Join us for these wonderful sessions at Beth Shalom. Each will be taught twice, first at 10 AM and again at 10:45 AM! Meaning at the Seder: Has your seder lost its luster? Finding it difficult to relate to 10 plagues, four cups of wine and Dayyenu? Learn with Rabbi Seth Adelson to help navigate […]
Learning from the Ants | Moed Katan 6b
This is a part of 2019's Passover Talmud Study Series. The gemara tells us that it is permissible to trap moles and to destroy ant holes on Hol Hamoed, the intermediate days of a Festival (i.e. either Sukkot or Pesah), to prevent these pests from causing damage to valuable crops. And then, the gemara takes […]
Why Were There So Many "S" Sounds at Grandpa's Funeral? Originally Published February 22-23, 2019.
Grandpa’s funeral was conducted with Ashkenazic Hebrew, and in this particular case (as your correspondent was there) was a certain variety of the Ashkenazic dialect, which prompted the other grandchild to ask about the “oy” sounds. Interestingly, Ashkenaz (אַשְׁכְּנַז) (Genesis 10:3 shows Ashkenaz as a descendant of Japheth, third son of Noah) is a designation […]
What Are the Solomon Schechter Awards? Originally Published February 15-16, 2019.
Rabbi Stephen Steindel mentioned the Solomon Schechter Awards the other day, so we may thank him for this week’s quest for information. Presented by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), of which Congregation Beth Shalom is a member in the Central District, the Solomon Schechter Awards recognize extraordinary achievement by congregations in various aspects […]
Two Fields, Two Kinds of Needs | Moed Katan 2a
This is a part of 2019's Passover Talmud Study Series. To start our Talmud learning, we are told about two different types of fields and the permissibility of watering them during the intermediate days of a holiday. For some context, intermediate days are the middle days of a long holiday like Passover or Sukkot, we call them […]
What Is a Sisterhood? Originally Published on February 8-9, 2019.
Sisterhoods as auxiliaries of synagogues have been around in the United States for more than 120 years. Both Sisterhoods and Brotherhoods (or Men’s Clubs) were formed as a way to keep folks engaged in synagogue life. The goal was to form a regular vehicle through which activities would be coordinated. The notion ran across the […]
02/19/2020: Community Jam Session
02/29/2020: New Tunes Workshop
Did I Go to Shul, Temple, or Synagogue? Or Was It Something Else? Originally Published February 1-2, 2019.
Of course our experience of our praying spaces is always “something else”! Used to be our assembly houses were known as exactly that - assembly houses, batei kenesset. They were also referred to, in more reverence, as kehillot kodesh, holy communities. The Greek word “synagogue” (συναγωγή) means “assembly,” and we have adopted that word […]