Sign In Forgot Password

President's message: Noach

This week's Parsha, Noach, is bookended by two of the great stories of the Torah: the Flood, with the destruction of all of mankind save the family of Noach, and the Tower of Babel, which led to the disunity of mankind by separating the population by language. 

While these events speak about global issues, I found a great insight in one of the smaller events described in the Parsha. We learn that after the flood, Noach became drunk and fell into a stupor, and lay naked  He was discovered by his son, Ham, who goes to tell his brothers Shem and Yafet what he has seen. These two brothers return and clothe their father without looking at him. When Noah awakes, he blesses Shem and Yafet and curses Ham. 

It’s easy to understand why Noach blessed Shem and Yafet, but why was Ham cursed?  Were his actions really so bad? Rabbi Dovid Geeen explains that Ham’s sin was not shielding his father from shame. By speaking about it to his brothers, he further caused embarrassment. We learn that we must always try to overlook people’s faults, especially those close to us, in our family or in our community. We all have faults, but focusing on those of others, without trying to find the good, not only embarrasses them, but diminishes us. Full dvar text here. 
 
• • • 

This week kicked off our lecture series on Israel. We had Dr. Daniel Polisar speak live on Zoom both to an in-person audience in the shul, and many who watched remotely. The lecture and the Q&A sessions were incredibly stimulating and provocative. It was very gratifying to see how many people attended. The next lecture, with Michael Bassin, is scheduled for Nov 13. I look forward to seeing you all there.
 
Next week, we have a Shabbaton in Shul with Rabbi Shias Taub, who will be speaking both Friday night and on Shabbos. Information about the event and the registration form is here. ​​​​​​​
 
At this week's Board meeting we heard about a forthcoming upgrade campaign for the Mikvah. We will also be purchasing cabinetry to improve the Tallis bag and Siddur area, as well additional memorial plaques for the Shul. 
 
As there is still much discussion about the orientation of the mechitzah, we will be sending out a questionnaire shortly about member opinions on the placement of the mechitzah, possible changes to its structure and possible changes to the placement of the Bimah and the Aron Kodesh. These will be tested out in the coming weeks and then reviewed by the Ritual committee and sent to the Board with a recommendation for a final decision.
 
The minutes from the last meeting were approved and will be sent to the membership, and I’ll discuss other topics that are still in process in next week's email. The date for the annual meeting will be announced soon, along with the Board slate for elections, per the bylaws. I’ve already been contacted by members who wish to be considered for the Board slate. I urge anyone else with interest to contact me or any Board member, so you can be considered. Instructions for those wishing to run will be sent out at the time that the annual meeting date is announced, no later that 45 days prior to the meeting.
 
Wishing you all a peaceful and meaningful Shabbat Shalom,
 
Steven Inker

Mon, December 5 2022 11 Kislev 5783