Colleyville:  Trying to Find Answers

Join Cantor Reaboi for an open discussion about the hostage situation last weekend at a Reform Synagogue in Colleyville, TX.  Let’s seek answers, look to the future, and find solace in each other’s company.

Saturday, January 22nd at 7pm on Zoom

Zoom Login: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88675928440?pwd=UkRVTEtmTDJHVzY4Yk8vZ3Z2bUpidz09

Meeting ID: 886 7592 8440

Religious School To Be Virtual This Week 1/13 & 1/16

Dear Parents,

The Religious Practices Committee met to talk about Religious School and the current COVID surge.  It was decided that next week, we will hold classes virtually.  Those days would be Thursday the 13th, and Sunday the 16th for the Family Tu Bishvat Experience.  After next week, the Committee will reevaluate the situation and decide about in-person vs. virtual classes.  The Committee will reevaluate and make decisions on a weekly basis.

Please know that the CAA Religious School cares for the health of our teachers and our students.  The teachers will contact you and plan accordingly for next week.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact either myself or the Religious School Committee Chair Stacey Gay.

Shabbat Shalom,

Cantor Colman Reaboi

All Synagogue Activities Moved to Zoom for January

Greetings,

Due to the surging numbers of Covid cases and the ongoing prevalence of the Omicron variant, the Board of Directors has voted to move all synagogue activities to a virtual format, with the exception of the religious school. These measures will remain in place through January 31, 2022 and will be reviewed at the next Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.

The health an safety of our community is paramount in the actions of our board and as much as we all want to worship together as a community in our beautiful sanctuary it is a time for caution. There will be additional information forthcoming in the coming weeks as the situation evolves.

Stay well,
Congregation Agudath Achim Board of Directors

Shabbat Rishona this Shabbat!

The first Shabbat of every month is Shabbat Rishona, a family-friendly Shabbat experience.

•Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 9:30 am, Congregation Agudath Achim
•Out of an abundance of caution, Shabbat Rishona will be on Zoom!
Please join us for a Family Friendly service, followed by a fun game of
“Jewpardy”.
•As a reminder, this is in place of Religious School on Sunday,
January 9th, so there is no school on Sunday.

Adult Study Opportunities for January

NEW! Evening Adult Study- Book Discussion:

In an age of fluid identity, many people are honestly asking the question “Why be Jewish?” What in this religious and ethnic legacy is worth preserving? Does Judaism have something unique to offer a contemporary seeker free to choose a way of life and a system of values?

Tuesdays 6:30pm-7:30pm on Zoom /Dates:  January 11th, 18th February 8th (Purchase book on Amazon)

Please RSVP: office@tauntonshul.com or (508) 822-3230

Sunday Speaker Series- Sundays 9:30am-11:30am

January 23rd– Gordon Amgott: “States Rights Vs. Federal Rights over the course of our Country’s History”

Please RSVP: office@tauntonshul.com or (508) 822-3230

MOVIES AND MORE CLUB

The Movies and More Club meets monthly to discuss* the meanings of a variety of Jewish-themed movies and television series. We’ll also learn about notable Jewish actors, directors, and screenwriters.

Tuesday, January 25th 6:30-7:30

January Movie: “The Pianist”, directed by Roman Polanski and starring Adrian Brody

Please RSVP to office@tauntonshul.com or (508) 822-3230

*Please watch the movie before you come to the discussion.

CHICK HELFAND’s 100th BIRTHDAY SHABBAT SERVICE

The Helfands at our Centennial Celebration.

SERVICES WILL START AT 9:45 AM THIS WEEK (12/18/2021) FOR US TO CELEBRATE CHICK HELFAND’S 100TH BIRTHDAY!

Then services go back to 9 AM for the following weeks.

Just to assure anyone who has questions, we are having live services this Shabbat and any subsequent Shabbats unless there is an announcement indicating otherwise. Looking forward to seeing you at synagogue on Saturday.

Masks are mandatory in the synagogue!

Please join us for in person services this Saturday morning at 9:45 AM or on Zoom if you are not comfortable attending in person (Zoom Link was emailed).

Please RSVP if you are attending to Mike Novick (mikenovick1 @ gmail.com) or Mija Almeida (mijaba65 @ gmail.com). There will be a sign in book when you arrive for services.

