Volume 4 Number 3 – January 23rd, 2021 – 10 Shevat 5781
Sisterhood Welcomes You!
All women are invited to join the NHBZ Sisterhood. There is no better time to get involved than NOW – at the beginning of our calendar year. Even though we are not yet meeting in person, we need your input and help to plan for our re-entry. Maybe you are interested in one of our standing committees…
- Program Planning
How about our Movie Nights, Book Club, or chesed projects? We invite you to join us.
Sisterhood continues to fund the JFed’s ‘Passport to Israel’ Program for our eligible members, as well as many other Synagogue activities. We are counting on you to send in your annual dues for 2021. Send your check for $25 – payable to NHBZ (write ‘Sisterhood’ in the memo line) or call the office to pay by phone, 314-991-2100, ext. 3.
For more information: email firstname.lastname@example.org;
Or contact Fran Alper or Teree Farbstei
“Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity and the right to use whatever sea lanes it needs. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.”
– Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
address to the Rabbinical Assembly March 26, 1968
Bo: Sun or Moon – Which One Are You?
The first mitzvah G‑d commanded the Jewish people, just as He was about to liberate them from Egypt and establish them as an independent, free people, was the commandment to establish a Hebrew calendar. As slaves, they did not control their own time, nor were they free to think about time on their own terms. Their time—and their perspective on life—was controlled by the powerful Egyptians. To be truly free, they would have to learn to think about time—its purpose and meaning—on their own terms.
So which calendar should they choose?
Would they identify with the mighty, powerful, masculine sun, or with the more subtle, reflective, feminine beauty of the moon?
An essential feature of the Hebrew calendar is that it synchronizes the lunar and solar cycles. It does so by establishing a leap year, adding a lunar month approximately every three years, closing the eleven-day gap between the lunar and solar years.
While not the first to sync the calendars, the Hebrew calendar is unique in that the synchronization of the sun and the moon is a central feature.
G‑d and Us
The way we think about time informs our attitude towards the universe as a whole: What is the purpose of creation? Does life have meaning? Does time have meaning? The Jew’s answer is that the purpose of everything is the unity of the sun and the moon, of giver and receiver, of G‑d and the Jewish people. The brilliant sun symbolizes the consistent, powerful and illuminating light of G‑d. The moon shining in the dark sky represents the Jewish people, whose job it is to reflect the light of G‑d into a dark world. The Jewish people, therefore, are subject to challenges imposed by the world. At times they shine in all their glory, and at times their light is hidden. The first commandment demonstrates the goal of all the following commandments, which is to synchronize the sun and the moon. Every mitzvah we perform draws down divine energy and connects the light of G‑d with the Jew in this world, uniting them, forming one reality where “in the heaven above and on the earth below, there is nothing besides Him.”
Moses and Aaron
No surprise then, that the commandment to establish the calendar was one of just a few commandments related to both Moses and Aaron: “The Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron in the land of Egypt, to say . . .”
If our calendar synchronizes the sun and the moon, then it should be given through our metaphorical sun and moon. Moses, through whom the Torah was given, is our sun. He shines with a radiant light from above, communicating divine wisdom with great passion and energy. Aaron is our moon. He teaches us how to refine ourselves to the point that we can reflect the light of G‑d. He teaches us how to get along with other people. He understands that peace may, in some cases, be more important than truth.
Both the word of G‑d and the way the people absorb and reflect it are important to our mission. We need a Moses and an Aaron. A sun and a moon. – adapted from Menachem Feldman, www.chabad.org
For information or to join Sisterhood, call the NHBZ office at 314-991-2100, ext. 3, or email: email@example.com