High Holidays 2018 Tzedakah

Dear Chèvre,

As is our custom and tradition, CBY has selected a worthy organization for our High Holiday Tzedakah. This year the recipient is the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a refugee resettlement agency providing multiple services to refugees here in Salt Lake City. As requested by the IRC, we will be collecting bulk items including laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap, body wash, paper towels, toilet paper, feminine pads, diapers (sizes 3-5) and wipes.

We will collect the items at both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, and see to having them delivered to the IRC.

Many thanks,

Eric

P.S. No doubt we all know the basic meaning, and the spirit, of Tzedakah, Nevertheless I thought as a reminder I’d just make note of a definition provided by Judaism 101, which distinguishes Tzedakah from what we customarily consider to be charity:

“Tzedakah” is the Hebrew word for the acts that we call “charity” in English: giving aid, assistance and money to the poor and needy or to other worthy causes. However, the nature of tzedakah is very different from the idea of charity. The word “charity” suggests benevolence and generosity, a magnanimous act by the wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the poor and needy. The word “tzedakah” is derived from the Hebrew root Tzadei-Dalet-Qof, meaning righteousness, justice or fairness. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due.

As many know too, Maimonides had much to say about Tzedkah, but we’ll leave that for another day.

Trip to Israel Update

Shalom, Friends:

We have decided to postpone the trip to Israel that we had originally planned to take place this coming spring. Doing so makes it far more likely that we will have the optimal number of participants for the trip. In particular, Rabbi Steve has secured the interest of another Reconstructionist congregation, Beth Evergreen (CBE) in Denver, to join with us for the trip. Rabbi Steve has already met with five members of this congregation who plan to join us for our Israel tour, and there is the exciting prospect that CBE’s Rabbi Jamie Arnold will join us as well. Most important, we hope the postponement will allow some of you who were interested in the spring 2018 trip, but for different reasons couldn’t join us, to participate in the planning for a trip next winter or later next year.

Second, we are excited to welcome Danny Ehrlich of Keshet Educational Tours to Salt Lake City this week. He is a dynamic speaker, talented educator, and wonderful tour leader. Whether or not you were planning on joining us for the planned spring 2018 trip, we encourage you to come enjoy his exciting presentation, engage, and imagine. Please join us at 7 p.m. this coming Thursday, November 16th, at Kol Ami (exact room to be determined).