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.
Oh, but back to the purpose of this little “blog.” I want you to join us on Friday night, the 26th, to “shut down and restart” your week. Whether we are the “rotary phone” generation or the “iPhone” generation, you’ll hear our panel discuss the ways in which Judaism does and does not speak to us differently.
The SISterhood book group is reading the book, “My Jewish Year,” which I highly recommend. In it, there is a quote from Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein, which says, “Here’s the irony: every time I think about people who insist, “The rule is,” I want to say to them, tradition wasn’t always that rule. Nowadays we look at authenticity, ‘authentic’ Judaism, and have certain models in our mind that didn’t exist two hundred years ago. Three hundred years ago. “Tradition” is a loaded term… We have never been dormant. We have never been inactive… If our tradition isn’t vital and changing, with full respect to what it was before, then it’s not alive.”
Please come and listen to our panelists Bonnie Whitman, Andrea Steiger, Harrian Stern, and Ashley Stern Ruchlin (a couple of mother/daughter teams) and our Moderator, Roz Benjet, discuss how they are alike and different in the ways that Judaism speaks to them and touches their lives. The service begins at 6 in Beck, and you can sign up for the dinner, where our discussion will take place, by going to https://shearith.org/calendar/sisterhood-womens-shabbat/.
Shearith Israel clergy, staff and congregants share