* * Then will the labors and sacrifices of these veterans be honored not in words alone, but by our deeds.
Rabbi Randy Sheinberg
“The blessing of peace is equal to all the other blessings combined.”
- During this month of November, we salute our Veterans, the brave men and women who gave of themselves to defend our country.
- Sadly, there always seems to be a need for soldiers. Conflicts abound in this world - from the Middle East to Turkey to Syria and Afghanistan. Politicians disagree about whether, how, and how much the United States should become involved in each of these conflicts. What wisdom might Judaism bring to bear on this question?
- As you no doubt are aware, one of the central principles of Judaism is shalom, peace. We are exhorted to shun violence, both personally and collectively. For example, the Ten Commandments forbid murder; and the Book of Deuteronomy teaches that if we want to lay siege to a city, we cannot do so until we have offered conditions of peace first. The medieval commentator Rashi summed it up best: “The blessing of peace is equal to all the other blessings combined.”
- We Jews abhor war. Yet for all our peace-loving tendencies, we are not pacifists. Indeed, we realize there are times when military force is necessary. Jewish tradition distinguishes between a “commanded” war (milchemet mitzvah) and a “discretionary” war (milchemet reyshut). A “commanded” war is a war fought in the name of national defense, against an enemy who is attacking us now or is engaged in plans to attack us in the future. About such conflicts our tradition says, “The opportunity to defend and preserve our lives overrides virtually every other religious duty.” On the other hand, a discretionary war is a war fought “against other nations to expand Israel’s borders and to enhance its greatness and reputation.” While we are permitted to engage in a commanded war, we are urged to refrain from discretionary wars.
- Of course, the picture is not always so simple. It is easy to justify fighting back when one is being attacked; we are permitted, even required, to defend ourselves. But what about the times when there is no immediate threat of attack? What about when we suspect that a nation might be making plans to attack us, but has not yet struck?
- This question caused our sages to identify two additional categories of conflict: preventive war and preemptive war. A preventive war is defined as a war launched against a nation that might someday pose a threat, but does not pose one currently. The majority of our legal authorities rule that such a conflict cannot be morally justiﬁed. Given that we cannot know for sure that the enemy is planning to strike, the potential loss of life of such a war is wrong. However, a preemptive strike, that is, one launched against an enemy that is engaged in obvious and active preparation for war, can be a legitimate act of self-defense. Under the right conditions, such a strike is permissible since it can potentially save lives.
- Any soldier will tell you - war is not something to be taken lightly. Even when a war is justified by these definitions, it should still be used only as a last resort. A leader must first try to resolve conflict through nonviolent, diplomatic means. If that fails, then he or she must justify the need for war to the public, to the governing bodies of the country, and to the nations of the world. (CCAR Responsa)
On this Veteran’s Day, we salute all those who have served and are still serving in our nation’s armed forces. We give thanks for their bravery and their dedication. May we soon know the day when we all will, as our prayer books say, “sing the song of a land once ravished by war now quiet and content, her soldiers home to leave no more, the song of peace.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
- Hello, my name is Sasha Stern and I will become a Bat Mitzvah on November 30th 2019. I will be celebrating this upcoming event with my mother, my grandmother, and my dog, Sandy. I attend Herricks Middle School where I am part of the chamber orchestra, National History Day Club, student government, National Junior Honor Society, Mathletes, French Club, and I am first singles on the tennis team. I am also an Executive Board Member of the Tri-M Honor Society.
- Outside of school, I am part of the Children’s Orchestra Society, where I participate in their Elite String Ensemble and their Young Symphonic Ensemble. Last year I played in Carnegie Hall as part of their 50th Anniversary Gala! Some of my favorite things and other interests include writing, drawing, reading, and listening to music. I also enjoy studying social studies and genetics; and when I get older, I want to become a clinical geneticist.
- My Bat Mitzvah means that my childhood is ending. After this, in the Jewish community, I will be considered an adult and I will be expected to take on more responsibilities, such as fasting and helping others with their Jewish education. It also means that I now have a stronger connection to the Jewish faith and to my ancestors.
