Dear friends, Sometimes it is the person who is unfamiliar with Judaism that has the clearest picture of Jewish life, while those of us who are in the middle of it don’t see the forest for the trees. A Gentile friend of mine who attended the Synagogue from time to time once remarked that, to be a Jew, you have to know an awful lot. She pointed out that knowing when to sit or stand or knowing when to say Amen required a greater knowledge base than was necessary for her when she had been an Evangelical. The most basic rules of Holiday observances or Kashrut are quite complex. Knowledge of the Hebrew language is a considerable help to living a Jewish life. Knowing about Judaism is also helped by a thorough knowledge of history and literature. It is no wonder that study is one the pillars of Jewish existence. I have devoted a good part of my life to Jewish study and I feel I have barely scratched the surface. Acquiring knowledge of Judaism is not always readily available or accessible. Our Synagogue as most, however, provides an array of Jewish learning experiences. On Friday mornings, we have breakfast and the study of a Jewish text. Some of our educational programs are held on Shabbat morning after Kiddush when there is a ready audience. If you want to learn or at least brush up on your Yiddish, the monthly Yiddish round table gives you the opportunity; we are now in the middle of our series on the great philosopher, Maimonides. On Wednesday, March 17 at 8PM, we are beginning the Hebrew crash course. Men’s Club breakfasts provide us with interesting speakers as do many Sisterhood events. Just last week, we shared Hassidic stories at a Havdalah get together at my home. Our choir provides the opportunity to learn Jewish music and just coming to Shabbat services allows one to be familiar with the weekly Torah readings. Our Temple provides us with a host of opportunities to grow our knowledge of Judaism and to deepen our understanding of who we are as Jews. I hope that many of you will take advantage of at least some of these opportunities.
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