Temple Shalom Flyer
|Friday night Shabbat services start 7:30 PM followed by an Oneg Saturday services start 10:30 AM
Services held at Temple Shalom 4023 Belle Terre Blvd. Myrtle Beach, SC 29579 843-903-6634
Temple Rabbi David Weissman
Temple President Lily Ann Revitch
Rabbi David Weissman
Jews are often referred to as the chosen people. While the Bible does establish a special relation-ship between God and the Israelites, the Bible makes clear that the concept of being a chosen people imposes a special obligation on Jews to maintain a high standard of behavior. In the writings of the Prophet Amos, God tells the Israelites You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth. That is why I call you to account for all your wrongdoings. (Amos 3.2). And in the writings of the Prophet Isaiah, the Jewish people are called upon to be a light unto the nations. (Isaiah 42.6). So the Jewish people are called upon to set an example of high moral and ethical behavior for the rest of the world.
And yet Jewish comedians have claimed that Jews aren’t the chosen people because they get no respect. Woody Allen remembers that when he was a child his parents sent him to an interfaith summer camp where he was beaten up by boys of all races and religions. And we all know that Quakers are pacifists. They are opposed to violence. But Woody Allen states that even Quakers beat him up when he was a boy. And Rodney Dangerfield, another Jewish comedian, recalled that he once had a blind date whom he was supposed to meet on a street corner. He waited on the corner until this girl walked by. Rodney asked, Are you Linda? The girl replied, Are you Rodney? He said, Yeah, I’m Rodney. The girl responded, Well, if you’re Rodney, then I’m not Linda. And Rodney Dangerfield used to brag, I’ve got good-looking kids. It’s a good thing my wife cheated on me.
Heinrich Heine, the Nineteenth Century German-Jewish writer who converted to Christianity to further his career, used to say that he was always suspicious of Jewish converts to Christianity because he thought no Jew could believe in the divinity of another Jew.
There are no perfect people in Judaism. We’re all part good and part bad. Even the great personalities of the Bible had their imperfections.
Abraham, the founder of monotheism and the first patriarch of Judaism, passes off his wife, Sarah, as his sister in order to avoid being killed by a king who might lust after her. Isaac, the second patriarch, favors his son Esau over his other son, Jacob. And Jacob, the third patriarch, deceives his father in order to get his birthright blessing. Reuben, Jacob’s eldest son, has sexual relations with his father’s concubine. Judah, Jacob’s fourth eldest son, consorts with a woman he believes to be a prostitute. Moses disobeys God when God tells Moses to speak to a rock in order to provide water for the Israelites. King David steals another man’s wife. And King Solomon overtaxes his subjects.So what are we to make of the shortcomings of all of these biblical personalities? There are no perfect people in Judaism. If we were all perfect, there would be no need for the High Holidays. Self-improvement is the theme of the High Holidays. Some of us may be more perfect than others. But we each have to start wherever we are and try to be better. God doesn’t demand perfection. But God demands improvement.
As we enter the year 2019, it is customary for people to make New Year Resolutions. Is one year just passing into the next year with no direction - no sense of purpose, no desire for improvement? Will we be more charitable in 2019 than in 2018? Will we be more giving of ourselves to other people? Will we attend more Shabbat services than in 2018?
Some day we’re all going to pass on. And when that happens and we appear before our Maker and our Maker asks us, What kind of person were you? What will our answer be?
So what does it really mean when the Jews are referred to as the chosen people? It doesn’t mean that Jews are better than anyone else. It doesn’t mean that Jews are a perfect people. Far from it. But it does mean that we have a special obligation to improve, a special obligation to be more charitable, to be more compassionate, to be more concerned about tikkun olam - repairing the world. To be more willing to reach out to other people.
To be more willing to become part of synagogue life and participate actively in the life of the overall community and the Jewish community. We will never be perfect. But we have to strive to be better.
FROM THE PRESIDENT:
Dear Temple Shalom Members & Friends,
It's hard to believe that we are in 2019. We started Temple Shalom in 2005, the first year we came to Myrtle Beach . I have taken many journeys in my lifetime but I think the starting and building of Temple Shalom ranks close to the top of my list. We, as Jews have the added opportunity to look back over our lives at least twice each year - Rosh Hashanah and the beginning of a new calendar year.
In the past few years we have witnessed the passing of a few of our beloved members. Many prayers and poems have been written so we will remember them and be comforted . The one that has the most meaning to me is this one that I hear the most in my head: In the rising of the sun and in its going down we remember them. In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter we remember them. We always want to remember them, and our Memorial Board is for that purpose. We light the light next to the name on the anniversary of their passing and at all memorial services. If you have a loved one that you would like to have named on the Memorial Board just ask.
As we look forward to the spring and the lengthening of the days, mark your calendar for the Passover Seder at Temple April 19th 2019. More information will be forthcoming.
I again want to thank Norbert Flatow and all the men that helped with the clean- up and polishing at our building. It was nice to see all that effort in action.
Our next Board meeting will be Sunday January 6th at 11am at Tem-ple. It is an open Board meeting and all are welcome. The most im-portant topic will be the security of our building.
The Rabbi, Ze'ev and I wish you all a healthy , happy new year in 2019
Lily Ann Revitch