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Temple Beth El

Offering Conservative Jewish worship since 1935

83 Chestnut Street/POBox 383
Oneonta, NY 13820
Phone: (607) 432-5522

October 2017


As we discussed during the High Holy Days, Leviticus 19:17 teaches: “You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart; rebuke your kinsman and do not incur guilt because of him”. This year we are working as a community on the Jewish Middah (soul trait) of Shmirat HaLashon, the Guarding of Speech.  One of the most important aspects of this embodied value requires that we speak TO each other rather than ABOUT each other.  This is one of the most difficult mitzvot to observe, yet it is crucial for being a Sacred Community, one where God’s presence can live among us.  In keeping with that value, we are working to adopt the practice of speaking directly to those who have hurt us, or with whom we have had a conflict, rather than speaking about the person or the conflict to a third (or 4th, or 5th) party.  If you need help using this challenging yet rewarding approach to conflict resolution with another member of the congregation or leadership (myself included), please reach out to me privately– I will be happy to help. Of course, all will be in strictest confidence.

We will celebrate Sukkot and Shabbat as a community on Friday night October 6th at 6:00 PM, followed by a potluck dinner. We will celebrate Shabbat and Simchat Torah on Friday October 13th at 7:30.  We will dance with the Torah and have an up-close and personal view of the inside of the scroll. We will also celebrate Shabbat on October 27th at 7:30. I hope that you will join us to create and share the warmth of our community and to enjoy the companionship of being a part of it.

Torah Study will meet Saturday, October 7th and 28th. Coffee and Shmooze starts at 9:00 am, and we begin our studies at 9:30.  No previous knowledge is needed.

On Saturday October 14th, there will be a workshop on How to Lead a Funeral.  This will take place during the regular Torah study time slot, at 9:30 am after coffee and schmooze.  While knowledge of Hebrew is helpful for leading a funeral, it is not strictly necessary.  Having congregants who are able to lead funerals will ensure that there is always someone who can step in to perform this important mitzvah at times when I cannot be present to officiate.  Please contact me personally with questions or to let me know you will attend.

Additional classes will be offered in the fall, including classes on how to lead a shiva minyan and make a shiva call, and how to visit the sick. Please let me know if you would like to attend either these classes, would like to suggest additional classes, or if you have any questions.

Our Lunch and Learn Program will resume our study of Tikkun Middot and Mindfulness Practice for veterans and newbies on Saturday, October 7th, 14th and 28th at noon. This practice helps us to stay calm, focused and aware in a chaotic world. Please bring a meat-free, shellfish-free dish for yourself or to share.  You can email me to receive the handouts in advance. No previous knowledge is needed.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at at any time.

Kol tuv (all the good),

Rabbi Molly Karp