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eDvar Shabbat Parah Parashat Ki Tissa 5780

eDvar Shabbat Parah Parashat Ki Tissa 5780 Shutdown for a Startup world “My uncle in Iran passed away from coronavirus” Ramtin wrote yesterday. “He was gentle and kind.  He’d been battling cancer for several years.  His family had to stand one hundred meters away and watch him be buried by men in hazmat gear.  My aunt is now sick.  Please take this virus seriously.” Today’s un-chartered waters require us to unlearn lessons.  Lessons like ‘Don’t become addicted to technology’.  Lessons like ’90% of life is about showing up.’  It’s time to shut down our startup world. The term which describes a life-saving obligation is pikuach nefesh.  It literally connotes an ‘eye-opening prioritization of survival’.  The word ‘pikuach’ can relate to one of the earliest blessings we pray each morning after waking up. We thank God for ‘opening our eyes’ (pokaiach ivrim).  A few weeks ago, our portion of Torah taught of how bribery can blind a person’s eyes. “Bribery blinds the clear-sighted and twists the words of the just” (Ex. 23:8).   It urges us, ‘Don’t be derailed by greed.  Rather see need and do what is the right thing to do'. Curiously, the verse’s wording ‘y’aver p’kichim’ reverses precisely the sequence of the words in our early morning blessing. Again, a reversal. The reversals required by life-threatening risk can be jarring.  Beyond unpleasant, they too can become harmful.  Isolation too can be lethal.  Higher risk has been highlighted for those over 50.  Also, let us also not forget that despair-related deaths among those under 50 - including those due to suicide, overdose, and liver problems - have become so prevalent, that for three consecutive years America has seen a decline in life-expectancy even though people are living longer.

March 13th, 2020|Categories: edvar|

Covid-19 Update

This Shabbat, March 13-14, we are asking you to enjoy Shabbat at home and not to come to Shul. The infectiousness of COVID-19 presents a circumstance of Pikuach Nefesh (life-threatening risk) and we need to respond accordingly. KI will introduce live-streaming which we invite you to access. A sufficient core is already in place to lead the service. We will be streaming both KICKS' Kabbalat Service starting at 6:15PM, Friday, March 13th, 2020 as well as KI's Shabbat Service starting at 8:45AM, Saturday, March 14th, 2020. Please use the following link for both: https://zoom.us/j/727686782. If you are not using your computer's audio, you can dial in for both at (646) 558 8656 and enter in the Meeting ID: 727 686 782. Here is information on how to use Zoom: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

March 13th, 2020|Categories: Featured, news|Tags: |

News from KI: March 11, 2020 | 15 Adar 5780

Regular Daily Minyan Shacharit Monday - Friday: 7:00 am in the Chapel Sunday: 8:00 am in the Chapel Mincha/Ma'ariv Sunday - Thursday: 7:00 pm in the ChapelKabbalat Shabbat - Friday, March 13 Candle lighting: 6:31 pm Mincha/KI Community Kabbalat Shabbat (KICKS)/Ma'ariv: ***6:15 pm*** in the Chapel Shabbat - Saturday, March 14 Shacharit: 8:45 am in the Sanctuary Mincha: 6:16 pm in the Chapel, followed by Seudah Shleshit Ma’ariv: 7:16 pm in the Chapel, followed by Havdalah: 7:31 pm Youth services Nitzanim (ages 0-4): 10:45 am, in G-7 Mini Minyan (ages 5-7): 10:30 am, in G-11 Minyan Atid (ages 8-12): 10:30 am, in M-8 A Sensory Calming Room: 9:00 am in M-8 B Click here for more information, to join the Host Committee, purchase tickets or ads, and submit your ad information! As part of our ongoing efforts to make our campus community safer, more secure, and more welcoming, the 384 Campus Shomrim team will be operating on Shabbat morning, March 14.  Community members and guests can expect to be greeted outside the building by trained and equipped volunteers prior to entering our facility.  If you have any questions or are interested in joining the team, please contact Jonathan Slutzman. Upcoming KI Events Starting Tonight! Save the Date! March 20-21 April 3 Catered Shabbat Dinner Join us for a delicious Shabbat dinner on 3 April following KICKS services at 6:15pm! Dinner will begin around 7:45pm. It will be a catered meal (meat with vegetarian options). Please register by 12 noon on Tuesday, 31 March! The price for adults is $18, $12 per child (ages 5 and older). You may either pay online at https://congki.shulcloud.com/payment.php (with "KICKS 4/3 dinner" in the "Notes" section) or send a check made out to "Congregation Kehillath Israel" (with "KICKS 4/3 dinner" in the memo line) to 384 Harvard St., Brookline, MA, 02446. We look forward to sharing Shabbat with you! SIGN UP HERE! Advanced Talmud: Afterlife Views in Modern

