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Beginners Shabbat Schedule


KJ Committed to Chesed and Kindness
See here for KJ Chesed Corner.

Hebrew class with Sara Rosen  - Wednesdays at 6:30 pm!
Study Hebrew in time for the High Holidays.

Celebrate the High Holidays with KJ Beginners!
Join us for the 28th year of our renowned Beginners High Holiday Service! Plenty of questions and answers; traditional prayers and modern message; no knowledge of Hebrew necessary; and Kiddush following Rosh Hashanah services. Led by George Rohr, Rabbi Daniel and Rachel Kraus, & Cantor Ruby Davis. See here for details and to make reservations. Usher in the New Year in style at our Rosh Hashanah Dinner on 9/9. RSVP here. See here for High Holy Day Learning.

Friday, August 17
Candle lighting - 7:33 pm

Shabbat, August 18
KJB Summer Service with Rabbi Daniel Kraus - 9:30 am in Room 501. 
The Learners and Intermediate Services come together for the summer. Explore prayer and parsha along with plenty of singing and explanation in this user-friendly, informative service experience.

Kiddush following services.

Pre-Mincha shiur at 6:30 pm with special guest Rabbi Aaron Reichel speaking on Ironies of Chief Rabbi, War Hero, Politician Shear Yashuv Cohen. Mincha is at 7:25 pm in the Falk Auditorium followed by Seduah Shlishit with Rabbi Weinstock speaking on The Death Penalty: Jews and Catholics.

Havdalah - 8:28 pm

On the Jewish Calendar

The Jewish month of Elul is upon us. It is time to prepare for the High Holidays. Did I forget to mention that it's time to make High Holy Day service reservations? Here is a list of 10 things you can do to prepare for Rosh Hashanah. (Adapted from Rabbi Kalman Packouz from

1. Take a spiritual accounting. Each day take at least 5 minutes to review your last year: (a) your behavior with family, friends, associates and people with whom you've interacted, (b) your level of mitzvah observance.

2. Attend a class or classes at KJ (or any other Jewish organization) on how to prepare. Read articles on and listen to world-class speakers on Buy a copy of the Koren Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur Machzor. 

3. Study the Machzor (Rosh Hashanah prayer book) to know the order of the service and the meaning of the words and prayers. There are plenty of online resources to guide you. Just Google!

4. Make sure that you have given enough tzedakah (charity) and have paid your pledges. It says in the Machzor that three things break an evil decree - Teshuva (repentance), Tefilla (prayer) and Tzedakah (charity). Why not maximize your chance for a good decree?

5. Think of (at least) one person you have wronged or feel badly towards - and correct the situation.

6. Make a list of your goals for yourself and your family - what you want to work towards and pray for.

7. Limit your pleasures - the amount of television, movies, music, food - do something different so that you take this preparation time seriously. Then, increase your Torah learning!

8. Do an extra act of kindness - who needs your help? To whom can you make a difference?

9. Read a book on character development - anything written by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin or Rabbi Zelig Pliskin would be great!

10. Ask a friend to tell you what you need to improve. A real friend will tell you ... but in a nice way!

Time for a Taste of Torah

"Lo tita lecha asheirah - You shall not plant for yourselves an idolatrous tree." (Devarim/Deuteronomy 16:21)

This verse is the source for the prohibition against planting an asheirah tree, a tree that is worshiped as an idol. This had been the idolatrous custom of the Canaanites. This prohibition immediately follows the laws concerning righteous judgment in the courts. What is the connection? The Talmudic sage Reish Lakish says that there is a very direct connection, for one who appoints an unworthy judge is akin to one who plants an idolatrous tree. How are we to understand this comparison?

Generally, when one makes something to be used for idol worship, its purpose is fairly obvious - like a statue or an image. This is not true, however, of the idolatrous tree. Externally, it's a beautiful tree, but it is inwardly tainted with idolatrous intentions. The same is true of an unworthy judge. Outwardly, he appears to be a righteous upstanding jurist, but inwardly he is corrupt and unfit to lead.

The asheirah prohibition is a timely reminder to be whole both inside and out.

Sun, August 19 2018 8 Elul 5778