Sunday, September 28, 2014

Judaism’s Top 40: Tishrei 4 – Mensch, and other announcements

I hope you had an enjoyable and meaningful Rosh Hashanah.  Lots of excitement here.  My thanks to everyone whose hard work helped things to flow so seamlessly.  A number of people also watched our live stream broadcast – primarily those in hospitals or nursing homes or unable to leave their homes.  Plus a few people far away, looking to connect back to TBE. 

·       We were delighted to welcome Cantor Magda Fishman to our bima this Rosh Hashanah for her first High Holiday services here.  She brought a special energy and passion to our prayers.  Assisted by Beth Styles and our choir, the music has been awe-inspiring. Click here for a sampling of what we’ve been hearing from Cantor Fishman (Avinu Malkenu and Carlebach’s “Return Again”), and what we will hear again on Yom Kippur – Feel free to share these recordings with your friends, and by all means share the excitement that we are all feeling here at TBE!

·       My Rosh Hashanah sermons are now online: click here both for text and audio.

·       We are in the days of repentance.  Download this Roundtable on Teshuvah , which we will discuss during the break on Yom Kippur day (note the time: 3:30 PM).

·       The Hoffman lecture featuring Ari Shavit will be broadcast on JBS TV  (formerly Shalom TV), channel 138 on Cablevision, on Monday at 8 PM and Tuesday at 1 AM and Wed. at 2 PM.  Set your DVRs!

Judaism’s Top 40: Tishrei 4 – Mensch

The Yiddish term “mensch” has become so ubiquitous, that sportswriter Bob Ryan used it in this morning’s Boston Globe in reference to Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter.  The usage is most appropriate (I even wore a Yankee tie at services yesterday in Jeter’s honor – only the second time I’ve ever worn it!).  When Americans say “Be a Man!,” it usually means “be macho, be heroic, don’t cry,” or some such. I even saw a billboard to that effect in Germany, using a derivation of that very term, “menschlichkeit.”  The

Urban Dictionary indicates that the kinder, gentler, Jewish definition of being a man has seeped into the general culture: An upstanding, worthy, honorable adult person of either sex. Fr. German and Yiddish for "human being." Cf. Chinese jin, literally "man" but with similar meaning. Pirke Avot (Ethics of our Ancestors) states it clearly: “In a place where is no humanity, be human.”  The L.A. Jewish Journal publishes an annual Mensch List.  Here are four tips on how to be a mensch.  The easiest way to define it, though, is simply to point to Derek Jeter’s photo in the newspaper.

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