- My Mitzvah Project is to raise money and awareness for Sharsheret, a Jewish-run organization to help support Jewish women with breast and ovarian cancer. Sharsheret helps fund treatment, genetic testing, and beauty boxes for patients. Sharsheret is the Hebrew word for “chain” and it lives up to its name well, as it helps create a chain between women currently undergoing treatment, survivors, and medical and mental health specialists. I will be hosting a small event for some friends and family where we will bake pink and teal (Sharsheret’s colors) challah, and I will spread awareness of breast and ovarian cancer. Participants will be encouraged to donate to Sharsheret, either with beauty products or with donations in multiples of $18.
- I am very excited for my Bat Mitzvah and I cannot wait to be called up to the Torah!
Early Childhood - Nuccia Hernan
- November is here and we are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving! At Thanksgiving, families gather together and give thanks for the wonderful blessings we have received in our lives. For some it is health, success in our careers, the love of family, and our freedom that allows us to follow our dreams.
- The theme for our November Workshop is celebrating Shabbat with our Grandparents (and parents), giving each generation an opportunity to share in the joy of Shabbat, sharing of generational stories, and time spent together. This program will be on Saturday, November 9th beginning at 10:15am in the Sanctuary for a Shabbat Service with Rabbi Sheinberg and Cantor Bonné. Immediately after the Service there will be a light snack, followed by a PJ Library story and a take home craft.
- Friday Night Tot Shabbat is back! Join us on November 29th at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary for a fun Service and help Rabbi Sheinberg name the characters during her story telling and sing along with Cantor Guy; which will be followed by Friday night blessings and a light snack.
- These programs are free of charge. However, we do ask that you RSVP for all our programs so that we can plan accordingly. To RSVP please contact Shari Rotstein at ECP@templetikvah.org.
Director of Youth & Family Engagement - Cheryl Stern
- I hope you and your families had a wonderful time celebrating all the holidays this past month. WE held variety of Services for our students and together we were all able to pray and ask for forgiveness, as we welcomed in 5780.
- Our Junior Congregation Services have begun and will be held the first Shabbat of every month from 9:30am – 10:30am. If you are able to RSVP please do so, but if not, you are always welcome. It has been fantastic having so many students attending!
- As always, our Blessing of the Animals Havdalah Event was filled with cats, dogs, birds, fish, and even a few stuffed friends. We enjoyed spending time in the Sukkah and ensuring a sweet and healthy new year to all of our family, friends, and pets.
- Decorating the Sukkah was a wonderful event attended by many. Our Sukkah was filled with laughs and lots of beautiful artwork made by our children and their families.
- We have some Community Service Events coming up in November and December. First in November, we will be decorating desserts for our Interfaith Thanksgiving, and then in December there will be two trips to the Ronald McDonald House on the 10th and 17th.
- Please join us for our Family Kollel November 22 - 24th. We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend of bonding, prayer, and learning.
- Our next Family Havdalah will be on December 21st, as a Pre-Hanukah Celebration.
Our Kehilah at Work
* * May we uphold the values of freedom, of the inherent dignity of every human being, by our own right conduct, by the kindness and tolerance we show to one another.
Lunch in the Sukkah
OUR BROTHERHOOD VETERANS: Bob Bader, Lew Cohen, Michael Cutler, Mark Daniels, Hodari Heron, Bob Jacobson, Joe Kirschner, Abe Kormas, Murray Leff, Jerry Markowitz, Joe Massey, Burt Schall, Jack Schwarz, Barry Spool, and Stan Zorn
President - Marc Gold
November Brings Us Election Day, Veteran’s Day, and of Course Thanksgiving!
- All of this is then followed by the exciting and tempting or dreadful and oy vey…” Black Friday”.
- You may or may not know, that I once spent 6 hours in Tanger Outlets in Riverhead in my car; waiting for my wife, son, and daughter in law to complete their “Black Friday” shopping. I watched my cell phones battery drain down to ZERO…with no charger at hand!
