the community we all cherish.

The building will be closed for the foreseeable future, during that time we will be utilizing different forms of technology including Facebook Live (via the Beth Am Facebook Page) and Zoom Video Conferencing.

Services will continue to be streamed on our website. We will continue to update you regarding programming as we learn more about each platform.

All of our upcoming programs can be found on our NEW VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING CALENDAR. The necessary links are listed in the event details or just click on the tile ads below to participate! If you're interested in hosting something for Beth Am'ers, email Jamie Aaron and she will help you set something up!


How to join a Zoom Meeting: Zoom FAQ's

Access Facebook Live without a Facebook Account: Facebook Live
Shavuot 5780
Upcoming Programs
Continuing Programs
Analog and digital programming at Beth Am is made possible by members' generous contributions to the Open Doors Annual Fund .  Please consider making your pledge before our fiscal year end in June.

Staff
Alexander Grass Rabbinic Chair  

Director of Congregational Learning 

Executive Director

Beth Am President

Ritual Coordinator

Assistant to Rabbi Burg
Program Coordinator

Administrative Assistant – Front Office

Accounting


Helpful Information
Mazel Tovs
Please send any mazel tovs to the  front office   by 3:00 pm on Tuesdays to be included in this email and the Shabbat program

Transportation Assistance - Te mporarily suspended

Cemetery Information
Read more  here
Aliyah / Honor Requests - T emporarily suspended

Prayer Book / Siddurim Dedication
Complete the form  here . Questions? 
Contact  Devora

Memorial Plaques
Complete the form  here
Questions? Contact  David
Beth Am Synagogue | 2501 Eutaw Place | Baltimore | 21217