Skip to main content

December 2023 - January 2024

Our Community News

Our tradition teaches us that just one mitzvah can change the world.

Mitzvot, doing good deeds, is the Divine assignment the Jewish People were given. Proverbs teaches, “A mitzvah is a candle, and the Torah is light.” Our sacred texts and the Rabbis’ teachings leave no doubt that the Jewish People are on a mission to bring light into the world.

Here at home, as we contemplate the promise of our Jewish future, the communal assignment is clear: in our mission to create a safe, secure, and sustainable community, we should look beyond the short-term solutions which would be analogous to lighting a match, taking delight in the fire’s flare, only for it to burn down and quickly die.

However, if we put the lighted match to the wick of a candle, the flame lives. With this longer-term idea in mind, we should be thinking about our collective future as we continue our community conversations this Hanukkah season and into 2024.

As I sit on the bus back to Indiana, I have so many thoughts and feelings about the rally in DC today. My biggest takeaway right now is how proud we Jews are to be Jewish. From the most observant to the least affiliated, we were all there together today, proclaiming our love of G-d, Israel, and the Jewish nation.

While Israel is fighting a war for its survival against Hamas, Hezbollah, and their sponsors in Iran, there is another war being fought here in America. Especially on college campuses, this is an information war for the legitimacy of Israel

For more than two decades, the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement has been working tirelessly on college campuses to demonize and delegitimize Israel and its right to exist. Today, we are witnessing the troubling results of this campaign.

The joyous holiday of Chanukah celebrates the miraculous victory by a small band of Jews (Maccabees) over the entire Syrian-Greek armies. Strangely though, we don’t really celebrate the military victory, but rather the finding of untainted olive oil that was used to light the Menorah in the Temple. A possible reason for this focus is that while one could always rationalize the victory and take credit for it, the miracle of the oil could only be credited to G-d.

On October 7th, 2023, Simchat Torah, our family went to bed celebrating Shabbat and awoke in a stupor around 6:30 am to alarms we didn’t expect to hear, only six weeks into our Aliyah. We frantically yelled for our kids as they were jolted out of their sleep. We had 90 seconds to get out of bed and make it down four floors with six kids to the safe area of the lobby (our oldest was in a Mechina—a pre-military camp). We actually did make it down in time and finally met all our new neighbors in the bomb shelter.

I am writing to you on the 36th day of the war against the Hamas terrorist organization. I want to express my gratitude for you reaching out to me. I appreciate your love and support in these hard days.

On Shabbat morning, October 7th, my boyfriend Ran and I stayed at his parents' home in the center of Israel and woke up to the sound of sirens, like everyone else, at 6:30 AM. We initially thought it was a mistake and never imagined what was about to come.

October 7th will forever be a cursed day, marked by death and deep sadness.

For those of you noticing the title’s similarity to David Copperfield, you’re right. It’s deliberately a contemporary rendition of that Charles Dickens classic. Full of exaggerated characters, parallel plotlines, and similar names (such as Mr. Dick/Brother Dick, Mr. McCobb/Micawber, Agnes/Angus, Dora/Dori, and Tommy), one reader was grateful for having previously read the original since Demon Copperhead is a difficult book.

We have a special treat for you this issue. Our community member and Federation board member, Donna Barton Ayres, who shares our love of recipes, cooking, and all things culinary, gifted us this month’s article and recipe for her Aunt Ruthie’s chili.

Those of us defending Israel are facing a challenge. The problem is this: too many people in America are not getting the complete picture of what this war is all about.

I can tell you what it’s not about. Our war is not with the Palestinian people. Our war is against Hamas and anyone else who thinks Israel does not have the right to exist.

Close Menu