Willful Forgetfulness: Parashat Miqetz

Parashat Miqetz/Hanukah/Rosh Hodesh
Genesis 41:1-44:17

Our story is about forgetting and remembering. The Chief Butler had forgotten his promise to Joseph for two years, after he had been restored to his position in Pharaoh’s court. But, after Pharaoh cannot find a satisfactory interpretation for the dreams that torment him, the Butler remembers, saying, “It is my sins that I recall today.” (Gen. 41:9) Joseph is raised from his jail cell to hear Pharaoh’s dreams, and Joseph interprets the dreams to be saying that the country will be swept over with seven years of abundance and then seven years of famine. And the famine years will devour the years of plenty, “and all the satisfaction in the land of Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will destroy the land.” (Gen. 41:30) Continue reading

Seasonal Musings

It’s that time of year again- the holiday season. This time of year has always been fraught with tension for many Jewish families as the carols sing out and the lights twinkle.

As a child, I would gaze at the festive trees in the windows of the houses as I walked home from Hebrew School after a day in public school where music class might have been a period of Christmas carols (we Jewish kids NEVER sang the name of Jesus), we listened to a passage from the Bible, and made Christmas decorations. In fact, when my parents moved from the big family home and divested themselves of the accumulation of many years, there were the Santas and construction paper wreaths made in elementary school.

Continue reading

Linked Sufferings: Parashat Vayeshev/Hanukah/Thanksgiving

Parashat Vayeshev/Hanukah/Thanksgiving 
Genesis 37:1-40:23

The era of the Patriarchs virtually ends with this Torah reading. The Patriarchal system rested on the myth that all power and control over the destiny of the family and the extended group was in the hands of that central figure. It is a significant organizing myth, even if the reality is always much more complicated. All the Torah’s stories until now have both affirmed this myth but also undermined it in many ways. Fathers decide who their heir will be, who their heir’s spouse will be, who will get the blessing – except, of course, when other factors intervene.
Continue reading

Little Food Pantry Arrives at Shomrei

Shomrei is now the 7th site in Montclair for a Little Food Pantry. The Pantry is based on a simple rule: Take what you need and donate what you can. This provides another way for Shomrei members to help people experiencing food insecurity. We invite you to donate non-perishable food in cans or boxes (no glass and no expired food, please!).

We are looking for volunteers to keep our pantry in good shape. This would involve checking the pantry to remove expired food and perishable food and sometimes restocking with extra food stored in a closet inside the building. Please contact Sarita Eisenberg (email hidden; JavaScript is required) if you are interested and for more information.

Sarita Eisenberg & Audrey Levitin,
Co-Chairpersons, Social Action Committee

November Notes (and some December, too), Part 3

Thanksgiving weekend is usually the lead in to a frenetic few weeks of shopping, entertaining and family. With Hanukkah so closely following turkey day this year, the days may be even more jam-packed than usual.

Here are some Hanukkah and other related links, activities, and a recipe for a different Hanukkah treat. Continue reading

MESH Report Nov 16, 2021


This week, Aileen Grossberg prepared the quintessential comfort food meal: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, homemade Cole slaw, Italian Bread with Spread, Fresh Fruit Cup with Pineapple and Blueberries, not one but two cookies: one chocolate chunk and the other cranberry oatmeal, and PB crackers for a snack. As always, a water bottle and condiments were included. John Lasiter ably assisted with packing and cleanup. Next week, another partner will cover the meal and we will resume on November 30th.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Continue reading