March 12th, 2020|Categories: Weekly News|

eDvar Shabbat Zachor Parashat Tetzaveh 5780

Spiritually handsome in moments of uncertainty Uncertainty. How do we greet uncertain times? For some, uncertainty evokes humility. For others, it generates anxiety. And yet others elect to exploit it. You can tell a lot about a person by how she or he responds to uncertainty. As the coronavirus spreads, with more than 100,000 confirmed cases in over 80 countries, several things remain uncertain. Are our precautions sufficient? Do our bodies build immunity or can the infection recur? Why have young children seemed less susceptible? Knowing less feels unnerving. As capable people discover and design effective treatments, what beyond engaging in self-care can the rest of us do? Pivot toward spiritual and moral handsomeness. In this week’s portion of Torah the garments of our holiest leaders are described. Atop the forehead of the High Priest something called the tzitz was carefully positioned (Ex. 28:36). Its inscription “Holy to God” was worn to radiate a particular kind of goodness that is dear to God. In our times, garments are adorned with tzitzit to advance the very same aim. Like when we behold beauty, we are able to sense handsome conduct. It nourishes growth, deepens joy, solaces grief, stirs hope, activates accountability, awakens empathy, and makes goodness glow. An inspiring example of a spiritually handsome response to loss blossoms (tzitz also means blossom) around the works and ways of the Shaer family whose precious son Gil-ad was among three youths kidnapped and killed in Israel in the Summer of 2014. Our community is proud to have a share in expanding the scope of a Purim-based custom of sharing sweetness with neighbors this coming week. As human contact is regimented to contain an infectiousness virus, today’s unique moment of uncertainty

March 6th, 2020|Categories: edvar|

President’s Letter ~ March 2020/Adar 5780

This letter is one of a series of monthly notes written to the KI community on congregational topics that pique my interest. Previous ones by me and my predecessor, David Williams, can be read here: President's letters page. Please let me know what you think and/or what topics interest you by emailing me at president@congki.org.     "Schussing" For those who don’t know me too well, I grew up skiing. In the world of ski accomodations nothing ranks higher than “Ski-in Ski-out,” the ability to seamlessly move from your home to the slopes and vice versa. Up until now, nothing has been comparable in the world of synagogues. Up until now... 2Life Communities (formerly known as Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly) is constructing 62 units of affordable, one- and two- bedroom apartments adjacent to the KI Sanctuary with a direct internal bridge between the two buildings. To the best of my knowledge it will be the first truly “Pray-in Pray-out” development in the country and will expand KI’s Campus vision of partnership in an exciting new direction. Interested for your grandparents, parents, or for yourself? Applications are now available and must be submitted by May 1st, 2020 by 5:00 PM to be entered in a lottery to be held on May 21st, 2020. Occupancy is expected to start this September. Don’t delay. “You have to be in it to win it!” Click here to learn more about the application process: 2Life Application Information. Let’s flood the zone with our KI community! Speaking of zones, KI teens will be on a Purim offense as they take over KI in leading the festivities. They’ll be reading the Megillah, acting as marshals for the kids’ costume parade, handing

