Temple Beth Am Library Minyan  
 February 2013
 The Minyan Monthly
A New Way To “Open” Our “Tents” To Newcomers
   The Library Minyan has launched a new program through which we all can become involved in welcoming newcomers to our minyan.  Created through a joint effort by our minyan’s Membership and Social/ Hospitality Committees, the Ohel Patuach (“Open Tent”) program matches people new to the Library Minyan (generally those who have been coming for three years or less) with hosts for Shabbat dinners at members’ homes.  The aim of Ohel Patuach is to welcome newer members in an outside-of-shul setting, and facilitate the building of relationships, which is such an important part of synagogue life.   Obtaining a large and diverse pool of Shabbat dinner hosts is vital to the prorgam.  To volunteer, please contact the Ohel Patuach “matchmakers,” Vered Hopenstand, 310-652-1888, and Lori Port, 424-249-3398 or respond to the host questionnaire in the email you should all have recently received, titled "Introducing A New Library Minyan Program."  Vered and Lori will also obtain names of newcomers from a variety of sources, including Temple Beth Am membership and High Holiday ticket lists, as well as personal, face-to-face outreach efforts in shul by our Library Minyan Membership and Social/Hospitality Committees.  Anyone can help with these efforts.  If you know of any newcomer, please forward their names and contact information to Vered and Lori. 
Ideas Abound At General Meeting
On February 2, 2013, following Shabbat services and a co-sponsored kiddush, Minyan members gathered for a semi-annual General Meeting of the Library Minyan.  After short presentations by the Rosh and each of the committee Chairs regarding recent projects in their committees, the floor was open to questions and free discussion of ideas and suggestions from the members.  Among the “hot” topics was requiring women to wear kippot and talitot while on the bimah or performing other honors.  (See new Task Force announcement below.)  A motion carried to launch a task force to foster studying and teaching regarding the many facets of this issue.  Other topics and suggestions included forming chavurot, coordinating Library Minyan committees with parallel committees of Temple Beth Am, and seeking participation on the Board. 
Abby Harris To Lead Task Force To Study Kippot And Talitot Issues: All Invited to April 14 Start-Up Meeting
As noted above, based on a motion passed at the recent general meeting, we are launching a task force to study, educate and explore issues regarding the requiring of kipot and tallitot while on the bimah.  Abby Harris will lead the new task force, and she will host the initial meeting at her house on Sunday April 14 at 6:30 pm.  All are invited, and we hope to have men and women on all sides of the issue, and with a diverse background of minhagim and preferences regarding the wearing of tallitot and kipot, attend and participate.  Abby plans to provide refreshments “substantial enough to stand in for dinner for those that need.”  While drop-ins are welcome without notice, RSVPs are nevertheless appreciated for planning purposes.  Please let Abby know by email (abby@harrisparty.com) if you are interested in attending, or if you can’t attend the meeting but would like to be otherwise involved. 
        Did You Know?
Look Out for the Kamatz Katan, by Lida Baker
Were you aware that the Hebrew vowel kamatz, which looks like a small capital T, is pronounced in two ways? Most of the time it sounds like the “a” in “father.” Occasionally, however, it is pronounced “o” as in “or.” When pronounced the second way, the vowel is called kamatz katan (“small kamatz”).
Identifying and correctly pronouncing a kamatz katan can be tricky. In Chapter 1, verse 3 of the book of Ruth, the first word is pronounced va-ya-mot. The second and third consonants are both vocalized with a kamatz, yet the first kamatz is pronounced “a” and the second one is pronounced “o.” As readers, how can we know this?
Siddur Sim Shalom makes it easy for us. It uses a special symbol to indicate a kamatz katan. For example, on page 139, the second sentence from the top looks like this:
(Malkchut’kha malkhut kol olamim, u-memshalt’kha b’khol dor va-dor) Notice the vowel under the first letter of כל kol and the second letter of בכל b’khol. It looks like a small horizontal line with a dot under it. That’s a kamatz katan.
The Etz Chaim chumash does not include this helpful typographical aid. The Haftorah for par’shat Terumah, which we read a few weeks ago, begins with the words  Va-Adonai natan khchmh [vowels omitted]  li’shlomo, “God gave wisdom to Shlomo.” The vowel under the first letter of the third word is a kamatz. But is it a regular kamatz or a kamatz katan? Is the word pronounced khachmah or khochmah? Well, if you know the word, you know it’s khochmah, but what if you don’t know it? Then how can you tell?
