TEMPLE SHOLOM, Monroe & North Street,

P.O. Box 50,1Galesburg, IL 61401—ph 309-343-3323

Bulletin, Fall 2017,

Rabbi's Message

Rabbi's Message & Mazel  tov

President's Message

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Welcome, News, Committee

Donations & Todah Rabah

Spoiler Alert! 

I don’t often go to the cinema, and if I do, my first choice certainly isn’t a war movie.  However last week, urged on by friends who had seen the film Dunkirk, I took the plunge (ouch, that was a lousy pun, given the film’s subject!).  I can’t say that I “enjoyed” the film, but it was extremely well done and deeply impressive.  Hans Zimmer’s music was awesome.

One of several story threads involves the drama that unfolds upon one of the small private vessels recruited by the British government to rescue as many soldiers as possible from the beach at Dunkirk. The boat is piloted by a Mr. Dawson.  On board are Mr. Dawson’s son Peter, and his young friend, George. During a scuffle, a rescued, shell-shocked soldier accidentally knocks George backwards down the stairs.   He sustains a fatal head wound.   When Peter comes to his aid, George says that he can’t see any more, and then with great difficulty confesses to Peter that he feels that he had never amounted to much.  He hadn’t been good in school.  He had always hoped to be able to do something really great, been a hero of some kind.

Peter realizes only later in the film that George has died.  Soon after that, the shell-shocked soldier asks “Your young friend…will he be all right?”  There is a moment of intense silence.   Peter, swallowing hard, reassures the traumatized soldier that yes, his friend would be all right. The soldier seems immensely relieved.  After they return safely to Britain, Peter goes directly to the local newspaper and initiates an article that describes George as a “hero” in the Dunkirk evacuation.

Two questions arise for me from Peter’s response.  Why didn’t Peter tell the traumatized soldier the truth?  And why did Peter “stretch the truth” when he insisted that the local newspaper portray George as a hero, rather than the victim of an accident?

In his split-second decision, Peter displays both pity and compassion.  He senses instinctively that adding guilt to trauma would smudge out that small flame of self-esteem, that ember of the will to live and to heal, that still existed within this tormented man.  In his moment of hesitancy, Peter realizes that although the accident had happened, and the horrible harm could not be undone, he himself was still able to prevent further anguish from happening. 

In our preparation for the Days of Awe, going into the shadowed places of our lives and ferreting out what we want to transform does not mean wallowing in self-condemnation.  There is an indestructible part of our essence that is pure and linked to its Holy Source. 

When Peter “stretches the truth” by proclaiming George’s accidental death as an heroic act during warfare, he is honoring not only George’s memory, but (as I see it) also the holy connection that was within George no less than within the man who unintentionally knocked him down the stairs. 

Our task in the weeks ahead is to be as merciful as possible with each other and as gently nudging as we think we can be towards ourselves.  The misunderstandings and the hurts between each other are left for each one of us to approach, clarify, and-- if possible -- to forgive, even if it means compassionately stretching the truth. 

With blessings for merciful encounters in this month,

 

Rabbi Rebecca

 

Mark your calendar!

Sunday, September 10, First day of Religious School. From Jennie: Because Yom Kippur is on a Saturday this year, we WILL have religious school between the High Holidays, on September 24th, but NOT on October 1st.  I can’t wait to see everyone again, and I look forward to a great year! 

 

Friday, Oct. 6, Celebrate SUKKOT with PIZZA IN THE HUT! Please join us for our 3rd annual Pizza in the Hut celebration in the sukkah at the Temple, 6:00 p.m. October 6th, followed by a shortened holiday service beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Cost for the pizza will be $5 per person. 

 

Tuesday, October 17, 7:30 p.m. Professor Lee Shai Weissbach will give a PUBLIC LECTURE AT THE TEMPLE on “Galesburg in Context: The Jewish History of Small-Town America.

 

Mazel tov--Congratulations!

To Maury Cohn graduated from Oberlin College in June 2017 with a double degree -- History/Math in the College, Cello Performance in the Conservatory. This fall, he will be entering the master’s program in orchestral conducting at Bard Conservatory.

To Emilio Moreno, who is starting his college career at Lawrence University.  He will study voice performance at the music conservatory, while, of course, getting a good old liberal arts education.

To Sophia Moreno, who is returning to Knox College to study writing and theater.

To Jim Jacobs, who published a young adult novel, No Ordinary Season, earlier this year.  It was recently reviewed and recommended by the Jewish Book Council: http://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/no-ordinary-season

To Jennie Bunde, who recently attended an intensive four-day workshop for lay leaders of small congregations.  Todah rabah as well as mazel tov!

To Cindy Weintraub, who will be celebrating her 60th birthday by travelling to Israel this September with her best friend from high school.

To Chuck Schulz, who has completed his service as registrar of Knox College and is returning to teaching physics.

To Robert Kahn, uncle of Faye Schulz, has published his autobiography, The Hard Road of Dreams: Remembering Not to Forget; it is available on Amazon.

To Sam and Yana Fayman, on the birth of their grandson Lev, son to Stella and Sergey Garber.

To Aygul Lyon (daughter-in-law of Susan and Maury Lyon), who was sworn in as a United States citizen on August 21, 2017, along with 9,024 others in Los Angeles.

To David Kushner:  From Rabbi Rebecca: In” March the Iowa City VA hosted a local Creative Arts Festival competition; those competitors’ talents were submitted to the National Creative Arts Festival to compete against other veterans at the national level.  This year over 5,632 entries were submitted into the local competitions with 138 VA facilities represented. I’m delighted to announce that my husband David was invited to the National Competition in Buffalo New York in October of 2017. David had multiple performances at the local competition, two of his submissions received ‘Gold Stars’, and one was selected to be performed at the National Competition! Here and here are links to his two ‘Gold Stars’.  Enjoy! “

 

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