Erev Purim Masquerade

Purim3Saturday, March 15; 6:30pm

Come out for a night of fun to celebrate Purim! Come in costume, or come as you are, it’s all in good fun.

We’ll dine on a kosher Chinese buffet, enjoy shpiels created by our Religious School students, listen to the megillah, read by Eric Berzofsky and Rabbi Jeffery Schnitzer, and make mishloach manot to deliver to friends and family on Purim day.

The revelry will last well into the evening, so there will be NO Hebrew School on Sunday, March 16th. Please come to Purim Services and celebrate as Reva Mindel is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah!

Rosh HaShanah Reflection

On Facebook the other day, I saw a picture of a sign that said “Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself.”

It struck me as very appropriate to this season of reflection. At this time of year, as we prepare for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, we are asked to take stock of where we are and where we’re going. So often, we feel that we are at the mercy of outside forces. “If only I had a better job, I could spend more time with my family.” “If only there wasn’t so much to do, I would have time to enjoy life.” “If only all of these bad things would stop happening to me, I could be happy.” The list goes on and on and I’m sure you have your own. So often, we find ourselves reacting to outside circumstances instead of living intentionally, choosing how to respond as life inevitably happens. Continue reading

Hooray, Purim is Coming!

Purim is one of my favorite holidays.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that this story of one girl who reluctantly answers the call to save the Jewish People, can go a long way to save the Jewish People today.  I’m not saying that we threatened with destruction by an outside force.  Quite the opposite, in fact–our relative comfort as a minority in the United States can affect the strength of our Jewish Identity.

One of the key themes of the story in Megillat Esther is about identity and the different masks the characters wear to either conceal or reveal their true identity.  Vashti, the disobedient queen–is she evil and defiant or the proto-typical feminist?  King Ahasuerus, the powerful king, who is powerless (or clueless) to the whims of his advisors.  Haman, the loyal king’s vizier, who secretly manipulates the King to settle his own grudges.  Mordechai, the Jewish advisor whose strength is hidden, yet he saves the King from a plot on his life and from manipulation by Haman.   Esther (Hadassah), the beautiful young queen who keeps her Jewish identity secret until she is must make a courageous stand.

When I think of Esther, I think of the Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”    Sometimes Jewish identity is like that, too.  But I hope that we remember to let our Jewish values shine through, in good times and times of challenge.

What “masks” do you wear in your life?  What do those “masks” conceal about who you really are and what do they reveal?  How does your Jewish identity fit in to your everyday life?

Save the date!  Erev Purim;  Wednesday, March 7, 2012 (more details to come!)

4:30pm Hebrew School

5pm Kids Purim Program

6:15pm Dinner

6:30pm Ma’ariv Service/Megillah Reading

8:00pm Purim Schpiel