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Voice of Emanu-El

January 2014 / Shevat 5774~ Volume 5

Upcoming Events: Healing Service Sunday, January 5th Tehillim Group Tuesday, January 7th Rock Kabbalat Friday, January 10th Drum Circle Saturday, January 11th Tu B’Shevat Seder Wednesday, January 15th Lunch & Learn Thursday, January 23rd Flamenco Sephardit Sunday, January 26th

At Temple Emanu-El: National Human Trafficking Awareness Day: A Rabbinic and Communal Response January 11, 2014 18 Jewish congregations throughout Miami Dade have dedicated themselves to speak out.

1701 Washington Avenue - Miami Beach, FL 33139 - (305) 538-2503 -

DIRECTORY Rabbi Marc Philippe

Chairman of the Board Dr. Phillip Frost ext.232


Executive Director


Joan Winograd ext.224

Finance Director

Hector Priven ext. 222

Marketing & Media Director Ana Berger ext.242

Facility Manager

Glen Gillingham ext.234

Young Leadership Coordinator

Arielle Shimko ext.221

Joel Hoppenstein Jerry A. Jacobs

1st Vice President

Paul Riemer Lawrence Schantz* Joy Spill Shayna Sirkin Leah Stern Leon Tenenbaum* Brenda Vargas George Weiss Janet Wolk Judith Wurtman, PH.D.

Jacqueline Simkin

Advisory Board

2nd Vice President

Amanda Adler Michael Adler* Arthur Anderman Arthur Barr* Hon Elaine Bloom Irving Cowan Barton Goldberg Christopher Growald Lucero Levy Joan Muss Martin Nash, z"l* Jerry Potashnick Honey Revitz

Brian Heller

Immediate Past President Jeffrey A. Rynor*

Board of Directors Geoffrey Aaronson Sandra Aaronson Betty Clarick Dedee Cohen Howard Cohen Ann-Lynn Denker, PH.D. David Greenberg Tibor Hollo* Richard Lehrman Rosalind Lehrman, PH.D. Raul Moncarz, PH.D.


Dr. Irving Lehrman, z"l, Founding Rabbi Mr. Sam Friedland, z"l, Chairman Emeritus

Rabbi’s Letter Faith is a Verb “One day Honi the Circle Drawer was journeying on the road and he saw a man planting a carob tree; he asked him, ‘How long does it take for this tree to bear fruit?’ The man replied: ‘Seventy years.’ He then further asked him: ‘Are you certain that you will live another seventy years?’ The man replied: ‘I found ready grown carob trees in the world; as my forefathers planted these for me so I too plant these for my children.’ Honi sat down to have a meal and sleep overcame him. As he slept a rocky formation enclosed upon him which hid him from sight and he continued to sleep for seventy years. When he awoke he saw a man gathering the fruit of the carob tree and he asked him, ‘Are you the man who planted the tree?’ The man replied: ‘I am his grandson.’ Thereupon he exclaimed: ‘It is clear that I slept for seventy years.’” (Talmud, Taanit 23) This story is often told during the holiday of Tu B’Shevat as an incentive to care for the environment; an incentive to take an active role for the future. The man in the story knows it is his responsibility to prepare the future for his children and grandchildren. And what he does is called an act of faith, because he knows intrinsically that it is the right thing to do.

So let’s look at the etymology of the word “faith”. Its root comes from the Latin fides, meaning “trust”. In our story, the man’s children have faith in him because they know that he is making sure the land will be ready for them. And this is the whole point. In Judaism, faith is a verb. It is not a commodity that we have or don’t have. It is something we do. We “faithe.” Our faith must translate into positive, concrete acts; and when it does, it plays an important part in sustaining our world. Every mitzvah that we do is not only an act of faith, but also a positive action that has a double effect. It elevates our soul and it contributes in bringing harmony to the world. Shimon Hatzadik, in Pirkei Avot (the Ethics of our Fathers), explains this concept in a simple teaching: “The world stands on three things: Torah, Service [of God], and acts of loving-kindness.” We live in a world where we are compelled to act, react and interact with others. And through our positive acts of faith, God interacts with the world. Faith is a beautiful verb! Here is a poetic illustration of this concept by Rabbi Rami Shapiro: We are loved by an unending love We are embraced by arms that find us even when we are hidden from ourselves We are touched by fingers that soothe us even when we are too proud for soothing. We are counseled by voices that guide us even when we are too embittered to hear. We are loved by an unending love. We are supported by hands that lift us even in the midst of a fall We are urged on by eyes that meet us even when we are too weak for meeting. We are loved by an unending love. Embraced, touched, soothed, and counseled… ours are the arms, the fingers, the voices; ours are the eyes, the smiles. We are loved by an unending love.

Our western world, and perhaps our generation in particular, seems to struggle with the concept of faith. Maybe many people had painful experiences. To some of them, faith might mean blindly adhering to a dogma, a lot of negative selfjudgment, or the fear of being condemned for not having enough faith or even the “right” kind. These are genuine feelings, they need to be addressed, but I would like to say that faith has nothing to do with these negative feelings. Unfortunately, the way their religion has been presented to them is Rabbi Marc Philippe most likely the issue.