The straight answer is that you can’t. Kamatz katan is determined by a complicated set of grammatical and phonological rules that very few people – even native speakers of Hebrew – know. Many Torah readers make mistakes with kamatz katan because the book they use for memorizing the reading, called a tikkun, does not mark it in any special way. Readers are expected to know the rules. If they don’t and they’re uncertain about the pronunciation of a word, the only recourse they had in the past was to ask someone more knowledgeable or to check a transliteration (see, for example, www.hebcal.com). 
These days technology offers us a more expedient solution. There are now digital tikkunim that distinguish typographically between a regular kamatz and a kamatz katan. The most popular one, called the Trope Trainer, is used here at Temple Beth Am to train bar and bat mitzvah students. The deluxe version, which includes Torah, Haftorah, and Megillot, costs about $140. At that price, you may prefer to learn the rules for pronouncing a kamatz katan – or just ask somebody.
Did You Know? is a feature in the Minyan Monthly written by different contributors each month.  If you would like to write a Did You Know? article, to suggest a future topic, or to comment about this month's article, please email rachelrubingreen@gmail.com and put Did You Know in the subject line.
Mishna study 9:20
Tefillot begin 9:45
Temple Beth Am
Dorff-Nelson Chapel
1039 S. La Cienega Blvd, 90035
Pesach Schedule
 The minyanim of Temple Beth Am will join together in the ballroom for each of the Yom Tov morning services for Pesach, except for the Eighth Day on which the Library Minyan will hold a separate service with Yizkor.  The following services are scheduled: 
Tuesday, March 26; 9:30 a.m., ballroom:  1st Day combined service
Wednesday, March 27; 9:30 a.m, ballroom: 2nd Day combined service
Saturday, March 30; 9:30 a.m., chapel: Shabbat Pesach, Library Minyan separate service.
Monday, April 1; 9:30 a.m., ballroom: 7th Day combined service
Tuesday, April 2; 9:30 a.m., chapel: 8th Day, Library Minyan separate service with Yizkor.
Annual Oscar Mash-Up Lives On!
Purim 5773 coincided with "Oscar Day" in Hollywood. In what has become an annual Library Minyan tradition of, Debbie Rich composed her yearly, poetic shpiel on the titles of the Oscar best picture nominees.  By popular demand, and for the benefit of those who missed it in shul, here is this year's installment:
Purim Rhyme 5773
On Motzei Simchat Torah,
Norm Saiger said It’s great
This year Purim and the Oscars
Share the very same date.
So he asked and pleaded,
Even got down on his knees,
Could I prepare a Shpiel
Lincoln Purim with Best Picture nominees?
It’s not so easy as you think
With so many odd movie names,
Like, for instance, Django Unchained
Which only rhymes with mango served plain.
Argo find someone else,
I thought, but did not say,
Since the Library Minyan motto
Is to Come, Serve and Pay.
So today at Norm’s behest
I fulfill my Minyan duty
Though being here at this hour
Feels a bit like Zero Dark Thirty.
Before I begin, an idea to share:
Shul membership will grow, for sure,
If we simply rename the kahal
Beit Ahava Kedusha, or the Holy House of Amour.
One look at Rebbitzen Talia
And Cantor Fishman pregnant with child
Will draw young couples, from far and near,
Without pressure from Beasts of the Southern Wild.
They’ll ask themselves in secret
Or approach a congregant.
Is there something in the water?
Could it be in the cholent?
So now to the Purim story we go
Which stars our fair Queen Esther
Who lived a Life of Pi-ety
No matter how much Haman tests her.
But, wait, another issue,
To which I’ve given great thought.
Can someone tell me why Ralph’s Market
Displays Les Miserables matzo in Shevat?
What would wise Queen Esther say
If she knew that this was so?
Would she have convinced Ahashveros
To hang Haman side by side with Pharoah?
If that indeed came to pass,
A new dessert we’d be noshin
Instead of macaroons, we’d enjoy
Tasty Pharoah-taschen.
Well, I’m totally off track,
Fermisht , that much is clear.
So if you want a Silver Lining Play,
Book Joel Grossman next year.
Purim Photos Posted
Thank you to Bob Roosth for posting photographs from the Erev Purim megillah reading and the Purim morning seudah, on our Library Minyan website.  Click here:
The Library Minyan of Temple Beth Am, 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd 90035  www.libraryminyan.org