Winter 2015/5775

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  • It will probably be after the Festival of Hanukah by the time

    you get this newsletter. Hanukahs message however, is eternal. The festival commemorates the victory of the few against the

    many, the weak against the strong, righteousness over evil, the spirit over physical might. Greek influence had spread throughout

    the land. Israels religion and culture would have disappeared just like those of the many nations that had come under Hellenistic rule.

    The Hasmoneans were able to turn the tide and Judaism is here today, thanks to their courage and spiritual strength. Hanukah is always celebrated during the darkest days of

    the year, when the days are the shortest. We light the Menorah and keep increasing its brightness from day to day to chase the darkness around us.

    We could use the miracles of Hanukah again and the world could use some enlightenment.

    Israel, one of the smallest countries in the world, is surrounded by enemies who wish her harm. Unable to win on the many battlefields, her enemies are

    conducting a media war, recruiting other nations to place boycotts and sanctions against Israel and to even question Israels legitimacy among the family of nations.

    The few will prevail against the many. The spirit of our people will prevail. The Hasmoneans were able to stop the Hellenization of Israel and the return

    to Jewish practices. Can the trend of assimilation to the general community be stopped or at least be reduced to insure the future viability of the Jewish community.

    The Europeans and the United Nations are transfixed on Israel and only on Israel. When they could and should be raising their voices and doing something against

    the horrific and barbarian kidnappings and killings of children and innocent lives by Islamic militants. Most of these terrible massacres are committed by Muslims against Muslims. G-d Forbid, if Israel was ever at their mercy.

    The European Court of Justice does not believe that Hamas is a terrorist organizationsupposedly not enough evidence. How dark has Europe become, when

    it comes to Israels struggle against an enemy that uses women and children as human shields? Can Israel ever allow the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on

    her border, without guarantees that the new state will not be like Gaza? As long as the Palestinians continue to teach their children to hate Jews and swear Jihad against

    Jews, these will not be the neighbors you want to trust.

    The world could use some light. Happy Hanukah! Avram Ettedgui, Rabbi

    Dear Members and Friends of Sharei Chesed,

    Winter 2015

    BOARD MEMBERS Rabbi Avraham Ettedgui Co-Presidents Bernie Miller

    Terry Schwartz Treasurer Gregory Gittsovich Secretary Jacob Mars Immediate Past

    President Sol Awend Board Members

    Berek Awend Madalyn Braufman Jerry Berkowitz Bruce Cohen Dr. Martha Cohen Roz Ettedgui Dr. David Feldshon Nina Furman Aaron Geller Boris Gerber Dmitry Gringauz Judith Ingber Gail Kenton Leo Kudishevich Francelyne Lurie Jack Moskowitz Cindy Neff Gail Nord Dr. Sheldon Pinsky Irving Smith Anya Solodkina Corrine Toretsky Richard Woldorsky Shelly Zien

  • Page 2 Winter 2015


    Shalom Aleichem, everyone!!

    Our year has gotten off to a great start. High Holy Days services were very well attended, and

    people responded with tremendous generosity to our annual Yom Kippur appeal. Our thanks to

    Cantor Mitchell Kowitz for doing a wonderful job in leading this years services.

    We also held our first Kabbalat Shabbat of the year in November. Our thanks to our friend Niza

    Schear for graciously making herself available as our guest speaker and talking about her book, My

    Pixie Dixie. Our next Kabbalat Shabbat is scheduled for Friday night January 16th, and we hope you

    will attend.

    We were successful in repairing our roof before the cold weather hit. The water damage we

    observed in certain areas of the building has been stopped, and we can be more confident in our

    synagogues long-term physical integrity.

    Speaking of securing the future, Sharei Chesed now offers religious school education. Our first year

    got started this past September, and both teacher and students are thrilled to be a part of it. If you

    are interested in enrolling your children, be sure to contact Rabbi Ettedgui for more information.

    The story of Hanukkah is not mentioned anywhere in the Hebrew Bible (1st and 2nd Maccabees are

    part of what is known as the Apocrypha those books outside of the official canon). Nonetheless,

    it is without a doubt one of the most beloved holidays in the Jewish calendar. We thought it might

    be nice, therefore, to share some fun facts about this holiday, courtesy of the website ):

    Each and every box of Hanukkah candles you buy should have at least 44 candles in

    it. Thats enough for all 8 days. If you get extra in your box, consider it a bonus!!

