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Monthly Archives: 19 Av 5770 (July 30, 2010)
July 1 began our new fiscal year and in an effort to conserve TBA resources the Finance Committee has implemented a new electronic billing process. All TBA members with email access were sent an email with their new statement. This process saved TBA almost $200 in postage and materials and valuable employee resources. TBA members without email access were mailed their statements. If you did not receive a statement either via email or U.S. mail, please contact the temple office. Summer office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please note that the office will be closed Monday, August 2, through Wednesday, August 4, while the executive director and teachers from the TBA Religious School attend the NewCAJE (New Coalition for Alternatives in Jewish Education) convention.
Parashat Va’etchanan 5770 And You Shall Bind Them As a Sign One of the most famous lines of the Torah is a part of our reading for this week. We read, “Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Volumes have been written as sage and scholar alike try to unravel the meaning of these words for their generation. We recite these words as part of our worship twice each day, both morning and evening, reading the words of the first paragraph literally. The Shema became the first words we recited in the morning and the last words we recited each night. In time, they were incorporated into the morning and evening services at the synagogue.
TBA will host an Open House on Sunday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to noon. New and prospective members are especially welcomed. The event will feature activities for all ages and refreshments.
Parashat Devarim 5770 Changing of the Guard I wonder what Moses would have done if he had been forced to retire at an earlier age than 120. I realize that he had a lot on his plate in those closing years of his life, trying to keep the people together on the same page as they wandered from one place to another in the wilderness outside of the land of Canaan, where God intended them to settle. What a burden it must have been to ensure that everyone was taken care of appropriately as he waited for a sign from God that they were ready to cross the Delaware River into New Jersey, the Goldine Medina, as they say!
Happier is…WEEK TWELVE Devarim Perfectionism and Optimalism The Perfectionist expects her path toward any goal – and indeed her entire journey through life – to be direct, smooth, and free of obstacles. When, inevitably, it isn’t, she is extremely frustrated and has difficulty coping. The Optimalist accepts failure as a natural part of life and as an experience that is inextricably linked to success. She learns what she can from these experiences and emerges stronger and more resilient. Perfectionists reject reality and replace it with a fantasy world. Optimalists accept reality, that some failure and sorrow is inevitable, and that success has to be measured against standards that are actually attainable. (See Even Happier: A Gratitude Journal for Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., page 45, McGraw-Hill Co., 2010) QUESTIONS TO PONDER In what parts of my life am I a perfectionist, and how has that affected who I am? In what parts of my life am I an optimalist and how has that affected who I am? What changes do I need to make in order to achieve a life of being happier with who I am?
Parashat Mattot / Massei 5770 I Swear to God How many times have we heard the words of the bailiff instructing a witness to respond to his or her declaration: “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me, God?” In the Orthodox world, when someone makes a formal declaration that they will do something, and they do not want to suffer the consequences of not fulfilling their promise, they may utter under their breath the formulaic words, “b’li neder,” which means “without a vow.” For example, when I promise my wife that I will clean up the office in the house, I might say, “I’ll get to it this weekend, honey – b’li neder!” I may be committed to fulfilling my words, but this one little phrase prevents me from suffering any consequences should I not get to what I promised.