The FJMC's Sefer Haftarah is at Congregation Beth Shalom, Northbrook, IL.

Next week it will be at North Suburban Synagogue, Highland Park, Ill.

This week's Unraveller is not yet sponsored.

This week's portion 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 the Sinai Temple, Los Angeles.

FJMC New England Region
Hebrew Word Initiative

angels, messengers

angels, messengers
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

Use this link when shopping at
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

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

Yellow Candles

Yellow Candles
FJMC Yom Hashoah Yellow Candles website
Order now, early bird discounts in effect








It's time for Build-A-Pair
The best way to teach about tefillin!

HeneniThe "Build a Pair" Program is a comprehensive and fun learning program to introduce 5th, 6th or 7th graders to the joy and mitzvah of Tefillin in Jewish life. Multiple components interplay to explore the religious significance, the construction of, and the practice of "laying" Tefillin. A comprehensive education program with videos helps the religious school teach students the meaning of Tefillin in Jewish life and practice. Students practice writing their Hebrew/Jewish names and the SHEMA (first line) to insert into pre-made wooden Tefillin boxes. Students decorate the boxes in any creative way they wish, allowing for personal expression. Students either compete or cooperate in writing a "wRAP" song to sing at a Big Event. The Big Event can be the World Wide Wrap (WWW), sponsored by the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs (FJMC), held annually on the morning of Super Bowl Sunday. The WWW program is designed to introduce and re-introduce Jewish men [and women] to the significance of "laying" Tefillin. The "Build a Pair" student program attracts the parents to see their children in their model Tefillin sing the "wRap" songs, allowing two generations (or more!) to join in the mitzvah together, and to let the students' sing their "wRAP" song for an appreciative audience.

World Wide Wrap is Sunday, February 3, 2013
The Bar Mitzvah Wrap!

November 30, 2012 / 16 Kislev, 5773
Parashat Va-yishlah
Obadiah 1:1-21(S), Hosea 11:7-12:12(A)

How can we account for different minhagim or historical customs in the choice of the Haftarah?

The selection from Prophets (Nevi'im) read as the Haftarah is not always the same in all Jewish communities as customs differ, including A=Ashkenazic custom (AF=Frankfurt am Main; AH=Chabad; AP= Poland); I=Italian custom; S=Sephardic and Mizrahi custom; Y=Yemenite custom; R=Romaniote (Byzantine, eastern Roman empire) custom; and K=Karaite custom.

For Ashkenazi Jews, the Haftarah this week for Parshat Vayishlah is either from Hosea 11:7-12:12 or alternatively for some Ashkenazi communities Obadiah 1:1–21; for Sephardi Jewry the Haftarah is Obadiah 1:1–21.

When we examine the different texts in our pews, in some there is no indication of alternative texts, while in others there is a choice listed. An online search results similarly. For the Conservative movement, the Etz Hayim lists only Obadiah, as does Torah Sparks for USCJ across the years. The Torah edited by Gunther Plaut for the URJ lists Hosea 11:7-12:12, which is also listed in the JTSA website as the Sefardi Haftarah for last week’s sedra of Vayeshev.

What we can agree upon is that when we study the Torah portion and then the Haftarah, we learn from each but the complementary juxtaposition enhances the experience of Talmud Torah.

Let’s take a look.

For those using Etz Hayim and Torah Sparks, how does the prophet Obadiah relate to our Torah portion?

Vayishlah begins when Jacob returns to a feared confrontation with his brother Esau from whom he had fled years before. Jacob plans an elaborate set of gifts and messages of reconciliation to Esau, and then he wrestles throughout the night with his fears and as the text reports with a “mysterious” assailant. Ultimately Jacob and Esau are reconciled without violence, and then go their separate ways thereafter in peace as brothers. They both expect generations thereafter to respect their shared filial ancestry. The Torah portion then concludes with an extensive genealogy of Esau as they become the land of Edom.

However a brotherly reconciliation was not to be. Speaking apparently after the destruction of Jerusalem, Obadiah preaches against Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, who take part in the sacking of the Jewish capital as military allies of Israel’s enemies. He indicts the Edomites for being deceitful and not loyal to their common ancestor. Obadiah then pronounes that the Jews would be ultimately delivered by God and would then themselves destroy the Edomites.