    Forget about dieting during Hanukkah (I suppose during any other Jewish holiday, for that


    One potato latke 150 calories

    One sufganiya (deep-fried jelly doughnut) 400-600 calories

    Those ubiquitous chocolate coins 220 calories apiece

    The word dreidel comes from the Yiddish word drei (turn or spin).

    We dont light the menorah for Hanukkah we light the hanukkiyah. The former has 7

    branches, while the latter has 9.

  • Page 3 Winter 2015

    Maimonides wrote that the mitzvah of lighting the hanukkiyah is even more important than

    buying wine for Shabbat (Laws of Hanukkah, 4:13)

    The first time Hanukkah was celebrated in the White House was in 1951. President Harry

    Truman received a hanukkiyah as a gift from then-Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Israeli

    Ambassador to the United States Abba Eban.

    However you and yours celebrate Hanukkah, we hope that its a joyous celebration. And, if youre

    in need of a hanukkiyah, candles, cards, or anything else for the holiday, Sharei Chesed is operating

    a gift shop during this time. Come by any Sunday morning, or call the office and let us know when

    you can come over.


    Bernie Miller and Terry Schwartz

    Direct link to Hanukkah information:

    Sharei Chesed would like to thank Francelyne Lurie,

    Sol Awend, and Momy and Cindy Benzaquen for the beautiful

    Hanukah decorations in our sanctuary!

  • Page 4 Winter 2015


    Friday, January 23, 2015 | 6:30 p.m. Friday Night Service and Shabbat Dinner

    We're pleased to announce that our guest speaker will be Adam Schwartz, son of Cantor

    Neil Schwartz. Adam is a University of Minnesota Graduate Student in Human Factors and

    Ergonomics, Public Health, and Environmental Science. He served in the IDF as a volunteer

    from 2010 to 2012 as a combat engineer and then as a psychological research assistant. He

    will be speaking about his journey to the IDF and some of his experiences there. You

    won't want to miss it!

    You can find information about the upcoming Kabbalat Shabbat on the 'Services',

    'Happenings' and 'Calendar' pages of our website: Saturday, February 7 | Tu Bishvat Seder

    Sunday, March 1 | Purim Party! 5:30 PM at Sharei Chesed.

    Purim comes to remind us to look with optimism

    to the future. There are four Mitzvot we can fulfill

    on Purim:

    Reading or Hearing the Megillah

    Sending Mishloah Manot - Exchange of food

    items with friends,

    Give Matanot Lawevyonim - Gifts to those in


    Have a Seudah - Enjoy a festive Purim Meal.

    We invite you to join us for the Purim Celebration:

    Program: Music, Masquerade Party

    Prizes: For all children and for all who come in costumes

    Refreshments: Hamentashen and all Purim Trimmings

    Wednesday, March 4 | 7:30 pm - Purim Services

    Thursday, March 5 | 8:30 am - Purim Services

    Friday, April 3 | Passover begins at Sundown with the 1st Seder

  • Page 5 Winter 2015

    NOW AVAILABLE! Did you know that you can make online contributions? How?

    Go to

    Rabbi Ettedgui writes a weekly Dvar Torah that is sent to nearly 100 members and

    friends. Would you like to be added to our list? If yes, please go to and click on the link at the bottom of the page.

    DAILY MINYAN Join us Monday through Thursday at 5:45 PM for Mincha and Maariv and help make

    the Minyan.

    Come and Celebrate

    Leo Wolks 98th Birthday

    Saturday, January 10, 2015 | 19th Tevet, 5775

    Services begin at 9:30 A.M

    Leos Celebration begins at 11:15 A.M.

    Kiddush/lunch follows the service.

    Sharei Chesed Congregation

    Hosted by...

    Leos children

    Sandra and Michael Wolk

    Joyce and Alan Branfman

    Grandchildren Jonathan and Benjamin

    and Sharei Chesed Congregation;_ylt=AwrB8pfTWVpUJTsAHQKJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTIzcDlmOWZtBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAMxNTkxN2JiMjRjYWJhMmQ2NTIyODFiMTQ1MTM3OTY2ZgRncG9zAzcyBGl0A2Jpbmc-?

  • Page 6 Winter 2015


    A few years ago while planning a trip to Israel we were

    approached by a very close family