unraveller
http://bethelsnj.org/
This weekend the FJMC's Sefer Haftarah will be at the Congregation Beth El, Voorhees, NJ.
Next week it will be at Adath Israel, Merion, PA.

This week's Unraveller is not yet sponsored.


The special haftarah portion for Chol Ha-Moed Pesach 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 Israel, White Plains, NY.


The FJMC New England Region Hebrew Word Initiative is on a Pesach break this week.

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


Use this link when shopping at
Amazon.com
All purchases via our Amazon links provide critical support to the FJMC, at no additional cost to you!

Visit the FJMC website for upcoming events!
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


Interested in other Masorti weekly newsletters and commentaries? Click here

Comments?
Looking for an Unraveller?
Sign up here for free home delivery!
Click here to unsubscribe.

 


 

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!

 


SOLD
OUT!


fjmc
 

March 29, 2013

Haftarah Shabbat Chol Ha-Moed Passover

Ezekiel 37:1-14

It has been six months since Hurricane Sandyís waters have abated and mass transportation in the New York Metropolitan area has yet to be fully restored. Trees still sit on top of cars and homes, businesses and beaches will never be the same. People are still homeless and for many of them recovery, full recovery, might never occur.

The haftarah which was selected to be chanted on the Sabbath of the intermediate days (chol ha-moed) makes me think about those who lived through this destruction and might never recoup. The waters have devastated their homes. The land has caste them out.

If we were living during Ezekielís lifetime we would have asked why? If we had been living after the expulsion from Spain, Portugal, Holland, England, France and Germany we would have asked why? What did we do that merited this punishment?

Imagine how todayís victims ( modern exiles) and those exiled to Babylon must have felt being uprooted and forcibly transported to another country or forced to live in a public shelters until suitable accommodations can be found. It must have been and continues to be traumatic.

The destruction perpetrated by the Babylonians had far reaching effect. In addition to dismantling the Temple they cut down fruit trees, destroyed roads, fields, and granaries especially in the Negev and Jordan Valley resulting in long term devastation. It must have inflicted long term psychic damage on the morale of the people trying to survive. For the survivors living in Israel in the post destruction period, all that remained was a wasteland that stretched between the empires of Egypt and Babylon.

The prophets explained national agricultural disasters were a result of Godís will. For Jeremiah, the land was a victim of the peopleís immoral behavior and whose injury God would avenge. For Ezekiel the land represented the body politic, the sinful body whose unjust behavior was reflected through Godís punitive actions. Even though the land was innocent it was the instrument through which God punished his people.

I recently read an essay about trauma theory written by a biblical scholar named, Brad Kelle. In his essay he indicated that it is common practice to integrate traumatic experiences into a larger context in order to reconcile the inherent tensions. Ezekiel was one of the thousands of people exiled from Israel to Babylon in 597 B.C.E., that is to say, thirteen years before the Temple was destroyed. The experience must have been traumatic and further compounded thirteen years later when he learned of the Templeís destruction.

This morningís haftarah was directed to the exiles in Babylon and strove to explain Babylonian actions against Judah. Ezekiel offered a way to explain the trauma of destruction and defeat. Six hundred plus years later, the second Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people and the land of Israel experienced similar acts of devastation. While this period was witness to untold carnage it also gave birth to the rise of the rabbinate. The rabbis, living in the period following the Templeís destruction (70 C.E.) and the Bar Kokba rebellion (135 C.E.) looked to our ancient texts to find a reason for this destruction. They looked to Jeremiah and they looked to Ezekiel and they found hope.

While today, many of us might reject their response to national disaster as a punishment for immoral behavior and instead justify the landís abuse as a result of our own insensitivity, we might also choose to find a message of hope as a result of a national disaster that will reinvigorate and rebuild a people. The numbers of volunteers who came forward to re-build the devastated communities in New York and New Jersey was impressive. These men and women responded to a different call; one that motivated them to help others to rebuild their lives. If Ezekiel were alive today, one wonders if that would have been the focus of his message.

This week's Haftarah commentary was written by
Rabbi Charles Simon, Executive Director of the FJMC and author of
"Building A Successful Volunteer Culture: Finding Meaning in Service in the Jewish Community" Jewish Lights Publishing, and "Understanding the Haftarot: Everyperson's Guide."

 
ENRICH YOURSELF
HAVE YOU REGISTERED FOR THE
FJMC CONVENTION 2013?
Wealth management
Miles for Myles
At the Crossroads
Responding to a changing world

More information - http://convention.fjmc.org     -     PDF Flyer available here

 


Leadership - Innovation - Community


Help the Unraveller begin our 4th year!
Sponsor the Unraveller now!
Contact FJMC Sponsorship Chairman Tom Sudow
for details and to reserve your week!

 

New Publications
Intermarriage: Concepts & Strategies for Families and Synagogue Leaders
Provides family members and community leaders with the needed understanding to effectively work with intermarrieds or potential intermarrieds.
Understanding the Haftarot:
An Everyperson's Guide

Understand how the haftarot were organized, why they might have been selected and suggests reasons for finding meaning and value.

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. 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.


unraveller
FJMC, 475 RIVERSIDE DR, NY, NY, 10115 (212) 749-8100 Unsubscribe from the Unraveller here    |    Subscribe to the Unraveller here
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! http://twitter.com/unravellerfjmc This e-mail letter is hosted and distributed by INTERACTIVEPAGES, Toronto