Since Edom became the personification of Rome, this prophecy of Obadiah could then speak to generations later suffering Roman occupation of the ultimate restoration of the Jewish state and the destruction of imperial Rome. Religiously, later Edom became a symbol for the Church and restated the hope for Jewish survival if not spiritual triumph.

"Against all nations, the day of the Lord is at hand. . . . The House of Jacob shall disposess those who dispossessed them; . . .the House of Esau shall be straw; they shall burn it and devour it and no survivor shall be left of the House of Esau."

As one teacher puts it, "Israel’s rise will be proportional to the fall of Edom." Jacob of the Torah portion continues to inspire the Jewish People for thousands of years by focusing upon ultimate survival and restoration.

On the other hand, The Ashkenazi Haftarah of Hosea 11:7-12:12 reflects a theme from the Torah reading: "He [Jacob] strove with an angel and prevailed . . . ." returning us to the text of Vayishlah just read.

Hosea preaches to the Jewish People, earlier in Jewish history or at the time of the destruction. He recalls the historic character flaws in Jacob, primarily those of deceit and misrepresentation, are resulting in Israel's disloyalty to God. Hosea lists the failures of Israel, but promises God's eternal love and divine grace.

Note that in both Haftarot, Obadiah and Hosea, there is a textual and thematic relationship to the sedra.

However, Hosea is condemning national, religious and moral failures of Israel, even though he concludes with the promise of God's forgiveness and protection. On the other hand, Obadiah, is condemning Esau's descendants in Edom for their disloyalty to "their brother Jacob" for which ultimately God will insure that Israel will survive defeat and ultimately destroy the Edomites.

If you were the editor of the Humash for your synagogue pews, would you include in the printed text (a) both choices of Ashkenazi or Sefardi Haftarah, or (b) would you only include one? Why, or why not? Which one, if only one? Why?

Which message speaks most loudly to your Jewish community today: Hosea's review of our political, moral and religious failures or Obadiah's promise of ultimate destruction of Israel’s enemies?

This week's Haftarah commentary was written by Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner. Rabbi Lerner is retired from the pulpit and is the Rav HaMakshir of Traditional Kosher Supervision, Inc. serving Greater Philadelphia. He just accepted a position as adjunct instructor for C-CAP and the Philadelphia school system for future students in culinary and hospitality professions. He has been teaching for many years for Gratz College JCHS and is now also a Branch Director. He continues to provide as a public service free downloads for the Jewish Calendar Cycle and Life Cycle materials from www.JewishFreeware.org.

Recognizing our Maasim Tovim - Doer of Good Deeds Honorees
Eric Weis - Northern New Jersey Region

There is a Hasidic saying, "When passion burns within you, remember that it was given to you for a good purpose."

Eric Weis quietly utilizes his passion to focus on the courage of his convictions and his passions, which makes us fortunate to have him as a member of Shomrei Torah and the Northern New Jersey Region of the FJMC.

In 1981, Eric and his wife Fern came to Wayne New Jersey from Clifton, New Jersey. They joined Shomrei Torah, since the Rabbi, Jeffrey Segelman, was a personal friend. Following in the footsteps of his father and father-in-law, he immersed himself in our congregation. Eric began by joining its Men's Club, becoming its Treasurer, managing the building, re-engineering the basement, re-designing the sukkah, co-chairing the capital campaign and serving on the executive board as a Trustee and Vice President. In 2009, Eric created the "Sushi and Sake in the Shomrei Sukkah" program which is now in its third year; he lists Sukkot as the holiday he loves most.

To continue reading this article, click here.

New Publications

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

This special mailing from the FJMC is beeing sent to you and the other subscribers of the FJMC's Unraveller as a special promotion. To unsubscribe, simply send an e-mail from the address you wish to unsubscribe, to this address: end-Unraveller@fjmc-consultants.org?subject=Unsubcribe

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! Unsubscribe here
http://twitter.com/unravellerfjmc This e-mail letter is hosted and distributed by INTERACTIVEPAGES, Toronto