From Rabbi Lieberman

  • “Take me out to the ballgame…”

    Posted ‍‍ו שבט ה תשעח - January 22, 2018 By in Rabbi's Thoughts With | Comments Off

    boston_getty_ezra_shaw_staffHow do we know that God is a fan of baseball? Because the Torah clearly states that the world was created “In the Big Inning!”

    If you, too, are a fan of baseball, especially of the variety practiced by the Boston Red Sox, have we got news for you!! Thanks to the generosity of our members Lawrence Silverman & Stella Citrano, we will be raffling off two pairs of Red Sox tickets: one pair for Opening Day (Thursday, April 5, 2:00 PM, against Tampa) and one pair for Patriots Day (Monday April 15, 11:00 AM, against Baltimore.)

    Stella has had these seats since 1978 (even before she knew Larry.) They are located in Section 23 of the Grandstand, Row 2, Seats 7 & 8, under cover and under netting. (You can go on the Fenway Park website to see exactly where they are situated.)

    Here’s how our raffle will work. (All proceeds will benefit FJC’s General Fund.)

    • Raffle tickets are $10.00 apiece / 3 for $25.00 Checks should be made payable to “Falmouth Jewish Congregation” with the notation “Red Sox ticket raffle”. Two winning tickets will be drawn; each winner will receive two tickets for either the 4/5 or the 4/15 game.

    • You will not receive a physical lottery ticket, but you will be assigned a ticket number (or numbers if you purchase multiple tickets.) We will retain the physical ticket for your number(s). We will keep accurate and meticulous records, matching raffle tickets with purchasers so please be sure to supply us with contact information (e-mail and/or phone number.)

    • On March 1st (Purim, which means “lots”, as in “lottery”!) we will place all raffle tickets in a vessel and have a public and recorded drawing of the winning tickets for each pair of Red Sox tickets. Winners will be notified by e-mail or phone.

    PLEASE NOTE:  There is a condition attached to these tickets.  People must use them themselves or give them to someone they know that they trust.  They may not be sold (on eBay, Craigslist, etc.)

    We extremely grateful to Stella and Larry for their thoughtfulness and generosity! So don’t delay, purchase your raffle tickets now, tell your friends and start day-dreaming about Fenway in April…..Play (raffle) ball!

    Reb Elias

  • Dreaming Dr. King’s Dream

    Posted ‍‍א טבת ה תשעח - December 19, 2017 By in Rabbi's Thoughts With | Comments Off

    MLKOn Monday, January 15, No Place For Hate – Falmouth will host its annual breakfast commemorating the birth, and the legacy, of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We will, at that time, honor Scoba Rhodes with the Civic Leadership Award for his decades of committed service to our community in pursuit of social justice.

    By way of preparing myself for Dr. King’s birthday but, more so, to help myself find messages of consolation and inspiration as I enter a new year that promises to be every bit as challenging as the one now past, I turned to words of Dr. King:

    I found these statements, drawn from the collection Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches, to be necessary reminders as I contemplate the work with which I must engage in 2018:

    “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

    …………………

    “It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.”

    ………………….

    “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

    ……………………

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

    …………………..

    I am confident that Dr. King knew that Talmudic dictum that teaches: “You are not obligated to complete the task, but neither are you permitted to ignore it.” He understood, and stated so poignantly when he declared in a sermon he offered on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated in Memphis, that some tasks require unflagging effort, sometimes across generations:

    “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

    It is pointless to ask, “Where are the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jrs. when we really need them?!” The truth is that each of us who cares passionately about distortions of justice in our nation and in our world–who are deeply pained by racism, anti-Semitism and misogyny, by deepening poverty, by homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia and by every other manifestation of social injustice–each of us must strive to be Dr. King.

    I have never been a believer in pronouncing resolutions for the secular new year. But, inspired by the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I resolve to manifest even greater resolve in 2018 to help bring our world incrementally closer to the one of which Dr. King dreamed and for which he lived and died.

    Reb Elias

  • Let the light of the chanukiah wax strong….

    Posted ‍‍כז חשון ה תשעח - November 16, 2017 By in Rabbi's Thoughts With | Comments Off

    hanukkah-2015-heroAs I write these swords in early November, an unusual bone-chilling, crop-freezing cold front is bearing down on New England. Combined with our recent return to Standard Time, there is no denying that we are beginning our descent into winter in earnest. And that means, of course, our annual encounter with Chanukah.

    These are, in many ways and for many reasons, dark times for our nation and for our world. We are experiencing ever-more-frequent paroxsysms of gun-violence, increasing incidents of anti-Semitism, racially-motivated hate-crimes and record-breaking numbers of murders of transgender women-of-color. Nuclear saber-rattling has awakened fears of an atomic Armageddon we thought we had long ago laid to rest. Headline-grabbing reports of sexual assaults perpetrated by rich, famous and powerful men repel us; the relentless and immoral pursuit of non-criminal immigrants offends our sense of justice; unceasing attacks on a free press cause deep concern for the future our democracy.

    So, how does my litany of anxieties relate to Chanukah?

    When we gather for each of eight nights around the chanukiah (the Chanukah menorah), I think we would do well to recall that the word chanukah means “dedication”; it commemorates the act of re-dedicating the Temple in Jerusalem when the Maccabees reclaimed it from the Greco-Syrian troops who had occupied and defiled it.

    Kindling light in the dark of winter is the perfect metaphor for the acts to which we must commit, or re-commit, ourselves if we hope to restore our nation and our democracy to something we will once again recognize. Jane Eisner, the Editor-in-Chief of the Forward, wrote a powerful and thought-provoking essay that I commend to you: How Do We Be Jewish After a Year of Trump’s America?

    Eisner writes:

    America’s most sacred institutions are at risk, and though we must never demean or disenfranchise those with whom we disagree, it is urgent that the bedrock constitutional foundations that have protected Jews and so many others for centuries be defended. Productively critiqued, yes. But fearlessly defended. [...] America turned upside down last November, and so did the American Jewish community. Our complacency about our protected role in this country, and about the civic institutions and democratic norms we have come to depend on, has been shaken to its core.

    Let the light of the Chanukiah that waxes strong over the course of eight nights, serve as a symbolic goad to rededicate ourselves to the work of addressing the grave challenges that faces us. Seek out allies in this struggle; if you have the means, give financial support to organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism or the Southern Poverty Law Center that work tirelessly in defense of civil rights and personal liberty; express yourselves forcefully and regularly to your elected officials about issues that concern you.

    We cannot afford the luxury of thinking that others will fight this battle; it is ours to win or to lose, but it is, most decidedly, ours.

    Reb Elias

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