Adding Meaning to the Lights- The 6th Candle

Happy Hanukkah!

Judaism teaches us that what we do with our lives is precious.  Adding meaning to all of our actions is a holy act- whether we are praying, eating, washing our hands, or partaking in normal, everyday activities, doing them with intention lifts the seemingly mundane to the level of holiness. Simply put, Judaism asks of us to act not mindlessly but with intention. Hanukkah, or  חנוכה ​means ‘Dedication’. As we light the Hanukkah candles, let our intent be meaningful with each night. 
We dedicate the 6th Candle to those who struggle with mental illness.  With nearly 20% of our country diagnosed with some form of mental illness, there are nearly 5% who struggle with severe mental illness.  In other words, nearly 50 million Americans struggle, and their families struggle as well.  Mental illness also contributes to drug addiction and suicide.
Tonight, let us offer a Mishebeirach prayer on behalf of those who suffer and struggle with mental illness:
May the One who blessed our ancestors — Who named us Israel (Yisrael), those who “struggle,” Bless and heal those among us who struggle with mental well-being. May they acknowledge their own strength and resilience in persevering, May they treat themselves with forgiveness and patience, May they find others who share their experiences, so they know they are not alone, May they find help, compassion and resources when they are able to reach out for them, May they find others willing to reach out first when they cannot, And may they find inclusive and welcoming communities that will uplift and celebrate them. May the Holy One grant us the strength and resilience to support our loved ones, May we find the patience and forgiveness we need for ourselves and others, May we find solidarity and support from other caregivers, May we find the capacity to listen without judgment and with the intention to help when asked, May we find the ability to notice when others are struggling and reach out to them first, And may we create communities that accept, uplift and celebrate those among us who are struggling.
AMEN.

Adding Meaning to the Lights: The 5th Candle

Happy Hanukkah!

Judaism teaches us that what we do with our lives is precious.  Adding meaning to all of our actions is a holy act- whether we are praying, eating, washing our hands, or partaking in normal, everyday activities, doing them with intention lifts the seemingly mundane to the level of holiness. Simply put, Judaism asks of us to act not mindlessly but with intention. Hanukkah, or  חנוכה ​means ‘Dedication’. As we light the Hanukkah candles, let our intent be meaningful with each night. 

Let us dedicate the 5th Candle to Acts of Compassion (Rachamim).  Rachamim also shares the same route verb as womb, or brotherhood.  Maimonides declared that “arrogant, cruel, misanthropic, and unloving persons were to be suspected of not being true Jews” (Yad, Issurei Bi’ah, 19:17). The Torah teaches us that G-d’s compassion is a reflection of our ability to show compassion to others. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Learn to do well; seek justice; relieve the oppressed; judge the fatherless; plead for the widow.”

May this 5th Candle of Hanukkah serve as a light of compassion for others.  Below is a prayer by Trisha Arlin:

Barukh Atah Adonai
Blessed One-ness, Blessed Connection,
Kadosh Barukh Hu:
We pray for all who are in pain
And all who cause pain.

We pray for those of us 
Who are so angry
That we have lost compassion for the suffering
Of anyone who is not a member of our group.
And we pray for those of us
Who cannot see the suffering
behind the loss of that compassion.

We pray for the strength
To resist the urge to inhumanity
That we feel in times of fear and mourning.
We pray for the courage
To resist the calls to inhumanity
That others may make upon us in times of crisis.

Barukh Atah Adonai
Blessed One-ness, Blessed Connection,
Kadosh Barukh Hu:
May we find relief from our hurts and fears.
And may we not, in our pain,
Lose our empathy
For the hurts and fears of others.
We pray for all who are in pain
And all who cause pain.

Amen

Adding Meaning to the lights- The 4th Candle

Let us dedicate the 4th Candle to upholding Human Rights:

In the Hanukkah story, the Maccabees fought for liberty, for the right to practice their religion, for the dignity of human freedom. Who are the Maccabees who stand for human rights in our world today?

Nelson Mandela is a Maccabee for helping South Africa emerge from a history of apartheid. He ensured that his society would be ruled by forgiveness and reconciliation, not by vengeance over the past.

The Dalai Lama is a Maccabee for representing peaceful resistance to the Chinese occupation of his native Tibet and has become a peace emissary to the world.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Maccabee by helping this country face its racism and showed us a path to a better America.