Monday morning: 7:30 am with Breakfast to follow
Monday evening: 8:00 pm
Thursday morning: 7:30 am with Breakfast to follow
Thursday evening: 8:00 pm
Friday evening: 8:00 pm with Oneg Shabbat
Saturday morning: 9:00 am with Kiddush
Sunday morning: 9:00 am with Breakfast to follow
Complimentary coffee, tea, soda and cake are served after the service on Friday and there is a Kiddush with cake, juice and wine after Saturday Shabbat service. On Sunday, Monday and Thursday morning, for those who would like to stay, we have breakfast after the morning Minyan for a $3.00 donation.
As we approach the upcoming High Holiday season, I would like to thank the congregation for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Rabbi during the past year, and at the same time, I look forward to serving the congregation and worshipping with you during the upcoming year. My message to you, as the New Year begins, is to evaluate yourself, and see what you can do to better yourself during the upcoming year. We all make mistakes. G-d understands! But we all need to recognize where we did wrong, and we need to do our best to improve. It does not take much for us to improve, and we cannot blame others or society when we do things wrong. The following article written by my brother, Rabbi David Novitsky, former Rabbi at Temple Beth Ami, which I believe sums up the point that only we have the ability to improve ourselves, and we need to stop blaming others when we don’t do the right thing— A happy and healthy new year to all of you!—Rabbi Mitchell Novitsky
An alibi is a convenient way of escaping guilt. On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, most of us use alibis to excuse our behavior of the past year.
The first person to use an alibi was Adam. After being accused of eating the forbidden fruit, he not only blamed his wife but he blamed G-d for giving him a wife. When she was confronted about her actions, she too passed the buck and blamed the serpent.
An alibi relieves one of moral responsibility; it eases the sting of conscience; removes the feeling of guilt.
Many persons never walk into the synagogue even on the High Holy Days, why? Either they say they are too busy or they do not want to fully participate in the service. Actually they really do not want to go to synagogue and would rather do nothing but gamble, shop or sleep. There are individuals that do not give even one-dollar worth of charity, not because of lack of sufficient funds but because of circumstances that make their priorities different. There are many, but not all, who would rather purchase a ticket at Carnegie Hall than at the synagogue.
A man who loses his job because of inept performance will find it easier to blame their boss or superior. A wicked evil person such as Adolf Eichmann, what was his excuse? I was just following orders.
Does G-d accept alibis? In the case of Adam, Eve, and the serpent, each was punished. President Truman had a sign over his desk: “The buck stops here.” Our generation must accept moral responsibility for our deeds if we are to survive as people in the next century. The world is falling apart today because people are unable to say three words “I was wrong.”
Much too readily some individuals sympathize with criminals or terrorists because they maintain that they are acting out their aggression against social oppression. Such permissiveness is responsible for our crime- ridden streets and for organizations such as Al Queda, Hezbollah or Hamas. We must reject all such alibis because people simply must be held responsible for their evil behavior.
Some Jews who do not attend synagogue even on Yom Kippur blame their parents, Rabbi or Hebrew school for their Jewish alienation. They claim that either they were too strict or lenient or they never gave them a reason to go to shul.
In reality, there are ample opportunities for most Jewish people to learn, to take courses or to pursue Jewish trips. There are many synagogues within driving distance where one can investigate their faith on an adult level with the same zeal in which they search for an undergraduate college or health club.
There is a story of a miser who rejected the pleas of the Rabbi for a donation to support the synagogue. The miser said: “Rabbi, I reject you every year. Why do you persist in coming? You know it’s against my nature to part with my funds.” The Rabbi replied: “I’ll tell you why I come. After 120 years, you will surely have to give an accounting for the kind of life you lived. And you will surely have to answer the question, “Why didn’t you give to the synagogue?” Your answer would be they never asked me. Well I come annually for only one purpose, to take away your excuse, so you will have no alibi.” The miser was duly frightened into giving.
No alibis, please. The buck stops here.
Rabbi David Novitsky, former Rabbi at Temple Beth Ami
The High Holidays are upon us. All Jews look forward to this time of the year. We meet in synagogue to see and talk to friends. Temple Beth Ami is full of excitement and energy. The building glows with light from the sconces and people in attendance.
This feeling is not limited to the High Holidays. It exists at TBA all year long. I look forward to seeing you at the synagogue during Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and throughout the year.
All of us have heard of Simon Gratz. Some members may have attended the high school named after him. But who was Simon Gratz?
Simon Gratz was born on August 19, 1837. He was part of the Gratz family which was one of the prominent families in Philadelphia since before the American Revolution. He received a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Art and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He served one term in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and was the Philadelphia City Solicitor for three years. He was a civic leader in the city.
His most lasting effect on the city was his service on the Board of Education for over fifty years. He improved the school system. During the time he reorganized the Philadelphia Girls’ Normal School into a leading high school for girls, now known as Philadelphia High School for Girls.
He was also a collector of documents with signatures. His autograph collection was large and impressive with signatures of patriots, presidents, authors, actors and many other prominent people. He donated his collection to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania of which he served in various roles for over fifty years.
He died on August 21, 1925 and is buried in Laurel Hill. – Kenneth G. Harrison, Esq., President
New members are needed. Please tell your friends and family about us.
We need participation from our members, if there is something you would like to do to help out, be on a committee, help in the office, etc. it would be appreciated. Please help your shul.
