Volume 4 Number 13 – April 3rd, 2021 – 21 Nissan 5781
NHBZ Sisterhood is counting on you to send in your annual dues for 2021.
Send your check for $25 – payable to NHBZ or class the office to pay by phone: 314.991.2100, ext. 3
For more information email email@example.com or contact Fran Alperor Teree Farbstein.
We invite you to stay connected… and join us!
Sisterhood’s Book Club News
The next Book Club meeting will be Mon., April 26, 7:15-8:45 pm., on Zoom, to discuss “The Last Kings of Shanghai” by Jonathan Kaufman, a multigenerational story of two rival dynasties who flourished in Shanghai and Hong Kong as twentieth-century China surged into the modern era.
Linda Shore will lead the discussion.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming Book Club discussions:
- June 28 “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brook – led by Linda Luks
- August 23 “Florence Adler Swims Forever” by Rachel Beanland – led by Faith Waxman
For more information or to get the Zoom link contact Terri Schnitzer.
Remember to Count the Omer… and to make these days count
The Torah commands that from the second night of Passover until the day before the holiday of Shavuot, we, the Jewish people, engage in the unique mitzvah of Sefirat HaOmer (counting of the Omer) for seven complete weeks – 49 days. At the end of this time, we celebrate Shavuot, which means “weeks.”
Why do we count these days? We learn several reasons. The foremost is that the count demonstrates our thrill for the impending occasion of receiving the Torah, celebrated on Shavuot. Just as a child often counts the days until the end of school or an upcoming family vacation, we count the days to show our excitement at again receiving the Torah (as we do in fact receive the Torah in a renewed sense every year).
We also learn that this period is meant to spiritually prepare and refine ourselves. When the Jewish people were in Egypt nearly 3,400 years ago, they had assimilated many of the immoral ways of the Egyptian people. The Jews had sunk to an unprecedented level of spiritual defilement and were on the brink of destruction. At the last possible moment, the children of Israel were miraculously redeemed. They underwent a spiritual rebirth and quickly ascended to the holiest collective state they had ever reached. They were so holy, in fact, that they were compared to angels when they stood at the foot of Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah.
The commandments of the Torah are not meant merely as our history but instead, represent an ongoing life lesson for every Jew. We view the Torah as freshly received every day of our lives and approach it and its commandments with appropriate vigor.
So too must we digest the lesson of the counting of the Omer. It is specifically during this time that we strive to grow and mature in our spiritual state. The Torah does not allow us to become satisfied with our current level of spirituality. Instead, it tells us to set high goals for ourselves, and then methodically strive to reach that goal.
The growth that occurs during this time is akin to a marathon. We pace ourselves and seek to improve day by day until we reach the day that we again receive the Torah. In this process, we look deep within ourselves and work on all of our negative attributes. If we are challenged in the realm of acts of kindness, we go out of our way to do more charitable works. If we are lacking in the area of justice, we hold ourselves to the highest possible standards and are exacting and demanding in our personal behavior and habits. And so it goes for all of our traits.
-adapted from Yeruchem Eilfort (www.chabad.org)
“Making a blessing over life is the best way of turning life into a blessing.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Z”L
For information or to join Sisterhood, call the NHBZ office at 314-991-2100, ext. 3,
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org