The Shofar, Temple Beth El's monthly publication, keeps community and temple members up to date on what's going on. Take a look at this month's Shofar to see what's coming up, or browse through the archives to see all that we've done!
April 2017 - Shofar (pdf)
PRESIDENT'S PERSPECTIVE (from the April 2017 Shofar)
In last month’s newsletter I wrote about my experiences at the Schiedt Seminar. I shared a couple of takeaways of what stood out, as in what were my goals as temple president, and what is it like being a Jew in Bakersfield. I invited you all to share via email, phone call, or oneg conversation as to what it meant to you individually. I can’t say that I got an overwhelming response, but that is ok, I was unable to answer that question as quickly as I had hoped as well.
There was another aspect of the Scheidt Seminar that I did not share last time, and that is the Why?! As in “Why should I join Temple Beth El?” or “Why should I pay dues/donate money?” or “Why should I participate?” This simple word/question can be quite difficult to answer and it can lead to uncomfortable feelings.
I am sure all of the parents and grandparents can agree with the difficulty of answering this simple question asked by an inquisitive child. The frustration that sets in when that child listens to the explanation and asks again, “why” then the next answer is given, and the child asks the follow up question that could drive anyone to their limit… “but why?”
I have learned from my Mussar class, that being uncomfortable is a good thing. Because it is this discomfort that leads us to stretch ourselves, and push our outer limits so that we may learn and grow from that discomfort. The discomfort of trying to answer this question has led me to this.
Why join Temple Beth El? Because what we are doing is Holy. Being a kind person to your neighbor is not good enough. Temple Beth El offers the opportunities to stretch yourself to learn and grow. I had the pleasure of watching one of Stan Simrin’s old lectures that was recorded by Irvin Pike. While I had recognized some of the lesson, as Stan was my Sunday school teacher at least two years, I heard him say something that I had not contemplated before. The Ten Commandments are the baseline for how to live one’s life. Following the Ten Commandments does not make you a Jew, it just keeps you from going to jail.
Temple Beth El offers everyone a chance to do holy work that matters as we as Jews are commanded to do! By doing this holy work helps give our lives meaning while we live them and helps inspire others after we are gone. I invite you all to get out of your comfort zones and do something for the Temple that you would not normally do. I promise you will not regret it.