Thanks to those who answered the survey and participated in the annual meeting. The Steering Committee will be pursuing many of the suggestions, but we have several items regarding which we’d like wider help in following up, so please let me know by email if you can assist with any of these:
— Carl Sunshine
- Suggesting a new name for the Diaspora Potluck events. Winner will receive a prize!
- Helping set up capability to provide info to members via Facebook and/or Twitter.
- Providing alternate prayers for government, peace, taking the Torah from the Ark, or others.
- Getting a list of past b'nai mitzvah dates and inviting kids to read on their anniversaries.
- Updating our b'nai mitzvah guidelines
Reflections of a LM Gabbai
One of the basics of Judaism is order. Sequence, repetition, tradition, getting it “right” the first time. Our Passover Seder adopts “order” as its name. The past several parshayot describe the sequence and order of performing animal sacrifices that have not been performed in nearly 2000 years (be sure to drip the animal’s blood on the altar seven times – not six). In Leyning, the Ivrit must be pronounced correctly, and hopefully sung with the correct Trope. We speak of the “life cycle events” that proceed ineluctably through our lives (Bris/Naming, Four Questions, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Weddings, Anniversaries, Burial, Shiva, etc.), and continue to proceed over the generations, L’Dor v Dor.
There is a sense of quiet security in observing this sequence, and a comfort and spiritual uplift that comes with the orderly tradition. Hashem is present in the process – in the years of continuity – rather than merely in the moments of stress and anxiety. Our tradition is not about moments of rapture, but about the abiding joy secured by gentle, harmonious repetition. So we have this preoccupation (some say obsession) with sequence and order ingrained in our culture, and take it seriously. And for some of us, the orderly repetition provides tranquility and an opportunity for introspection, thought and insight. We join together as a community to achieve just that.
In becoming a Gabbai for our Library Minyan, I stepped behind the curtain to help stage manage our Shabbat and Yom Tov services. Truth be told, tranquility and introspection do not occur very often on the days we serve as Gabbai, but when the service proceeds seamlessly and is managed by someone else. But there isn’t always someone else to do the managing. And we each need to step up to make our services flow smoothly, and with beauty and meaning.
As Gabbai, I secure the daveners, coordinate with those who assign the Drash, the Torah readers, Haftorah reciters, Greeters, Simchah Coordinators and all those who make our services happen. When I announce my name and that “I am honored to have served as your Gabbai today,” I mean that sincerely. The best Library Minyan Service is the one where we remember the beauty of the davening, the new ideas expressed in the Drash and the quality of the kiddush – not the one where someone didn’t show up or dropped the ball (and hopefully, not the Sefer Torah). The only way to transcend the repetitive, mechanical aspects of our service is for those aspects to proceed seamlessly, without attention or notice. Which is why I serve.
— Howard Fredman
Thanks for Memorable Text Lecture Series
The Library Minyan extends grateful thanks to the five rabbis who accepted the Education Committee’s invitation to “Teach a Text you Love and Why you Love It” over the past four months:
- Rabbi Rachel Adler on the classroom of Rabbi Akiva in Menachot 29b,
- Rabbi Adam Kligfeld on differing responses to destruction: the nexus of ego and faith in Sotah 49b & Makkot 24a-b,
- Rabbi Gordon Bernat-Kunin on the art of caring criticism in Arachin 16b,
- Rabbi Ari Lucas on the case for and against humanity in B’reishit Rabbah 8:5,
- Rabbi Hillary Chorny on the whispered Amidah in B’rachot 31a & b.
May they go from strength to strength, and may the learning continue!
— Rachel Green
Walk with Team Temple Beth Am
Everyone is busy getting ready for Pesach. Time to get rid of chametz, plan seder menus, go shopping and count haggadot. It's also time to look deeply into and beyond Pesach by registering for the Jewish World Watch WALK TO END GENOCIDE as a member of Team Temple Beth Am.
This year’s walk takes place on Sunday April 19 at PanPacific Park. Registration begins at 9 am and the Walk program begins at 10.The Global Village keeps going till 1 pm. Let’s top last year’s large and
enthusiastic TBA team. Go to la.walktoendgenocide.org and click REGISTER, then follow directions to sign on with Team Temple Beth Am. Keep in mind that it’s not just a Walk — it’s a celebration of our community of conscience. Also, it’s a great family activity and lots of fun.
— Team Temple Beth Am
Please help the Library Minyan find a new name for the Diaspora Potluck (DPL) Committee. We know many of you have enjoyed the Shabbat and Sukkot potlucks, the Melaveh Malkahs and Shavuot picnics.
Join our contest and help us come up with a name that is reflective of these wonderful activities and many more to come. The winner gets two challot from Got Kosher.
Deadline is Rosh Chodesh Iyar: April 20, 2015.
We want to extend a special thank you to the Harris Family for so graciously opening their lovely home for the March 13 DPL Shabbat Pot-luck Lunch, and for their warmth and hospitality. Thank you also to the 48 Library Minyan members who attended and participated with delicious food and wonderful conversation.
As we gathered around the tables, Larry Harris led us with Kiddush. A sumptuous meal of home baked challah, dairy and vegetarian main dishes and salads, wine, drinks, and dessert was enjoyed by all. We also had an opportunity to hear a meaningful short drash from Rabbi Gail Labovitz. Special thanks go to Rachel Sisk (event co-chair), Miriam Prum Hess (Social & Hospitality Committee chair),and Carl Sunshine for their help in making the event a success.
Please mark your calendars for our next event:
Shavuot Picnic at La Cienega Park on May 25, 2015 — Second day of Shavuot, immediately after shul. (Note that this is Memorial Day.)
Everyone is invited to bring a dairy lunch for themselves, contribute a dessert to share and have fun schmoozing, doing a little learning, playing and gathering at the Park. Child care will be provided.
Dafna Taryle & Rebecca Friedman
VISIT US ONLINE
VISIT US ON SHABBAT
Mishna study 9:20
Tefillot begin 9:45
Temple Beth Am
1039 S. La Cienega Blvd, 90035