Written by Devora Greenberg, Rav Siach Director and Rabbi Arie Hasit, Educational Developer from our sister congregation in Israel
Hanukkah is a holiday of many miracles, yet all of them share the theme that light, be it actual or metaphorical, has the ability to expel even the most powerful darkness. The following study includes a number of texts from Jewish and Israeli sources. These texts reference the struggle between light and darkness, exploring together what darkness is in our world right now and how are you able to bring light to it, what can small minorities do when they see a darkness caused by a group stronger than they are.
by Rabbi Harold J Kravitz,
Rosh Hashanah Day 1 Sermon, 5778
Earlier I mentioned that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which set into motion the creation of the State of Israel, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War that has brought Israel to the challenging place in which she finds herself. And of course this coming May will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State. There is one other less well known anniversary being observed this year that I think our synagogue also has good reason to acknowledge. In 2018 the Masorti Movement in Israel will be celebrating 40 years since it was successfully launched through efforts credited to Rabbi Michael Graetz, who for decades served as rabbi of our sister synagogue Magen Avraham in Omer.
Reflections on Playing with Fire: Fear and Love from Parashat Tzav and AIPAC Policy Conference 2016 by Rabbi Aaron S. Weininger
Don’t play with fire. We grew up with this warning and tell it to our kids. But for our ancestors wandering in the desert, offering animal sacrifices, it didn’t really apply. Parashat Tzav jumps right into the ritual of the “olah,” the burnt offering, the sacrifice that was offered over a fire that had to remain burning all the time. The olah offering was never eaten and it was most accessible to all Israelites, rich and poor, because the offering could come from a range of animal choices.
by Kim Gedan, co-chair Adath Israel Committee
On January 31, the Israeli government legally sanctioned an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall. Israel has recognized the rights of all Jews to worship at the Kotel, regardless of denomination. A prayer for Jewish pluralism has been answered!
By Bernie Goldblatt, Executive Director
The week of October 19th the 27th World Zionist Congress was held in Jerusalem. This congress was established by Theodore Herzl and first met in Basel, Switzerland in 1897. The World Zionist Organization (WZO) was essential in the founding of the State of Israel and continues its important work today.
Representatives from countries all over the world participate in the Congress and work on issues like combatting anti-Semitism, promoting aliyah and connecting world Jewry with the State of Israel. I had the honor to attend the Congress as a member of the Mercaz delegation. Mercaz is the American Zionist organization of the Conservative movement. Mercaz is the Hebrew word for "center" and it symbolizes the idea that Zionism is central to Conservative Judaism and that we reject both political and religious extremes. Masorti (Conservative Judaism in Israel) offers meaningful religious alternatives to Israelis which until recently were missing from the landscape of Israeli life. Thus, one of the key agendas of the Mercaz slate at the World Zionist Congress was pluralism in Israeli religious and political spheres.
Adath clergy, staff and congregants share