Volume 2 Number 37 – September 28, 2019 – 28 Elul 5779
Mark Your Calendars
- “Women in the Torah” presented by Rebbetzin Chani Smason in the NHBZ Sukkah, open to men and women – Wed., Oct. 16, at 7:15 pm.
- Next Book Club book: “Waking Lions,” by Israeli writer Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
– Monday, October 28, 7:15-8:45PM
It’s not too late to wish L‘Shana Tova Tikatevu to everyone in our NHBZ family. Contact the office ASAP to make your donation and have your name listed in the 5780 Holiday Bulletin!
“When a person turns himself around, regrets his past and does good, that is such a powerful act that his sins become merits.”– Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish
Sisterhood’s Craft Central Art Project was an ‘All-STAR’ Event
On September 18th, “artists” of all ages learned to make their own beautiful stained-glass Star-of-David. Thanks to the talent and generosity of Craft Central’s Lisa Gellman and her sister, our Sisterhood is able to help fund NHBZ’s Torah Campaign.
And thanks to all Sisterhood members who attended!
Wake Up / Elul is Here
A Rosh Hashanah Message from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Continued from last week, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks outlines ten principles we learn from Judaism designed to bring more meaning, value, and joy to our lives. Below are the first six, of the principles. The final four will be printed in the next Bulletin.
(1) Give thanks. Praying, we give thanks to G-d for all we have, and for life itself. This seems simple but is life-transforming. It helps us see all our blessings… that we are here, we’re free, we have family, friends, and opportunities our parents did not have and our grandparents could not even imagine. Yes, we have problems, fears, pains; but they can wait until we have finished giving thanks; and then, our problems seem a little smaller and we feel a little stronger.
(2) Give your children values, not presents. Material presents give delight for a day, values bring happiness for a lifetime. Give them ideals, teach them to love, respect, admire, train them to take responsibility and to give to others. Help them be at home in Jewish life, and they will grow in stature until they walk tall, proud of what they are and thankful for what you helped them become.
(3) Be a lifelong learner. Learning Torah will exercise your mind and keep it young. It will stretch your soul and give it strength. Study the classic texts of Judaism with a friend, so that you can each be the other’s personal trainer. Even better than that, learn with your children. Daven with them. Send them to a Jewish school and let them teach you things you did not know. Help them to climb higher up the Jewish ladder than you did. That is parenthood, Jewish-style.
(4) Never compromise your Judaism in public. If you want your children to stay Jewish, be consistent. Don’t keep kosher at home but not outside. Don’t have a simcha in shul and then a non-kosher function elsewhere. That gives children a mixed message, and children respond to mixed messages by concluding that you cannot be that serious about Judaism, so why should they? Consistency matters not just within the family but way beyond. Non-Jews respect Jews who respect Judaism. Non-Jews are embarrassed by Jews who are embarrassed by Judaism.
(5) Forgive. Emotional energy is too precious to waste on negative emotions. Resentment, grievance and hate have no part in the inner life of a Jew. In chapter 19 of Vayikra, the Torah says, “Don’t hate your brother (or sister) in your heart”. Don’t take vengeance. Don’t bear a grudge.
(6) Don’t talk lashon hara. The Talmudic Sages define lashon hara, ‘evil speech’, as saying negative things about other people even if they are true. They regarded it as one of the worst interpersonal sins. Those who speak badly about others poison the atmosphere in families and communities. They undermine relationships and do great harm. Remember that lashon hara only applies to truth. If an allegation is false it is called motsi shem ra (‘spreading a bad name’) and is a different kind of sin. Some say, “But it’s only words”, forgetting that in Judaism words are holy, never to be taken lightly. See the good in people – and if you see the bad, be silent.
Shana tova u’metuka – excerpted from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks (to be continued next week)
For information or to join Sisterhood, call the NHBZ office at 314-991-2100, ext. 3, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org