This weekend the FJMC's Sefer Haftarah will be at the Congregation B'nai Israel, St. Petersburg, FL.
Next week it will be at Congregation Beth Sholom, Sarasota, FL.

This week's Unraveller is sponsored by the Midwest Region in honor of the region's Men of the Year 2013.

The regular portion for Tetzaveh in the FJMC Sefer Haftarah scroll, the travelling haftarah scroll that visits a different synagogue each week and contains all of the haftarot, was sponsored by Temple Beth Sholom, Cherry Hill, NJ.

FJMC New England Region
Hebrew Word Initiative


Each week, a set of 5 words are chosen by volunteers from the parsha ha'shavoa.

Did you know that the FJMC offers individual Haftarah parshiyot suitable for framing? Click here for the PDF

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Editorial Board
Rabbi Wayne Allen
Rabbi Leonard S. Berkowitz
Rabbi Paul Drazen
Dr Rela Mintz Geffen
Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi
Rabbi Stephan Parnes

Newsletter Chairmen
David Goldis
Bob Watts

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Registration now open!

Conservative/Masorti Men at the Crossroads: Responding to a Changing World
July 24-28, 2013. Boston, Massachusetts.


Don't forget to include the International Kiddush Club when you register for the FJMC Convention
It's only $41.14 to join and the money raised goes to the FJMC Tefillin Fund, which has raised over $25,000.
Membership is for 2 years, from convention to convention and includes exclusive limited edition gift items along with attendance at the Kiddush Club Oneg Shabbat on Friday night, July 26, 2013.
IKC Shirts are available, contact the IKC for details. 1@kiddushclub.org
New styles available!




February 22, 2013

Parashat Tetzaveh
Shabbat Zachor
1 Samuel 15:1-34

This haftarah is the second of the four special haftarot that precede Pesach. In order to understand this haftarah we have to begin with a discussion of the Amalekites. The Amalekites first appear in Exodus chapter 17. The Israelites had just crossed the Sea of Reeds and Pharaoh's army had been destroyed in the rushing waters. There we are told, "Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim." (Exodus 17:8). Finally, after a fierce battle the Israelites prevail, and God says to Moses, "Inscribe this in a document as a reminder and read it aloud to Joshua: I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heaven". (Exodus 17:14)

What is so problematic about Amalek that God should respond this way? No other enemy is given the same kind of reaction, not even the Egyptians! Only later on in Deuteronomy do we find out the reason. "Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt - how, undeterred by fear of God he surprised you on the march, when you were famished and weary, and cut down all the stragglers at your rear...you shall blot out the name of Amalek. Do not forget!" (Deuteronomy 25:17-18,20). It is this last passage which is read this Shabbat for the maftir portion, and it gives us the name of this week's special haftarah, Zachor (Remember). We are commanded this week, the Shabbat immediately preceding Purim, to especially remember the Amalekites and their war against our ancestors.

What is so special about this week that we should want to "remember" the Amalekites? The reason for this has to do with the connection between the maftir portion, the haftarah and the Scroll of Esther. Amalek was introduced to us in the Torah passages cited above. The haftarah relates how the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites continued throughout the ages. The text is from I Samuel 15 and tells of the battle between the first Israelite King, Saul, and the Amalekite King, Agag. King Saul is commanded by God to utterly destroy the Amalikites and all of their property. Yet after defeating them, Saul keeps Agag alive, and does not destroy the sheep and other useful animals. As punishment for disobeying God's command to utterly destroy the Amelikites, the kingship is taken by the prophet Samuel from Saul and will (later) be given to David.

Historically our teachers have used the metaphor of Haman to serve as the incarnation of our ultimate enemy and the Jewish people as his intended victiom. I would suggest we would be better served if we concentrated more on the reasons for Saul's failure. Saul, like most of us, had tragic flaws. His failure to deliver was reflection of his inability to think things through. He took the easy road made himself popular by distributing the wealth of the Agagites to his troops and lost his kingship. Saturday night we will read the Scroll of Esther, which tells of the ongoing battle between the wicked Haman and the righteous Mordecai. In a very subtle way, that text reminds us that this is a continuation of our maftir and haftarah. Mordecai is described as a member of the tribe of Benjamin, descended from a man named Kish. Who is Kish? He is none other than the father of King Saul! Hamen's ancestors are also described to us in a similarly subtle way. Though not identified as an Amalikite, he is called Ha-Agagi, that is from the family of Agag, the same Agag who was King of the Amalekites! Thus the enmity, which began in the maftir, and continued in the haftarah, finds its conclusion in the meggilah. There are times when we must take the hard road, which doesn't always appear to be the high road in order to achieve the desired results.

