The Old Man: Parashat Nitzavim/Rosh Ha-Shanah (5779 – 2019)


Parashat Nitzavim/Rosh Ha-Shanah
Deuteronomy 29:9 – 30:20

We are all standing (nitzavim) here together today, as we stood yesterday and the day before that. To hear the Old Man. My brother and I stand here wondering. We feel the burden of years and woes and memories. I was a wood chopper in my youth, in Egypt, and he was a water carrier. We were young and strong. Who knows, though, how long we would have lasted before they would have broken us. But he got us out in time. And we have followed the Old Man ever since. We have buried our parents and we are the elders now.  We have raised our children, who know only sand and stories and Clouds of Glory. We are almost sixty years old, with aching backs and sore arms. The Old Man is twice our age but he seems to have more energy than any of us, more energy now than he has had in forty years!
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Deborah Sacks Mintz – Singing as a Spiritual Practice, Musical Scholar in Residence, Fri/Sat, Nov 1 & 2, 2019

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A transformative prayer leader and musician, Deborah Sacks Mintz has served innovative institutions around the country as a teacher of Torah and communal Jewish music. As a member of the Hadar Ensemble and the Community Singing Consultant of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute, Deborah serves as a resource to those seeking to cultivate the grassroots musical and spiritual creativity of the Jewish people.

In addition to composing new Jewish music, Deborah can be found regularly performing and recording with a myriad of musicians and ensembles. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, Deborah is pursuing rabbinical ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

As an experienced ba’al tefilah and leader of communal prayer, Deborah seeks to support communities in unlocking their own abilities to lead and empower their spiritual selves. Through composing and sharing new liturgical music, Deborah offers a fresh take on a deeply traditional sound.

All events Free and open to the public
(see schedule below)

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MESH Report Sept 24, 2019


From Captain Fern Heinig:

The Carole Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei was open for business Tuesday night and served thirty meals. We had 24 guests in house and prepared 6 take away meals. Amongst our guests, we had one vegetarian (though he did eat fish) and two of our take aways were non fish vegetarian.

As you can see from the picture of the cooking/serving crew, we had a very large and dedicated crew. We would like to welcome new Shomrei member Jean Thaler, better known as JT. Thank you JT for volunteering and hope your first experience will encourage you to volunteer again.

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In Secret: Parashat Ki Tavo (5779 – 2019)


Parashat Ki Tavo (5779 – 2019)
Deuteronomy 26:1 – 29:8

Every morning, in our tradition prayers, we remind ourselves: “A person should always be reverent of Heaven, in secret and out in the open.” In our Torah portion, too, Moses, the public figure whose private life remained secret and off limits to the people, tries to balance public ceremonies with private, secret behaviors and thoughts.

The people, when they enter the land, are instructed by Moses to engage in a dramatic public ritual. Loud recitations of blessings and curses are to be hurled at the people, who are demanded to answer “Amen” in acceptance of these benedictions and imprecations. The litany ends like this: “Cursed be one who strikes their friend in secret; and the whole nation shall say: ‘Amen!’ Cursed be the one who takes bribery to strike innocent blood; and the whole nation shall say: ‘Amen!’ Cursed be anyone who does not keep the words of this Torah, to do them; and the whole nation shall say: ‘Amen!’” (Deut. 27:24-26)
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MESH Report Sept 17, 2019

MESH cafe logoFrom Captain Lynne Kurzweil:

This past Tuesday on a balmy late summer eve, we welcomed 24 grateful guests to the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei. We provided one takeaway meal and accommodated one vegetarian. Chef Stuart Green whipped up a hearty and delicious feast starting with homemade guacamole, baby carrots and tortilla chips. A green salad with Italian dressing preceded the main course of turkey chili served over rice with a side of yummy sautéed baby peppers. Guests mopped up the gravy with toasty Italian bread. Continue reading

Take Nourishment and Eat: Parashat Ki Tetze (5779 – 2019)


Parashat Ki Tetze (5779 – 2019)
Torah: Deuteronomy 21:10 – 25:19
Haftarah: Isaiah 54 – 55:5

As it happens, this year, because we read a special haftarah (-prophetic reading) for Shabbat Rosh Hodesh (New Month) a couple of weeks ago, we did not read one of the Seven Haftarot of Consolation on that Sabbath. When this situation sometimes occurs our tradition mandates that we read a combination of this week’s haftarah of consolation (- the 5th) followed by  the one we missed (- the 3rd). Surprisingly, it turns out that these two haftarot, when read in this order, comprise one continuous section in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 54 through Ch. 55:5.
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In Concert: Guitarist Laurence Juber, Sun, Nov 3, 2019, 4pm

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tickets on sale now:

Laurence Juber is a solo performer, recording artist, composer and arranger. His playing fuses folk, jazz, blues, pop and classical styles, creating a multi-faceted performance that belies the use of only one instrument.

First internationally recognized as lead guitarist in Paul McCartney’s Wings, with whom he won a Grammy. Juber has since established himself as world-renowned guitar virtuoso and entertainer.

Sunday, November 3, 2019, 4pm
Adults $15 in advance ($18 at the door)
Kids (when accompanied by an adult) – FREE

Sponsored by the Eric Singer Charitable Fund and Shomrei Emunah. Continue reading

It’s Elul: Time to Think

elulAs we move through the month of Elul, we’re given the opportunity to reflect and prepare for the High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This is a time of contemplation.

This process can be difficult for many of us. We run from place to place, from errand to errand, our lives seemingly controlled by devices.  Taking the time to take stock, to slow down, to look inside ourselves seems nearly impossible.

Fortunately, many fine thinkers have provided avenues to help us with this process. Continue reading

Selichot Program: The Exoneration of Huwe Burton, Sat, Sep 21, 2019, 8:30pm, Free

Huwe Burton speaks out on Today Show for first time since his exoneration 2019-09-12 12-54-16

Selichot Program
In the spirit of forgiveness and renewal, the speaker for Shomrei’s Selichot program is Huwe Burton, who was exonerated in the Bronx 30 years after he was wrongfully convicted of his mother’s murder. Huwe’s conviction was overturned after the Bronx Conviction Integrity Unit determined that Huwe gave a false confession that was the product of psychologically coercive techniques used by detectives. Additionally, the same detectives who elicited Huwe’s false confession also obtained false confessions from two other individuals three months earlier. The reinvestigation also uncovered new evidence that strongly pointed toward an alternative suspect. Today Huwe is rebuilding his life and is dedicated to helping others who have experienced grave injustice.

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