Blog

327
12/14/2017 12:00 PM Posted by:

שַׁ֭אֲלוּ שְׁל֣וֹם יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם יִ֝שְׁלָ֗יוּ אֹהֲבָֽיִךְ׃

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, "May those who love you be at peace.”

Chanukah is here. The Festival of Lights celebrates the old and new story of Jewish resilience and vision. Today, the Menorah symbolizes what it once did many centuries ago. It brings the Jewish people around the glowing lights to feel the passion we have always had for God, Torah and Israel. It stands for our people’s faith and strength to overcome challenges to Jewish life in all ages. 

 

At Congregation Beth Israel, in Houston, Texas, we are steadfastly dedicated to the welfare and security of the modern state of Israel, its land and people. We acknowledge and laud President Trump’s recent announcement on Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, as a restatement of facts on the ground, and a new starting point for reasonable heads of nations and peoples to pursue peace in the Middle East.  Though this recognition isn’t part of a comprehensive or larger strategic plan, which would have been preferable, it doesn’t preclude our hope for a two-state solution.

 

The facts are clear: Jerusalem is the capital of Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel. To the rest of the world, Jerusalem is an international capital and host to three Abrahamic religions, among others. Last week, President Trump clarified for the world that Jerusalem is more than a debated international capital with claims on it from many foreign lands and other peoples; now, America and Israel define Jerusalem as the unquestionable capital of the sovereign state of Israel, and will make plans in the future, even years from now, to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

 

To Jews around the world, this is a significant step for Israel’s strength. Notably, the President also made clear that America is committed to Israel’s Middle East neighbors and their allies who recognize Israel’s right to exist, and whose interests include regional peace. However, future peace talks will now begin with one new condition, namely, that the subject of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is non-negotiable.  Wisely, the President’s statement did not preclude, as part of future peace talks, negotiated boundary lines that a two-state solution would require.

 

Though the president asked for "moderation” and "tolerance” from Israel’s neighbors while pledging support for their peace, too, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that violence and terror would accompany his announcement. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that different opinions among Jews will affect the unity of world Jewry at precisely a time when we should stand together.

 

At Congregation Beth Israel, we stand with world Jewry and will continue to advocate for Israel’s peace and security. Other significant issues concern us as Reform Jews, but this week’s announcement gives us reasons to believe that there will be a time and place for broader political, social, and religious agendas in Israel to be realized, too. 

 

As Chanukah lights glow this week, let’s dedicate ourselves to the reason for our season, namely, the sanctification of Jewish hopes founded on our 3,000 year-old relationship with Jerusalem. Today, let us stand together and pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

 

Happy Chanukah,

Rabbi David Lyon

 

Chanukah Family Service, Friday, December 15th, 6:30pm in the Sanctuary!

Delicious Oneg Shabbat follows immediately with latkes, sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and more!

 

 

Resources and Commentaries:

Below you’ll find links to Jewish organizations. Navigate their websites to find statements and commentaries on this and other news about Israel and the world. For more, search for daily news on Israel.

 

www.aipac.org

www.ajc.org

www.timesofisrael.com

www.haaretz.com

www.urj.org

www.ccarnet.org


You may contact Rabbi David Lyon here.



326
12/01/2017 01:00 PM Posted by:

From the Desk of Rabbi David Lyon
December 1, 2017

 

Getting ready for the holidays requires more than stocking the refrigerator and tidying up the guest room. It has been said that holidays are times when you leave the ones you love being with, to spend time with your family.  It sounds cynical, but it can be true. We spend many more hours every day with co-workers and friends than we do with family members who might live many miles away. If it’s the case that you’re going to spend more time with family this season, then maybe it’s time to prepare more than the refrigerator and the guest room. Take special note of these preparations, too, for the sake of a Shalom Bayyit, a peaceful home:

1) Everyone likes to talk about themselves. Ask your family members about themselves. Resist the urge to make the conversation about you. Show interest and avoid judgment. They’ll be impressed by your interest in them and they’ll enjoy your company more.

2) Pay them a compliment. Compliment your host’s home, the accommodations, the meal they prepared, and even their jokes and opinions. Everybody likes a compliment. Say it with a sincere smile and without judgment.

3) Use supporting language. Rather than saying, "You’re a ____ for saying that” say instead, "When you say that it makes me feel ____.” Labeling others creates friction as they struggle to remove the label you put on them. It’s better to identify a feeling that you both can address. And, when you can’t be certain about a family member’s intentions, say, "Help me understand what you’re trying to accomplish when you do/say that.” Don’t jump to conclusions, and if you must agree to disagree, do it respectfully.

