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Rabbi Heilman’s Message of the Week 4/3/19

Shalom chaverim (Friends),

Spring plays its usual pranks on us (I don’t think people actually invented April Fools’ Day, it’s all Nature laughing at us!). At this time of year, we go back and forth from spring to winter, and back again. And yet, time marches on and some things are unstoppable. Things like children growing up and becoming young adults. Every culture has its coming of age rituals; in Judaism, of course, it is the bar or bat mitzvah. This Shabbat we are fortunate to celebrate a joint b’nai mitzvah (the plural of the event, in modern Hebrew). Caroline Goren and her cousin from Colorado, Mason Scanlon, will be called up to the Torah as young adults this Shabbat. It will be, with God’s help, a joyous event for the families as well as for the entire congregation. It’s always so moving to see these young adults taking their place in the Jewish community, accepting the responsibilities and privileges that come along with belonging to an ancient people and civilization. Services Friday evening will begin at 7:30, and in my sermon I will speak about “Why Torah?”. Shabbat services will take place Saturday morning at 9:30 AM. There will be no other temple events this weekend, but we WILL have a regular temple weekend NEXT Shabbat, April 12-14, including adult ed on Saturday, and Religious School (our annual Model Seder) on Sunday.

I look forward to seeing you soon,

Rabbi Boaz Heilman

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Shalom chaverim (friends),

This weekend we will be celebrating Purim at TBI. At services on Friday

evening, instead of the usual Torah reading, I will retell the story of Esther.

My sermon, however, will focus on the weekly Torah portion (Tzav, Leviticus

6:1–8:36), as I relate some of its messages to current events. The holiday of

Purim has many traditions and commandments associated with it, including

reading the Scroll of Esther, wearing costumes (I plan to wear a costume to

services), rejoicing, sharing gifts of food with neighbors and friends (called in

Hebrew mishlo’ach manot) and giving tzedakah to the poor.

Adult Ed on Saturday will be at noon. Following a dairy pot luck meal, I will

talk about “Israel and the Making Of The Modern Middle East.” A miracle of

no less significance than the one that took place in Persia more than 2000

years ago, the history of the creation of modern Israel is complex and involves

a cast of thousands if not millions. It’s a story that sometimes gets lost in the

midst of the blood and smoke of war and terrorism. Hopefully my talk will

shed some light on the global events that led to the establishment of the State

of Israel in 1948.

Sunday at Religious School I will once again fulfill the commandment of

telling the story of Purim. Lunch will follow our RS session. Students as well

as adults are encouraged to come in costume.

I look forward to seeing you this weekend.


Rabbi Heilman


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2018 TBI Shem Tov Award Recipients

Barbara Malcom Katz and Karen Calmon Lukeman of Temple B’nai Israel were honored on October 7th, as our 2018 TBI Shem Tov Award recipients. The Shem Tov (good name) awards were created by the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire to recognize volunteers from organizations across New Hampshire who have provided outstanding service to the Jewish community. TBI elected both Barbara and Karen for the time and effort they have both have put in for the benefit of the temple as well as the community at large. They have worked on publicity for the temple’s We Care concerts (which donate the net proceeds to deserving local non-profits) and the Jewish Food Festival (both cooking and doing PR for it…it attracts about 600 people yearly), as well as other activities for the temple and the community.