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Mt Sinai
Congregation

Yom Chamishi, 9 Shevat 5775

 

                      MT SINAI CONGREGATION

                                                                                  910 W. Randolph Street ∙ Wausau, WI 54401

February 2015

RABBI’S REFLECTIONS

E. Daniel Danson

 These are challenging times, not only in the American Jewish community, but in the country at large. Defacto, our economic pie has shrunk and things are always tense whenever there is less to go around. The challenge to Jewish community leaders is to not hide from the bad news before us, even as we look to build a promising Jewish future. A key to this is to speak to our community in open, honest, terms and to put the needs of the community ahead of our own fears and interests. The Torah, which is so often a “how to” leadership manual, has much to say on this.

 

 The story of the twelve spies in the book of Bemidbar (Numbers 13) is about the role of faith in our lives, but when read closely it is also a textbook example of destructive communication on the part of community leaders. The spies are charged by Moses, with reporting on the details of how many people there are, how well the cities are fortified, and the condition of the land. But while their report attends to these, the ten spies who report negatively, go well beyond this. They add that it is a country “that devours its settlers.” And they also add what is essentially a psychological remark, “all the people are of great size” and “we looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and so we must have looked to them.” (Nums. 13:32 & 33)

 

 One of responsibilities of a leader is to stay on task, especially when shepherding a community through difficult times. The Israelites are still traumatized from generations of slavery. Sforno notes that this description strikes fear into the people, which prompts one to ask, why would these leaders want to undermine the conquest of the land?

 

 The rabbis answer this in many ways. Rabbi Morris Adler argues that the 10 tribal leaders who feared invasion wanted to stick with what they knew and not risk losing the power they already had. The second century scholar, Rabbi Simeon Ben Yochai, believed that they were narrow minded and didn’t open themselves up to what they saw.

 

 Leaders also have to be careful about how they steer challenging information through a community. Moses clearly has authority over the spies and only he knows about the mission they are setting out on. Yet when they return, the ten spies who report ensemble, undermine his authority by reporting directly to the whole community of Israel, along with Moses and Aaron. Moses has no time to review the report and work with the tribal leaders on how it is to be presented. Despite Caleb’s best efforts to counter their words, the Israelites break into panic and declare, “It would be better for us to go back to Egypt!” Disaster then follows upon disaster. Everyone over twenty is condemned to die in the wilderness and the leaders try to undo their error by leading the people into battle, but to no avail. Without God’s support they are doomed to lose.

 

 There is no shortage of negative things for American Jewish leaders to report on, whether it’s falling revenue, declining membership, or just a general malaise. But we are also an endlessly creative community and there is still great energy and interest in things Jewish among all our generations. It is important that we speak honestly with each other about the challenges ahead, but we also need to forge ahead with new possibilities, however difficult. The language we chose as leaders, and in an open society we are all leaders, is critical. Bemidbar teaches us that how we communicate can be the difference between forging ahead to the Promised Land or being condemned to being lost in the wilderness.

 

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FEBRUARY SERVICE SCHEDULE

Friday, February 6                 No Service                                       - - - - - -

Friday, February 13                 Kabbalat Shabbat Service                  6:00pm

Saturday, February 14             Stevens Point Family Shabbat            10:30am

Friday, February 20               No Service                                        - - - - - - -               

Friday, February 27                 Shabbat Service                                  7:30pm

Friday, February 13                 Kabbalat Shabbat Service                  6:00pm

Saturday, February 14             Stevens Point Family Shabbat            10:30am

Friday, February 20               No Service                                        - - - - - - -               

Friday, February 27                 Shabbat Service                                  7:30pm

 

 KABBALAT SHABBAT SERVICE

On Friday, Feb. 13, starting at 6:00pm,

Mt. Sinai will be having a Kabbalat Shabbat get together on Friday, February 13th. This is a wonderful opportunity for members to get to know one another in a fun and informal setting. There will be a short Shabbat service beginning at 6:00pm followed by dinner at your choice of Sawadee Thai Restaurant or Olive Garden.  The only cost is for the dinner.  Any questions, please contact Marsha Stella or Barb Rothweiler.

 

 

 STEVENS POINT FAMILY SHABBAT

A Family Shabbat & Potluck Brunch will be held on Saturday, February 14, at 10:30 am, at the home of Sumeet and Kathryn Goel, Plover.  All ages are welcome! Please bring a dish to pass.

 

 

  

 

Lunch Bunch:Wed, Feb. 11, at 12:00 pm

Book Club: Wed, Feb. 11, at 1:00pm

Mah Jongg:Wed, Feb. 18, at 7:00 pm



PURIM CARNIVAL & LUNCHEON

Sunday, March 8

10:00 am to 12:30 pm

MEGILLAH READING!  GAMES!  FOOD!  COSTUMES!

LOTS OF FUN SURPRISES!

$6/ADULTS     $4/CHILDREN

 

Come in costume! Lots of Prizes!!