Of course, the idea of totally destroying another people is problematic to Jewish morals and ethics. Over the centuries the destruction of the Amalekites came to be understood to mean the eradication of evil. When that will finally occur in this world, there will be reason to celebrate. How appropriate it is that our celebration of Purim is seen as a taste of what a world without evil will be like.

This week's Haftarah commentary was written by
Rabbi Steve Kane, Congregation Sons of Israel, Briarcliff Manor, NY

Recognizing our Maasim Tovim
Doer of Good Deeds Honorees

Mark Druy
New England Region

Mark Druy grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mark settled in the Boston area in 1981 after earning an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Brown University and a doctorate degree in Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Mark and his wife Johanna were married in 1984 and live in Arlington, MA. Their oldest daughter, Shaina is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a Bachelors of Science in Finance and their youngest, Naomi, is a junior at the University of Vermont majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Johanna is a self-employed management consultant and is the author of several books on the staffing and management of high technology product development organizations. Mark is a business and product development manager for an analytical instrumentation company in Andover. In their spare time, Mark & Johanna are avid ballroom dancers. Mark is also an accomplished downhill skier and bicyclist. In particular, he enjoys riding his bike for numerous charities including Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters and the New England Region Tour de Shuls ride (of which he is a co-chair) to support the Tikvah program at Camp Ramah of New England.

Mark is a past president, treasurer, and recording secretary of the Temple Emunah Brotherhood and currently serves as the President of Temple Emunah, Lexington, MA. Prior to his term as President, Mark was the Vice President of Programming and Executive Vice President of Temple Emunah. He is currently the co-chair of the 2013 FJMC Convention, a member of the FJMC Executive Committee, and the Honorary President of the New England Region, in which he has previously held Treasurer and Vice Presidential responsibilities.  

To continue reading this article, click here.
Last week we inadvertently had Evan Rumack's name on Mark's photo and bio. Sorry for the error!




Leadership - Innovation - Community

The FJMC Yellow Candle™
The Yellow Candle™ was created in 1981 by FJMC clubs in Canada, New England and elsewhere to keep alive the memory of the Six Million who perished in the Shoah. The Candle is modeled after a traditional Jewish memorial Yahrzeit candle that burns for 24 hours during periods of mourning and on the Yahrzeit anniversary of a family member. The candle's yellow wax serves to remind us of the yellow arm band which Jews were forced to wear during the Nazi regime. A photo on the candle container shows young people visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. This reflects the importance of teaching our youth the lessons of the Holocaust and of remembering the Six Million.
  • Direct Mail Shipment Order Deadline is February 21, 2013.
  • The Last day for Bulk Shipment Orders is March 6, 2013.
  • Sunday April 7, 2013 is Erev Yom Hashoah - light candles after sundown.
  • Monday April 8, 2013 Yom Hashoah is observed.
Place Your Order Now Call (800) 391-7293 (after 9am MST)
or Fax Orders to (602) 368-6357
or on the Web at http://fjmc.org/catalog/8
or yelcandle@cox.net

New Publications
Intermarriage: Concepts & Strategies for Families and Synagogue Leaders
If family members and community leaders wish to become engaged in the process of Keruv they often need to ask, "Does Keruv have an ideology and theology? And if so what is it?" Then they need to learn how to respond to intermarriage from the perspective of both gender and religion. This publication reflects the most current thinking about intermarriage to date and attempts to provide family members and community leaders with the needed understanding to effectively work with intermarrieds or potential intermarrieds.
You can purchase it a number of ways: Understanding the Haftarot:
An Everyperson's Guide

In this stimulating and unusual book Rabbi Charles Simon, Executive Director of FJMC, provides the reader with the context to understand how the haftarot were organized, why they might have been selected and suggests reasons for finding meaning and value.
You can purchase it a number of ways.

Yad Shel Chai
The Yad Shel Chai program was created by an FJMC club in Jacksonville, FL. The program is designed to provide an incentive for Torah readers to get a personalized Yad with their Hebrew name. Help create a synagogue culture where young people or your Men's Club members who regularly read Torah at Shabbat and minyan services can be recognized for their accomplishments. The program encourages Torah Study, helps increase the number of Torah readers, and provides significant long term benefits to the participant and congregation for minimal cost.

The beautiful silver-plated "fjmc" baubles to create a connection to your club. The silver plated beaded Yad can be personalized with the reader's name. It is 22.5cm long (8 7/8")

The original program envisions that when a student approaches 18 readings, the organizers order a Yad via the order form on the Yad Shel Chai page. The cost is $85 per Yad, plus $15 shipping and handling (regardless of how many you order). If you have any questions, please email YadShelChai@fjmc.org.

Help the Unraveller begin our 4th year!
Sponsor the Unraveller now!
Contact FJMC Sponsorship Chairman Tom Sudow
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LEADERSHIP                              -                              INNOVATION                              -                              COMMUNITY
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