|Jewish Year||Hebrew Date||5777||5778||5779|
|Secular Year||2016-17||2017-18||2018- 2019|
|Rosh Hashanah||1-2 Tishrei||Oct. 3-4||Sep. 21-22||Sep. 10-11|
|Tzom Gedaliah||3 Tishrei||Oct. 5||Sep. 24||Sep. 12|
|Yom Kippur||10 Tishrei||Oct. 12||Sep. 30||Sep. 19|
|Sukkot||15-20 Tishrei||Oct. 17-23||Oct. 5-11||Sep. 24 -30|
|Hoshanah Rabbah||21 Tishrei||Oct. 23||Oct. 11||Sep. 30|
|Shemini Atzeret||22 Tishrei||Oct. 24||Oct. 12||Oct. 1|
|Simchat Torah||23 Tishrei||Oct. 25||Oct. 13||Oct. 2|
|Hanukkah||25 Kislev-2 Tevet||Dec. 25- Jan.1||Dec. 13-20||Dec. 3–10|
|Asarah be-Tevet||10 Tevet||Jan. 8||Dec. 28||Dec. 18|
|Tu Bishvat||15 Shevat||Feb. 11||Jan. 31||Jan. 21|
|Ta’anit (Fast of) Esther||13 Adar||9-Mar||Feb. 28||Mar. 20|
|Purim||14 Adar||12-Mar||Mar. 1||Mar. 21|
|Passover||15-21 Nisan||April 11-18||March 31- Apr. 7||Apr. 20-27|
|Yom Hashoah||27 Nisan||23-Apr||Apr. 12||2-May|
|Yom Hazikaron||4 Iyar||1-May||Apr.18||8-May|
|Yom Ha’atzmaut||5 Iyar||2-May||Apr. 19||9-May|
|Lag Ba’omer||18 Iyar||14-May||3-May||23-May|
|Yom Yerushalayim||28 Iyar||24-May||13-May||2-Jun|
|Shavuot||6-7 Sivan||May 31-June 1||May 20-21||June 9-10|
|Tzom Shiva Asar B’Tammuz||17 Tammuz||11-Jul||1-Jul||21-Jul|
|Tisha B’Av||9 Av||Aug. 1||22-Jul||Aug. 11|
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This rich challah dough is not formed into braids for the High Holy Days, rather it is shaped in the form of a turban or snail. This is symbolic of the hope that the year will be filled with continuous good health and well being. If the challah is made into one very large challah there is the risk that the center will be under baked or the outer ring will be dry and over baked depending on the baking time you choose. I never use more than 2/3 of the dough to make a large challah.
7- 7 1/2 cups bread flour, King Arthur or Gold medal Better for Bread
2 packages rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water
2 sticks parve margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon yellow food coloring
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1 Tablespoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup raisins, optional
EGG WASH-1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon of honey
In a large mixer bowl combine 6 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Stir to combine.
Heat the water, margarine, food coloring, sugar, poppy seed and the salt in a saucepan until very warm (140F). Water should be uncomfortably hot to your finger but not hot enough to burn you.(It will feel like hot tap water).
Add the warm liquid mixture to the flour while the mixer is on low. As the liquid is being incorporated, add the eggs. Mix thoroughly.
Gradually add the remaining flour only until a fairly firm dough is formed. This process should take about 7 minutes whether you are using the dough hook on your mixer or are kneading it by hand. The mixture will be satiny smooth and will not stick to a lightly floured finger tip when touched. If adding raisins, add after 5 minutes of kneading
Turn your oven on for 1 minute. TURN YOUR OVEN OFF. Lightly grease a bowl with oil and turn the dough in the bowl to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the TURNED OFF oven until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
Punch down the dough and divide in half or thirds. Divide each portion into 1 large rope and coil the dough around itself to make a round of dough that looks like a turban. Make sure to pinch the end of the dough under to prevent uncoiling during baking. Place formed breads on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and allow to rise until light and doubled, about 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush the tops of the loaves with the egg wash and bake for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the loaves. When the bread is done, it will be golden brown and have a hollow sound when tapped.
