Dream of Fields: Parashat Toldot

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Parashat Toldot 

Genesis 25:19 – 28:9

And Esau became a man knowing the hunt, a man of the field…And Isaac loved Esau.
(Gen. 25:27-28)

Where do blessings come from? Where do they go? What is their source of power? What is their effect?

While our tradition mandates that we pronounce blessings of all kinds and for all kinds of reasons, the blessings that we utter, as we bless God, invariably begin “Barukh attah Adanai… – You, Eternal God, abound in blessing.” Thus, the blessings originated by our tradition proclaim God to be the origin of blessing. And we pray incessantly that we may be the ones blessed.
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By Request – or Not

Chickpea-Saladsoup11_10 recipes

Just in time for Thanksgiving and for a change from the same old menu, here’s a new round of recipes from the Shomrei kitchen.

The following recipe for vegan chickpea salad is one of the most requested in the almost nine years that I’ve been in Shomrei’s kitchen. It’s so simple to make and blends flavors nicely. A well-stocked kitchen should have almost all the ingredients on hand. It’s also slightly magical: close your eyes and you might even think you are eating chicken salad! Continue reading

Bountiful Brass – A Fitting Tribute (video and photo gallery)

About 250 people gathered at Shomrei for the second annual “Concert for Eric” a tribute to Eric Singer z”l.  This year’s concert entitled “Bountiful Brass – From Bach to Bernstein” featured Montclair Chamber Brass: Don Batchelder, 
Chuck Bumcrot, 
Anthony Mazzocchi, 
Jeff Scott and 
Kyle Turner.
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A Love Song to America

BerlinElections are over. Maybe we will be able to settle down to some bi-partisanship  and enjoy the blessings of democracy.

Ironically 2018 marks the 100th birthday of the writing of an iconic patriotic American song. Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” was written in 1918 while Berlin was a soldier at Camp Upton in Yaphank, New York.

Berlin who came to America at aged five with his family was newly naturalized in February 2018. Soon after, he enlisted in the U.S. Army.  Already a successful song writer, he wrote “God Bless America” for an Army show. The song did not appear in that show but as war loomed in Europe in 1938, Berlin revised the song and asked Kate Smith to sing it. Continue reading

Win-Win: Parashat Hayyei Sarah

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Parashat Hayyei Sarah 
Genesis 23:1 – 25:18

– Well, he’s going to need a grave now. That’s for sure. It’s a shame about the old lady, Sarah. Dying all alone like that. Now I hear that Abraham is coming in to Hebron. He’s heard that she died and whaddaya bet that he’s going to want to bury her right here? He’ll want a grave. The question is, do we, as the Elders of the Sons of Het, let him have one? We’ll go around the circle. What do you say?

– I say – Why? He’s not one of us. He’s a stranger. He’s strange, in general. He moves around and leaves his wife all alone?

– You’re right, he moves around. He’s never really learned our ways. He’s never settled anywhere permanent. He’s a drifter. He doesn’t have a piece of land to his name.

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We Can Get Along

Pittsburgh1George Washington in his 1790 letter to the Newport Jewish Community wrote” It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support…

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.” Continue reading

MESH Cafe Oct 30, 2018

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Report from Captain Stuart Green:

Last night, we hosted an end-of-month full house of 26 guests (24 sit-ins, 2 take-aways) for a sumptuous meal. MESH superstar Lynne Kurzweil, ably assisted by sous-chefs (and dishwashers) Melissa Elbaum and Susan Rosenblatt, cooked up a feast of egg and tuna salad appetizer with cucumber and tomato slices and pita chips; cucumber salad; baked turkey meat loaf and sweet potatoes; sauteed onions, tomatoes, and green beans; and a dessert of ginger snaps, mini-brownies, and pineapple and honeydew melon fruit salad. MESH staffers Adrienne, Bonny and Joe also helped out.

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Vigil

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Rabbis Ariann Weitzman, David Greenstein, Marc Katz, and Elliott Tepperman lead 200 members of the religious, political and social Montclair community at B’nai Keshet to mourn the victims of the Tree of Life massacre at a vigil of prayers, song and support, Sat. night, Oct. 27. Photo © Adam Anik

This past Shabbat the worst attack on Jews in American history took place. Many of us were stunned, horrified, angered and grief stricken. What does one do in such a circumstance?

One answer was provided by our rabbi and our community: Congregation Shomrei Emunah co-sponsored a vigil along with congregations Bnai Keshet and Temple Ner Tamid.

Unfortunately, due to the late hour of the email notice that went out to the congregation about the vigil (it could not be sent out earlier because of Shabbat) there were few Shomrei members in attendance. How I wished our congregants could have been there for this special evening – a chance to come together to share our pain and find comfort in one another’s embrace. Having spoken to a number of our congregants, I know many wished they could have attended.

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