 


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TORAH PORTIONS / February

2/7             Yitro                      Ex. 18:1 - 20:23

2/14           Mishpatim             Ex. 21:1 - 24:18

2/21           Terumah                Ex. 25:1 - 27:19

2/28           Tetzaveh               Ex. 27:20 - 30:10

     

 

Mt. Sinai Receives Chai Minded Gift

We are very fortunate that Mt Sinai has been chosen as a recipient of a generous anonymous donation in the amount of $10,368 from an organization called Chai Minded, which provides tzedakah to synagogues.  Please take a moment to go on their website, chaiminded.org, to post a message of thanks!

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Would you like to sponsor the Mt Sinai newsletter in memory of a loved one, in honor of an accomplishment, or in honor of any lifecycle event? Please call Kellie at the office (715-675-2560) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

 



Our Condolences:

To Julie Kobin and her family on the death of Julie’s mother, Deborah Morrison-Henderson who passed away in December.

 

 

 

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RELIGIOUS SCHOOL NEWS

2/1       14th Session 

2/8       15th Session (P/K)

                   (2/6-2/8 5-6 Grade Retreat at OSRUI)           

                       No Confirmation Class

2/17     16th Session

2/22     17th Session (P/K)

 

 

TODAH RABBAH (many thanks)

Y To Jenny and Larry Gordon, and Ray and Julie Goga, for hosting the Oneg on Jan. 2.

Y To Steve Levine and Patty Caro, for hosting the Stevens Point Shabbat on Jan. 9.

Y To Aaron and Camille Kadoch, for hosting the Stevens Point Family Shabbat on Jan. 16.

YTo Rabbi Dan Danson and Julie Luks, for hosting the Kiddish on Jan. 17.

YTo Rev. Joel Hoelter, for donating a 29 volume English set of the Babylonian Talmud.

Y To the follow people who helped at the Community Dinner on December 28: Janet Cohodas, Mitch and Jessie Musicant, Sylvia Rothweiler and the East Key Club, Barb and Emma Rothweiler, Julie Luks, Leah Danson, Rabbi Dan, Lisa Stella, Marsha Stella, Mike Kolasinski, Shanny, Kim, Ellie and Simon Luft, Andy Jacobs and Linda Glazner.

 

REFUAH SHLEMAH (Speedy Recovery)

To: Gail Skelton, who is recovering from pneumonia.


DONATIONS

GENERAL FUND

Bill and Barbara Schweisheimer

RABBI’S DISCRETIONARY FUND

Mitch and Jessie Musicant, in memory of Mitch’s mom, Libby Musicant.

MUSIC FUND

Douglas Hosler, in honor of Bellamy Hamilton who was dedicated to music.

 CANTORIAL FUND

Lawrence and Pamela Leviton

 

 

 

 

MT. SINAI SISTERHOOD

 

Sisterhood Upcoming Events:

 

February:

Mah Jongg Wed, Feb 18th

at 7pm

 

On March 25th, the Sisterhood will be planning a Noodles Synagogue fundraiser.

Details to come!!

 

The Sisterhood has started collecting purses, wallets, scarves, hats and costume jewelry for our 1st Annual Hags with Bags Bizarre this Summer! Contact Joyce Louis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), Janet Cohodas (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )  or Livia Luce (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) regarding your donations.

 


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Mt Sinai Congregational

 PASSOVER SEDER

           Saturday, April 4, 2015, at 6:00 pm

Please RSVP by March 27th!

                                Y Come celebrate the Seder with family and friends

                           YJoin in the retelling of our story of liberation

                           Y Share in songs, symbols, and stories

                           Y Babysitting provided (starting at 5:45 pm)

 

 

  NAME:_________________________________   EMAIL: __________________________________

Please select:                                      

____# of Vegetarian meals                  ____ #Adults @ $25                          $_____________

____# of Chicken meals                      ____#Children (3-10) @ $15              $_____________

____# of Fish meals                            ____#Children (2 & under / Free)

               £ I cannot afford the full amount. Enclosed is my check for:        $_____________

                                   No one will be turned away for inability to pay.

 

               £ My contribution to help sponsor a fellow congregant:              $_____________

                                  Unused contributions will go to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund.

 

                                                                                                     Total Enclosed:    $_____________

    Babysitter Needed?  Y   N   /  # of children ______  Ages: __________________________________

    I/ We can help with:  ___Set Up       ___ Clean Up         ___ Serving          ___ Bringing a dessert

 

Questions? Contact Erica Esser at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or call the synagogue office at 715-675-2560 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please make check payable to Mt Sinai Congregation and mail this form, with payment, to:

Mt Sinai Congregation ∙ 910 W Randolph St ∙ Wausau, WI 54401


 

 

 

 

PURIM!!!      See page 2 and the Insert

 

       

FEBRUARY 2015                     SHEVAT / ADAR 5775

 

Contact Information:      www.mtsinaiwisconsin.org

Office:  715-675-2560    Rabbi E. Daniel Danson, ext. 12    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

         Secretary Kellie Messman, ext. 11    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

Office Hours: Tues, Wed, & Fri    9am to 2pm