10/26/2017

Shabbat Shalom Leh Leha

Candles - October 27th @ 5:38pm
Havdalah - October 28th @ 6:32pm

Special Younger Generation Kiddush this week
sponsored by Ezra Chammah in honor of Rebecca Harary's
candidacy for NYC Council. (See note below.)

All great cultures and religions have stories of journeys and quests. Like the Gilgamish Epic, the Greek Iliad, the Odyssey or the Roman Aeneid. They involve a special person leaving home, suffering, hardships and finally returning home. Often there are awesome creatures, cruel enemies and tragedies. The objects of quests are usually things; the Golden Fleece, chalices, swords or relics.

Abraham is different. He has no intention of returning home, even if he does have to leave the destination, the land God promised, because of famine. The trials he endures are alien cultures and moralities, capricious rulers, divisions within his family, wars. All of which he surmounts and even benefits from in the end. But the fact is that his voyage is not primarily about achieving physical goals or wealth.

What really matters is his relationship with God and with human beings. His desire to be kind, hospitable, to care, is part of his quest to find the right way to live, to worship God and to get closer to understanding what God requires of him.

In both cases, human and Divine he is groping towards a resolution. He finds himself making bad decisions. He trusts the wrong people, he mistakes the will of God. Abraham is no perfect hero. In a way he is like us, everyman. And yet of course he is not. For he is the great spirit who discovers monotheism, who connects the idea of one God, with goodness. Who knows that to serve God is to serve humanity, regardless of whether people agree with his world view or not.

That is why he is the founder of our tradition. That is why he is different to all the other heroes and travelers and favorites of the gods. That is why the Bible calls him Avraham Haivri. Abraham the Jew.

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Visiting this Shabbat and addressing our Kiddush, we welcome Rebecca Harary, Republican Candidate in the coming elections for NYC Council District 4.

After working for years as a successful entrepreneur, Rebecca switched gears and moved into the non-profit realm, where she has excelled in building successful organizations for people in need. Over the last 15 years, Rebecca has founded two non-profit schools; The Imagine Academy for Autism and The Yeshiva Prep High School for children with mild learning challenges.

Additionally, Rebecca was the Founding Executive Director of the Moise Safra Community Center, where she raised over $25 million for the construction of a new state-of-the-art building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for Sephardic Jewish families. She also founded The Propel Network, whose focus is to benefit Jewish women seeking to join the work force.

Today, Rebecca sits on the Board of Directors for all four organizations, and believes her personal and business experience can serve best to benefit the needs of all New Yorkers.

Rebecca is also the mother of six wonderful children, and she is also a grandmother. She and her husband of 34 years live on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and enjoy attending Shabbat services with Rabbi Rosen.

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