Ellington Shul: NO Services this week, High Holiday Schedule, Parshat Shoftim

Hello everyone;

Ellington Candlelighting tonight is at 7:19pm. Havdalah tomorrow is at 8:19pm.

We do NOT have Shabbos services this week. We are having services for Shabbos on the first and the third Saturdays of the civil month.

Our next Shabbos services will be on September 2nd.

Dues notices should be going out soon, please pay promptly to support our shul.

The schedule for our High Holiday services follows this short note of mine. It will also be sent by regular mail, posted on the website, and put into local newspapers.

After the schedule, please enjoy a d'var torah for this week's parsha, shofitm.

I hope everyone's getting excited for our centennial High Holidays at Congregation Knesseth Israel! 5667-5767! A lot has changed...

Have a good Shabbos.

Elias Friedman, Co-President
Congregation Knesseth Israel

High Holiday Service Schedule 5767-2006


Friday, September 22, 2006 - Erev Rosh Hashanah

6:30 pm Candle Lighting

6:30pm Mincha & Ma'ariv Service

Saturday, September 23, 2006 – First Day Rosh Hashanah

8:30 am Shacharit, Musaf

Followed by a Kiddush

7:00 pm Ma'ariv

7:29 pm Candle Lighting

Sunday, September 24, 2006 – Second Day Rosh Hashanah

8:30 am Shacharit, Musaf.

Followed by Tashlich ?

7:26 pm Yom Tov Ends

Sunday, October 01, 2006 – Erev Yom Kippur, Kol Nidre

6:14 pm Candle Lighting

6:30 pm Fast begins

6:45 pm Kol Nidre

Monday, October 02, 2006 - Yom Kippur, Yizkor

9:00 am Shacharit

11:15 am Yizkor

4:30 pm Mincha

6:00 pm Neilah

7:12 pm Yom Kippur Ends

OU Torah Insights - Parshat Shoftim

By Rabbi Avraham Fischer

August 21, 2006

2 Elul 5766

When the Sanhedrin has voted and reached a majority decision regarding a Torah law, all are bound by its ruling. But if a sage of Sanhedrin-caliber disobeys the ruling, or instructs others to disobey it, and refuses to recant, his punishment is severe:

And the man who shall act arrogantly, not listening to the Kohen who stands there to serve Hashem, your God, or to the judge, then that man shall die; and you shall remove the evil from Israel. And all the people shall listen and fear (V'CHOL HA'AM YISHM'U V'YIRA'U), and they shall not act arrogantly again (Devarim 17:12-13).

This discusses the "rebellious elder" (zaken mamrei), who is executed by strangulation.

How does the Sanhedrin ensure that all the people shall listen and fear?

In capital cases, there is no delay between sentencing and execution, so as not to cause undue anxiety to the condemned as he awaits his punishment (inui ha'din; Sanhedrin 35a). In the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 89a), R. Yehudah states that the zaken mamrei too is executed immediately, but the court sends out proclamations to publicize the verdict and punishment.

R. Akiva disagrees, teaching that all the people shall listen and fear supersedes the concern for inui ha'din. After being tried in the high court in his city, the zaken mamrei is brought to Jerusalem, where he is jailed until his execution on the next Pilgrimage Festival.

Rashi reflects the view of R. Akiva:

"From here [it is derived] that they wait for him until the festival, and they execute him on the festival."

Actually, he is not executed on the festival day, but on chol ha'moed or, in the case of Shavuot, on the next day (Minchat Chinuch, R. Yosef ben-Moshe Babad of Tarnopol, 1800-1874, Mitzvah 496; Tiferet Yisrael, R. Yisrael ben-Gedaliah Lipschutz, 1782-1860, Sanhedrin, Chap. 11 n. 26).

But this is not the only instance where the Torah commands that Israel must listen and fear:
• Meisit, the one who incites others to serve idols:
And all Israel shall listen and fear (V'CHOL YISRAEL YISHM'U V'YIRA'UN), and they shall not continue to do such a wicked act in your midst (Devarim 13:12).
• Eidim Zomemim, the witnesses who plotted to have someone punished on false charges:
And those that remain shall listen and fear (V'HANISHARIM YISHM'U V'YIRA'U), and they shall not continue to do such a wicked act in your midst (Devarim 19:20).
• Ben Sorer U'moreh, the wayward and rebellious son:
Then all the men of his city shall stone him with stones and he will die; and you shall remove the evil from your midst. And all Israel shall listen and fear (V'CHOL YISRAEL YISHM'U V'YIRA'U) (Devarim 21:21).
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 89a) states that all four of these cases must be "announced" in the manner R. Yehudah described.