March 5th, 2020|Categories: President's Letters|

News from KI: March 4, 2020 | 8 Adar 5780

Regular Daily Minyan Shacharit Monday - Friday: 7:00 am in the Chapel Sunday: 8:00 am in the Chapel Ma'ariv Sunday - Thursday: 7:00 pm in the Chapel Kabbalat Shabbat - Friday, March 6 Candle lighting: 5:23 pm Mincha/KI Community Kabbalat Shabbat (KICKS)/Ma'ariv: 5:15 pm in the Chapel Shabbat - Saturday, March 7 Shacharit: 8:45 am in the Sanctuary Mincha: 5:08 pm in the Chapel, followed by Seudah Shleshit Ma’ariv: 6:08 pm in the Chapel, followed by Havdalah: 6:23 pm Youth services Nitzanim (ages 0-4): 10:45 am, in G-7 Mini Minyan (ages 5-7): 10:30 am, in G-11 Minyan Atid (ages 8-12): 10:30 am, in M-8 A Sensory Calming Room: 9:00 am in M-8 B Erev Purim - Monday, March 9 Ma'ariv & Megillah Reading: 7:20 pm Purim - Tuesday, March 10 Shacharit & Megillah Reading: 7:00 am Click here for more information, to join the Host Committee, purchase tickets or ads, and submit your ad information! As part of our ongoing efforts to make our campus community safer, more secure, and more welcoming, the 384 Campus Shomrim team will be operating on Shabbat morning, March 7.  Community members and guests can expect to be greeted outside the building by trained and equipped volunteers prior to entering our facility.  If you have any questions or are interested in joining the team, please contact Jonathan Slutzman. Upcoming KI Events PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER Purim 2020: Teen Takeover! Our Purim celebration on Monday, March 9th will feature primarily teen leadership.  Would you like to be a greeter, a parade marshal, a tzedakah collector, or a gabbai? We are looking for about 11 teens to join us at 6:30 pm to take on roles that don't involve chanting! We would be thrilled if you got in touch with David Williams (dwilliams@healthbusinessgroup.com), Jessica (jessica.goldberg@hebrewcollege.edu), or Rabbi Hamilton. PARTNERING WITH YAD CHESSED ON PURIM On Purim Day, Yad Chessed partners with synagogues, minyanim, colleges, and day schools across New England

March 5th, 2020|Categories: Weekly News|

eDvar Shabbat Parashat Terumah 5780

Coronavirus: Handling with tender care Fearing danger is entirely normal.  We all do so, as we should.  Developing systems designed to keep us safe - reducing infectiousness, treating the infected, discovering vaccines - are each essential and primary. Yet alongside these urgent priorities, a question arises.  Is there a way to look upon an infected person with any emotion other than fear? Caregivers are trained to do this well.  Perhaps the rest of us can pause to consider empathizing with those who are afflicted.  Their quarantine need not keep them remote from tender compassion. This week’s portion of Torah holds a lesson concerning the intersection of rigid systems and their higher aims.  A detail in the Tabernacle’s design of beams surrounding the structure touches on their posture.  Acacia wood beams are to be positioned standing upright (Ex. 26:15).  A favorite Hasidic comment notes that their posture alludes to the manner in which an upright tree ascends as it grows. The way of growth, derekh g’dilatan, is more than a botany lesson.  It can suggest that any praiseworthy deed may be performed in ways that help us grow (literally ‘the way in which they generate growth’). Rigid dimensions may contain pliable lessons.  Growing, improving, striving to become slightly better versions of ourselves today than we were yesterday, this is what Judaism stirs and stimulates within us.  Mistakes happen.  Repeating mistakes should not.  Lessons learned should preclude making the same mistake twice. So now, as we face the fears of a pandemic, perhaps we can also strive to meet this challenge as a means for growth derekh g’diliatan.  Corona comes from the Latin meaning ‘halo’ or ‘crown’.  May our willing hearts become turned toward the personal plight

