• Welcome to the ENJC

    Welcome to the ENJC

    The ENJC is a Conservative, egalitarian synagogue of approximately 150 families. We are truly multi-generational; our youngest members are infants, our oldest are in their nineties. On any Shabbat, you can find three generations of the same family in our pews. We offer something for everyone by meeting our members' needs for spiritual, cultural and social connection to the Jewish people. We are known as the “haimish shul,” so visit and spend a Friday evening or Shabbat morning with us and see for yourself!
  • ENJC's Response to COVID-19

    ENJC's Response to COVID-19

    The health and safety of all members of our ENJC family is our highest priority. Read messages from the ENJC Board of Directors and our clergy by clicking on the READ MORE button. Read More
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View current news articles, commentary, videos and more having an impact on Jewish culture, politics and religion at Rabbi Silverman's Sites to See

I'm not sure where the phrase began there is a reference in a 9th century Kabbalistic work that asserts, "There are seventy faces of Torah and there are seventy faces of God." I have always been driven by the diversity and multiple understandings of the Torah text in Talmudic discussion. The real truth is usually mined from this multiplicity of meanings and understandings. Often the rabbis state a majority opinion but leave in the minority position. Sometimes there is a "tie" called a Tekoo, which means "unresolved," much like a stalemate in a gaem of chess). Tekoo, according to our sages, is an abbreviation for the phrase, "Tisbi yetaretz kushiot oovaayot," which means "Elijah will come to solve problems and enigmas." There are some issues which are multifaceted and defy easy answers. It must be left for the Messianic time to really know the correct answer. In the meantime, in these messy times in which we live, it's important for that we give space to others and not demand black and white positions. We are a people of nuance, whose byword has always been "ele ve ele," "these and those" are words of the living God. We must  remember that we cannot have a monopoly on the truth in any particular issue, any particular policy or any particular party. Rav Avraham Isaac Kook reminded his ultra orthodox community that if we only label others as wrong and wicked, we stop looking for what is wrong and wicked in ourselves, and that is dangerous. Remembering complexity and nuance is a requirement of being a Jew.  If you make resolutions for this coming secular year, may this be one of them. The following is a beautiful article from Aish.com by Rabbi Efrem Goldberg on this topic:


Don't Put Me in a Box: The Death of Nuance

On the one hand, he sent his children to chareidi schools. On the other, he has proudly taught in progressive women’s institutions. He was educated in the right-wing world, but he profoundly values the miracle of the modern state of Israel. When asked what world he belongs in, how does he see himself, one of my rabbis in Israel answered, “You can put me in a box when I am dead; until then don’t try to make me fit neatly into one of your labels.”

More and more, we are forcing people into boxes, even as they are alive. Everything from politics to religion is portrayed as simplified and binary. Whether gun control, healthcare, the economy, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or women’s role in Judaism, the extremists have lined up and they want us to believe that we must view these issues and almost any other, as this or that; you are either with me or against me, you either “totally get it” or you are “totally insane.” The camps have been set up and the default in our world is that you must fit neatly into one of them. But what about the camp of those who don’t fit neatly or conform nicely to the binary options? What about those who see merit in conflicting views, who live with the tension that creates, who approach complicated issues with nuance and who acknowledge complexity? Is there room for us, do we get a voice, is our approach legitimate too?

I want to share one example, not to comment on politics, but simply as an illustration of this dangerous phenomenon:

For some people, if you acknowledge that President Trump has done very positive things for Israel you are immediately labeled yourself as a racist, a misogynist, a supporter and purveyor of hate. For others, if you raise issues with the president’s character, his way of speech and tactics, you are an ungrateful Jew and “how dare you say that about the best president in history for Israel”. In our polarized world, you are either with him or against him. Either he can do no wrong, or he can do no right. You must love and adore him, or reject and hate him. But what about those who feel both extremely grateful for the good he has done and simultaneously concerned and disturbed by his rhetoric and pomposity that are negative and dangerous? Can we not maintain a more nuanced view, neither support nor reject him wholesale but have different feelings towards various policies of his and even parts of his personality?

While the rest of the world may be dividing up into teams, Republicans vs Democrats, conservatives vs liberals, traditionalist vs progressives, forced to toe the party line, pressured to hold predictable views based on their membership, the Jewish people have a tradition of nuance and diversity. The Talmud quotes Rav Chisda who teaches: ״One who learns how to think from only one Rebbe, one teacher, doesn’t ever see blessing״ (Avoda Zara 19a). Just as with material investments we get a better return when we diversify, so too our spiritual investments; learning and exposure should be diversified with openness and access to the seventy faces of authentic Torah. The Midrash tells us:
Moses wrote 13 Torahs, one corresponding with each of the 12 tribes, and the 13th was to be put into the Aron (Ark) so that if someone wants to distort any of the 12 Torahs, it would be checked against the 13th for authenticity. (Devarim Rabba 9:9) The Holy Temple had 13 gates, one corresponding with each tribe and the 13th for those who didn’t know what tribe they descended from. Once there was a 13th gate and a 13th Torah, why the need for the original 12? Perhaps the message is that each tribe, each camp, each point of view deserves to exist and be heard in isolation. But the diverse points of view also have to recognize and allow for the 13th gate, for those can’t easily fit into one of the existing tribes, who aren’t natural descendants of a particular point of view but who choose to walk through the entrance that allows for nuance, a multiplicity of views and a complex approach.

