The Preamble to the Ten Commandments: Mission Control
What is the most important part of our Torah portion? Most people might say the "Ten Commandments." In truth, the mitzvoth are crucial to Jewish observance, but it is the preamble that inspires our mission. Why did God give us the Torah? What is our role as chosen people?
God states - You will be for me a kingdom of priest and holy nation. The mitzvoth are not ends to fulfilling this role, but a means.
We're not here for our own glory, but for the glory of God and humankind. It's every person's mission to spread their light. The deeper we live this truth, the happier and more alive we will be every day, and the more energized we will be to embrace and pursue a life of purpose.
Listen carefully to the last will and testament of Rabbi Yichiel Michel Tukachinsky, a holy mystic and sage, to his family. His message echoes to all of us who desire an eternal life now and forever:
This rule should be studied, never to be forgotten: Life has to have a purpose. Now if one calculates his "balance" for every business and also keeps account of his total outcome, he should certainly do the same with respect to life itself. Every year, every week, every day, every hour has its own balance sheet. Each and every one should never forget that finally, even if he should live for 120 years, he will be called to render a final accounting for all of his deeds and utterances.
Furthermore, all man's deeds, devices, and output of energy are indestructible. If these are materialistic, they will be reduced to their material like bodily movements, sounds, the panting of animals and beasts. But if the actions, words, and thoughts are purposeful, they will ascend and raise their authors to the supernal and blissful worlds.
May my descendants accustom themselves to remember that life has a purpose and a goal. If life is not directed toward some purpose, it flits like dust that flies away and a dream that dissipates without leaving behind anything of consequence. Life is a valuable possession and it would be a pity were it to be utterly lost.
In Parshat Yitro, God reminds us of this truth and calls us to remember it daily. The question for us is whether we realize this verity every day or wait until our assumptions are shaken and disturbed. We are vessels. We receive infinite potential when we're born into this world. We're seeds that are ready to grow. Our role and gift to God is to harness that potential as ambassadors for God's presence in the world.
Wishing you and your families a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Service Note Women's Tefillah Group - March 4th for Allison Yakubovich's Bat Mitzvah. Chapel Minyan will start at 7:45am
Halacha Corner from Rabbi Cohen A public service reminder: All unprocessed raw meat and chicken is automatically kosher for Pesach and just needs to be rinsed well before use. Buy now and freeze before prices increase. (Ground meat must be kosher for Pesach)
Israel Trip Update Thank God, we had a great meeting with Larry Ritter of ITC Tours this past week and planning for a Journey of Body and Soul next fall. If you have an interest and/or would like to join, please be in touch with Rabbi Cohen. We hope to solidify the participants by the end of March and then start some pre-trip studying and bonding after Pesach. To learn more about the trip visit www.cas-Stamford.org
New Shabbat Class for 6th and 7th graders - Mishna and Munchies with Rabbi Cohen. Meets 45 minutes before mincha at the Cohen home. First session - March 4th at 4:30 PM. For more info, contact Rabbi Cohen
Rabbi Cohen will speak about his new bookWhat Will They Say About You When You Are Gone? Creating a Life of Legacy on Wednesday evening,Feb. 22nd at 8 PM at The Jewish Center in New York with Daniel Slotnik, Senior News Assistant and Obit Writer at NY Times (www.jewishcenter.org); and Sunday, February 26, 1 PM at Barnes & Noble in Stamford. For more book info, visit www.whatwilltheysay.com
Kosher Alerts The OU reminds you to always check the label before purchasing any item that needs kosher certification! And for the latest corrective actions, stay up with the latest OU KOSHER CONSUMER ALERTS & ADVISORIES...just click here
Kosher Advisory Breaking news from the OU - newly certified items! to check out the list click here
LIPS product of the week Check out our new Love Israel Products Blog (LIPS) for the latest ways to support Israel! Thank you to Lola Halperin and Aaron Goldenberg for organizing. www.loveisraelproducts.com
Shabbat Topics & Participants
Coffee & Commentary
Rabbi David Walk
Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Barry Best: The Mitzvah of Kiddush
Rabbi Oran Zweiter: Reciting Kiddush: Should I Sit or Stand?