When R. Akiva opposes another Tanna, the law always follows R. Akiva (Eiruvin 46b; Ketubbot 44b), but there seem to be two versions of R. Akiva's view in these cases (Chasdei David, R. David Shmuel ben-Yaakov Pardo, 1718-1790). In non-mishnaic sources (Sifri Re'ei 91; Tosefta Sanhedrin 11:7) he argues with R. Yehudah in all four cases. In the Mishnah however, R. Akiva singles out the zaken mamrei for execution in Jerusalem at the festival.

From Rashi's comments in these four passages, it is clear that he follows the Mishnah's version of R. Akiva's opinion. Rambam also rules according to R. Akiva in the Mishnah ("Laws of Testimony" 18:7; "Laws of Rebels" 3:8, 7:13).

Ramban says these four are set apart for "announcing" because their actions could lead to worse transgressions: The meisit to idolatry, the zaken mamrei to disunity in Torah authority, the eidim zomemim to shedding innocent blood, and ben sorer u'moreh to robbery and murder. Although they have not actually committed a capital crime, the Torah decrees death for them to set an example for the public.

R. Shimshon Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888), citing RaN (R. Nissim ben-Reuven Gerondi, c. 1310-c. 1375), notes that only meisit and eidim zomemim include the phrase

and they shall not continue to do such a wicked act in your midst,

because there is a genuine concern lest others follow their example. However, zaken mamrei and ben sorer u'moreh do not include this clause, because these are so rare that duplication is unlikely. The real fear is that the public's reliance on the chain of tradition will be undermined. It is crucial

"to drive home in general the seriousness of educating our children, and children's obedience to parents, and obedience to the traditional verbally-handed-down Torah and its teachers and exponents."

Still, why is zaken mamrei the only one (according to Rashi and Rambam) whose execution is held so publicly?

Maskil LeDavid (R. David Pardo, 1718-1790) says, since the other three are executed at their local court, there is no point in waiting until the festival. But the zaken mamrei is executed at the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, so it is reasonable to postpone it until the festival, when everyone will be assembled for the pilgrimage. [But, this begs the question: why must his execution take place at the Sanhedrin? Could it be because he is qualified to be a member of that court?]

Haketav VeHakabbalah (R. Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenburg, 1785-1865) notes that with the others it is said:

And all Israel shall listen and fear.

(The Talmud notes that And those that remain shall listen and fear for eidim zomemim reflects the fact that not everyone is suitable to testify.) But only in the case of zaken mamrei is it said:

And all the people shall listen and fear (V'CHOL HA'AM YISHM'U V'YIRA'U).

YISRAEL is the name of the people in terms of their common ancestry; AM derives from IM, "with," and connotes total bonding of individuals around common values. The punishment of the zaken mamrei takes place in the presence of the AM, the assembly in Jerusalem on the festival.

AM YISRAEL unites around the unbroken chain of Torah tradition.

Aloh Na'aleh

We are accustomed to describing the mitzvot as either Bein Adam L'chavero (between man and his fellow) or Bein Adam L'Makom (between man and God). A third category sometimes suggested is Bein Adam L'atzmo (between man and himself). In this third category we find, for example, the mitzvah of Torah study, for we must study Torah to achieve personal growth.

This week's parshah deals with a fourth category which is often overlooked due to our long exile. These mitzvot can be called Bein Adam L'chevrah or Bein Adam L'medinah (between man and society or between man and the state). These are laws that cannot be fulfilled by the individual. Rather they are the collective obligations of society. Only a society can establish a government, courts, law enforcement agencies, an army and rules of combat. Without an independent state, these mitzvot are relegated to theoretical study without practical implementation. If a Jew does not live in an independent Jewish state, he cannot fulfill these mizvot.

