FROM THE RABBI

"I make this covenant with its sanctions, not with you alone, but both with those who are standing here with us this day before the Eternal One our God, and with those who are not with us this day." This quotation from the Book of Deuteronomy 29: 13-14 teaches us that each generation is a partner in the covenantal responsibility with God and thus joins the transgenerational covenantal community of the Jewish people. This is the essence of our approaching holiday, Shavuot.

This festival, which begins on Saturday evening, May 19, is described in our liturgy as "Z'man matan Torateynu" the season of revelation, the giving and accepting of the Torah.

Torah, even in the Middle Ages, meant more than the Five Books of Moses; it stood for learning of the Bible, the Talmud, the Codices and studying the ethical and moral teachings of Judaism.

While today these studies do not teach us everything that we need to know in order to live in our technologically advanced society, they still do communicate who we Jews are, they spell out clearly our spiritual purposes, they distinctly indicate the goals we seek and the road to take in order to achieve them.

Reform Judaism today instructs us to interpret Torah more broadly; Torah should also include such secular knowledge as will help us to understand our world and the role of the individual in it. This new "expanded Torah" could then serve as our guide in the formulation of ideas about what to do with our accumulated high-level information. As "Star Wars" become possible we sadly realize that we know how to blow up the world, but we do not know how to save it for us and for future generations to come.

I believe that it is most urgent that each of us acquire not only technical and professional skills, but also a spiritual orientation so that the time will come when every member of the human race will know what to do with the specialized information taught in schools and learned from books.

On Shavuot, at the season of revelation, we are repeatedly reminded that we have been called upon to be "a light unto the nations," to become teachers of righteousness, interpreters of our new "expanded Torah" of meaningful and moral living. May we be moved to put aside our mundane concerns and seek spiritual rejuvenation and renewal.

Happy Shavuot!

Ferenc Raj

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Üdvözöllek a Bét Orim Reform Zsidó Hitközség honlapján!

Raj Ferenc vagyok, a Bét Orim Reform Zsidó Hitközség rabbija.
A reformzsidóság számomra azt jelenti, hogy tudomásul veszem a közösségem életformáját, igényeit, a körülöttem lévő világot, és nem tekintem feladatomnak rabbiként, hogy nyomasztó mintazsidó, eleven szemrehányás legyek azok számára, akik hozzám fordulnak.
Elie Wiesellel vallom, hogy a zsidóság dolga nem az, hogy zsidóbbá, hanem hogy emberibbé tegye a világot.
Csatlakozz hozzánk, ismerd meg őseink vallását és hagyományait!
..........................................................

Raj Ferenc rabbink üzenete Purim ünnepre:
THE LASTING LESSON OF PURIM

“He who digs a pit will fall into it” [Proverbs 26:27]

This powerful and vivid image of the evildoer falling into the very pit he has dug to destroy another person, is repeated not less than six times in the Hebrew Bible. How similar it is to the essential message of the Scroll of Esther that on Purim is chanted all over the world wherever Jews reside. On this festival we commemorate the miracle of Purim and the downfall of the wicked Haman who, in ancient Persia, plotted to achieve the destruction of the whole Jewish nation.

From time immemorial Haman has been identified with Israel’s enemies whose baseless hatred brings about their own defeat, though not without the loss of human lives. In his “Song of Sweet Dishes” the twentieth century Canadian Jewish poet A.M. Klein compared Haman to Hitler and, as early as 1934, predicted Hitler’s demise:

´Foul Haman swung from a gallows-tree,
May all such end in similar fashion.
Therefore, in Israel, jubilee:
We munch our Haman-taschen.

Now what shall we eat, what shall we gobble,
What toothsome dish shall we prepare,
When Adolph wretchedly will hobble
From scaffolding upon the air?”

While the motif of victory over evil is rather common in the Hebrew Bible, the image found in the Book of Esther is rather unique. God’s name is not even mentioned in this small book. Thus, there is no Divine intervention on behalf of the Jewish people condemned to death and annihilation. Esther and her older cousin Mordecai bravely take the initiative to save the Jewish people from Hamans’s evil plot. Their ingenious plan causes King Ahasuerus to reverse his decree against the Jews. As a result, the wicked Haman literally falls into the pit that he had dug for the Jews as the King orders him to be hung on the very gallows he prepared for Mordecai.

The heroic example of Esther and Mordecai is a clear reminder that we, their descendants, must take an active role in wiping out oppression and discrimination wherever they may exist.

B’virkat Shalom,
Ferenc
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Hallgasd Polnauer Flóra kántorunk dalát:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMqCaC_sE4I
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HETI SZAKASZOK, ESEMÉNYEK

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Közelgő események

  1. Bét Orim – A zsidóság esszenciája

    május 28―6:00 du.-7:30 du.

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