Rabbi Howard Finkelstein
Chazan Yair Subar
President Howard Nadler ~~~~~~~~~~~ Parashat Pinchas
Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat: 7:00 pm
Candle Lighting: 8:30 pm
Shabbat Ends: 9:37 pm
Sefer Torah Sponsor: Marion Silver & Alan Brass, Vera Kadar,
Candice & Stan Wilder
From the Rabbi’s Desk – Parashat Pinchas:
Having just returned from St. Louis visiting our son and daughter-in-law, a few observations come to mind having visited numerous synagogues in different states along the way down south and back. The orthodox community is thriving in these centres. One highlight was receiving an aliyah at the Skokie Yeshiva. The gabbai was our own Edward Sandler, Aaron’s son, who has served faithfully as a gabbai in our own congregation for a number of years.
What stood out most poignantly was that as a visitor to these synagogues, some of the local attendees made it their business to welcome me and Rivka to their community. As a stranger, it is very comforting to have somebody make an overture of welcome. At the same time, it is very disconcerting when as a visitor to a shul, one is ignored or avoided. On the other hand, davening in a makeshift minyan where nobody knew each other as occurred in an unnamed community can equally be uncomfortable. The rule of thumb in this particular minyan was that no one was to introduce himself to anyone else sitting there. Therefore, there was no talking and hopefully a lot more davening.
All that I have written above comes to mind as we read the listing of families belonging to each tribe. Each family is prominently mentioned, though we may know little about each one. The fact remains that each family is not simply a number, but a name, an identity. For people who come to shul either as visitors or as regulars, they share a common value, they share a name. The stranger who visits a shul should be welcomed and made to feel at home in this new environment. The regular attendee equally has to be respected as such, and his or her attendance should not be taken for granted.
Normally, when a person is given an aliyah, he is called by his name. Years ago, I attended a shul where those who were honoured were not called by name, but by Kohen, Levi, Shlishi, Revii, etc. The congregational setting was impersonal, cold and without feeling. Part of the environment of the shul service should be warm and welcoming. Many do take the initiative in our shul in welcoming new faces, and we are indeed blessed with that approach which will continue to enhance our congregation’s status in our eyes and in the eyes of others.
ONGOING CLASSES OFFERED BY RABBI FINKELSTEIN:Everyone is welcome at no charge.
GEMARA: Wednesday evenings after Ma’ariv. Please check calendar in case of shifting.
SHABBAT CLASSES: Parsha and Halacha class between Mincha and Ma’ariv.
Donations: * General Donations: $18
* Siddurim: Koren/Artscroll $50
* Koren Talmud Bavli: $100
* Wall of Honour/brick: $118