Fall Classes with Rabbi Shmuel Greenwald

For thousands of years those who have sought solace and inspiration and the peace of mind that comes with trusting God have turned to the Book of Psalms.
Join me for this 3-part series introducing you to these timeless poems.
We will meet on Mondays, October 22nd, 29th and November 5th at Aish at 7:45 p.m.
To RSVP or for more information, call 314-862-2474 or email sgreenwald@aish.com

The Annual Rubin Feldman Memorial Lecture presents Rabbi Shmuel Klein

Sunday, October 28th, 7 pm at the Holocaust Museum & Learning Center.

Join Rabbi Shmuel Klein as he explores the “Stars that Pierce the Darkness:  Jewish Heroism in the face of Evil” through profiles of valor among Jews during the Shoah as well as the circumstances and characteristics that enabled this courage.
Light reception to follow (dietary laws observed)  This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
RSVP to Dan Reich at 314-442-3714 or DReich@JFedSTL.org or the Aish office at 314-862-2474 or cwolff@aish.com

 

Aish Hebrew/Adult Sunday School

Do you want to do something this Sunday that will change your week?  Do you want to be less stressed, create balance in your life, and have the wisdom to focus on what really matters?

Join Rabbi Shmuel Greenwald’s on-going classes this Sunday, October 14 2018,
from 10 am – 12 pm 

Class I   10:00 am – 10:50 am  

Ethics of our Fathers — Human nature never changes.  Learn practical wisdom for living from our sages. 

Class II   11:00 am -11:50 am   

Parsha of the week — The word Torah means instructions and the Torah refers
to itself as instructions for living.  Come learn how the Torah teaches us practical wisdom to deeper relationships and a richer, more meaningful life. 

Suggested donation:  $10 per class

For more information or to RSVP, call 314-862-2474 or email sgreenwald@aish.com

Aish Hebrew School/Adult Sunday School

Join us for Aish Hebrew School and Adult Sunday School

this Sunday, October 14, 2018 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

 

Shabbat Shalom Weekly

Torah Portion:  Noach

October 13, 2018  |  4/Chesvan/5779

BETWEEN THE LINES
Channeling Negative into Positive by Rabbi Abba Wagensberg
This week’s Torah portion opens with the following statement: “Noah was an ISH (man) TZADDIK (righteous person) TAMIM (who was completely righteous  (Genesis 6:9).” The word ISH is a compliment in its own right and the additional descriptions heap honor upon honor on Noah. No other personality is described with so many consecutive praises in one verse!
The first verse in the Book of Psalms teaches: “Fortunate is the man (ISH) who has not gone in the counsel of the wicked, and has not stood in the path of sinners, and has not sat in the company of scoffers.” The Midrash Socher Tov, in the name of Rabbi Yehuda, comments that the phrase “Fortunate is the man (ISH),” refers to Noah, since Noah is called ISH, as in our parsha.
Why is Noah described as “fortunate”? According to the Midrash, Noah was fortunate in that he did not follow the ways of the three categories of people (wicked, sinners, scoffers) cited in Psalms. These three negative categories correspond to the three generations that arose in the world over the course of Noah’s lifetime: the generation of Enosh (Adam’s grandson, who initiated the practice of idolatry); the generation of the Flood (immersed in immoral behavior); and the generation of the dispersion (who built the Tower of Babel in order to wage war against God). It was Noah’s good fortune that he did not go in the path of any of these three generations.
The Midrash teaches us that Noah spent his entire life surrounded by evil and wickedness, yet he managed to make himself into one of the most righteous people who ever lived. This is a remarkable feat. How is it possible for a person to maintain such a high level of spirituality while surrounded by an environment of depravity and corruption?
A passage from the Talmud will help us resolve this question. Ben Zoma says, “Who is a wise person? One who learns from everyone” (Avot 4:1). This is a strange statement. It seems reasonable for us to want to learn from righteous people — but what is wise about learning from the wicked?
The Berditchiver Rebbe remarks that righteous people are able to perceive positive qualities in even the most negative situations. From everything they encounter, they learn how to serve God better.
For example, if a righteous person were to witness someone passionately engaged in sinning, he would recognize and appreciate the tremendous motivating power of passion. However, instead of taking that power and using it to accomplish negative goals, the righteous person would redirect it for a meaningful purpose. The correct channeling of passion has the potential to change rote, sterile performance of God’s mitzvot into mitzvah observance driven by enthusiasm and fire! (Kedushat Levi, end of Parshat Bereishit)
Noah epitomized this ability to channel negative forces toward a higher purpose. A hint to this idea is found in his name. The Torah tells us (Genesis 6:8) that Noah found chen (favor) in the eyes of God. The name NOAH (nun-chet), when reversed, spells CHEN (chet-nun)! Noah found favor in the eyes of God by mastering the art of reversal. He had the ability to redirect every energy from a negative goal to a positive one.
This is why a wise person learns from everyone. Instead of being corrupted by his evil generation, Noah used it as an opportunity for spiritual growth. He had the “best” teachers available! All Noah had to do was learn to take their ingenuity, arrogance, passion, jealousy and zeal, and use them in a productive, constructive way to get closer to God.
May we all learn how to transform the power of every energy and drive into positive action to become the best we can possibly be.

