Volume 3 Number 36 – October 31, 2020 – 13 Chesvan 5781
Book Club News
NHBZ Sisterhood Book Club discussed the historical novel, The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman on Monday, Oct. 26. Terri Schnitzer led the Zoom discussion.
The next book club meeting is Monday, December 21 7:15-8:45 pm and the book is “Footprints on the Heart” by Jean Naggar, an epic tale of love, loss, and exile in the lives of unforgettable characters over six decades. Ripped from the comfort of their Egyptian birthplace, they are propelled into the New York world of challenge, fashion and finance. Save the date for the February 22 book club meeting when we will read “Noah’s Wife,” by Lindsay Starck, a gorgeously written, brilliantly introspective, fable-like novel reimagining Noah’s Ark for our modern times. A philosophical, feminist parable.
To join Sisterhood’s Book Club, or, for more info, contact Terri Schnitzer.
Bless You! Lech Lecha (Genesis 12-17)
We often leave blessing people to those of a particular stature. Perhaps a great rabbi, a Kohen (priest) or a bride or groom on their wedding day. Although these people do have special strengths when it comes to giving a blessing, it is interesting to note that every one of us has actually been empowered with this tool.
G-d tells Avraham “You shall be a blessing (you will have the power to bless those you wish – Rashi) ….and I will bless those who bless you.” This idea does not stop with Avraham but carries down to his descendants! This creates a unique, easy opportunity for kindness that can be done so many times a day.
When greeting someone with a ‘good morning’, a ‘good night’, or a ‘bless you’ after a sneeze, don’t merely mumble the words. Take the opportunity to infuse the phrase with meaning, by sincerely keeping in mind that you are wishing them a good morning, a good night, or good health! Give them a blessing! When someone is setting out to travel, starting a new job, or even taking an exam, send them on their way with a well-meaning blessing.
When we make an effort to wish well those around us, and to rejoice in each other’s good fortunes, we often find that the care will be reciprocated, and hence creates an atmosphere of love and positivity.
And as the verse so clearly says, those who bless, will in turn be blessed… -by Shoshanna Dresner, www.aish.com
Sisterhood Elections are coming…
Elections will take place in November.
Any woman who would like more info about becoming an Officer or Board Member contact Fran Alper
by Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt, www.aish.com
The Sages tell us that G-d took Abraham and lifted him into the heavens, above the stars themselves. This is probably not meant to be taken literally. They explain, however, the message. G-d was telling Abraham that he was now above the stars. The stars would have no influence on his future or the future of his children.
It often comes as a surprise for people to find out that Judaism does in fact believe in star signs and horoscopes. In Jewish thinking, a person’s whole future is mapped out in the stars, and for one who knows how, reading the stars is like reading a book of the future. Now this does not mean that one should take too seriously what is said in the tabloid horoscopes. I am absolutely confident that someone with a real knowledge of how to read the stars would not bother writing for a newspaper.
It is, however, forbidden in Torah law for a Jew to read the stars or listen to someone who can do so. A Jew, as G-d told Abraham, should be “above the stars.”
The only person whose future is mapped out in the stars is the one who does not take responsibility to make meaningful decisions in their life. If a person rides through life on auto-pilot, responding to circumstance based on how they feel, then their future is mapped out already. Their course through life has been charted. It is a life of cause and effect, which, for one who understands how, is entirely predictable.
It’s like a ball in a frictionless pinball machine. If you know the starting acceleration and mass of the ball, as well as the location and force exerted on the ball by every bumper, you will be able to predict exactly where the ball will go. It’s complex, but entirely predictable.
If, however, a human being is at the flippers, his free will now makes it impossible to determine how the ball will move. It is now completely within the hands of that person to decide.
So too in life: If a person takes the driver’s seat and makes meaningful decisions, he can change the destiny mapped out for him. If he looks into himself to decide what he really wants from life, and charts a course to achieve it, then his future is in his own hands.
Our horoscopes are only as true as we allow them to be. Unfortunately, it is much easier to go through life on automatic pilot. Life can go where the stars say it will, or where we want it to go. The choice is entirely ours to make.
Jewish Federation of St. Louis Women’s Philanthropy – L’Chaim!
On Tuesday, October 27, members of NHBZ Sisterhood, along with more than 950 other women of the St. Louis Jewish Community, participated in an exclusive virtual ‘conversation’ with the former editor of the Opinion section of The New York Times, Bari Weiss, who shared insights about the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooting, the lack of neutrality of the media (led by the NYT), and the growing danger of anti-Semitism from the ‘new Liberalism.’
Ms. Weiss, in describing her heroic resignation from The New York Times, reminded all of us what serious Jews can do to fight anti- Semitism and restore the promise of American exceptionalism.
Thanks to Joanna Alper for serving as table host for NHBZ Sisterhood, and to all Sisterhood members who attended on Zoom.
For information or to join Sisterhood, call the NHBZ office at 314-991-2100, ext. 3, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org