Please join us for a special BMC SOOSH NIGHT OUT - GRADES 5-6 PLEASE JOIN US AT SOOSH ON SUNDAY, FEB. 26TH 5-6:30 PM This event is free to regular attendees of BMC! Cost of this event for others is $20
Stamford Athletic Club: 75 Third Street Stamford Come celebrate a community wide Shabbat experience. Tizmoret Acapella Group will engage us in song. Sign up to volunteer for Hosting & Mechitza Making: Chazan Marcia Lane (203-653-2668) or Linda Spilka (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hosted by the CAS Men's Club and Sisterhood. No charge, please sign up.
In this beautiful and transporting novel about fate, guilt and the ability of our memories to sustain us, one very special work of art-a Chaim Soutine painting-will connect the lives of two very different women separated by generations but struggling with similar demons.
Umanskys richly textured and peopled novel tells an emotionally and historically complicated story with so much skill and confidence its hard to believe its her first." - Kirkus starred review
Toddler Time Playgroup Tuesdays, 3:30 pm. Please join us for an hour of free play for children 1 to 4 years old and their caregivers. Facilitated by two moms of toddlers, this drop-in group meets weekly at CAS in the downstairs children's classroom. No cost, a light snack provided. Info: Rachel Kaimowitz email@example.com or Jessica Furmansky JessicaL83@gmail.com
Babies & Breakfast at CAS Bring your baby and come mingle with other moms at CAS. This free group is for moms with babies from birth through 1 to socialize, grab some food, or at the very least, get out of the house! We meet every other Thursday at 11:30 for 1 hour. Next date: March 2. Info: Melissa Litwak (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Week of February 19
Rabbi Walk's classes are suspended due to the Presidents Day Holiday, resuming Thursday
Bob Abrams: Tanach, Judaism and World History - Bagels with Bob - 10:00 AM
Rabbi Daniel Cohen: Power of the Prophets -New Series on Daniel - 8:15 AM
Rabbi Daniel Cohen: Depth of Genesis - 9:00 AM
Rabbi Daniel Cohen: Parsha Perspectives - 12:00 PM
Rabbi Oran Zweiter: Weekly Haftorah - 9:00 AM
Rabbi Oran Zweiter: Rambam Reboot - 13 Principles - 9:00 AM
Rabbi David Walk: Talmud Taanit - 7:30 PM
Rabbi Daniel Cohen: The Pre-Shabbos Torah Taste - 8:15 AM
PURIM@CAS Save the Date - Purim is Around the Corner Saturday night, March 11th for Purim reading and post festivities and Sunday, March 12th for a CAS Purim Seudah. Stay tuned for more info!
NEW CLASS Rabbi Dr. Jeff Cahn will lead a Mishna Berura class on weekday mornings from 6:15 AM - 6:25 PM. For info, contact Jeff email@example.com
NEW WOMEN SCHOLARS program featuring Yona Goldman. She will give a four week series on the topic of In the Image of Hashem... B'tzelem Elokim. Four Monday nights - March 6, 13, 20 and 27 at7:30 P.M.
YACHAD HOUSING NEEDED Junior Yachad will return to Stamford on March 24! Volunteers are needed for housing. All Yachad members are matched up with a staff member who will be responsible for them. The kids have varying degrees of abilities and disabilities including a wide range of developmental and learning disabilities, in general they are mild mannered. No meals needed other than breakfast. They will be out of the house friday night for dinner and pretty much all day shabbas. Please contact Sharon Wohlberg 203-327-9924, firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your address & phone number, how many people you can sleep, and if you have stairs and/or pets.
MIKVAH NEWS: A few months ago, we secured Dena Block as our Steinmetz, Bernstein, Alexander Yoetzet Halacha. We thank Liba & Steven Steinmetz, Darona & Rabbi Tzvi Bernstein, and Adrienne & Michael Alexander for establishing the new Yoetzet Halacha program at CAS. Thank God, she is well received and supporting women in our community. She visited the community in November for a session on "All the things you want to know but are afraid to ask." and continues to be available for consultation via her email or phone at email@example.com 201 921 8992. God wiling, Dena will return later in the year to Stamford for a visit. What is a Yoetzet Halacha? A yoetzet is a woman educated extensively in the laws of niddah, Jewish family law. Her education also includes other areas that come up when helping women keep the laws of niddah, specifically, medical and psychological issues--for example, fertility and infertility, menopause, pregnancy, nursing, breastfeeding, PPD and contraception. Nishmat, an institution of higher women's learning in Jerusalem, established the Kerel Ariel Yoetzet Halacha training program in 1997 in Israel. Dena Block is part of the first group to be trained by Nishmat in America. Dena works in partnership with Rabbis Cohen and Zweiter and the Minnie Manger Marcia Leiberman Mikvah committee to help women and families in the Stamford Jewish community.
