LOOKING BACKWARDS (AND AHEAD)
"Childhood fears and adult traumas are stored differently in the brain than happy memories. They are buried like porous capsules deep in the primitive regions...
THE JEWISH ROOTS OF THANKSGIVING
Want to know how? Read on.
Even without turkey and cranberry sauce, this vestige of Jewish influence on the religious mores of the U.S. is worth our acknowledgment and contemplation - and, of course, our thanksgiving."
BARUCH DAYAN HA-EMET
Paris is often referred to as "The City of Light" (La Ville Lumière), both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment, and more literally because Paris was one of the first European cities to adopt gas street lighting.
For now, Paris is darkened. With deep sadness, we remember the 129 innocent souls who died last Friday in Paris. Men and women - at a soccer match, at a concert, eating dinner in restaurants, out on the streets - were murdered because of a demented understanding of right and wrong. ISIS, ISIL, or Daesch - or whatever it is to be called - has again wreaked havoc in order to spread fear.
The question we all must answer is a simple one: At what cost?
At what cost does France - or the United States - or any other democratic country - secure its citizens? How much do we allow those who wish to harm us to win...by making us spend billions of our currency to harden our buildings and borders, by reducing the personal liberties we cherish and they rail against, by creating a culture of fear instead of one of expansive joy and delight?
At what cost?We know some of the cost. 129 lives.
From the Associated Press, we learned a bit about some of the victims:
We may not have known Fanny, Mohamed, or Kheireddine before. Now, however, they are family. They and - at the moment - 126 others - have become ours to remember. We remember them for what they loved...not for the hate that destroyed them.
May we take the time to learn about those who died and celebrate the goodness they lived. May the evil that caused their deaths not win. May we embrace freedom. And may we keep Paris ablaze in lights, celebrating the true meaning of enlightenment!
Why? Because on this day, we pause to think of those men and women who served this country defending the American values of democracy, liberty, and tolerance. It is because of those who served - both those who died in battle and those who returned safely - that the Jewish community found a home that was safe and secure. After being expelled from dozens our lands over hundreds of years, the United States has been a haven for the Jewish people. We have thrived these almost 240 years because of those who donned the uniform to protect us.
At the same time, we express thanksgiving for the members of the Jewish community who donned those self-same uniforms. My own father and step-father served this country, as did my sister. Along with tens of thousands of other Jewish military, they contributed to making our country the "land of the free and the home of the brave."
WE ARE PROUD OF YOU, MARY!
The intent of the award - established in 1987 - is to recognize someone who has made significant contributions to the Johnson County community. Past honorees are really a list of the most influential men and women within our greater Kansas City community who have inspired and led in many different ways.
Mary has the longest roots in the moving stream that is B'nai Jehudah, with her grandfather, Bernhardt Davidson, being one of our congregation's founding members. Needless to say, Mary has been a life-long member of our community, raised in our religious school and confirmed. Over the years, she has been intimately involved in the congregation's various education endeavors, helping shape the lives of our youngest congregants. She has served on our Board of Trustees twice, most recently as a Vice President. Currently, she serves as co-chair of our Building Renovation Task Force.Beyond the congregation, Mary has made significant contributions to our community and our country. In 2002, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige appointed Mary to serve as the department's liaison to state and local education agencies, public and private schools, colleges and universities and elected representatives of local and state government organizations.
For 18 years she was the assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Kansas, managing its facility in Johnson County, and she later served as vice president and dean of the graduate school at the University of Saint Mary. She has also served as one of two non-lawyer members of the judicial qualification committee of the Kansas Supreme Court. In 2012, she served as interim president and CEO of the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.
Mary began her education career as a teacher. She taught fifth, sixth and seventh grades in the Kansas City, Missouri, School District. She taught science for K-7 grades for the Kansas City School District's educational television station KCSD. Mary still hosts a television program, called "It's Our Community," for the Johnson County Community College television station.
Mary's philanthropic work - both on her own and with her late husband, Barton P. Cohen - has changed the face of our community. From gifts to the JCCC and the Nerman Museum, the Jewish Federation, and to B'nai Jehudah, Mary has generously given of herself to help others.
To Mary, your congregational family says: "Mazel Tov." Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to make our community a better place in which to live.
SHABBAT LECH LECHA
What would it take for our families - each of us - to be models of blessing (humbleness) and family (inclusiveness)? Yes, what would it take?
God looked out upon creation and saw violence and chaos engulfing humankind and the earth...God found one [righteous] man named Noah, and he told him to build an ark, save his own family and two of every creature, for the rest would be destroyed...God then spoke to Noah:
'...Look now and see the cleansed earth. The world is once again new. There is no rage nor hatred, violence nor hubris corrupting the human heart. I will make with you a covenant marked by a sign that will remind us both how I created the world in peace, destroyed it, and allowed it to begin anew that it might be a place of love and peace.
The sign of this covenant will be a smile that will stretch across the heavens and fill the sky. It will be an arc of light shining through the flood waters, a vision of loveliness that will inspire love and awe for Me. This promise, Noah, shall be called the 'rainbow,' and it will be My promise that never again will such devastation engulf the earth...'
Then God bent towards the earth and stretched the Divine arm across the sky and formed an arc. Where God's hand had been there appeared a sheltering bow of every color spread out across a blue canvas of sky. And God spoke of the colors and the sign of the rainbow:
'First comes red for the blood pulsing through human veins that carries My Godly soul and the life of humankind; orange is for the warmth of fire and its power to create, build and improve upon what I created; yellow is for the sun that lights the earth and gives vision to earthly eyes that they might see Me in all things; green is for the leaves of trees, their fruit and the grass that all creatures might feed and be sustained in life; blue is for the sky, sea and rivers that join air and ground and reveal that all is One, divinely linked and a reflection of Me;...violet is for the coming of night when the world rests and is renewed, carrying the hope that all might awake each morning and utter words of thanksgiving and praise.' God explained to Noah that the rainbow appears to the human eye as a half circle; 'Do not be fooled! There is more to life than what the eye can see. There is both the revealed and the hidden. The hidden half of the bow extends deep into earth that you and those who yearn for Me might come and discover vision and Truth, and reveal the message of love and peace to all the earth.'
God told Noah, 'Remember this blessing, My child, and you will remember My promise - Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, zo-cheir ha-brit...Praised are You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the revealed and the hidden, Who remembers...the covenant.
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04.27.2017 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Endowment Committee Meeting
04.27.2017 5:45 pm - 6:15 pm
6:00 pm 04.27.2017 - 10:00 pm 04.30.2017
Confirmation NY Trip
04.27.2017 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
04.28.2017 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
The Temple, Congregation B'nai Jehudah 12320 Nall Avenue Overland Park, KS 66209 Phone: 913-663-4050 Fax: 913-906-9544