*  *  *

Family Parsha
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids
Once, a long, long time ago, life was wonderful, and life was terrible. It was wonderful because people lived much longer and healthier lives than we do today. Everyone was strong and rich and the world was clean and beautiful. But it was terrible because people forgot all about God and were very cruel to each other. They robbed and killed and hurt each other in every possible way. In fact, there was only one good man left on the whole planet! His name was Noah.
God looked at the world and thought, “This has gone too far. I made this beautiful world to give people a good life, but they’ve really messed things up.” So, He told Noah, “Make a giant ark and fill it with every type of animal and bird, get in with your family and hold on. Soon I’m sending a flood that’s going to wipe everyone and everything off the face of the earth. Only you will survive, and from you the world will begin again.” Noah was sad when he heard this. But he made a mistake. He didn’t try to do anything to change the world around him, although he very much hoped that the people would stop being bad. But that didn’t happen.
So, Noah started building the giant boat. When he finished it, he loaded it up with animals, as God told him. Then the great flood came, and the ark set sail on its journey, to begin a new and better world.


SAY SOMETHING
By Rabbi Nesanel Yoel Safran

“OK, everyone, I mean everyone, stays after school today!” cried Mrs. Handler.
Mrs. Handler, the teacher, had gone out of the classroom for a minute to make copies of a homework assignment. When she came back, she saw that the kids had gone wild and turned the room upside-down. Even the papers from her desk were scattered everywhere.
“Don’t even think that any of you will get home today before 3:30!” she growled as she straightened her desk.
Amy, the teacher’s pet, raised her hand and walked smugly toward the teacher. “May I be excused from staying after school?” she asked. “I didn’t do anything wrong. I sat quietly at my desk the whole time,” she added proudly.
Mrs. Handler looked at Amy. “Did you try to stop them?” asked the teacher.
“Well, er…no,” said Amy. Did you tell them it was wrong?” the teacher asked.
“Not really,” blushed Amy. Did you even feel bad when you saw what they were doing?”
Amy was quiet. “No,” she finally whispered. “I was just happy that it wasn’t me.”
The teacher thought a moment and said, “Amy, you’re a good kid, and I know you would never do something like this. But it’s not enough. You can’t watch your friends acting like animals and just be quiet.
Maybe some of them would have listened if you had said something to stop them. At least you could have tried. I’m sorry Amy, but if you knew better and didn’t say anything, you’re also to blame, and you’ll also stay after school today.”
Discussion Questions:
1)    What did Amy’s teacher want her to learn by making her stay after also?
2)    Can you think of a time when you saw someone doing something wrong? What did you do?
3)    At that time, what feelings made you want to stand up for what was right? And what feelings made   you want to just not get involved?

   *  *  *
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“A good book is like a beautiful garden which you can carry in your hand.” — Chananya Reichman

JOKE OF THE WEEK
Rivky went to stay at her Bubbie’s house for a few weeks in the summer and Bubbie Sarah decided that she was going to teach Rivky how to sew. After Bubbie had gone through a lengthy explanation of how to thread the machine and sew a garment, Rivky stepped back, put her hands on her hips, and said in disbelief, “Bubbie, I don’t understand, you can do all that, but you can’t figure out how to use Skype?”