INTERESTED IN CHANTING A HAFTORAH OR READING THE TORAH? Think about learning how to do one or brush up on one you did in the past whether in commemoration of a Yaarziet, in celebration of a special occasion or just for the learning opportunity. For more information, contact Rabbi Cohen, Rabbi Zweiter or Chazan Bokow.
YOUNG COUPLES LEARNING SERIES with Rabbi Daniel Cohen Back by Popular Demand!Starting in March. To learn more about this series on parenting and more, contact chair, Rachel Maryles firstname.lastname@example.org Rabbi Cohen.
CAS PASSOVER FAIR In addition to Israeli Wine Tasting (with purchase options) we will have vendors of Judaica, a Jewish Book Fair, (including a Rabbi Cohen relative speaking at 9:30), the Chocolate Sunflower and we have in the works, various Art vendors will be displaying (with purchase options) their wares. Let me know if we should include food! March 5 Sunday from 10-2pm. A new option this year will allow one to purchase Bev Max cards in $50 increments. Be there or just have matzoh!
DID YOU KNOW? HEALING AND HOSPITALITY UPDATE Whether in the hospital, assisted living, rehab or at home, a visit can lift someone's spirits and help with their healing. We pray in the mi'sheberach for a healing of the spirit and healing of the body. Thank God, we have a cadre of people who volunteer to visit our members. We stay in touch and alert the group to mitzvah opportunities via the email@example.com email group. The warmth of our community is our strength and our value. Thank God, many people are moving into the community. There is no better substitute for building friendships than a Shabbat meal. Once a month, we invite our members to host new families for Shabbat by sending them names. If you would like to be added to either or both groups, please contact Matt Feinberg in the office or Rabbi Cohen.
CAS FREE MEZUZAH CAMPAIGN IN FAIRFIELD COUNTY, CT Bringing Blessings to Jewish Homes. Do you know a neighbor or a friend who lacks a mezuzah? CAS offers a free mezuzah and home visit to post this sacred scroll at the entrance to all Jewish homes in the area. For more info, contact Rabbi Cohen: firstname.lastname@example.org
JOIN THE CHEVRA KADISHA We need new volunteers for the Chevra - those willing to perform a tahara. Info: Please contact Rochel Attar at email@example.com
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING We need you to help secure our Synagogue. As you come to the building, please be aware of your surroundings. If you see something out of the ordinary, please let someone know about it. This will keep everyone safe.
WELCOME TO OUR SYNAGOGUE PROGRAM Every Shabbat we station ushers at the doors in the sanctuary to welcome people, assist them and enhance the service. We are expanding the usher roles to include a greeter in the lobby from 9-10:30 am. Please join the usher team. We need you and your smile. Info: Mitchell Bell.
COMMUNITY CHESED HELPERS An important role of the Chesed committee is outreach to the Shul's elderly and homebound, who are often isolated and lack a lifeline to our synagogue. Volunteer to reach out and identify needs, visit, or give a ride. Even small gestures mean a great deal Interested? Vivian Weiss at 203-323-0909 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are aware of elderly or homebound members in need of outreach, please notify Rabbi Cohen.
WE WANT YOU FOR BINGO! Players AND volunteers needed. Join in on the fun we have every MONDAY at 6:00 PM
CAS Israel Advocacy Update
CAS Israel Advocacy Update
Reserve Sunday, June 4 for the Celebrate IsraelParade - celebrateisraelny.org. March with one of our local schools, be a spectator, or join CAS! We plan to send a CAS delegation - please contact me if you would like to help plan and participate.
Sign up for AIPAC's Policy Conference. The Three most important days for Israel Advocacy -
Consider Visiting Israel this year! Contact Rabbi Cohen about his trip
Join our Israel Advocacy Committee
613 RESTAURANT Starting This Saturday Night, February 18th, 613 Restaurant will be open 1 hour after Shabbat ends until 11:30pm!!