February 28th, 2020|Categories: edvar|

News from KI: February 26, 2020 | 1 Adar 5780

Regular Daily Minyan Shacharit Monday - Friday: 7:00 am in the Chapel Sunday: 8:00 am in the Chapel Ma'ariv Sunday - Thursday: 7:00 pm in the ChapelKabbalat Shabbat - Friday, February 28 Candle lighting: 5:15 pm Mincha: 5:20 pm KI Community Kabbalat Shabbat (KICKS) followed by Ma'ariv: 5:15 pm in the Chapel Shabbat - Saturday, February 29 Shacharit: 8:45 am in the Sanctuary Mincha: 5:00 pm in the Chapel, followed by Seudah Shleshit Ma’ariv: 6:00 pm in the Chapel, followed by Havdalah: 6:15 pm Youth services Nitzanim (ages 0-4): 10:45 am, in G-7 Mini Minyan (ages 5-7): 10:30 am, in G-11 Minyan Atid (ages 8-12): 10:30 am, in M-8 A Sensory Calming Room: 9:00 am in M-8 B Click here for more information, to join the Host Committee, purchase tickets or ads, and submit your ad information! We have a special guest this Shabbat, February 29th! Colonel Yaron Ben David will be joining us, speaking during services and afterwards at Kiddush. Colonel Yaron Ben David's last position in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was the Commander of the Intelligence Center in Israel Defense Intelligence (IDI) Central Collection Unit, a center consisting of thousands of soldiers, officers, and civilians. Yaron was responsible for leading the intelligence collection and production process in the Unit. Additionally, Yaron supervised the Unit's intelligence response to its wide variety of customers and partners across all areas of interest. Yaron joined the IDI in 1997 and served in various core command and staff positions. Throughout his service, Yaron received the Israel Defense Prize, the Head of IDI's Award for Creative Thinking and the Head of IDI's Outstanding Officer's Award. Yaron holds an MBA, a BA Summa cum Laude in Middle Eastern History, and an LLB Magna cum Laude in Law from Tel Aviv University. He is currently a graduate student at the MC/MPA Program at Harvard Kennedy School as a

February 26th, 2020|Categories: Weekly News|

eDvar Shabbat Shekalim Parashat Mishpatim 5780

What we make of our hardest times The Bible’s extraordinary discovery, notes gifted writer Adam Kirsch, “is that the memory of slavery - which to other peoples would be a great shame, to be forgotten as quickly as possible - can be made the engine of humility and sympathy.” The way we orient ourselves personally, interpersonally, and politically is guided by this remarkable discovery. Yet why doesn’t the Torah outlaw slavery altogether the way it purges idolatry? Here too we come to an extraordinary discovery. Instead of erasing such an odious institution that degrades humanity, Scripture weaves a responsibility-rich path toward its self-erasure. Beginning at the outset of this week’s portion of Torah, the rights and needs of the slave are elevated. Any physical mistreatment could lead to a slave’s freedom (Ex. 21:26-27). The more the Torah says on the subject, the more the slave’s essential humanity and dignity are reinforced. Holidays are to be shared. Freedoms are to be offered. Indeed, by the end of the Book of Job, we read an astonishing assertion of the slave’s absolute equality. “Did I ever reject the just cause of my male or female servants during contentious times? Did not God who made me in the stomach make him too? Did not one God form both of us in the womb?” (Job 31:13-15). As human beings, our self-worth comes from a sense that we are needed. Feeling needed and necessary promotes a person’s dignity. Perhaps, asserts faith-and-thought-leader Arthur Brooks, we should judge the merit of any policy by whether it makes those it seeks to serve feel more needed or less needed. So why doesn’t the Bible eliminate slavery altogether? Because when we are able to climb out

February 21st, 2020|Categories: edvar|