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Tisha B'Av 2022 schedule

President's Message 8.5.22

Dear friends,

This week, we read Parshat Devarim on Tisha B'Av, the saddest day of the Jewish year when we mourn the destruction of both Holy Temples.

There are differing customs as to how to treat Shabbat Tisha B'Av. The most common tradition is to celebrate Shabbat Tisha B'Av as a regular Shabbat, with all of its inherent joy and spirituality, and then fast after Havdalah through the next day on the 10th of Av.

Rabbi Beryl Wein, in his commentary of the Parsha and the nine days, believes that the reading of Devarim may make up for delaying the fast, as it a listing of all of the mistakes and missteps that the Israelites committed through their forty years of wandering. The episodes not only bring the past into sharp focus, but are also the harbingers of the future disasters that will befall the Jewish people, including the destruction of the Temples. 
 
Throughout the retelling, however, Moshe displays disappointment but does not berate. He does not threaten the inevitable success of the Jewish people in attaining redemption. The same dichotomy we see with retelling the sins of the past while still referencing the promise of the future, it's the same lesson we see with Shabbat and Tisha B'Av. We see that when the two fall on the same day, Shabbat trumps Tisha B'Av. We mourn the destruction, but we also pray for redemption. 
 
Tisha B'Av is transitory but Shabbat is eternal. We have to remember our mistakes and learn from them, but more than that, we have to keep looking forward. And remember that prioritizing the lessons of Shabbat allow us to live more fully. 
 
• • • 

Culminating the nine days, we have a full Tisha B'Av roster of services and inspiring lectures throughout the day. See the flyer abovefor the full list. 
 
Speaking of the nine days, I want to thank everyone who came and celebrated our backyard siyyum barbecue with us. Now that we have done this twice, next year will be a chazakah and it will make a great tradition of siyyumim at CBA.

The shul’s Code of Conduct and the minutes from the previous board meeting were sent to the membership this week, and I hope to have the mid-year budget information available for next week. And I'm happy to announce that an assistant for the Rabbi started this week. 

The Israel lecture series dates are being confirmed, and the Rabbi is also planning lectures and Shabbatonim for after the Chaggim. Stay tuned for these dates.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are right around the corner. The plan is to continue with outdoor davening in the tent. Feedback from last year indicates the tent was the overwhelming preference so we will be sticking with it. We will have Chazzan Goodman and Rabbi Shushan leining all of the services for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We are also considering auctioning off aliyot and Psichot for Yom Kippur this year. More to come on this.

Lastly, we’ve been in touch with the NYPD and they will be conducting a security survey in the next few weeks to provide recommendations about staffing and physical improvements we can implement. In the meantime, I urge everyone who uses the Synagogue building to make sure the front door is locked after coming in and to not allow entry to anyone they don’t know. Ask questions or tell someone if you see anything questionable. We all have to work together to protect our Shul. 

Wishing you all a peaceful and meaningful Shabbat Shalom as well as an
easy and meaningful fast.

Steven Inker

President's Message 7/30/22

Dear friends,

This week's two Parshiot, Matot and Massei, bring the Book of BaMidbar to a close. The Parshiot relate the laws of vows, the victory of the Israelites over Midianites, the request by the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half of Menashe to settle outside of the Holy Land, a summary of 40 years of wandering, creating cities of refuge, and the marriages of the daughters of Zelophehad.

When the tribes of Reuben and Gad ask Moshe for the lands to the east of the Jordan, Moshe is initially angry. He berates the tribes for cowardice and selfishness for not fighting for the land of Israel with the rest of the Nation. He feels they are abandoning the prophecy for the Israelites to conquer and dwell in the Land ofIsrael. Once the tribes explain that they would join together in unity with the rest of the Nation to fight common foes, his anger abates and he promises them the land east of the Jordan in perpetuity. 

Rabbi Mirwis brings several commentators to explain why Moshe's view changes so completely. While he quotes the Ramban and the Netziv, his favorite commentator here is the Degel Machane Ephraim. He explains that Moshe was initially concerned that the tribes would go off on their own and split the nation. But Moshe took the time to understand these tribes. He then lived up to the standard of a great, enlightened leader, reversing his objections in light of this new insight. 

The Degel Machane Ephraim notes that the tribes asked to settle in the East, but offered to join, even lead, the Israelites as one nation against the armies of the Canaanites. He also notes that the tribe of Menashe, straddling both sides of the Jordan, allowed constant interactions between the nation in the West and the tribes in the East.  As long as the tribes worked together against common obstacles, Moshe had nothing to fear. 

These Parshiot are always read around Tisha B'av, when the concept of Sinat Chinam, causeless hatred and senseless divisions, is highlighted as the underlying cause of the destruction of the Temple. Rabbi Mirwis relates this here. He praises Moshe for recognizing the importance of communication and prioritizing building and maintaining bridges to promote unity over personal pride and preference. Full dvar is here. 

• • • 

Many topics were covered at the Board meeting this week.  The minutes from the previous meeting were approved, and they will be sent out to the membership next week. Job descriptions for office manager and building manager to take some of the load off the Rabbi and Shternie were approved and candidates are actively being recruited. Job descriptions for the leadership roles in the Shul (Rabbi, President, Gabbai) continue to be refined and will hopefully be approved before the next meeting.  A code of conduct was approved by the Board and a copy will be sent to all members next week. 

I'm really excited about  a new monthly lecture series entitled Israel – Conflict and Culture that will begin after the Chagim and run through May 2023. Speakers are being confirmed this summer.

In addition to the minutes, I plan to send an interim budget so members can see where we are at the midpoint of the year in terms of expenses, income and expectations​.

Lastly, I hope everyone can join us for the Daf Yomi Siyum BBQ for tractate Yevamot that will take place on Sunday at 2PM at the Shul backyard.

Wishing you all a meaningful and peaceful Shabbat Shalom,

Steven Inker​

Fri, August 12 2022 15 Av 5782