A PURIM PALOOZA AT BI-CULTURAL DAY SCHOOL Sunday, February 26, 10:30am-12:30pm. Free and open to the community. For families with children ages birth-6 (siblings welcome). Featuring a Superhero theme with a puppet show, arts & crafts mask-making, mishloach manot bag creations, hamantaschen-making, bounce house, face painting, balloon artistry and much more. Come in your favorite costume! Special book signing by childrens author Tracey Newman, including a free copy of her book, Purim is Coming. RSVP email@example.com or call 203-329-2186 ext 1310
"KINDNESS, DON'T JUST DO IT,LIVE IT!" Orly Wahba will be speaking at the JCC on March 1, 7:00pm. She is an educator, entrepreneur, author and founder of Life Vest Inside, a non-profit organization with a mission to encourage people to recognize that in times of hardship, kindness, like a life vest, keeps the world afloat. Orly's lecture will uncover the greatest tool to impact our children, community and the world. Educators, parents, tweens and teens are welcome to join The JCC Sara Walker Nursery School and Center Women for this lecture sponsored by the Karp Foundation. Tickets $12 per person / $10 JCC members / $5 students. For more information please contact Sandi Waldstreicher at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (203) 322-6541 or Click here to register online.
BCDS MUSICAL Bi-Cultural Day School Players pea-sent this year's annual musical, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS. Performances are March 2 at 7pm and March 5 at 11am and 3pm. The hysterical, musical comedy version of the classic story of the Princess and the Pea. This fabulous, fun and funny musical was performed twice on Broadway. Get set for slapstick action and memorable songs in this year's energetic production by the BCDS Players. Don't miss out! Click here for tickets
SCHOOL NAMING FORUM Saturday, March 11 from 10 am to noon at the Government Center. The New School at Strawberry Hill welcomes parents and the community to participate in their school naming forum. If you are unable to attend, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NewSchoolInput and provide your suggestions by March 15th.
BI-CULTURAL DAY SCHOOL FAMILY TRIP TO ISRAEL is scheduled to leave April 30 and return May 11, 2017. Let's celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut together in Israel!! For more information about this very special trip, please contact Bob Abrams at email@example.com or 203-329-2186.
JEWISH SENIOR SERVICES NEEDS MINYAN MENSCHEN!! JSS is in great need of men to attend and help make our daily Minyan (prayer quorum of ten) in order to help Residents say the Kaddish 365 days of the year. Our Minyan hours will not overlap with most synagogues Minyans. Please feel free to contact Rabbi Stephen Shulman, Director, Pastoral Services at (203) 396-1001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for exact service times.
ANNUAL STAMFORD CHEVRA KADISHA DINNER Sunday, March 5, 5PM at CAS. Guest speaker: Dr. Erica Brown. Honoree: Michael Feldstein. Fabulous catered meal by 613 Restaurant with special delectable treats and culinary surprises. $36/person. Sponsorship is $180 (entitles you to two reservations). To make a reservation online, click here. Info - Rica Lieberman at email@example.com
PRETTY IN PINK: JCC MATZAH BALL ANNUAL FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE Saturday, February 25 * 6:30 - 8 pm. 5-10 years. Join us for the Matzah Ball, The J's annual father-daughter dance. Dance the night away and play fun games. Dress up for the event of the year. Truly a night to remember! Light refreshments and dessert will be served. Member $36 per "couple," $5 per additional child. Community $45 per "couple," $5 per additional child. For more information contact Galit Roloff at 203-487-0974, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stamfordjcc.org.
BRUNCH AND LEARN SERIES: MINORITIES IN ISRAEL: POST-SOVIET UNION ALIYAH Sunday, February 26 * 10 - 11:30 am About 1 million Soviet Jews, based on the Law of Return, migrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union. What challenges do they face? Suggested donation $5, open to the community. To register or for more information, contact Yael Stolarsky, JCC Israeli Shlicha, at 203-487-0951 or email@example.com.
SENIOR ADULT PURIM LUNCHEON THURSDAY, MARCH 2 * 12 - 1 PM Sound your groggers and enjoy a festive Purim meal with hamantaschen for dessert. Reservations required by Thursday, February 23. Suggested donation $4, open to the senior community. For more information or to register, contact Connie Cirillo Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 203.487.0983.