                                                                                      * *  *
Shabbat Shalom

Aish Staff:  Rabbi Yosef David, Rabbi Shmuel Greenwald, Mimi David, Claire Wolff, Caren Goldstein
Board of Directors:  Marc Jacob, Lynda Baris, Marc Chervitz, Adam Herman,  Bob Kaiser,
Malcolm Klearman, Joy Marcus, Mike Minoff, Dave Mogil, Alan Prelutsky, Leila Redlich,
Mike Towerman, Tziona Zeffren

Send a Tribute!
A great way to send a greeting and support Aish!  Send a mazel tov, condolence or simply show your appreciation to a relative or friend with an Aish Tribute. It’s easy  — just call the Aish office at 314-862-2474 or email us at stlouis@aish.com. Donate any sum (we suggest $18) and we will send a card to your designated recipient and publish it in our newsletter.

Jewish Women’s Society Fall Programs

Join Mimi David for these innovative and inspiring classes:

Saturday, October 6th 11:30 am
Nusach Hari’s “Synaplex Shabbat”
Mimi David will facilitate a discussion on “Raising a Jewish Family”
Free Kiddush lunch to follow at 12:30 pm
Nusach Hari Bnai Zion, 650 N. Price Rd., Olivette 63132

Tuesday, October 9th 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch & Learn, Pirkei Avot “Be the Best You”
Circle@Crown Café`, 8350 Delcrest Drive, U. City 63124

Wednesday, October 10th and Thursday, October 25th   9:00 am
Coffee Schmooze, Kohn’s Deli, 10405 Old Olive Street Road, Creve Coeur 63141

Wednesday, October 10th   7:00 pm at Aish
Women’s Israel Trip Meeting (March 4 – 10, 2019)
Ideal for alumni and those who don’t qualify for the JWRP trip

Mondays, October 15th and 29th 8:30 pm
Live Conference Call   “Mamas in Pajamas”

For more information about JWS and to RSVP, call 314-862-2474 or email mimidavid@aish.com

 

 

 

 

A Message from Mimi… October/13/2018 Chesvan/4/5779

Dear Sisters,

I got a cute text from a friend titled “Everything I need to know about life I learned from Noah’s Ark.”  It listed 10 pithy life lessons, such as “Plan ahead.  It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.”  And, “Stay fit.  When you’re 600 years old — someone may ask you to do something really big.”  And this one, “Remember:  the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.”  They are all cute and creative and made me smile.

I want to share my own list with you.  I am calling it, “Everything I need to know about Shabbos I learned from Noah’s Ark.”  My list contains very cool connections between Shabbos and this week’s Torah portion, which tells us about the flood and Noah’s Ark (among other things! I gotta save some material for next year :).

The Zohar teaches that the name Noah shares the same root as the word Menucha, which is the spiritual rest that we experience on Shabbos.  Just as Noah saved the world from total destruction by the flood, Shabbos saves the Jew from being completely overwhelmed by the material and physical pursuits that we are flooded with all week long.  Shabbos is the Ark that keeps us afloat.

Also, part of the instructions in the building of the Ark stated that it needed a window or skylight.  Some say that Noah used a precious stone that refracted the outside light to illuminate the interior of the Ark and shine away the darkness.  We also view Shabbos as a light — it is the day that brightens up the rest of the week for us.  Symbolized by the lighting of candles, we view Shabbos as the source of clarity of vision for the entire week ahead.
If you thought that was cool, here’s the cherry on top:  The Hebrew word that Hashem used for window is tzohar, which has the numerical value of 295.  The word for Ark is teivah, which has the value of 407.  If you add the two together you get 702, which is the same as the numerical value of the word Shabbos!!!

Shabbos is one of the greatest investments we can make in our own Judaism.  It has the power to save us from being destroyed by our own busy selves.  It shines light into our week and gives us clarity and focus.  It is a haven of time and space in which we can reconnect to and rekindle our very own souls.

Bring some more Shabbos into your life this week.  Disconnect from technology, have a delicious dinner, open your siddur and say a prayer.  Make that amazing investment into your own self.
Wishing you a de”light”ful Shabbos,
Mimi David
PS  Join us for upcoming programs — be inspired while having fun!
Sunday, Oct 14 — Mrs. Chani Juravel will be speaking for women!  She is AWESOME!  See flyer below, and let me know if you want to attend!
Monday, Oct 15 — Mamas in Pajamas!  Conference call class.  8:30 pm @ your couch 🙂
Dial code:  605-472-5814        Access code: 126-753-373
Thursday, Oct 25 — Coffee Schmooze 9 am @ Kohns
Thursday, Oct 25 — The Great Big Challah Bake @ Aish!  Look for an email soon with details
Mimi David