4) Please and Thank you. Manners count at any age. If you’re among family, manners matter even more than they do between friends. Lead by example and set the tone you want to enjoy with your family. 

5) Bring a small gift and send a short thank-you note. This needs no added emphasis. Bring a token of your thanks to the home you’re visiting, and send a short thank-you note to express your gratitude for their hospitality.

The goal is to achieve a "Shalom Bayyit,” a peaceful home. Holidays don’t last forever. They’re a day or two you spend with others who share your name or family tree. Make the most of it and aim to be remembered as the one whose company is so easy to enjoy. The likelihood is that you’ll be in a class of your own. Even if it’s a home you visit only once each year, it’s important to leave a positive impression. Returning next year will be that much easier to do.

One home that will always welcome you back is Congregation Beth Israel. It’s surely a peaceful home and one that has lots of room for family and friends. Mark your calendars now for our Shabbat Family Service on December 15th, at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary. We’ll light the Maltz Menorah, sing Chanukah songs, hear a great story, and eat delicious foods for Chanukah.  

As the winter holiday season begins, take note and make peace.


You may contact Rabbi David Lyon here.

Blog Search

Categories

Archives

201712December2
December 2017 (2)
201711November2
November 2017 (2)
201710October2
October 2017 (2)
201708August3
August 2017 (3)
201707July4
July 2017 (4)
201706June4
June 2017 (4)
201705May2
May 2017 (2)
201704April3
April 2017 (3)
201703March4
March 2017 (4)
201702February3
February 2017 (3)
201701January3
January 2017 (3)
201612December4
December 2016 (4)
201611November3
November 2016 (3)
201610October3
October 2016 (3)
201609September4
September 2016 (4)
201608August2
August 2016 (2)
201607July5
July 2016 (5)
201606June2
June 2016 (2)
201605May3
May 2016 (3)
201604April4
April 2016 (4)
201603March3
March 2016 (3)
201602February2
February 2016 (2)
201601January4
January 2016 (4)
201512December4
December 2015 (4)
201511November3
November 2015 (3)
201510October2
October 2015 (2)
201509September2
September 2015 (2)
201508August4
August 2015 (4)
201507July5
July 2015 (5)
201506June4
June 2015 (4)
201505May2
May 2015 (2)
201504April5
April 2015 (5)
201503March3
March 2015 (3)
201502February4
February 2015 (4)
201501January4
January 2015 (4)
201412December3
December 2014 (3)
201411November3
November 2014 (3)
201410October4
October 2014 (4)
201409September2
September 2014 (2)
201408August3
August 2014 (3)
201407July3
July 2014 (3)
201406June3
June 2014 (3)
201405May3
May 2014 (3)
201404April4
April 2014 (4)
201403March3
March 2014 (3)
201402February4
February 2014 (4)
201401January5
January 2014 (5)
201312December3
December 2013 (3)
201311November3
November 2013 (3)
201310October4
October 2013 (4)
201309September2
September 2013 (2)
201308August5
August 2013 (5)
201307July4
July 2013 (4)
201306June4
June 2013 (4)
201305May5
May 2013 (5)
201304April4
April 2013 (4)
201303March4
March 2013 (4)
201302February4
February 2013 (4)
201301January5
January 2013 (5)
201212December4
December 2012 (4)
201211November5
November 2012 (5)
201210October4
October 2012 (4)
201209September2
September 2012 (2)
201208August5
August 2012 (5)
201207July4
July 2012 (4)
201206June3
June 2012 (3)
201205May5
May 2012 (5)
201204April4
April 2012 (4)
201203March5
March 2012 (5)
201202February4
February 2012 (4)
201201January4
January 2012 (4)
201112December5
December 2011 (5)
201111November3
November 2011 (3)
201110October3
October 2011 (3)
201109September4
September 2011 (4)
201108August4
August 2011 (4)
201107July3
July 2011 (3)
201106June4
June 2011 (4)
201105May4
May 2011 (4)
201104April4
April 2011 (4)
201103March5
March 2011 (5)
201102February4
February 2011 (4)
201101January4
January 2011 (4)
201012December5
December 2010 (5)
201011November4
November 2010 (4)
201010October5
October 2010 (5)
201009September2
September 2010 (2)
201008August2
August 2010 (2)
201006June3
June 2010 (3)
201005May5
May 2010 (5)
201004April3
April 2010 (3)
Captavi QixSuite™ - Hosted Marketing Automation Software ©