In the Beginning…Current Torah Portion is Genesis 1:1
This week’s Torah portion returns to the beginning. Following is a commentary by Rabbi David Segal.
Biblical literalism is on the rise. You can see it in the growth of Bible-based mega-churches where the “word of God” is preached as inerrant truth. But any serious reader of the Bible knows it contains contradictions, ellipses, and vague commands that require interpretation to be understood, let alone followed.
The most apparent challenge to biblical literalism occurs at the beginning of the Bible. The first two chapters of Genesis tell two starkly different stories of the Creation of the world and of humanity.
Israel Trip Information Meeting, October 21, 7:00 PM
Itinerary and Pricing for April 2015 Congregational Trip to Israel Now Available
Rabbi George will lead a congregational trip to Israel April 18-30, 2015. The complete itinerary and pricing information are available here: http://www.keshetisrael.co.il/
The trip includes four nights in Tel Aviv and six nights in Jerusalem, plus side trips north along the Mediterranean coast and south to Sderot. An informational meeting about the trip is scheduled for Tuesday, October 21, at 7:00 PM in the Kolbo.
Free Class Explores Mourners’ Kaddish, October 22 at Noon
“Mourners Kaddish – What Is It?” is a free class offered by Shomrei Torah’s Lifelong Learning program on Wednesdays, October 22, & 29, 2014 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM. When someone we love dies we feel bereft, bewildered and alone. Judaism offers a comforting and psychologically sound approach to “walking through the shadow” of death. This three-session class will introduce you to the Jewish response to death, the rituals and the meaning behind them. Please RSVP to Denise at 707-578-5519 or email@example.com. Feel free to bring your lunch.
An Evening with SRJC President Frank Chong, October 22, 7:00 PM
Dr. Frank Chong, president of Santa Rosa Junior College, will speak at Shomrei Torah on Wednesday, October 22, at 7:00 PM. Dr. Chong will address the role the college plays in the life of our community, and his plans for guiding SRJC into its second century. Refreshments will be provided and there is no charge to attend this event, which is jointly sponsored by Shomrei Torah’s Social Action and Lifelong Learning committees.
CST Celebrates Food Day on October 24
Learn about Food Day and important reasons to avoid genetically modified foods (GMOs), as they have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. Every day is an opportunity to be mindful about what you are feeding yourself and your family! Click here for more information.
Learn About Ethical Wills at Free Workshop, November 9, 3 – 5 PM
“Ethical Wills And Other Practical Estate Planning Tools” is a free workshop where you can join members of our congregation and get started writing your own Ethical Will. Most people have heard the term, but have little idea what it really means and how to construct a meaningful document for your family. Come and learn how to accomplish your goals in these areas. Sunday, November 9, 3:00 – 5:00 pm. Free to members. Click here to download the Ethical Will flyer with additional information.
Rabbi George is a Contributor to New Book on Jewish Thought
Lights in the Forest: Rabbis Respond to Twelve Essential Jewish Questions is a newly released book for anyone interested in Judaism’s big questions. With succinct, accessible responses, 12 rabbis — including Shomrei Torah’s senior rabbi — respond to questions in one of three categories: (1) On God, (2) On Our Humanity, (3) On the Jewish People. Their responses include thoughtful, personal essays about God, ethics, humanity, suffering, evil, the soul, after-life, interfaith dialogue, and more. Click here to order your own copy.
Tickets Now Available Online for Upcoming Performance Series
Starting in January, World-class Entertainment Comes to Shomrei Torah
Start your Hanukkah shopping early by purchasing a four-performance package to the cultural series starting January 24. Tickets are just $100 for all four events, or $36 for individual performances. Save the dates for these very special events:
Saturday, January 24, 2015 – 7:30 PM: Magician and Mentalist Marc Salem, fresh from his hit show on Broadway, offers a captivating excursion into the power and possibilities of the human mind.
Sunday, February 15, 2015 – 4:00 PM: Folk Musician and Cantorial Soloist Alisa Fineman and Kimball Hurd, the Monterey Bay-based duo have earned national acclaim for their songwriting and world music repertoire.
Saturday, March 28, 2015 – 7:30 PM: The Dueling Cantors, our own David Frommer and noted Cantor Josh Breitzer present an unforgettable evening of cantoring, kibitzing and competition. This special evening will include additional surprises – don’t miss it!
Saturday, May 9, 2015, 7:30 PM: Celebrate Mother’s Day with The Mama-logues: A comedy about motherhood, written and produced by CST member Laurie Levy. Forget brunch! What mom really wants for Mother’s Day is wine, chocolate and laughter!
Consider Being a Sponsor
With the generous help of sponsors, 100% of the proceeds will benefit Shomrei Torah programs. If you’d like to become a sponsor, please contact Fundraising Committee Chair Bruce Falstein.
This Week’s Torah Portion
“It is a tree of life to all who grasp it, and whoever holds on to it is happy; its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all it paths are peace.” (Proverbs 3:17-18)
Welcome to Shomrei Torah
Congregation Shomrei Torah is the welcoming home of progressive Reform Judaism in Sonoma County. Blending the traditional with the innovative, we are a diverse, inclusive and socially conscious community that provides a doorway to Jewish life through worship, study, social action, fellowship, and play.
Join Rabbi George Gittleman, Rabbi Stephanie Kramer and Cantor David Frommer at a Shabbat service, attend our popular Lifelong Learning events or participate in our community activities or social action initiatives. Children discover their Jewish identity in our thriving religious school. Click here to inquire about joining our congregation today.
Shabbat Services: Fridays at 6:15 PM, Saturdays at 10:30 AM
Second Friday of the month is a Rabbi’s Tisch
All Friday evening Shabbat services begin at 6:15 PM in the Sanctuary. Saturday morning services begin at 10:30 AM. The second Friday of every month is a Rabbi’s Tisch, an alternative Shabbat experience consisting of a catered dinner followed by a lively discussion led by our clergy and guest speakers. RSVP’s greatly appreciated. The suggested tisch donation is $18. If you or your chavurah would like to sponsor a tisch, please contact the office.
Shomrei Torah Supports Interfaith and Same-sex Marriage
Congregation Shomrei Torah is a welcoming community for households of every variety. Our clergy are available to marry interfaith and same-sex couples, and our facilities are available to host weddings and other life-cycle celebrations. Click here to read about interfaith households at Shomrei Torah. Please call the office to learn more, or to arrange a conversation with one of our rabbis.