King David in Literature

David paintingThis week we are skipping ahead from Bereshit to the story of David to coincide with the next Nourish.  On October 20, Paul Boorstin will be speaking about his book, “David and the Philistine Woman,” a work of historical fiction.

Based on extensive research, Boorstin has created a fast -paced story of the events leading up to David’s confrontation with Israel’s nemesis, the giant Goliath. Continue reading

MESH Cafe Oct 9, 2018

MeshReport from Captain Linda Ariel:

On a warm and humid evening, we welcomed 24 guests for a sumptuous meal consisting of a green salad with buttered challah on the side, Moroccan baked salmon with rice and lentils and roasted broccoli and carrots, and a dessert of fruit salad, cookies, and chocolate cake. Our chefs extraordinaires were Sarita Eisenberg and Sara Steindel with assistant chefs of Lou Hammerman and Charles Steindel. Susan Rosenblatt and Linda Ariel pitched in as well with the preparation of the many dishes.  Continue reading

Light and Goodness: Parashat Bereshit


Parashat Bereshit
Genesis 1:1 – 6:8

As if anticipating the “LP era,” Josef Haydn wrote, in just about three-minutes, absolutely captivating music, expressing the joy and amazement of the first humans. Adam and Eve, as they awaken to the world and to each other, are dazzled and hypnotized by God’s creation. All is “so wonderful” as they echo each other, again and again:

By Thee with bliss,
O bounteous Lord
The heav’n and earth are filled [stored]
This world, so great, so wonderful
Thy mighty Hand has framed

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MESH Cafe Oct 2, 2018

MESH oct 2

Report from Captain Alex Kent:

The Carol Starr MESH Cafe hosted a full house, and then some, on Tuesday. Luckily the offerings were bountiful thanks to the previous Syrian lunch, and the Simchat Torah celebration, which constituted much of the meal.

24 guests were served dinner and 7, for whom we had no room, were given takeout dinners. We had a good complement of helpers including newcomers Ira and Wendy Pollack. Ira is a whiz at the dish sink!  Aileen Grossberg and Lynne Kurzweil were the chefs, ably assisted by Shomrei teens Noah, Pacey, and Amalia, and adult helper Rachel Kanter. Bonny and Joe ran the show for MESH.   Continue reading

How MESH Cafe Feeds the Soul: @nourish with Dr. Gwen Parker-Ames

This past Shabbat, September 22, 2018, we were honored to welcome to Shomrei Dr. Gwen Parker Ames, Executive Director of MESH, as our @nourish speaker. Dr. Ames is Dean of Student Success at Nyack College, Adjunct Professor in Family and Child Studies at Montclair State University and Chaplain Educator at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital. She is also a licensed staff minister at St. Paul Baptist Church.

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Constant But Always Fresh

Genesis2018zagerAnd so we begin again…I am constantly amazed that no matter how many times one listens to a Torah reading and discusses it, there is always something new to extract from the text.

Although the text never changes- it is a constant- we change through experience, through aging, through changes in our surrounding, through education, through emotional growth. We are always bringing a new self to the old words.

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MESH Cafe Sept 27, 2018

Moving fast at MESH

Moving fast at MESH!!

Report from Captain Shirley Grill:

Our first Carol Starr Mesh Café of 2018 opened on a very wet and dark rainy night—and brightened everyone’s evening with deep orange colors and tangy flavors.  It may have been miserable outside, but inside it was a flaming fall festival of color—with a little pumpkin spice ala Starbucks! Continue reading

Written in Tears: Sukkot/Sh’mini Atzeret/Simhat Torah/V’zot Ha-b’rakhah


Sukkot/Sh’mini Atzeret/Simhat Torah/V’zot Ha-b’rakhah
Exodus 33:12 – 34:26
Numbers 29: 26-31

The “Season of Our Joy – z’man simhatenu” concludes with a flourish. We finish reading the last section of the Torah and then begin right away, again.

But the conclusion of the Torah’s text seems anything but joyous. The last Torah portion begins: “And this is the blessing that Moses, the man of the Almighty, blessed the children of Israel before his death.” (Deut. 33:1) It concludes with the report of Moses’ death: “And Moses, the servant o the Eternal, died there, in the land of Moab, by the mouth of the Eternal.” (Deut. 34:5) We are told that all of Israel wept over his death for thirty days.  And the last verses of the Torah tell us that, although Joshua faithfully stepped up to lead the people, Moses was uniquely great and irreplaceable. “No prophet has ever arisen in Israel like Moses.” (v. 10)

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Inhabiting Space: Parashat Ha’azinu / Sukkot


Parashat Ha’azinu/ Sukkot
Deuteronomy 32:1 – 32:52

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, in his jewel of a book, The Sabbath, famously contrasted the Jewish tradition of architecture with the Christian tradition. We are amazed and moved by the cathedrals built through the ages. Their beauty is astounding and their presence is a constant in our image of civilization. But the Jewish people have not been so fortunate as to erect permanent structures rooted in and dominating their communities. Our architectural creations have been more modest and, tragically, too often destroyed. Rabbi Heschel celebrated, instead, the “cathedral in time” that we have maintained through the ages, the observance of Shabbat. Continue reading