Rabbi David Weissman
People often ask me, as a rabbi, various
questions about Judaism. People often ask me what Judaism believes about God.
They ask me if Judaism believes in life after death and, if so, what Judaism
says about life after death. And they ask me what Judaism says about how God
allowed the Holocaust to happen.
And when I try to answer these various
questions, I really can only tell people what I think. I can’t tell them what
Judaism says because various Jewish thinkers have different answers to each of
these questions. Orthodox Judaism may have certain answers, but even in the
Orthodox movement, there are variations in the thinking of different
authorities. And in both the Conservative and Reform movements, there are no
I’m reminded of a very important Jewish thinker
of the Twentieth Century, Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, the founder of the Jewish
Reconstructionist movement. Rabbi Kaplan always wore a kippah. He only ate
kosher food. He observed Shabbat and the various Jewish holidays in accordance
with traditional Jewish practice. Somebody not aware of Rabbi Kaplan’s
philosophy would have thought he was a practicing Orthodox Jew.
But Rabbi Kaplan was a religious naturalist. He
didn’t believe in a personal God. He believed in God as a philosophical
construct - as the sum of all forces in the universe which elevate humanity. He
didn’t believe in life after death. He didn’t believe in the various miracles
described in the Bible and he believed that Jewish rituals are folkways, not
laws given by God.
And yet Rabbi Kaplan was a practicing, observant
Jew. He lived an authentically Jewish life by attendance at religious services,
by engaging in Jewish study, by observing Shabbat and Jewish holidays and
Jewish rituals and by being a compassionate and charitable person.
Too many of us just give lip service to our
Jewish heritage. We’re cardiac Jews. We feel we have a Jewish heart. We’re
offended by anti-Semitism and we’re strong supporters of the State of Israel
and we may even by generous contributors to the synagogue. But there is very
little Jewish content in our lives. Playing mah jongg with other Jewish women
isn’t a Jewish activity. To act authentically Jewish, you have to do Jewish
things. It's not what you think that counts. It's what you do.
So if you want to give more than lip service to
your Jewish identity, do Jewish things. Do Jewish things in your home. Come to
Shabbat services. Come to the temple’s various holiday services. Read books
Demonstrate that being Jewish really plays an
important role in your life.
President Lily Ann Revitch
As you read this bulletin, we at Temple are already thinking of the High Holy days & making plans. I wish you all a wonderful summer. If you are traveling be safe. As we have had our Congregational meeting I (we) must search our innermost self and ask have I done enough, did I help enough, did I share enough, did I give enough of myself and to Tzadaka? It is a time when we can make changes or continue on the good path we have set for ourselves.
I would like to welcome Dr. Henry Gonzales and Jeffery Kane to the Board. I know you both will be an asset.
Many of you have contributed so much to the Temple and for this we are truly grateful. For those that have served on the Temple Board now and in the past we say thank you.
To all of you that continuously do for the good of the Temple I say thank you.
Linda Post, it has always been wonderful to work with you on the Passover Seder. Now it is truly my pleasure to work hand in hand with you. Thank you for being our Vice President. Robert Post, my right hand financial person, treasurer and accountant. Thank you for all the years that you have served us as our financial adviser, as well as your compressive reports .We can't do without you. Flo Pflaster, our Temple Secretary, for keeping our minutes and getting the board’s e- mails out to the congregation. and also making sure we have an oneg sponsored each week. Cookie Brenner, Past President. Thank you for your continued help with so many projects, memorial board, gift cards and many others that are asked of her. David Pflaster, for all the time he spent putting our website/newsletter together and reminding us when articles are due. We thank you for your time on the Board and all you contributed. Fred Paul, for saying yes to becoming financial secretary. We also want to thank you for all your input on the Board. We wish you well in all your endeavors. Burt Kramer, Has done a terrific job of publicity, It is good to see our name almost every week in the newspapers. We are pleased that you will be on the Board for two more years. Natalie Kramer, Someone that I can always depend upon. Does a wonderful job of chairing the break-fast each High Holiday. Barry Goldstein, thank you for serving on the Board. I know there are many things around the Temple that you will still be involved in . Steven Firestone, who always has a point to bring to the board. Steve will serve on the search committee for the Building. Sandi Goldstein, thank you for representing Sisterhood on the Board I know you will do so much more for both Sisterhood & Temple. Gabe Brenner, thank you for representing Brotherhood on the board, as well as the phenomenal job as chair of the house committee. I am so pleased that you will join the Board as a full member
OTHERS I WANT TO THANK
Lynn Kamchi Did a great job of sending out Yahrzeits notices.& thank you, we wish you a return to good health. David Kamchi Thank you for taking over for Lynn and doing a wonderful job with the Food Bank. Sheila Honer Once again will be working with me on the Book of Remembrance for the High Holidays. Irene Klein Chaired our Mah Jongg fund raiser .Well done
Last but far form least our own Rabbi David Weissman, a true leader who has taken our Temple from its early days to a full service congregation. Celebrating all the Jewish Holidays & Holy Days, Study Groups, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Adult B’nai Mitzvah. baby naming, funerals & visiting the sick. For all you do Rabbi we are truly blessed and we thank you.
If I have left anyone out I apologize.
As you can see it takes an army to run a Synagogue. as well as a dedicated leader and administrator. I will do my upmost to live up to this challenge with yours and God’s help.
IT WILL BE DONE.
Have a wonderful summer