This is a confusing time for many of us. No matter where you fall along the political spectrum, the results of the recent presidential election and the president-elect’s cabinet appointments indicate that the world is changing in dramatic ways.The continuing war in Syria, the refugee crisis, the fires raging in Israel, singularly and together pose unprecedented challenges.
So how do we as a community of committed Jews find motivation and hope in the chaos and darkness? This week we ring in the month of Kislev ushering in the shortest and darkest days of the year along with the light of Chanukah. As the days grow short and the darkness of night envelops us, we bring light into the world by remembering the wonders and miracles in the world. After kindling the Chanukah lights each night, we recite Haneirot hallalu, anu madlikim, al ha nisim v’al haneeflaot: These candles we light to commemorate the miracles and the wonders. . . .
And we add to our davening and to birkat hamazon the Al Hanisim, reciting:
For the miracles, and for the mighty deeds,
And for the victories, and for the battles
Which You performed for our forefathers
In those days, at this time
. . . .
You in Your great mercy
Stood up for them in the time of their distress.
You took up their grievance, judged their claim,
and avenged their wrong.
. . . .
And they established these eight days of Chanukah
To express thanks and praise to Your great Name.
When the days are short and the nights are long and cold, we as Jews bring light into this world by remembering the good in the world, the miracles and wonders, by expressing gratitude, and by reminding the world of its good by our own actions.
Wishing everyone a season of light, gratitude, miracles and wonders.
— Sandra Lepson
The True Blessings of Community
Though I had been a member of the Library Minyan Chesed Committee for many years, it wasn’t until I was sitting shiva for my mother in 2006 or going through treatments for breast cancer in 2009 that I truly understood the power of our community. The outpouring of love and support, the phone calls, rides to the hospital for treatments, and most of all the meals, touched my heart in such a profound way. (At one point, my husband David asked me to “please call off the meals…our refrigerator is full!).
If you have just welcomed a new baby into your life, are sitting shiva, undergoing medical treatments, recovering from an illness or injury, or going through any other time of challenge, please remember that you are part of a loving and benevolent community. You can contact me or a member of the Chesed Committee — Fran Grossman, Cathie Lippman, and Jerry Krautman — and we will rally the troops to assist you. Do not hesitate to contact us. We are all here for each other.
When I email the minyan members to provide meals (now made easier through ‘takethemameal.com’), I am always amazed at the immediate response of people signing up. Often there are more people wanting to bring food than there are meals to be filled.
If you receive an e-mail asking you to step up and help out a member of our community, you do not need to whip up a 5-course meal. Combine forces with another person to make a meal. Take out is also fine. Or make a soup. Pick up paper goods, or drinks on your way home from work. Get a shopping list and take it with you next time you go to the kosher store, the bakery, the grocery store, or Trader Joe’s. Make a phone call of support. It will mean so much.
We are truly blessed to have each other.
— Batya Ordin
Join into the Giving Spirit
The Giving Spirit (www.thegivingspirit.org) assembles survival kits for the homeless and delivers them around the holiday season. TBA has been participating in The Giving Spirit's winter outreach program for the past six years. The organization’s major effort needs your participation in one of more of the following activities:
On Sunday, Dec. 4, 1-4 pm:
Meet at B’nai David-Judea to put together 1500 subassemblies for the kits. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
On Thursday, Dec. 8, 7:30-10:30 pm:
Meet at Brentwood Presbyterian Church to organize items included in the kits and have lots of fun in the process. Register at www.thegivingspirit.org
. (Click Volunteer for our Next Outreach”
and then RSVP
for Dec. 8.)
On Sunday, Dec. 11, 10:30 am-2:00 pm:
Meet at Brentwood Presbyterian Church to distribute kits to the homeless throughout LA. Register at www.thegivingspirit.org
as described above; also please rsvp to email@example.com
— Dianne Shershow
DPL Shabbat Dinners on January 20
As your new DPL (Diaspora Potluck) co-chairs, we're off to a great start. Our first event, a Shabbat lunch at the home of Rabbi Susan Laemmle and John Antignas on September 17 was very successful, with 40 people attending and plenty of food and drinks, and a great D’Var Torah by Susan.
Our next event will be potluck Shabbat Dinner on Friday, January 20, 2017, taking place in various homes. Please think about if you would like to volunteer to host. Yes, that’s the evening of the inauguration, and so it will be a good opportunity for us to come together and enjoy Shabbat —with its blessings, songs, and good company — and leave the world of breaking news and the latest Twitter war behind us for a few hours.
Both newcomers and long-time members are welcome! Individuals, couples or families can host/participate in this fun social event. Each home will welcome 6-10 guests, pre-assigned in a more or less random manner, depending on if you drive on Shabbat, etc.
When you receive the sign-up message in December, please note what food/drink item you will contribute if you are guest. Those who have signed up will be contacted approximately two weeks prior to the event and notified of whose house they will be going to. Food contributions will also be finalized then.
All DPL Events are excellent opportunities to expand one’s comfort zone and meet new people in the Minyan, and to get to know people you daven with better. We are happy to be the new co-chairs of this committee and look forward to a fun and nourishing 2017. In the meantime have a wonderful Chanukah!
— Deborah Blum & Michelle Wolf
Jewish Music Program on Sunday Dec. 4 at 1 p.m.
Music in Jewish life is rich and diverse. Spanning a large part of the globe, Jews have developed their own musical styles, like other aspects of Jewish culture, though drawing from their surroundings.
Mark Kligman’s talk on the "Diversity and Uniqueness of Jewish music” will survey Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Jewish communities to learn how they chant the Torah, what their tefilah sounds like, and the sort of songs they sing. Audio and video examples will highlight the rich and diverse Jewish traditions that are generally not familiar to most of us.
Mark holds the UCLA Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music and is professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology at UCLA. He moved to LA in 2014 from New York, belongs to B’nai David Judea, and has many friends at TBA. He’s a splendid teacher and person. Come get to know and learn from him, after participating in the Global Jewish Fair or as a stand alone.
— Lia Mandelbaum,
TBA Director of Programming and Engagement
Dec. 4 — Mark Kligman on Jewish Music at 1 pm
Dec. 6 — Miriyam Glazer on Psalms at 7 pm
Dec. 17 — Aufruf for Rachel Schlossberg
Dec. 24 — Torah Club
Jan. 21 — Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale with Cantor Hillary Chorny as featured soloist at 7:30 pm
Do "Library Minyan" and "year-end tax planning" belong in the same sentence? Yes! I hope you will remember the Library Minyan among your year-end charitable contributions because we rely on your unrestricted gifts to fund most of our activities. Your targeted gifts help fund specific extended kiddushim, but the Minyan's contributions to those events come from our unrestricted funds. Do you enjoy the Purim seudah, and the exceptional speakers series?
Those activities, and many more are funded by your unrestricted gifts.
The government (both Federal and State) has a great matching gifts program: if you contribute to the Library Minyan (online or by check) before year end,
your tax bill will fall next Spring! Thank you in advance for your generosity to the Minyan!
— Jonathan 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