22 Shevat 5777 / 17-18 February 2017
Torah: Exodus 18:1 – 20:23
Haftarah: Isaiah 6:1 – 7:6; 9:5-6 (Ashkenazim); Isaiah 6:1-13 (Sephardim)
For more info about our community, visit our website:
Congregation Beth Meier has developed a GoFundMe page:
Please visit the page and consider a donation. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!
Candle lighting: 5:20 pm
Friday – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday – NO Religious School or Adult Learning – Presidents’ Day Weekend
Tuesday – Lunch and Learn – noon.
Friday, 24 February – Shabbat Evening Service – 8:00 pm. Oneg Shabbat follows.
Saturday, 25 February – Shabbat Morning Service – 10:00 am. Kiddush luncheon follows.
Sunday, 26 February – Religious School – 9:30 am. Adult Hebrew class – 10:00 am. Game Day at Temple B’nai Hayim – contact Beth Meier or B’nai Hayim for details.
Friday, 3 March – Shabbat Across America Service and Dinner – A guitar-led family and learners’ service at 6:00 pm, followed by Shabbat dinner at 7:00 pm. Reservations for dinner a must. Contact the Beth Meier office for details.
This d'var torah is offered in memory of my aunt, Shirley Schack, whose yahrzeit falls on Tuesday, 25 Sh’vat. Y’hi zikhronah liv’rakhah – May her memory be a blessing.
This d'var torah is offered for a refuah shleimah for Avi Shmuel Yosef Hakohen ben Bella, Zehavah B’rakhah bat Leah, Yaakov Rani Ben Margalit, Sarah bat Devorah, Susan Arbetman, Ken Bitticks, Elsbet Brosky (Serach bat Miriam), Jerry Daniels, Maya Fersht (Maya bat Esther), Dr. Samuel Fersht (Shmuel Natan ben Gittel), Leonard Foint (Eliezer Moshe ben Esther), Jerry Forman, Beth Goldstein, Myra Goodman, Simon Hartman (Shimon ben Serach), Fouad Kay (Yehoshua ben Salima), Bonnie Kleiger, Philip Kovac, Tonya Kronzek, Toni Linder, Roy Miller, Carol Rosen (Tsharna Aliza bat Leah), Deborah Schugar Strauss (Devorah bat Chaya Feiga), and Helen Schugar (Chaya Feiga bat Kreina).
Please let me know if there is anyone you would like to add to this list or if there is anyone who may be removed from this list.
Please feel free to pass this on to a friend, and please cite the source.
LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
Yitro said to Moses (his son-in-law): “The thing you are doing is not right. You will surely wear yourself out, and these people as well. For the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me, and God be with you! You represent the people before God; you bring the disputes before God, and enjoin upon them the laws and the teachings, and make known to them the way they are to go and the practices they are to follow. You shall also seek out capable people who fear God, trustworthy people who spurn ill-gotten gain. Set these over them as chiefs of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens, and let them judge people at all times…. Let them share the burden with you. If you do this – and God so commands you – you will be able to bear up; and all these people too will go home unwearied.” Exodus 18:17-23
In a way, this sounds like the establishment of an army, or a government, or any other type of human organization. It looks a bit like a model for setting up a synagogue – a rabbi, a board of directors and committees. The difference is that, usually, but not always, the rabbi does not choose the board of directors – the congregation does. And unlike Moses, the rabbi is not sent by God – the congregation, directly or through the board, chooses the rabbi.
Yitro sees a necessary separation of management and spiritual leadership. My colleague and friend Rabbi David Greenspoon wrote some years ago that the difference between leadership and management is that leadership is doing the right thing, and management is doing the thing right. Sometimes leadership, doing the right thing, requires going out on a limb. Management, he says, is the antithesis of going out on a limb. Doing the thing right requires management to be sure that processes and outcomes have consensus. It’s often about risk avoidance and shared responsibility. The modern synagogue is a bit more complicated – rabbis must be managers, and managers must be leaders. And always, everyone should share the burden!
Yet, the Israelites have problems. When the system breaks down, bad things happen. Sometimes Moses fails to lead, sometimes the managers go beyond their authority. When Aaron’s sons, the “managers” Nadav and Abihu, try to usurp Moses and Aaron, God punishes them – they are struck down. When Moses fails to rebuke the Israelites while the Moabite women are enticing them, the result is a civil war and a plague among the Israelites. But ultimately, they all manage to get through the desert together, because they take care of each other. They fight for each other, not with each other.
Leaders, managers, followers, workers – we all must join in the Jewish enterprise together, as a unified people – even when we disagree. This is how it is explained by Pirkei Avot. “Kol Yisrael arevim zeh lazeh” – All Israel are responsible one for the other. We either build each other up, or we tear each other down.
To tell you the truth, this sounds like pretty good advice for our society in general.
I wish you Shabbat Shalom Uv’rakhah – A Shabbat of Peace and Blessing.
Rabbi Richard A. Flom
Congregation Beth Meier
Studio City, CA
Blogging at: http://rav-rich.blogspot.com
Visit me on Facebook
"שתיקה כהודאה דמיא"
"Silence in the face of wrongdoing is consent.”
BT Yevamot 87b
My weekly divrei torah are available through free subscription to the Cyber Torah e-mail list. No salesman will call!
Cyber Torah list management:
To subscribe to Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading “Subscribe Cyber Torah”.
To unsubscribe from Cyber Torah, send an e-mail from the receiving address to: email@example.com with the heading “Unsubscribe Cyber Torah”.
To dedicate a Cyber Torah in honor of a simchah in memory of a loved one or for a refuah shleimah, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading “Dedicate Cyber Torah” and provide details in the message body.