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RABBI’S REFLECTIONS

IN THIS ISSUE

‘Old Themes, New Year’ During most of the year, prayer services at Beth Judea use Siddur Sim Shalom, the standard prayer book of the Conservative movement, which has been edited in such a way as to de-emphasize gendered images of God. Thus, ‘He’ is in many places replaced by ‘God.’ While the Hebrew, gendered language that it is, retains the masculine forms of verbs, possessives and so on, the English has been updated to reflect a more neutral imaging of God. This fits well with most modern people’s outlook in an egalitarian, multicultural society. Religiously, though, it can create problems. The most obvious is that during the High Holidays the dominant image of God is that of melekh, king. There is no easy substitute for melekh, and if we could think of one, we would probably find it wanting, because the whole gestalt of these holidays is that of enthroning and being judged by an allpowerful king. The use of this imagery is nowhere more obvious than in Avinu Malkeinu, our repeated call to ‘Our Father, our King.’ The new Mahzor Lev Shalem, which we will be using for the first time this year, continues the practice of retaining the traditional Hebrew language but transliterating the words on the English side, rather than translating the words. That is a kind of compromise, by which we reaffirm the traditional form of the prayer while masking its meaning by using the Hebrew phrase even in English readings. The mahzor’s consistent use of the melekh metaphor forces us to confront our assumptions about our relationship to God. Do we truly see God as a king, the kind of ruler Americans have little direct experience of and from which we freed ourselves over 230 years ago? And if God as king holds little meaning for us, how can we enter the holidays in the proper spirit of humility and repentance? Fearing no king, can we fear the judgment of God as melekh?

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Rabbi’s Reflections …………………………………..…. 1 Welcome New Members ………………………………. 2 High Holiday Information ………………………………. 3 Notes from the Cantor………………………………….. 4 President’s Message …………………………………... 6 Mission Statement ………………………………………. 6 B’Nai Mitzvah Bios……………………………………….. 7 Membership/Turn in Your Friends …………….……... 7 Education ..……………………………………………... 8 Focus on Families ……………………………………… 10 Youth ……………………………………………………. 10 Sisterhood……………………………………………….. 11 Z’Havah ………………………………………………..... 12 Hesed (Caring) Committee ………………………........ 12 Men’s Club ……………………………………………… 12 Adult Education ………………………………………… 13 Social Action …………………………………………… 14 BJE ……………………………………………………… 15 SHALVA ………………………………………………… 15 Goodman Blog (Part 7) ………………………………... 16 Bikur Cholim …………………………………………….. 20 College Connections ……………….………………… 21 Community Connections ……………………………… 21 Sisterhood Gift Shop ………………………………….. 21 Birthdays and Anniversaries ………………………….. 23 Yahrzeits……………………………………………….… 25 Tributes……………………………………………….….. 27 September Calendar ………………………………….. 31 Index of Flyers and Advertisers……………….……… 32

BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES Shabbat Prayers September 7, 2012 – 7:30 pm Those who celebrate birthdays and anniversaries during the month of September will be recognized at our service on September 7th. Our worship will begin at 7:30 pm and will conclude by 8:15 pm. Children of every age are welcome!

Profile for Stan Zoller

The Word -- September, 2012  

The September of The Word, the newsletter published by Congregation Beth Judea.

The Word -- September, 2012  

The September of The Word, the newsletter published by Congregation Beth Judea.

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