Rabbi David Weissman
In the Jewish tradition, the Ten Days of Penitence begin with Rosh Hashanah and end with Yom Kippur. It is the Jewish practice to read the biblical book of Jonah at the religious service on the afternoon of Yom Kippur. Jonah is read because it sums up the Jewish view of repentance. Jonah was called upon by God to go to the city of Ninevah and to tell its wicked inhabitants of God’s intention to punish them by destroying the city. Jonah tried to escape God’s summons to him by boarding a ship headed for Tarshish in another direction, but he wound up being swallowed by a big fish for three days. Learning the lesson that someone cannot escape God, Jonah goes to Ninevah and informs the residents of God’s intention to destroy the city. But the residents repent and the city isn’t destroyed. It is interesting to note that the residents of Ninevah were not Israelites. Jonah was the only Hebrew prophet sent to preach to Gentiles, thus demonstrating that the God of the Israelites is the God of the entire world and judges all of mankind. And the fact that God did not destroy the city of Ninevah demonstrates that God desires not to punish the sinner, but desires the repentance of the sinner. And so the story of Jonah is read on the afternoon of Yom Kippur because of its relation to the theme of the holiday - repentance and forgiveness. Jonah is not only an important figure to Jews, but Michaelangelo created a large, imposing figure of Jonah in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. The city which in ancient times was called Ninevah no longer exists, but Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, stands today on the site where Ninevah once existed. Mosul has been conquered by the extremist terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), who have blown up the towering structure that contained the tomb of Jonah. Apparently, these extremists are ignorant of their own Islamic religion whose founder, Muhammad himself, in the Koran referred to Jonah as “a righteous preacher of the message of God.”
Mary and I wish you a shana tova. May you have a good and healthy New Year.
Rabbi David Weissman
President Lily Ann Revitch
It is with great pride that I write this article for our September bulletin. This bulletin covers the months of Elul, the last month of the Hebrew calendar & Tishrei , the first month of the Hebrew calendar. These are the months that Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur fall. This year we will be celebrating our tenth High Holiday services. It is with joy that we should look back at our beginnings. We started with a dream & we came together as a family, a congregation of high hopes & the right ideals of a Jewish place of worship-a Reform Congregation to meet the needs of those of us that wanted & needed a Reform Synagogue in Myrtle Beach.
Over the Years we have welcomed many visitors from all parts of the United States. Our doors are always open to those that wish to join us at this special time of year, as well as all year round. I would like to say that our membership has grown steadily over the years, but it has not. We have maintained the same numbers over this past year. So I want to thank those that work so hard to keep Temple Shalom functioning so well. I know you all join me when I say a special thank you to Rabbi David Weisman for his wise leadership & the services he conducts so well.
As this new year of 5775 approaches I would like to take this opportunity to say to each of you, “If I have done anything this past year that was hurtful to you, if you felt that I slighted you or spoke slander against you, I apologize and I ask your forgiveness”.
I look forward to greeting each of you at Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur Services.
Ze'ev & I wish each of you a year of good health, a year of prosperity, a year filled with family and good friends.
L'Shanah Tovah Tikatevu
Lily Ann Revitch