The holidays are coming. All forms and information regarding the holidays, New Year’s Greeting Book and Book of Remembrance have been included with this newsletter. PLEASE return your completed form(s) along with payment to the office by Friday, September 1, 2017.
We are now accepting donations for The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s Annual High Holiday Food Drive. They are requesting the following protein items for donation:
All food must be unopened and have a future expiration date. NO bulk or glass items, pasta, grains, cereal and/or crackers.
We look forward to seeing everyone during the High Holidays. Tickets will be available soon to members in good standing. If you are unsure about your status, please contact the office.
Jill & Tamara
Leil Selichot / סליחות Jewish penitential poems and prayers, especially those said in the period leading up to the High Holidays, and on Fast Days. In Ashkenazic tradition, it begins the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah. If, the first day of Rosh Hashanah falls on Monday or Tuesday, Selichot are said beginning the Saturday night prior to ensure that Selichot are recited at least four times. Leil Selichot begins after nightfall Saturday, September 16th.
Rosh Hashanah / השנה ראש (literally "head of the year"), is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holidays or Yamim Noraim ("Days of Awe"), celebrated ten days before Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah is observed on the first two days of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. It is described in the Torah as תרועה יום (Yom Teru'ah, a day of sounding [the Shofar]). Begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 20th.
Shabbat Shuva / שובה שבת ("Sabbath [of] Return") refers to the Shabbat that occurs during the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Only one Shabbat can occur between these dates. This Shabbat is named after the first word of the Haftarah (Hosea 14:2-10) and literally means "Return!" It is perhaps a play on, but not to be confused with, the word Teshuvah (the word for repentance). Begins at sundown on Friday, September 22nd.
Tzom Gedaliah / גדליה צום The Fast of Gedalia, also spelled Gedaliah, is a Jewish fast day from dawn until dusk to lament the assassination of the righteous governor of Judah of that name, which ended Jewish rule following the destruction of the First Temple. Like other minor fasts, Tzom Gedaliah begins at dawn and ends at nightfall starting Sunday, September 24th.
Yom Kippur / כפור יום Also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days (or sometimes "the Days of Awe"). Begins at sundown on Friday, September 29th.
Sukkot / סוכות or סּכֹות (sukkōt, or sukkos, Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles) is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei (late September to late October). It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Jews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Begins at sundown on Wednesday, October 4th.
Shemini Atzeret / עצרת שמיני ("the Eighth [day] of Assembly") is a Jewish holiday. It is celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei (first month of calendar). In the Diaspora, an additional day is celebrated, the second day being separately referred to as Simchat Torah. In Israel and Reform Judaism, the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are combined into a single day and the names are used interchangeably. Begins at sundown on Wednesday, October 11th.
Simchat Torah / תורה שמחת ערב (lit., "Rejoicing with/of the Torah,") is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. Simchat Torah is a component of the Biblical Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret ("Eighth Day of Assembly"), which follows immediately after the festival of Sukkot in the month of Tishrei (mid-September to early October on the Gregorian calendar). Begins at sundown on Thursday, October 12th.
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan / חשון חודש ראש beginning of new Hebrew month of Cheshvan. Cheshvan is the 8th month of the Hebrew year. Corresponds to October or November on the Gregorian calendar. Begins at sundown on Thursday, October 19th.
Yom HaAliyah / העלייה יום (Aliyah Day) is an Israeli national holiday celebrated annually on the seventh of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, to commemorate the historic events which happened on the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan (Hebrew: י’ ניסן). The holiday was established to acknowledge Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish state, as a core value of the State of Israel, and honor the ongoing contributions of Olim to Israeli society. Begins at sundown on Thursday, October 26th.
Daylight Savings Time Ends (don’t forget to change your clocks)
Sigd / סיגד an Amharic word meaning "prostration" or "worship" and is the commonly used name for a holiday celebrated by the Ethiopian Jewish community on the 29th of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. This date is exactly 50 days after Yom Kippur, usually falling out in late October or November, and according to Ethiopian Jewish tradition is also the date that G-d first revealed himself to Moses. Begins at sundown on Friday, November 17th.
Rosh Chodesh Kislev / כסלו חודש ראש beginning of new Hebrew month of Kislev. Kislev is the 9th month of the Hebrew year. Corresponds to November or December on the Gregorian calendar. Begins at sundown on Saturday, November 18th.
Chanukah / חנוכה Hanukkah (Hebrew: ָּּכה ֲחנֻ , usually pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, also romanized as Chanukah or Chanuka), also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar. May occur any time from late November to late December in Gregorian calendar. Begins at sundown on Tuesday, December 12th.
Rosh Chodesh Tevet / טבת חודש ראש beginning of new Hebrew month of Tevet. Tevet is the 10th month of the Hebrew year. Corresponds to December or January on the Gregorian calendar. Begins at sundown on Sunday, December 17th.
Asara B'Tevet / בטבת עשרה tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, is a minor fast day in Judaism. The fast commemorates the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia. Like other minor fasts, Asara B'Tevet begins at dawn and ends at nightfall starting Thursday, December 28th.
If there is a topic you would like information about or have information you believe our congregants would benefit from, please let our office staff know and maybe we can schedule a brunch and learn to share this with our members.
If there is a topic you would like information about or have information you believe our congregants would benefit from, please let our office staff know and maybe we can schedule a brunch and learn to share this with our members. ALL
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