We hope y’all enjoyed the longer weekend and your kids are enjoying the entire week off from school this week. As you may have seen yesterday, the world received a shock when the U.S. government announced that President Biden, despite the dangers of a war zone, traveled to Kiev in the Ukraine to show support for that country. Such a decision represents the kind of commitment both leaders and ordinary citizens can make when they feel deeply about an issue or a cause. The whole episode reminds us of the risks and sacrifices made by past Jewish communities all over the world often simply to live their lives. The Jewish residents shtetls in the Russian empire that endured countless waves of pogroms by the Tsar’s secret police yet continued to practice their religion and pass on their traditions to their children and grandchildren. The Ladino communities in Spain who were forced to flee the Spanish Inquisition yet rebuilt their lives in North Africa and the Middle East. Even those who accepted baptism so they could remain in Spain still taught their children rituals like lighting candles in secret to preserve a part of their heritage. The Jewish soldiers who enlisted in the American, British, and Soviet armies in World War II knowing that if they got captured by the Nazis they would be tortured or sent to concentration camps. These and countless others over the years symbolize the commitments Jewish communities have made and continue to make even in the face of danger and risk to carry on the traditions of which we all deeply care. Whenever we may feel alone, we know that there are others who will make the same effort for the same causes.
In other news, a week from Sunday will be the revival of our traditional Purim Carnival. As a reminder, it will be held on March 5 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be games, a bouncy house for the kids, songs, and a bake sale. In order for the event to be as exciting as possible, we need your help! We are looking for volunteers to help with set-up, clean-up, bringing baked goods, running the games, etc. The Temple Beth Hillel Board will be volunteering as well. Below you can find the link to sign up as a volunteer for the task you feel will contribute the most to the success of the event. Let’s all make this Purim one to remember!
Looking ahead, this year’s Passover Seder will be held on Saturday, April 8. Please help spread the word and invite family and friends to our revitalized Seder at the Temple.
In addition, please consider joining the Temple Beth Hillel Board of Directors next year. Our Board is always on the lookout for members who have ideas for the future of the temple and the ability to carry out that vision. You can reach out to us or any Board member when you are interested.
Finally, the next Shabbat Service will be held next week on Friday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. Family Shabbat will be held two weeks later on Friday, March 17, at 6:15 p.m. There will also be Torah study on Saturday at 10:15 a.m., which will be in-person and on Zoom. And those who wish to join Tefillah services at the Religious School are welcome starting at 9:30 a.m on Sundays. Thanks everyone!
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I?
And if not now, when? -Rabbi Hillel
~ Anna B Stein and David Zimring, Co-Presidents, Temple Beth Hillel