Volume 2 Number 41 – October 26, 2019 – 25 Tishrei 5780
Nuscach Hari B’nai Zion Sisterhood Mission Statement
Bring together the women of NHBZ, and other interested women, to serve and inspire our congregation, support our community, and enrich our lives through personal and spiritual growth in Torah values. Our activities further our commitment to Torah ideals, Jewish education, Zionism, and family.
Since 1950, the Sisterhood of Nusach Hari B’nai Zion has supplemented and enhanced the physical synagogue building as well as the spirituality of the congregation. Whether providing funds for new kitchens or beautifying landscapes, the women of the Sisterhood have banded together to enrich our shul and inspire each other.
➔ Sisterhood Board Mtg: Tues. Nov. 12. 5:30 pm
Book Club News
Thanks to Sandy Greenberg for hosting and facilitating the Book Club on Wednesday, October 30. Sandy is a first-class hostess who also expertly led the discussion of “Waking Lions,”by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, a psychological thriller and morality play that generated a stimulating discussion!
The next book club meeting is Monday, December 16, 7:15-8:45 PM, at the home of Vivian Zarkowsky, and the book will be “Jerusalem Maiden,” by Talia Carner.
Looking ahead to 2020, the Book Club will discuss “Inheritance,”by Dani Shapiro at the Feb. 24 meeting. All women welcome! For info: call or email Terri Schnitzer
NOACH: Looking at Yourself Through Others
Before G‑d brought the flood upon the world, He gave Noach specific instructions as to how to prepare for it –take seven males and seven females of each of the kosher animals, and two of each of the animals that are not kosher and place them in the ark. Commentaries ask why the Torah uses the roundabout expression “the animals which are not pure” to refer to the non-kosher animals. Generally, the Torah is very concise and sparing in its use of words and almost always uses the minimum amount of words to say the maximum amount of things. Why not say “the impure animals, ”rather than “the animals which are not pure”? Rashi explains that this teaches a person that he should always strive to use clean language, to speak in a refined way. In other words, since calling a non-kosher animal “impure” is not complimentary, it is preferable to call it “an animal which is not pure.” In Western culture many of us are taught that you call things by their names and you don’t mince words. But in the Torah it is not always regarded as a virtue to say things the way they are. This does not mean that one should lie, G‑d forbid. But you can say the same thing in a pleasant, positive way instead of in a coarse way, and get your same point across. You will be understood just as well, but meanwhile you didn’t contaminate your mouth. Your mouth was kept pure,because you were careful which words went out of it. Just like we have to be careful about what goes into our mouths (kosher food, etc.), we have to be careful about what comes out of our mouths.
The Torah teaches us that we must be careful with the way we speak. This same Torah portion teaches us that we must also take care regarding what we look at. Noach became drunk, fell asleep, and (unconscious of what he was doing) lay immodestly uncovered in his tent. Upon hearing of this, Noach’s youngest son, Cham, focused on his indecency and publicly spoke of it, whereas Noach’s older sons, Shem and Yefet, went immediately to the tent to cover Noach and restore his modesty. They even walked backwards into the tent in order to “…not see their father’s nakedness.
”These two incidents, about the unkosher animals and the incident about covering Noach, teach a person a very fundamental lesson in interpersonal relationships —how to avoid saying negative things about others, and how to avoid seeing negative things in others. The Ba’al Shem Tov taught that the people we encounter in our lives are our mirrors: If we see evil in them, we are really seeing a reflection of the evil within us. Since we are generally blind to our own faults, G‑d arranges for us to notice them in someone else, expecting us to take the cue and recognize that we possess these same faults so we can correct them in ourselves. We can also help others to improve.
–Excerpted and adapted from Nechoma Greisman, www.chabad.org