Welcome to Temple Beth Shalom Online
Who We Are
Join us on the Journey!
Temple Beth Shalom was founded in 1978. Since then we have grown from a handful of individuals to over 500 families. Our building was dedicated in November,1984.
Our mission is to learn and experience the relevance, power and joy of our tradition. In order to fulfill this mission, we must perform acts of kindness, study our tradition on an ongoing basis and encourage participatory prayer. Together we will create a caring and vibrant center of Jewish life.
Our goal is to create a Mercaz- a center of Jewish life. In such a center, people will feel inspired to pray, study and socialize together. If the next generation can be taught how to live Jewish values, then we will have created a sense of community and interconnection. A Mercaz can only be created when enough people have been exposed to primary Jewish experiences. As a result, we must ask ourselves:
1. Do we explore our relationship with God? Are we
strengthening that relationship?
2. How do we pray and what do the words mean?
3. How do we celebrate holidays and what do the customs mean?
4. How do we read from the Torah and what do the words mean to us?
5. Do we have a place for Jewish children to meet and socialize with other Jewish children?
6. Is there a place where we can spend quality time working with other Jews on programs, projects and events?
7. Is there a place we can turn to in a time of need?
8. Is there a place in which we can celebrate the life cycle events of our lives?
What's Going On
TBS Alive Shabbat Service. Friday, June 14, 2013 at 7:30PM. We will be holding our next TBS ALIVE SERVICE. This is our Shabbat Service with musical accompaniment. It is difficult to describe the service that is uplifting and spiritual. You have to experience it yourself to understand what we mean. Please be here and bring your friends. After the service, Rabbi Rothstein will hold a discussion session on a timely topic.
TBS Spring Blood Drive - Please hold the date of Monday, June 10th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm to make a donation for our Spring Blood Drive. Appointments can be scheduled through the Temple office at 732-446-1200 or by e-mail to Templebeth@aol.com
Shabbat Under The Stars- Friday, June 28, 2013 at 7:30PM. Join us in our outside courtyard area in the back of our building as we worship together under the stars.
Something To Think About
By Rabbi Ira Rothstein
Say it Ain't So, Joe!
Shoeless Joe Jackson played for the Chicago White Sox and was accused of throwing the 1919 World Series, in a scheme concocted by the gangster Arnold Rothstein (no relation to yours truly!). One day upon leaving the courthouse, a young boy walked up to Joe Jackson and said, “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” The phrase stuck as an expression of denial and when I sat down to write these words, I looked at the pictures of that tornado’s devastation and the first words that came to mind were, “Say it ain’t so.”
I’m looking at a picture of the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Monroe, Oklahoma. Four good Samaritans are frantically picking up debris and pulling out a young girl who was buried under the heap. Her face is filled with a mixture of shock and terror. This little girl may be in shock, but she has her life. Her limbs are intact and that is far more than so many of her classmates. One reporter was overcome with emotion, as he reported live from the elementary school, describing the chaos of terrorized parents descending upon the school in desperate search for their children. The parents arrived at the school only to find a 10 foot mountain of debris. Some of those parents were fortunate enough to find their children alive and well. Other parents were not so fortunate. The school’s cinderblock walls had collapsed and the roof had disappeared, thus exposing children to a tornado packing winds in excess of 200 mph. Some of those children never stood a chance.
The problem with the phrase, “Say it ain’t so,” is that it changes nothing. In time of chaos, tragedy and pain all people have is each other. One group of people working on a section of the debris mountain of that elementary school lifted a heavy door off the pile only to find a teacher lying on top of three students. The teacher was seriously hurt, but the children were alive and well. During times of chaos acts of courage burst forth from ordinary citizens. One man saw the storm coming and hid under his basement stairs. When the tornado passed, he walked up the basement stairs only to find his roof gone. He took one look at the devastation of his own home and got into his pickup truck, telling his wife that he just knew he had to go help others. There are dozens of other stories just like that one.
There is a children’s book written by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner and the title of the book is, “Where Is God.” When the world challenges you and puzzles you, and you feel the need to say, “Say it ain’t so,” Kushner answers the ultimate question of where is God. He says, “God is in the beginning. God is in the first red tomato and in cookies fresh from the oven. God is in the tiny hands of a baby. God is in the last bite of birthday cake and in your worn torn baby blanket. God is in the last wave goodbye and in the last years of life. God is in the Band-Aid fix up after a fall and in morning hugs and good night kisses. Where is God? God is in the sunrise and in the sunset. God is in the fly caught in the spider’s web, in caterpillars chewing daisies and in worms turning leaves into earth. But most of all, God is when people come together.”
There may be some meteorological explanations as to why this is not the first time that Moore, Oklahoma has suffered a devastating tornado. Yet that offers little comfort to the parents who are no longer parents, because they have lost their children. They have every right to say, “Say it ain’t so.” But none of us has the power to undo that which has been done. Yet we do have the power to get up when we are knocked down. We do have the power to help others. We do have the power to find the faith and the strength to go on and to know that we are not alone. As Kushner writes, “God is when people come together.”
If you feel moved to send a message of support and to let people
in Moore, Oklahoma know that they are not alone, then you may
donate directly to
United Way of Central Oklahoma by clicking on DONATE button at
link or send a check to:
United Way of Central Oklahoma
P.O. Box 837
Oklahoma City, OK 73101
Please note on the check – May Tornado Relief
May those who have suffered, find strength and courage and faith. May they know that they are not alone. May they know that others are sending their way, not only material support, but prayers of healing. May the pain and loss suffered in Oklahoma remind each of us how blessed we are every day to enjoy our children, our family and our friends. After all, God is when people come together.