Gan Shalom JK Graduation was last Friday – here are some notes from the Graduates!
Sylvia went to a charity event wearing abeautiful diamond the size of a pigeon egg. Everyone oo’d and ahhh’d over it. Finally, someone asked her about the diamond.
“This,” she said, “is not just any diamond.. this is the Plotkin Diamond.”
“Oooh” said an admirer, “is it famous?”
She said, “Oh, yes, the Plotkin diamond is very famous… and it comes with a terrible curse”
The nearest woman asked, “So, what’s the curse?”
In honor of summer (and warmer weather that’s hopefully here to stay) I thought I’d put a little twist on this week’s Meatless Monday post and share a recipe for homemade strawberry lemonade . This recipe comes from my sister. I’ve mentioned in past blogs that she’s become a vegetarian over the past year. In addition to that change, she has really made a conscious effort to be healthier overall. She has given up all soda and other carbonated beverages, and has switched from dairy milk to Almond Milk. In the beginning she was drinking a lot of bottled lemonade and ice teas to replace the soda, but recently she decided she wanted to be in control of the quality of ingredients and started looking for recipes she could make herself. After making the recipe below she immediately shared it with friends and family.
This week’s post is less focused on an artifact and more on an idea. How can we look at the Temple’s recorded history in the context of the events of World War II?
As I was looking through the old bulletins looking for information about interesting historical facts in Temple history, Kendra Gerstein (our B’nai Mitzvah Coordinator and Director of Curriculum) and I struck up a conversation. After all I was invading her space, because the old bulletins were moved to her office in a cupboard that you have to stand on a chair to get to.
Welcome to the first Temple Sholom Sisterhood Blog post!
Members of our Temple Sholom Sisterhood joined over 100 women and men to pray at a Rosh Chodesh service held at the Daley Center on May 10. The event was sponsored by Chicagoland Women of the Wall.
What a powerful experience it was to pray at a replica of the Western Wall right here in Chicago − particularly knowing that, just ten hours earlier in Jerusalem itself, women assembled to pray and were, for the first time, assisted rather than arrested by police.
Women of the Wall is a tremendous organization which has been holding prayer services and fighting for the right of Jewish women to worship at the Western Wall for decades. The recent court decision permitting women to pray at the Wall wearing tallit and tefillin marks the first step in a long journey to come.
Issy had received no work for six months. So he went to his agent, Swifty, and told him he needed work badly.
Swifty said, “There’s no call for ventriloquists, but there’s plenty of work for psychics.” So Issy went home and hung a psychic sign outside his house. Within an hour, a woman knocked on the door and says, “I want to talk to my deceased Bernie. How much will it cost me?”
“To talk to him, $50. If he talks to you $70. But if you want to talk to each other while I drink a glass of water… $150.”
A member for four years, I’ve attended Adult Ed classes and events, Saturday minyans, helped prepare sandwiches, attended environmental meetings and The Lakeview Action Coalition, and- most important, I play the African drum with the Temple’s Brementown Klezmer Band.
Being a relative newcomer to Chicago, and with no other family members as Temple congregants, I had mixed feelings about last Tuesday’s election. While impressed by its dignity and good fellowship, I was, however, distressed that I missed the opportunity of seeing each candidate, after s/he was announced, for that would have enhanced my future participation, through greater familiarity with Temple leaders. I also hoped for a voice “yea” or “nay” voice vote for the slate of officers and that of board members, as well as the announced opportunity to nominate from the floor.
It also would have been a tzedakah if there had been an arrangement for linking those needing a ride home with those having wheels. Having recently reached eighty years old, I was very fortunate indeed that a female congregant caught up with me, and offered me a ride, which I much appreciated.
I was talking to my mom over the weekend about some of the recipes I have wanted to try and some of the foods that are now my favorites, and she replied, “When did you start to eat like this? You didn’t like any of these foods when you were a kid!” And it’s true; when I was a kid my taste buds were much different. My favorite vegetables were cucumbers and green beans. My mom will tell you that getting me to eat other vegetables was a struggle unless they were covered with cheese!
Cauliflower was definitely not on my childhood list of favorite veggies, but now it’s one of my favorites! I am always looking for recipes that include it and making it in various ways. Mashed cauliflower is a great alternative to mashed potatoes – I add a little chive into mine!
The Reverend Andrew M. Greeley, a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and well-known sociologist, novelist, theologian, controversialist, and leprechaun, died Wednesday at his home in the Hancock Building in Chicago. He was 85.
He was my professor of sociology when I was an undergraduate at The University of Chicago. We were friends from the first, which was his way, and remained so to the last.
What is God – Part 2: Is God a Person?
for Part 1 go to: http://www.sholomchicago.org/blog/what-is-god-part-1/
For me, God is a metaphor, a symbol I use to try to grasp a transcendent mystery. I live in a world of constant ambiguity, and I can never be certain that my experiences of the holy are real or mere sentimentality. I use the notion of God to anchor my spiritual experiences and allow me to act as if they were real. Yet, certitude is never available.
But no less than Abraham Joshua Heschel disagrees. In a wonderful essay, “Symbolism and Jewish Faith,” Rabbi Heschel argues that Jews should want more than just a symbol, that they shouldn’t be satisfied with the uncertainty I feel. “The soul of the religious man lives in the depth of certainty. This is what God wants me to do. Where that certainty is dead, the most powerful symbolism will be futile.”
He goes on to say “Let us never forget: If God is a symbol, He is a fiction. But if God is real, then He is able to express his will unambiguously. Symbols are makeshifts, necessary to those who cannot express themselves unambiguously. . . . Harsh and bitter are the problems which religion comes to solve: ignorance, evil, malice, power, agony, and despair. These problems cannot be solved through generalities, through philosophical symbols. Our problem is this: Do we believe what we confess? Do we mean what we say? We do not suffer symbolically; we suffer literally, truly, deeply; symbolic remedies are quackery. The will of God is either real or a delusion.”
Some entries into our liturgy echo Rabbi Heschel. Mediation Number 35 in the Gates of Prayer says, “The description of God as a Person is indispensable for everyone who like myself means by ‘God” not a principle. . . and not an idea. . . but who rather means by ‘God,’ as I do, Him who – whatever else He may be – enters in a direct relation with us in creative, revealing, and redeeming acts, and thus makes it possible for us to enter into a direct relation with Him. . . . The concept of personal being is indeed completely incapable of declaring what God’s essential being is, but it is both permitted and necessary to say that God is also a Person.”
I am sure that many, many Temple congregants strive for this certainty that Heschel exalts. Obviously, if I agreed with these sentiments, my contributions to the Temple Blog would end here. Whither those of us for whom such certainties are elusive? We will turn to that in the next posting.