SUPER HERO PURIM CARNIVAL AT THE J Sunday, March 5 * 1 - 4 pm Unleash your super hero powers at our 25th Annual JCC Purim Carnival. Play carnival games and win great prizes! No Purim carnival would be complete without hamantaschen and other delicious treats. Lunch will be available for purchase. Volunteers needed. Admission is free. Tickets and wristbands available for purchase. For information, contact Galit Roloff at 203.487.0974, email@example.com or visit www.stamfordjcc.org
ISRAELI FILM SERIES: A BORROWED IDENTITY (DRAMA) Thursday, March 9 * 7 pm A Palestinian-Israeli boy named Eyad is sent to a prestigious boarding school in Jerusalem, where he struggles with issues of language, culture, and identity. Suggested donation $5, open to the community. To register or for more information, contact Yael Stolarsky, JCC Israeli Shlicha, at 203-487-0951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DANCE PARTY WITH NATASHA AND STEVE Wednesday, March 15 * 5:30 - 6:30 pm. 1-5 years old, with parent or caregiver. Wear your dancing shoes, bring your friends and come enjoy a JCC FamilyPlace "sing along, sup along" evening, featuring guest entertainers Natasha and Steve. Pizza served to children and adults. Member $9 / Community $12 if registered before March 8. Member $11 / Community $14 beginning March 8. For more information, contact Allison Murphy at 203.487.0980, email@example.com or visit www.stamfordjcc.org.
BRUNCH AND LEARN SERIES: MINORITIES IN ISRAEL: ETHIOPIAN JEWS Sunday, March 19 * 10 - 11:30 am Today Israel is the home of the largest Ethiopian Jewish community in the world. What are their daily struggles? Suggested donation $5, open to the community. To register or for more information, contact Yael Stolarsky, JCC Israeli Shlicha, at 203-487-0951 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DO A MITZVAH! CONSIDER SUPPORTING THE JFS KOSHER FOOD PANTRY by purchasing Mitzvah Baskets and/or Mitzvah Centerpieces instead of flowers for your next simcha at CAS. Distributions from the JFS Kosher Food Pantry have increased by more than 1000 since the recession. With this tremendous upsurge in use, JFS is constantly challenged to keep the food pantry full. Your generosity enables JFS to help those in our community in their greatest moments of need.
SCHOKE JFS LIFE TRANSITIONS, beginning Wednesday, September 14th at 4 pm Support group, meeting weekly, for unemployed facing the emotional challenges of finding employment at the Stamford Schoke JFS office, 733 Summer Street, 6th Floor. Contact Anne Birchenough at 203-921-4161 or email@example.com.
LET'S TALK Thursdays, 11 :00 am Free at the Stamford JCC, 1035 Newfield Avenue. Seniors talk about common interests and concerns, facilitated by a Schoke Jewish Family Service counselor. Contact Anne Birchenough at 203-921-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LET'S TALK Thursdays, 1:00 pm Free at the Westport Senior Center, 21 Imperial Avenue, Westport. Seniors talk about common interests and concerns, facilitated by a Schoke Jewish Family Service counselor. Contact Anne Birchenough at203-921-4161 or email@example.com.
SCHOKE JFS FINANCIAL FITNESS on Thursdays, March 9th at 7PM at the Jewish Senior Services Campus, 4200 Park Avenue, Bridgeport. In partnership with FJP and Schoke Jewish Family Service, Deborah Johnson, a financial educator from LifeBridge will teach three seminars about Budgeting, Understanding Your Credit and Identity Theft. The seminars are free. To reserve a spot, contact Rebekah Kanefsky at 203-921-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHOKE JFS BRAIN FITNESS GROUP PROGRAM Tuesday, February 21st at 1pm: Designed for individuals looking to stimulate their brain power with a meaningful experience focusing on insight, reducing stress, inspiring confidence, and providing practical support to help reach personal goals! Come and meet others and participate in some mental exercises to stimulate brain power. Insurance co-pays will be accepted, or $20 fee to attend. Light refreshments will be served. Advance registration suggested by contacting Jami Fener, Brain Fitness Program Coordinator email@example.com or 203-921-4161 x121
LET'S TALK Fairfield, starting in February 23rd at 12:45 pm at the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities, 100 Mona Terrace, Fairfield. Seniors talk about common interests and concerns, facilitated by a Schoke Jewish Family Service counselor. Contact Rebekah Kanefsky at 203-921-4161 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NOT ENOUGH MONEY FOR FOOD? Schoke JFS will provide information and eligibility assistance for financial help to purchase food. For a consultation, please contact Rebekah Kanefsky, Schoke JFS Case Manager at 203-921-4161 or email email@example.com.