Simchat Torah, Hebrew for “rejoicing in the Law”, celebrates the completion of the annual reading of the Torah. Simchat Torah is a joyous festival, in which we affirm our view of the Torah as a tree of life and demonstrate a living example of never-ending, lifelong study. Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times. During the Torah service, the concluding section of Deuteronomy is read, and immediately following, the opening section of Genesis, or B’reishit as it is called in Hebrew, is read.
Please see the High Holy Days page for details on Simchat Torah observance at TBI.
Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest, as well as the commemoration of the forty years of Jewish wandering in the desert after Sinai. Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur on the 15th of Tishrei and is marked by several distinct traditions. One tradition, which takes the commandment to “dwell in booths” literally, is to build a sukkah, a booth or hut. A sukkah is often erected by Jews during this festival, and it is common practice for some to eat and even live in these temporary dwellings during Sukkot. Read more about the history and customs of Sukkot.
Please see the High Holy Days Schedule for details on Sukkot observance at TBI.
As we dialogued and debated questions like these and others, I couldn’t help but think about an important statistic that weighs heavily on me. In a world of billions of people, there are only 15 million Jews. Of them, only a small fraction are Orthodox and within Orthodoxy, only a small fraction define themselves as Modern Orthodox. Those who combine an unconditional and unwavering commitment to halacha and the supremacy of Torah and at the same time value general knowledge and culture, participation in the greater Jewish community and society at large, and lastly see religious significance in the modern State of Israel, are few in number and arguably inconsequential in the greater Jewish scene.
To me, the primary objective of the RCA and others must be to influence our own constituents to live inspired Jewish lives informed by Torah values and rich with Jewish meaning and purpose. Only then can we begin to have an impact on the greater scene and bring Torah’s vision for an ethical and uplifting society to the masses.
If this goal seems unachievable and out of reach, I encourage you to look no further than this week’s parsha and our great patriarch Avraham Avinu and his partner Sarah. They lived in a world saturated with paganism, corruption and selfishness and yet had the courage to articulate and spread the revolutionary message of ethical monotheism. They lived in a world with no mass media, email, social networking, youtube videos, microphones, billboards or newspapers and yet, look at the result of their efforts. Billions of people across the globe believe in one God and the Jewish values of justice, charity and ethical living. Avraham and Sarah likely never dreamt they would earn international fame and acclaim for their efforts. They simply believed they had a magnificent treasure and wanted to share it with others one at a time.
Let’s be like Avraham and Sarah and change the world one person at a time beginning with inspiring ourselves, our family members and those around us. Don’t forget to sign up for S.O.S. II taking place in just a couple of weeks and inspire yourself to inspire others.
Temple Beth Israel
3033 Towne Avenue
Pomona, CA 91767
Temple Beth Israel is situated north of the 10 Freeway and south of the 210 Freeway. It is easily accessible to residents of Los Angeles and San Bernardino County.
From Los Angeles County
Take the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) East to the Towne Ave. Exit. Travel North on Towne Ave. past Arrow Highway. The Temple will be on your left.
From San Bernardino County
Take the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10) West to the Towne Ave. Exit. Travel North on Towne Ave. past Arrow Highway. The Temple will be on your left.
From the 210 Freeway
Take the 210 Freeway to the Towne Ave. Exit. Go south on Towne Avenue past Foothill Blvd. Temple Beth Israel will be on your right.
After months of planning and design, this week we finally unveiled the new BRS website – www.brsonline.org We are very proud of its great features including a FAQ section for people who live here, those looking to move and those visiting. We have videos, podcasts, a blog, photo galleries, and much more. We have also included a member login where you can see your statements, pay your invoices, make donations and look someone up on the membership directory. We look forward to hearing your feedback and your help in spreading the word about this great new tool to reach people and spread the BRS mission. Look soon for the BRS app for apple and android. A tremendous thank you is due to Kerry Purcell in our office who put in countless hours, great creativity and hard work to make this new website a reality.
