BY WILLIAM PLEVAN, JTS
Clothes That Make Us Human
Among the many joys of summertime in Manhattan is the chance to see a performance of Shakespeare in the Park. This year’s feast for eyes and ears was the magical romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One of the key turns of the plot involves the sprite Puck casting a spell on the wrong young lover, because his only instructions were to enchant one with “Athenian garb.” Judging on fashion alone, poor Puck thought he had discharged his duties. Puck’s comedic error is of course another instance of one of Shakespeare’s favorite themes, the way our clothing becomes synonymous with our identity. Most famously, in Hamlet Shakespeare has the Danish noble Polonius tell his son Laertes that “the apparel oft proclaims the man.”
BY BARRY HOLTZ, JTS
The King’s Torah and the Torah’s King
This week’s Torah portion focuses on a wide array of topics, but underlying virtually everything we can see a thematic coherence well reflected in the parashah’s name (“judges”). The sidrah contains one of the most famous lines in the entire Bible, tzedek, tzedek tirdof: “Justice, justice shall you pursue” (Deut. 16:20). And throughout the parashah we see the Torah outlining various aspects of the pursuit of justice.
Re'eh - Rosh Chodesh Elul
BY MALKA STRASBERG, ADJUNCT INSTRUCTOR IN BIBLE, JTS
To Know or Not to Know
The centralization of cultic worship is one of the major themes in the book of Deuteronomy. However, the place of that worship, the Temple, is described as “the place that God will choose,” with no mention of where that place is to exist. This week’s parashah, parashat Re’eh, introduces the theme that once in the Land of Israel, the Israelites are to worship their God in “hamakom asher yivhar Hashem” (the place that God will choose). This vague phraseology, which only alludes to a specific place but does not specify where that place is, is repeated 21 times throughout the book of Deuteronomy, with 16 of those occurrences in our parashah alone.
BY TIM DANIEL BERNARD, JTS
Walking in God’s Paths
Walking at our own pace creates an unadulterated feedback loop between the rhythm of our bodies and our mental state that we cannot experience as easily when we’re jogging at the gym, steering a car, biking, or during any other kind of locomotion. . . . When we choose a path through a city or forest, our brain must survey the surrounding environment, construct a mental map of the world, settle on a way forward, and translate that plan into a series of footsteps.
—Ferris Jabr, “Why Walking Helps Us Think,” The New Yorker (September 2014)
Three times in Parashat Eikev, we are instructed to walk in God’s paths (Deut. 8:6, 10:12, 11:22). The context clearly indicates the meaning of the phrase: the Torah is telling us to observe its laws. In fact, the same root as the verb walk, ה.ל.כ, is found in halakhah (הלכה), Jewish law. Perhaps, then, walking can teach us something about what following Jewish law might look like.
Va’et-chanan - Shabbat Nachamu
BY NICOLE WILSON-SPIRO, JTS
Experiencing the Light of Torah
This summer I returned to Jewish overnight camp after a 15-year hiatus. After all this time, s’mores, a love of cheering in unison (has the cheering gotten louder or am I older?), and earnest, hard-working counselors (I was one, once) are still to be found at camp. I am happy to report that the food is now much, much better than I remembered, and the supervision and attention to camper care have improved vastly, as well.
Temple Aliyah Welcomes You!
Temple Aliyah is an egalitarian Conservative congregation in Needham, Massachusetts, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. We are a dynamic and diverse community that embraces people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles. With the guidance of Rabbi Carl Perkins, we encourage our members to enrich their Jewish lives, to enhance their Jewish identities, and to engage in lifelong learning.
Join us for Shabbat services and schmooze during kiddush following services. Check out the exciting Temple Tots programming for our youngest members. Attend the Rabbi's Adult Education classes. Participate in one of our many Social Action projects. Become a member of our Sisterhood or Men's Club.
Not a member? We invite your family to join our family!
Did you know...?
In celebration of Rabbi Perkins’ more than 25 years at Temple Aliyah, here is this week's question: Did you know that more than 30 adults at Temple Aliyah have participated in one of the five past Adult Bar and Bat Mitzvah classes? If you are interested in becoming an adult Bar or Bat Mitzvah, please contact Rabbi Perkins.
Want to learn more fun facts about Temple Aliyah? Click here!
If you have a fun fact about Temple Aliyah you’d like to share with our community, please email [email protected].
Shabbat and Weekday Services
|Shabbat Morning Services||9:15 am|
|Sunday Morning Minyan*||9:00 am|
|Monday Morning Minyan||7:00 am|
|Weekday Evening Minyan*||7:30 pm|
* During the summer, minyan meets on Monday morning, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Under the direction of our Adult Education Committee and as part of our commitment to lifelong learning, Temple Aliyah offers a wide range of opportunities for our members and others to enrich their Jewish lives throughout education. Click here to see all of our current Adult Education offerings.
Sisterhood welcomes all women of our community, sharing our passion for Judaism, our families and ourselves. We invite you to learn more about becoming part of our amazing community. Whether you're looking for camaraderie, spiritual connection, social action, or the opportunity to get involved, Sisterhood is here for you. Click here to see our full calendar of events for 2017-18.