La-kol z’man; v’eit l’khol khefetz takhat ha-shamayim…eit s’fod v’eit r’kod…
(To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…a time to mourn and a time to dance…)
These words from Ecclesiastes 3, so familiar and widely affirmed to us in liturgy and in song, are nonetheless ignored in the common Reform practice of standing and reciting the Kaddish together in its entirety. And they move me to add some additional reflections to Rabbi Rosalind Gold’s moving and cogent argument in the new Winter 2013 edition of Reform Judaism magazine in favor of returning to a more traditional practice of inviting the mourners to rise in recognition of the reality and uniqueness of their experience.
I grew up in a congregation in which the entire community stood and recited Kaddish Yatom, the Mourner’s Kaddish. We were told we should do so because of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust who had no one left to say Kaddish for them. Anyone who had a yahrtzeit for a family member would say Kaddish along with the congregation. As a child and young adult I repeated the words, but they never really held much meaning for me.
My father died in 2004, shortly after my retirement. I committed myself to say Kaddish for him every Shabbat for a year. On some Friday nights I would worship in my congregation (which I had served as rabbi for 23 years), where everyone rises for Kaddish. Other times I would attend Shabbat morning services at the Conservative shul in my neighborhood, where only the mourners rise. As a result of these experiences I came to feel strongly that only those who are mourning should stand and say the Mourner’s Kaddish.
Recently we have been reading news about wealth in the United States and the growing divide. This is an important issue as 20 million Americans are unemployed. The implication is that somehow the superrich are responsible. This type of argument is an old one and problematic, yet has some truth, while at the same time not being true.
When our son, Josh was a toddler, we had a short vacation in Bethany Beach. At one point he asked for frozen custard, and when Carol asked him, what if you don’t like it, her replied “I haven’t tried it, yet.” So we took for frozen custard, and after one lick of the custard said “No more.” He had enough and it was the principle of the matter that he was expecting something, once he had it, he was satisfied.
In case you haven’t noticed, we have some new pictures around the Synagogue that were donated to us.
In the Social Hall are two photographs by pho-tographer Bill Aron entitled “Synagogue” and “Yom Kippur Torah Reading.” These photographs were donated by Stephen and Toby Kahn from Bethesda, Md to honor Rabbi Arnold Saltzman for his many kindnesses to their family. Also, Rabbi Saltzman donated a book to our library with photographs by Bill Aron.
In the last classroom down the hall is a painting that was donated to us by Ben Cummings, a friend of the Schoch family, about a teacher showing a student about Sukkot.
May 10th we will be having our Annual Member-ship Meeting, with the positions of President, Secretary and Financial Secretary to be filled. The positions are listed below and if you would like to run for one of these positions, please contact Mike Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President – The President shall be the official representative of the congregation and shall act as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors. The President shall supervise the activities of the officers of Sha’are Shalom in accordance with the policies and directives approved by the Board of Directors and with the purpose of the congregation. The President shall appoint all standing and special committee chairpersons.
Secretary – The Secretary shall prepare and maintain all official documents of the congregation, including these By-Laws, and submit these documents to the Board of Directors. The Secretary shall maintain a record of official correspondence of the congregation, provide notices of meetings to the general membership and to the Board of Directors, maintain an accurate record of the proceedings of all general meetings and meetings of the Board of Directors (including a record of all votes taken), and perform all other duties customarily associated with the office or that the Board of Directors may direct.
Financial Secretary – The Financial Secretary shall present to the Board for approval an annual budget for the following fiscal year and will monitor income and expenses reported by the Treasurer for compliance with the approved budget. He/She will recommend to the Board appropriate dues and fee structure and resolve any dues or fee issues with a member on behalf of the Board maintaining to the maximum extent possible the privacy of individual members. The Financial Secretary shall monitor the investment of non-operational and reserve funds to ensure the best use of those funds. The Financial Secretary shall review any and all financial reviews ensuring any discrepancies and/or recommendations are addressed by the Treasurer and presented to the Board.
If you missed the New Members Brunch on February 23rd you really missed something special. It was really great to meet the new families. I am sorry I didn’t have enough time to go to each table but I met a lot of you at the Waffle Table. I would like to say a special THANK YOU to the Membership Committee for a job well done.
Don’t forget to order your Hamantaschen. They are the best. You have until March 10th to put in your order.
May 10th we will have our Annual Membership Meeting and election for President, Secretary and Financial Secretary. Job descriptions for each position are posted in this newsletter. It will also be on our web site. Please be thinking and praying about these positions and when somebody from the Nomination Committee calls you, please say Yes.
Check out the newsletter for more information on things that are happening at Congregation Sha’are Shalom and come join us.
Sha’are Shalom’s Community Seder will be Tuesday, April 15 at 5:30 pm at 18 Henry Ford Circle in Waldorf. For reservations before April 1, adults are $20, children 5-10 are $8, and under 5 are free. The price is the same for members and nonmembers. Reservations from April 1-8are $25 for adults, $15 for children 5-10, and under 5 are still free. Reservations close April 8.
Seating is limited to the first 75 people. Your reservation is a check made payable to Congregation Sha’are Shalom. Mail the check to Elaine McVinney at 2703 Hidden Valley Rd, Accokeek, MD 20607. If you have any questions call Elaine at 301-283-3427 or email email@example.com.
March 15, 5:30 pm
For those who are new to our Congregation, Sha’are Shalom celebrates Purim in a big way: Purim Baskets, homemade hamantaschen, and a Party are all part of our celebration. Read the rest of this entry »
The April celebration of our 5th year in the syna-gogue has been cancelled. Instead, next year we will celebrate our 25th anniversary as a congregation.