Our generation is blessed. In our time, in our land, these mitzvot are no longer merely theoretical. Being self-governing, we are challenged to bring this dormant area of Torah to life. Establishing a police force, an army, courts and government are mitzvot when they are done in Israel.

I once heard an interesting interpretation of the verse in Tehilim 147:19: "He declares His word to Ya'akov, His statutes and His judgments to Yisra'el." When we are Ya'akov, a name that represents Galut, many parts of the Torah are merely words. But when we become Israel, those parts of the Torah become living statutes and judgments.

Rabbi Yosef Wolicki, Beit Shemesh

Elias Friedman A.S., EMT-P


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Congregation Knesseth Israel's Website is http://www.ellingtonshul.org/


Dems are starting to get what's going on...

I think that Liberal Toby here understands what's going on better than most Republicans do...

From courant.com
Lieberman Imitates Nader


August 20, 2006

Why is it that Joe Lieberman reminds me of Ralph Nader these days?

Is it that both are from Connecticut and spent the 1970s and '80s building progressive credentials as staunch environmental and consumer advocates?

When a group of us, inspired by Ralph, started the Connecticut Citizen Action Group in the early '70s, one of our heroes in public office was Lieberman, then a young state senator. He went on, of course, to lose a U.S. House race in 1980, but bounced back to become a very good attorney general and, in 1988, a U.S. senator.

Ralph built a national citizen action movement as well as an effective campus-based network of "public interest research groups."

They ran into each other in 2000, Lieberman running with Al Gore as a vice presidential candidate and Nader running against both parties as an independent.

That year, I and a host of other former Nader Raiders built a campaign to try to convince people that a vote for Nader might actually be a vote for Bush.

Lieberman joined a chorus of Democrats who denounced Nader as a man in the process of destroying all the good things he had done.

Now it's Joe who's running as the independent, in a race that clearly has national implications, not because control of the U.S. Senate is likely to be at stake but because Lieberman might help Republicans keep control of the House of Representatives. By staying in the race, he may bring more Republicans to the polls on Election Day, hurting Democratic challengers to U.S. Reps. Rob Simmons, Chris Shays and Nancy Johnson.

Who would have thought 30 years ago that these two Connecticut figures, who accomplished so much for consumers, for civil rights, for protection of the planet, might build legacies like this? Each of them in their own stubborn way might become known as the two people who helped out Bush and his right-wing allies when they most needed it.

Despite pleas from friends and former colleagues, Nader wouldn't even consider withdrawing from the 2000 race. He got more than enough votes in Florida to put the final Bush-Gore tally in doubt.

In 2004, I and many other volunteers built a more effective operation to challenge Nader's presence on the ballot in many states. It was clear to us that Republican operatives were helping him because they wanted him to take votes from Democrats.

That's why Joe so reminds me of Ralph these days. He's ruining what is left of his progressive credentials and doing it with Republican help. Prominent GOP leaders across the country are urging Republicans to support him.

Connecticut's incumbent and endangered Republican members of the House are using Joe's words on terror - that to talk of getting out of Iraq "will strengthen [terrorists] and they will strike again," identical to Bush-Cheney-Rove line - to attack their Democratic challengers. This past week, one of those challengers told me that "there's so much noise around Lieberman/Lamont that we can't get our message out."

Joe may even be helping rejuvenate the Connecticut Republican base, which seems to prefer him over its own candidate, Alan Schlesinger. When have you ever seen a major party almost gleeful that its Senate candidate is sitting at 4 percent in the polls?

For those who want to take one critical lever of power - the House - away from Bush, this is a looming disaster.

Like Nader, Joe will not be talked out of it. He has a lead in the polls.

He is determined and self-righteous.

Perhaps the next commercial from Democrat Lamont might be a version of the one he used in the primary, in which Joe morphed into Bush. This time, Joe becomes Ralph.

Toby Moffett was a U.S. House member from Connecticut from 1975 to 1982. He is now a lobbyist in Washington and an unpaid adviser to Democrats Joe Courtney and Chris Murphy, who are challenging Republican Reps. Joe Simmons and Nancy Johnson, respectively.
Copyright 2006, Hartford Courant

Visit www.courant.com for Connecticut news updates, sports stories, entertainment listings and classifieds.

Elias Friedman A.S., EMT-P