As we put the finishing touches on the new website this week, we kept reminding one another that it represents the face of the Shul to someone looking into who we are. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression and it is critically important to make a positive one if you want to get a relationship started on the right foot.
What is true for a website and a Shul, is true for how we present ourselves to others as well. Our faces are the homepage of who we are and how we are perceived. No matter what is happening in our hearts or our minds, we leave a strong impression on others based on the disposition carried in our faces. Do we project sadness, despair, worry, uncertainty and doubt? Or are we happy, positive, optimistic and joyful.
Rabbi Yisroel Salanter once said that our faces have the status of reshus ha’rabim, they are public domain and we therefore need to be sensitive to the public when we decide what mood we are going to project. The gemara (Kesubos 111b) says that it is better to smile at someone warmly than to provide him with food and drink. Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe writes that just as plants require sunshine to live, converting the rays of the sun into nutrients, people too convert smiles into energy and strength, and without it they wilt and perish. Smiling is a uniquely human expression. When is the last time you saw a dog or cat smile?
Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a physician at Harvard Medical School, authored a study that concludes that happiness is contagious. The same way when one person yawns, it affects others, when one person smiles or is happy it leads to others happiness and smiling as well.
This poem says it best:
It cost nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash and the memory of it lasts forever.
None are so rich they can get along without it and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away!
If someone is too tired to give you a smile, leave one of yours.
For, nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none to give.
And yet, this is exactly what we do on Simchas Torah in Shuls around the world. We collect all the Torahs from around the shul, sing and dance in a spirited fashion and kiss each Torah as it passes us by. What explains our seemingly bizarre behavior, especially in contrast with the attitude and approach every other legal system and religion brings to their law books?
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks explains so beautifully:
“A Torah scroll is the nearest thing Judaism has to a holy object. Still written today as it was thousands of years ago — on parchment, using a quill, by a master-scribe — it is our most cherished possession. We stand in its presence as if it were a king. We dance with it as if it were a bride. We kiss it as if it were a friend. If, God forbid, one is damaged beyond repair, we mourn it as if it were a member of the family.
The Koran calls Jews a “people of the book,” but this is an understatement. We are a people only because of the book. It is our constitution as a holy nation under the sovereignty of God. It is God’s love letter to the children of Israel. We study it incessantly. We read it in the synagogue each week, completing it in a year. During the long centuries of Jewish exile, it was our ancestors’ memory of the past and hope for the future. It was, said the German poet Heinrich Heine, the “portable homeland” of the Jew. Some Christians have found it hard to understand the Jewish love of law. To them it sometimes seems like an obsession with detail, the “letter” rather than the “spirit.”
To us, though, it represents the idea that there is no facet of life that cannot be sanctified and turned into the service of God: eating, drinking, relationships, the workplace, the economy and our welfare system. God belongs to society as well as to the inwardness of the soul. Which is why we need law as well as love.”
We live in a world of great darkness in which people are desperately searching for meaning, purpose, happiness, joy, direction, fulfillment, family values, and more. While so much of the world struggles, we are amazingly blessed, fortunate and privileged to be charged by the ideals, values and laws of the Torah that truly provides a prescription for a meaningful life. It is not ours alone and we have no monopoly on its message. Etz chaim hi, lamachazikim bah, it is a tree of life for all those who hold on to it.
As we close in on seven long and intensive weeks that began with the first of Elul and ends with Simchas Torah, many of us feel burnt out, tired, and sick of cooking, eating, long davening and yes, even preparing and listening to sermons and classes. It is no coincidence that exactly when we begin to feel Jewish holidays and observant life are burdensome and difficult that we observe Simchas Torah and remember how fortunate and blessed we are to have Torah and the true simcha it brings.
As we head into the final stretch of this marathon season, I wish you a Chag sameach and a year filled with the simchas Torah, the joy of Torah and simchas ha’chayim, the joy of life.