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Rabbi Blau's Letter- 1/27/17-Parshat Va Erah

Dear Members,

Let me start this note by inviting you to look into Perl Hall where you will see an amazing transformation occurring. Thanks to the incredible efforts of Dr. Michael Gottesman a Bet Midrash atmosphere is coming to life as there are new bookcases with seforim along the sides of that room. More books have been ordered and I look forward to the full library that should soon be available for congregants to enjoy and learn from. Please be on the look out for more information as we will be having an inaugural event in the coming weeks to both recognize the donors who have made this dream a reality and to formally introduce our new learning center.
 

On a related topic, we are very excited to offer unique educational opportunities to the community in the near future. This Wednesday,(February 1st) we are parenting with AIPAC to present noted historian and distinguished professor Dr. Gil Troy who will be discussing “Zionism in the Age of Delegitimization”. This is a timely topic with an excellent presenter, and the event is free and open to the public. Hopefully you have already received all the pertinent information regarding this lecture; the same details on our website as well. AIPAC would appreciate if interested parties could RSVP to Jeremy Diamond atjdiamond@aipac.org so that they could arrange the refreshments accordingly.

 

Next Shabbat we are blessed with another scholar in residence as Dr. Steven Bailey will be joining us. While Dr. Bailey is renowned for his pioneering work in Jewish education, he has a particular expertise in the thought of Rav Hirsch and that will be the focus of his three talks. Here too the information has already been sent to you and it also appears on our website.

That weekend has another unique feature as it is the “Shabbat of Inclusion” which we will be noting in conjunction with Yachad. We are proud of our long standing connection with that wonderful organization and are honored to have that subject be the topic of my drasha next week.

 

Finally, on behalf of the shul I would like to express our collective appreciation to Dr. Rivka Lowenthal for managing the shul’s seudat shlishit (setting it up and taking it down) for the past twelve years! This week she and Dan are celebrating their son Ronen’s bar mitzva and in tribute to her years of service the shul is sponsoring suedat shlishit in her honor. We want to wish them a mazal tov and say thank you for her intense dedication.

May you all enjoy a Shabbat shalom.

 

Rabbi Blau

Rabbi Blau's Letter- 1/12/17- Parshat VaYechi

Dear Members,

I want to begin this note by sharing with you how excited I was by the shul's response to our scholar in residence last Shabbat. She gave three outstanding talks but what amazed me most was the incredible attendance at all three events. i was particularly heartened by the more than sixty people who came out on a exceedingly cold Friday night to be inspired and I want to thank Meir and Deborah Pollack for graciously opening up their home to host that discussion. Our next guest, Dr. Steven Bailey, will be coming on the weekend of Feb. 4th and his focus will be on the writings and philosophy of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch. Please be on the lookout for forthcoming information about this enriching event.

I had recently mentioned a project conceived by Dr. Aaron Fleischman for the shul to complete all of Tanach in time for next Shavuot.
I strongly encourage you to join in this worthy project. There are clearly sections that are more familiar than others, and you can read the chapters in the language of your choice as the regular vernacular may be challenging , but it would be wonderful for this to truly be an endeavor embraced by the whole shul community. Please click on the following link to choose the Perakim that you would like to learn. Siyum Tanach Sign Up Form. For those wishing to explore any of the perakim (chapters) more deeply two excellent resources are http://www.vbm-torah.org/en from Yeshivat Har etzion and www.yutorah.org/ from Yeshiva University.

On a related matter, Dr. Michael Gottesman has made great strides in raising funds to create a vibrant Bet Midrash in Perl Hall. Hopefully the fruits of his labor will soon be apparent and you will see more seforim, and shiuirm, in our invigorated learning center.

Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to those who heeded my call and helped increase our minyan attendance, particularity at mincha/maariv on weekdays. I applaud you but ask that you maintain your vigilance as next week is Fuchs Mizrachi School's winter break and the need will even more acute. Inn that vein I must add that I will be away next week starting on Sunday morning but returning for Shabbat. I will not be checking as frequently but I will be accessible if needed by either phone, text, or email.

May you enjoy a Shabbat shalom.

 

Rabbi Blau

Rabbi Blau's Letter 1/6/17

Dear Members,

 

It is hard to believe that we were celebrating Chanukah less than a week ago with a great deal of enthusiasm and, hopefully, inspiration.  Part of our challenge is finding ways to keep that excitement and then build on it as we enter, in earnest, the winter section of our calendar. To that end, I am excited to share with you that this weekend in Green Road Synagogue is filled with dynamic experiences. We start with the visit of our scholar in residence Mrs. Mali Brofsky. Mrs. Brofsky is well known in Israel and we are fortunate that she will be delivering multiple talks over Shabbat so there will many opportunities to hear from our distinguished guest. While you have already received a flyer outlining those options, and the same information can be found on our newly launched website, I do wish to highlight two of those opportunities:

 

On Friday night we are having an oneg at the home of Meir and Deborah Pollack at8:30 with hot cholent for your bodies and words of wisdom for your souls. Mrs. Brofsky’s talk will present Modern Orthodoxy through the lens of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt’l and it should be both educational and enjoyable. On Shabbat morning, she is giving a special “women only” class at 10:30 in the morning which will lead into a beautiful kiddush for the whole shul sponsored by Bluestar Catering. Here too both your bodies and minds will hopefully be nourished.

 

On Saturday night our Film Festival begins and this series – in its eleventh year – continues to serve multiple purposes as it presents thought provoking films with meaningful discussions, helps fund our youth programming, and is a beautiful tribute to Earl Lefkovitz ob’m. Thank you to Dan Messeloff and his committee for selecting the films and to our sponsors for backing this important program.

 

Two final notes: One is to remind everyone that Sunday is a fast day; it is Asara B’tevet. Please see the bulletin (or our website) for all the relevant times. The second is a reissuance of our plea for more people to join our minyanim. Mincha/maariv is particularly difficult during this part of the year- as the time for tefilla is early, people are away or unwilling to come out etc – and more attendees would be more than welcome.

 

May you enjoy a Shabbat shalom.

 

Rabbi Blau

Tue, August 22 2017 30 Av 5777