- You will be reading this article, before Election Day…so please do not forget to get out and vote!
- And the following week is Veteran’s Day. It is the time of year that our country honors those who served our country, in one way or another. I am not a Veteran, I was never drafted, and I never enlisted. However, I have the utmost admiration for my fellow peers and citizens who were Veterans and did serve.
- I recently learned that many of my fellow Brotherhood Clan are Veterans. I would like to acknowledge these men who are listed above, because everyone in our Temple Tikvah Community should be aware of our heroes who served and protected our wonderful country.
- Thank you to everyone who attended our Paid-Up Members Dinner at Hurricane Grill and Wings last month in the heavy rains! It was a “wet” blast!!
- We are always looking for all Temple Members - young and old, big and small to help support Brotherhood and join us at Panera Bread in Mineola on Monday evening November 4th. Come with our flyer or simply tell the cashier that you are from Temple Tikvah between 4:00 – 8:00pm and Brotherhood will receive a percentage of your order.
It is never too late to join Brotherhood!
* * This nation, built by those who were have come here from all corners of the earth, is on a continual journey towards its destiny.
- LUNCH & LEARN: Please join us for the next session of Lunch & Learn on Saturday, November 16th at 11:30am in the Harris Beber Auditorium featuring Marty Cohen and Poetry. Please RSVP to email@example.com by Wednesday, November 13th or to the Office. Lunch is $10 a session (or $15 for a guest), preferably in advance to the Temple Office.
* * May we never let down those who have served in defense of our country.
* * May we lead the world by example, and become, in the words of Isaiah, a light to the nations.
Elaine Brooks, Judy Kirschner & Elaine Weiss
- We hope everyone and their families enjoyed the recent holidays together. We thank you for the donations you made to Hatzilu. If you were able to attend the Social Action Shabbat on October 18th, as partners of the nationwide program of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, we hope you enjoyed sharing the celebration of Sukkot with our immigrant neighbors – there were about 20 immigrant guests from varied communities. The Rabbi conducted a beautiful ceremony in the Sanctuary. Amara from Pakistan, as well as Juana and Adolfo from Guatemala (the family we met last year returned with their daughter and nephew) also spoke to us about their experiences. Everyone went into the Sukkah for the blessing of the bread and wine and some songs. The oneg was lovely, as people mingled quite a lot. We are going to be invited to a November 10th Women's Luncheon in the Ahmadiyya Community.
- As we move into November and the recognition of American Veterans celebrated on Monday, November 11th, we want to share a link to a prayer you might appreciate: https://reformjudaism.org/practice/prayers-blessings/veterans-day-prayer. There are many ways to honor those who have served our country. We hope you will take the time to consider a few and choose at least one that you are willing and able to do to show your appreciation: donate money, donate clothing or other items, give your time, shop at a veteran-owned business in Queens or Nassau (https://www.veteranownedbusiness.com), visit a nearby VA hospital or home (such as St. Albans, Northport, Brooklyn or Manhattan VAs), or simply express your gratitude personally to a Veteran you know since we do not always remember to do so before or after November 11th.
- In addition, November is an important month for us to be aware of pending issues and our new opportunity for early voting in New York State. A good source of information for elections is the League of Women Voters (www.lwvofnassaucounty.org or https://mylwv.org/newyorkstate/queens). If you need help getting to the polls, let us know and perhaps a member of our community might be available to help.
Elaine Brooks: 718.217.6065 • Judy Kirschner: 917.270.2705 • Elaine Weiss: 917.658.4955
SOCIAL ACTION SHABBAT
Created with images by Chris Lawton - "untitled image" • FotoRieth - "challah shabbat challah board" • matt_sawyers - "memorial day flag usa" • matt_sawyers - "memorial day flag usa" • Devanath - "school old plate" • matt_sawyers - "memorial day flag usa" • nile - "heart love jewellery" • matt_sawyers - "memorial day flag usa" • exoteric - "sundial clock old"