Perek Shirah Perek Shirah, literally “A Chapter of Song”, is an ancient and mysterious text of unknown authorship, although some commentaries attribute it to King David. It takes the form of a list of eighty-four elements of the natural world, including elements of the sky and of the earth, plants, birds, animals, and insects, attaching a verse from the Bible to each. The concept behind Perek shirah is that everything in the natural world teaches us a lesson in philosophy or ethics, and the verse gives us a clue as to what the lesson is. Every month, we will have an excerpt from Perek Shirah, along with a short explanation.

This month, we celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of the trees. In honor of this, here is the song of

The Wild Trees

The wild trees are saying, “Then shall the trees of the forest sing out at the presence of God, because He comes to judge the earth.” (Chronicles I 16:33) Once upon a time, God made the universe. He made stars and planets. He made mountains and oceans. He made plants and animals. And he made a very special creature, man, whom He put in charge of all this. “ ‘Look at the work of God, for who can rectify that which he has damaged’ (Ecclesiastes 7:13) –At the time when God created Adam, He took him around the trees of the Garden of Eden, and He said to him. ‘Look at My works, how beautiful and praiseworthy they are! Everything that I created, I created for you; take care that you do not damage and destroy My world, for if you damage it, there is no one to repair it afterwards!’ (Midrash Kohelet Rabbah) And so God left the world to the care of man, until the end of days. How is man doing so far? How should we measure our progress? The best indicator is that aspect of nature which the Torah itself uses to instruct us in looking after the world properly: When you shall besiege a city for a long time, in making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by forcing an ax against them; for you may eat of them, and you shall not cut them down. (Deuteronomy 20:19) Trees are the best indicator of how well man is taking care of the world. Man can choose to leave them standing, and look after them, or to mindlessly chop them down with no concern for the resulting effect on the environment. And, in much of the world, trees are the environment. Forests are the symbol of ecology. They fulfill the essential roles of providing habitat for animals and even smaller plants; they convert lethal carbon dioxide into precious oxygen; and they form the backbone of rainforest ecosystems. The trees’ only hope is to hold out until the end of days, when God openly returns to the scene to sort matters out. “Then shall trees of the forest sing out at the presence of God, because He comes to judge the earth.” The song of the trees is an urgent plea for man to use the world properly. From Nature’s Song, by Nosson Slifkin

SOBE YL Young Leadership

We are filled with pride for our soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces. We love them as they defend and protect with courage the Land of Israel. We pray for your safety every day.

Mandel Bread I must admit, Mandel Bread makes me swoon. Ah, a glazele tay (glass of tea) and a nice Mandel Bread. Maybe some prefer the tooth-cracking, over-priced biscotti that you can find at Starbucks, and maybe some might say the two treats are almost the same? “Oh, but they’re not!” would say Tante Ruth. “Biscotti are kind of dry, and Mandel Bread is a little bit moister and smaller. And Mandel Bread is made with love, and biscotti come in a plastic container. And Mandel Bread you have with special people, so it has all those associations, whereas biscotti are just associated with Starbucks.” Let’s put a damper on Biscotti mystique, Mandel Bread technically is a little softer than Biscotti. Mandel Bread usually is soft enough not to be dunk in coffee or a glass of wine. And seriously, can you imagine dunking a cookie in wine? It’s so not Jewish — like putting ketchup on latkes. So here, try this easy recipe and bring a taste of the Old world in your home. And you might as well invite family and friends! Marc Philippe Ingredients: • • • • • • •

8 eggs 2 cups sugar 2 cups oil 8 cups flour 3 Tbsp. baking powder 3 cups chopped walnuts 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Preparation: 1. In a mixing bowl, beat together eggs, oil and sugar. 2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking powder. 3. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Add nuts and vanilla extract. 4. Form the dough into three logs. Flatten them a bit on the top so they’ll come out wider rather than rounder. 5. Bake on greased baking sheets at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. 6. Remove from oven and cool slightly. 7. Slice them about an inch thick (or about as thick as the wide part of your thumb). 8. Dip both sides in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. 9. Return to oven for about 5 more minutes to dry the cookie more.

Meet a member Sandee Simon

Tell us about yourself and your family: I have three children – the Rebbitzen and two boys, one in Madison, Wisconsin and one in Victoria, Canada. I also have six grandsons. I was a professional dancer in Chicago and am hoping to find classes in tap dance. I would also like to start painting again. How long have you lived or wintered in South Florida? I have lived in South Florida since 1998, moving from Chicago. What’s your favorite program of the congregation? Any program that the Rabbi does. Do you have a favorite Temple Emanu-El moment or memory? My very most favorite moment was when Marc Philippe stepped up to the bema as Rabbi. What is the area of Jewish learning you’d like to explore more? I would like to start from step one, learn the basics, and go from there. What are your favorite recreational and community activities? I love Pilates. Have done it for 11 years and it has cured my sciatica pain. I also do water aerobics almost every morning. I have introduced my Florida grandchildren to the opera and take them every year to the theater as well as the opera. Where did you go to school and what program of study did you pursue? I attended the University of Illinois and majored in art.

