Carol Katzman: Do You Know?

katzman_carolHi, I’m Carol Katzman, President of the Shomrei Emunah Cemetery Association and Shomrei Emunah’s delegate to the Jewish Memorial Chapel for many years. So I was wondering…


Do You Know There is a Non-Profit Jewish Funeral Home? – Yes. The Jewish Memorial Chapel is located on Allwood Road in Clifton about 15 minutes from Shomrei Emunah.

Do You Know Congregation Shomrei Emunah is A Delegate Organization? Yes, we have been a delegate organization since 1994. When the Nutley Temple joined Shromei Emunah, it brought its membership with them.

jewish menorah chapel

Do You Know Non-Profit Means Funeral Costs are Less? Yes. Being non-profit the Jewish Memorial Chapel covers it costs. Funerals are anywhere from approximately one-third to one-half less than at a for-profit funeral home. The licensed professional staff conducts funerals with dignity and in strict compliance with Halacha (Jewish Law).

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The Gift of Hinei Mah Tov


One of the greatest gifts I was given when I came to the Shomrei community over three years ago was the opportunity to lead our family service, Hinei Mah Tov. Befitting the name of the service, we always open with the song “Hinei Mah Tov,” a song that is known by many melodies but lyrically highlights the importance of being together with our brothers and sisters; the version that we open with says, “How good it is, how sweet it is, to be with my sisters and brothers/ How good it is, how sweet it is in peace with one another.”

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Going Home: Parashat Vayera (5780 – 2019)


Parashat Vayera (5780 – 2019)
Genesis 18:1 – 22:24

After the “bang!” – the traumatic story of the Binding of Isaac (Aqedah)- our Torah portion concludes with a “whimper,”  telling us that Abraham received a report of the births of a number of relatives in far-off Mesopotamia. The last names are of unknown people: Tevah, Gaham, Tahash and Ma`akhah. (Gen. 22:24) And we will never hear of them again.

This section is not completely obscure, though. Included in the birth announcements, as readers have noticed, is the name of Rebecca, later to become Isaac’s wife. The commentator, Rashi, remarks: “All these kinship lines are written only for this verse [that tells of Rebecca’s birth].” But Rashi’s comment does not explain why it was necessary to include all the seemingly superfluous information. Couldn’t the Torah have been selective, as it so often is, and only mention the birth of the one significant person? The whole section could have been reduced to one verse: “After these things, Abraham was told that Rebecca, daughter of Bethuel, was born.”
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MESH Report Nov 12, 2019

MESH nov 12

From Captain Alex Kent:

On a chilly Tuesday night, the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei warmed a smaller than usual group of guests with a nourishing dinner.

John Lasiter prepared a meal for 18 people, with 1 meal to go. The diners were treated to pita chips with hummus, barbecued chicken, roasted potatoes, cole slaw, challah and spread, topped off by a dessert of homemade brownies and vanilla ice cream.

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People, Places and Things

cube2Europe never fails to amaze me. There is little fanfare when the border is crossed, but almost as soon as you enter a new country you are aware. It is not only the change of language on the signs. The character of the landscape changes, too. The architecture, the colors, the demeanor of the people- all indicate a new country. And so much is very old but juxtaposed against the very new.

As many of you know, I take at least one trip to Europe every year to visit my daughter Rebecca and her family who live in Lille, a large city in northern France.  Continue reading

MESH Report Nov 5, 2019


From Captain Linda Ariel:

It was a brisk Tuesday evening on November 5, 2019, and we were blessed with many more volunteers than we had initially anticipated. This allowed the group of Shomrei MESH hosts to run a seamless kitchen and service crew for our 24 guests and to accommodate the four take-away dinners for people for whom we did not have room to seat.

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Keep Walking: Parashat Lekh Lekha (5780 – 2019)


Parashat Lekh Lekha (5780 – 2019)
Genesis 12:1 – 17:27

Our Torah portion is accompanied by a prophetic reading – haftarah (- “concluding reading”), as is every Torah portion. Each haftarah was chosen long ago, selected from a vast prophetic literature. It devolved on later generations to try to ascertain why each  specific reading was matched with the Torah portion. Often the connection is clear and far-reaching. But sometimes the connections are less obvious.

Our Etz Hayim edition is blessed with a commentary on the haftarot by the eminent scholar, Michael Fishbane, that always discusses the relation between the haftarah and its Torah reading. The relation between the two is not only one of development of the earlier text (Torah) by the later text (haftarah). Reading the haftarah can also awaken us to themes and issues in the Torah reading that we otherwise might have passed over. Thus, aside from the connections that Prof. Fishbane points out, I believe that a reading of our haftarah this week can alert us to an element in our parashah that we might have ignored.

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Social Action Committee Info


Shomrei Social Action Committee
The Social Action Committee, co-chaired by Sarita Eisenberg and Audrey Levitin, seeks to apply a Jewish understanding of “repairing the world” to issues of our time. As we remember from the wisdom of previous generations of Jews: “It is not our responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but we are not free to desist from it either.” The committee seeks to help the congregation at large engage with our broken world by finding and recognizing issues and recommending specific actions we can take.

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Not a Word From His Lips: Parashat No`ah (5780 – 2019)


Parashat No`ah (5780 – 2019)
Genesis 6:9 – 11:32 

How he survived was a miracle. No. How he survived was by shutting his mouth and keeping quiet. No, it was still a miracle, after all. After all that criminality, after all that hatred, and that violence and that thieving and killing, it was a miracle that they didn’t take him and cut his silent throat. He saw it all, but he didn’t say a word. The wood stolen right out from under him. Silence. The neighbor’s cow slaughtered right before his eyes. Silence.  The neighbor bludgeoned. Not a word from his lips.
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