This week’s Torah portion juxtaposes what may be construed as the biblical version of unbridled hedonism (sotah) with sanctimonious asceticism (nazir). The implication would seem to be there’s virtue in avoiding extremes. As the (Jerusalem) Talmud puts it, our lives follow a “narrow path. One side is fire and the other side is ice. Therefore, adhere to the middle of the road.” This advice sounds practical and sensible, but it is unsatisfying when we are in need of inspiration. Adventure is the spice of life.
“The middle of the road,” the kotzker rebbe famously declared, “is for horses.” Anyone who lacks a bit of fire and ice in life is probably missing out. Is there a way to claim the thrill of heedless devotion without sacrificing the benefits of prudence?
The Talmud entertains the case of a drunk who commits to becoming an ascetic. The verdict is that the commitment is invalid. From Maimonides we learn that the vow likewise doesn’t stick when the individual seeks to alleviate the burden of being depressed, angry or grieving. It comes down to one’s state of mind. Clarity of purpose is a prerequisite for life on the edge. Adventure, spiritual and otherwise, isn’t a sound choice for distracted minds and clouded emotions.
Have Agudas Shabbas is back! What month or months will YOU host or be a guest?
Have Agudas Shabbas is one of the ways that we bring our Agudas families closer together by inviting each other to our homes for a Shabbat dinner. This year, Have Agudas Shabbas will take place January 11, February 8 and March 8. Invite your friends as well as a couple of people or a family that you might not know so well. The Agudas Achim office can help with the extra guests!
Everyone “does” Shabbat in their own way, so whether you recite all the blessings before dinner or just sit down for the festive meal, it’s your way of bringing in Shabbat. You need not have a kosher kitchen and the time you begin is up to you, prior to the official Shabbat candle-lighting time (if you have small children) or well after.
Host families will receive a lovely Have Agudas Shabbas challah cover as a special gift and a handy reference sheet for key Friday night rituals.
Please email or call Bobbie at email@example.com, 614-237-2747, ext. 22 to let her know which month(s) you can Host and/or which month(s) you would like to be a Guest.
Shabbat is our “beating heart,” when you will experience us at our best!
Sunday, September 24 at 10:30 am at New Agudas Achim Cemetery
Kever Avot is a brief, dignified service held at Jewish cemeteries between Rosh Hashanah
and Yom Kippur in order to fulfill the custom of paying homage to one’s ancestors at this holy time of the year.
Following the service, Rabbi Levine will be available to recite graveside prayers at the request of those attending.
Sunday, April 9, 5:15-7 pm
Hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, chicken, and more!
Cost: $11.50/adult; $6/child (10 and under); Under 3 Free; $35/family cap
RSVP by April 4 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kids will receive a small gift that can be used at the Passover seder.
Sunday, April 2, 3:00-4:30 pm
Tea, scones, relaxing music and schmoozing with your friends.
Dress up, don a hat (if you wish)! Just like the English and our Southern ladies often do. A delightful time to get away and do something for yourself!
Please RSVP to email@example.com by 3/29.
Saturday, April 1
Matan A. Koch’s lifelong history of disability advocacy began at age four with a presentation to several hundred young people, continued with a term as the president of Yale University’s student disabilities community, and reached its most recent high point with his appointment by President Barack Obama to the National Council on Disability, for a term which concluded in 2014.
Shabbat morning D’var Torah – “A Conversation on Universal Inclusion” with Matan Koch. What does it mean to be inclusive? Why do we include? Who do we include? How do we include? We will hear some thoughts on these questions from Inclusion Consultant Matan Koch, and then explore together the next steps of an inclusion journey at Agudas Achim.
Shabbat afternoon Woodchoppers Talmud Study (6:00 pm) – “The Jewish Roots of
Inclusion: Were the Talmudic Rabbis Inclusive?” We often think of the idea of including those who are different as modern, a humanist interpretation overlaying our ancient
radition. In this study, we challenge that assumption, exploring a famous Rabbinic exchange which gives us precious insight into the way our sages thought about inclusion, and helps us explore the sometimes artificial distinction between “Jewish” and “Modern”.
Made possible by funding from the Rabbi Kalman London Scholar in Residence Fund of the
Columbus Jewish Foundation.
Friday, March 31
Join us for Cocktails for Kabbalat Shabbat, Kabbalat Shabbat services, and a delicious Shabbat meal. This evening is family-friendly; all the festivities begin at 6:00 pm.
Cost for dinner: $10/adult; $5/child (10 & under); $25/Family cap
RSVPs must be in by March 28. After this date, all costs will increase by $5, NO EXCEPTIONS! RSVP to Bobbie at 614-237-2747 x22, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
March Madness flyer 2017
Sunday, March 26
Snacks at 5:30 pm; Minyan at 5:45 pm; and a delicious Italian dinner to follow.
$10 for the entire family!
Games & coloring for the kids! RSVP no later than 3/22 to email@example.com.
Brotherhood members will box the Yom Hashoah Yellow Candles, beginning at 4:00 pm.