January Birthdays & Anniversaries Anniversaries Birthdays Leonard Janet Samuel Erna Brittany Eve Niki Jeffrey Ruth Janet Chloe Peter Madeline Jerome Jennifer David Dedee Paula Helen Esther Irene David Leila Rachel Salomon Liora Arlyn Sandra Vittorio

Miller Wolk Cohen Berger Revitz Scheinblum Markofsky Rynor Shapiro Perkins Silver Whitmore Hillsberg Potashnick Jacobs Adler Cohen Lapciuc Bialolenki Whitmore Tibor Greenberg Levi Schapiro Tenenbaum Namiech Cypen Lapciuc Levi

1 1 4 5 5 7 8 11 11 12 14 14 16 16 18 19 21 21 23 23 25 26 26 26 26 27 28 29 30

Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey Hecktman Mr. & Mrs. Barton Goldberg Mr. & Mrs. Scott Weinberg George & Patricia Weiss Ambassador & Mrs. Abe Hoppenstein Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey Rynor Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Kaye Mr. & Mrs. Leon Tenenbaum

1 10 12 16 19 19 26 29

The Pekl Story


morning Rivke arrived at the Rebbetzin’s house completely distraught. “Rebbetzin, Rebbetzin,” she cried, “My life, it’s too much for me. My eldest children, they’re filled with modern ideas. If I say, do this, they do that. And then, just when I’ve gotten adjusted to that, they’re doing something else. And my two babies, they just scream all day. Sometimes I don’t know where they get the breath. And me, I work all day long in the marketplace. My ankles are as big as an elephant’s, my back hurts, I’m freezing. And still there isn’t enough food to put on the table. My children are hungry. Rebbetzin, I can‘t go on with this day after day. Please, you’ve got to help me.” The Rebbetzin was used to giving advice. She was known as the town Khakhome, or wise woman, and women came to her with their problems. She immediately sat Rivke down and offered her some warm tea. Rivke drank gratefully, warming her stiff fingers on the cup. From across the rough wooden table, the Rebbetzin looked intently at Rivke. Then she gazed long and hard at a spot on the wall. Back to Rivke. Back to the spot on the wall. Back and forth, back and forth. But finally, she looked at Rivke and she spoke. “Rivke”, she said, “I know that your life is difficult. That you have a heavy load to carry. But I have a plan. I want you to go home and put all your troubles in a bundle. In a pekl. And then come back here.” That very afternoon, Rivke returned to the rebbetzin’s house, huffing and puffing under the enormous weight of the pekl of problems that she carried on her back. As soon as she turned the corner to the rebbetzin’s house, Rivke could see that things were not as they had been in the morning. From the house Rivke could hear the loud, excited chatter of many women. And when Rivke entered, she saw, crowded tightly together,

all the other women of the shtetl, each with their own pekl. With great difficulty, the Rebbetzin quieted the women. And then she spoke. “Rivke”, she said, “You will have the opportunity to exchange your pekl for any other pekl here.” Rivke was ecstatic. She knew her life would improve by at least a thousand percent. She quickly ran to the smallest pekl. But when she went to lift it, it was heavy. It weighed more than her own huge pekl. When she opened it she saw that it contained only one problem: the death of a tiny infant child. Rivke immediately tied up that pekl. She knew that this tragedy was one she would never want in her life. Though her children drove her crazy, she would not want to be without them; they were her lifeblood. She quickly moved to the next pekl. Realizing that the smallest peklekh were not necessarily the best, Rivke went from one pekl to the next, lifting them and putting them down to search for the lightest one. Eventually, she found a pekl that, though larger than her own, weighed almost nothing. Rivke quickly opened it up only to find it filled with the large emptiness of loneliness. This time, Rivke paused for a moment to think. She thought of sleeping through the night, and then rising in the morning with no screaming children demanding food that wasn’t there. She thought about how much less she would have to sell at the market. She imagined the quiet evenings, with no neighbors telling their problems or borrowing food.

But then, she had to admit that she wouldn’t want to be without the people in her life. Though none of them were good enough and she wanted them all to improve, she couldn’t live without other people. And so, glancing over her shoulder as she moved, she left that pekl behind and walked to the next pekl. But you know what; it also had problems that she wouldn’t want. And so did the fourth. Rivke was just heading towards the fifth pekl –as you can imagine, her pace had slowed considerably by this time- when she noticed that her own pekl had mysteriously shrunk by half. Rivke realized that she might be seeing things, and she was not one to be taken for a fool. And so, very slowly

and tentatively, she walked back to her own pekl. Sure enough, it was only half as big as when she arrived. She easily hoisted it over her shoulders. With a smile on her face and a jaunty step, and without looking back at anyone, she left the rebbetzin’s house on her way home. Helen Mintz

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