Sermon—Parashat Bo 5778/January 20, 2018
A Tribute to Rabbi Leonard Cahan, z”l
By Rabbi Ari Sunshine
In this morning’s parasha we get a heavy dose of Pesach—would you believe it’s only 10 weeks away now?—including a description of the first Pesach in Egypt, as well as the instructions for an annual celebration in perpetuity. And, speaking of Pesach, we also find in this parasha three of the four questions that make their way into the Haggadah as the questions of the four sons, or four children, four different types of individuals and learners reacting in their own way to the Seder—and Exodus—experience.
by Marcy Helfand
I want to encourage you to attend the Women’s Shabbat (which, by the way, is not just for women) on Friday, January 26. If you’ve seen the announcement in the Congregation Shearith Israel eblast or the SISterhood eblast, you know that the title is “Judaism is Calling: From Rotary Phones to iPhones, Let’s Talk.” I am going to confess that the first phones I used were, in fact, rotary phones. It was an exciting day when we got the “high tech” push button phones although they were still tethered to the wall. If you want to roll your eyes further, I experienced many years of rolling down car windows MANUALLY.
by Rabbi Shira Wallach
Greetings from the Pearlstone Center! This week, Rabbis Sunshine, Roffman, and I are attending the Rabbinic Training Institute (RTI), an annual conference for Conservative rabbis to connect, learn, and support one another. We can’t wait to come home and tell you all about it!
by Rabbi Ari Sunshine
Tonight begins the 18th of the month of Tevet in the Jewish calendar, which happens to mark the 45th yahrzeit of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, z”l, one of the great theologians of modern Jewish history. Heschel was trained as a scholar in Germany and raised in a Chasidic environment in Warsaw and once seemed destined to become a Chasidic rebbe in Poland. His life ultimately took a different path and he became a renowned professor at JTS (the Jewish Theological Seminary) for over 25 years. Heschel’s piety was grounded in his Jewish experience and life, but also led him to conclude that religious life and faith is a fundamental human impulse, not exclusively a Jewish one, and moreover that no one religion could claim a monopoly on religious truth.
by Gail Mizrahi
As the immediate Past President of Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas, I realized an opportunity for our multi-generational community to intermingle and enjoy each other’s company. By learning something challenging and unpredictable together, what better idea was there to reach across the generations than with the game of Mah Jongg…right? I kept hearing that people were interested in learning how to play with their friends, husbands, or significant others. So I began thinking about how many of us learned to play the game as a youngster by watching our mothers and grandmothers play in their weekly game? I had previously taught Mah Jongg at a Senior Community in Plano where my father had once resided…and 14 years later, that group of women still play in their Friday afternoon game. So I decided to try teaching here at my synagogue so the young and the young at heart could feel the same fun and excitement I still have after playing for 26 years. The response was phenomenal! I was hoping for 20 people to sign up…but after only several weeks of advertising among the community, I had to cut off enrollment at 52…plus we had a waiting list of 18 more!
Shearith Israel clergy, staff and congregants share