People are entitled to not fit into a box, to not line up neatly or conform to the preconceived paradigms of others. But more than that, one needs to be careful not to overly certain of their point of view. When asked what he would eliminate in the world if he had a magic wand, Nobel prize winner Dr. Daniel Kahneman answered with one word: overconfidence.

There is a difference between having convictions, advocating for a particular point of view or towards specific policies, and being overly confident that they are the only way of seeing or doing things. Be strong in what you believe in, pursue it, represent it, be persuasive in your arguments for it, and in the end, let others see it differently, nonetheless. If we want to see blessing in our thinking, in our judgment, in our relationships and in our lives, we need to have more than one teacher. We need to be exposed to more than one perspective.

The community of those who walk through the 13th gate need to speak up and speak out. We need to not be dragged to overconfident, superficial and binary positions and conclusions just because it makes it more comfortable or convenient for others to have us there with them. Those who maintain a steadfast commitment to nuance and complexity, who can still see the merit in conflicting views, must not be silenced by those screaming over them, both online and offline. One day we will all be placed in a box; let’s enrich our lives by not putting ourselves or others in one until then.

Leadership

  • Candle Lighting and Havdalah for the Shavuot Holiday
  • Ian Silverman, Rabbi
  • Steven Walvick, Hazzan
  • Frank Brecher, ENJC President
Hazzan and Rabbi wish all Moadim LeSimchagut Yontif!  May this be the last holiday we celebrate alone!
Please spend an hour viewing our special Shavuoth YouTube video ahead of the holiday, with its many elements to set the tone for your private prayer and reflection. 
 
WE WILL ZOOM THURSDAY EVENING, MAY 28th, BEGINNING AT 5:45, PM FOR MINCHA, TIKKUN LEIL SHAVUOTH, (YIZKOR MAARIV AT 7PM) 
Erev tavshilin prayer is customary prior to candle lighting when Sabbath flows directly from the Holiday. (Having cooked an egg or another item for eating on Shabbat) 
(this allows one to cook for a shabbat meal on Yontif itself), we recite the following:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessed are you, L-rd our G‑d, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with his commandments, and commanded us concerning the mitzvah of eruv.

Through this [eruv] it shall be permissible for us to bake, cook, put away a dish [to preserve its heat], kindle a light, prepare, and do on the holiday all that is necessary for Shabbat — for us and for all the Israelites who dwell in this city.

 
Thursday, May 28: Candle lighting Thursday evening, erev first day Shavuoth – 7:58 pm.
Sunset is 8:16 pm (blessing ends Vetzivanu Lehadlik Ner shel Yom Tov,  then Shehehiyanu.)
Kiddush Shel Yom Tov may be said after 8:45 pm (at the ending of the full day and full counting of 49 full days)
 
Friday, May 29: Candle lighting for Shabbat Second day Yontif (with Yizkor candle preceeding it) – 7:58 pm.
(Blessing ends Vetzivanu Lehadlik Ner shel Shabbat ve shel Yom Tov. Shehehiyanu. )
Kiddush should be reserved until 8:45 pm as well (Shel Yomtov with shabbat entries), since we don't blend the separate Yontif days
 
Saturday, Shabbat May 30: Maariv and havdalah for end of Shavuoth can begin at 8:45 pm.
 
May all of us have a marvelous holiday! Chag SameahWE WILL MEET ONCE AGAIN AS A ZOOM KEHILA on Sunday, May 31 at 9:00 am. 
 
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View current news articles, commentary, videos and more having an impact on Jewish culture, politics and religion at Rabbi Silverman's Sites to See

Very soon we will be celebrating the festival of Shavuoth, the holiday of matan ve Kaballat HaTorah, the giving and the receiving of the Torah. Our sages ask why the name of Shavuoth–Holiday of Weeks, and Yom Bikurim–the Holiday of First Fruits, are the only names given for it in the Torah itself. Why does it not mention that it’s the holiday of the giving of the Torah as does the Talmud? Because, they answer, the Torah is teaching us a lesson in humility. Humility is needed to absorb Torah, and therefore it loses no time in teaching it. And because, says another sage, God gives the Torah from the beginning of creation! It was always given from the beginning of time. It is simply that there were no people willing to receive it…that is until Israel stood willing at the foot of Mt. Sinai.

The festival of Shavuoth has fewer concrete mitzvoth than its companion festivals, Pesach and Sukkoth. Still, it is a holiday that seeks to recreate, in a visceral way, the experience of receiving the Torah. Just like at Passover, when we must consider that we were the slaves that exited Egypt, there are observances at Shavuoth that seek to place us at Sinai. A midrash asks why the Torah tell us that God addresses the Israelites as “you who are standing here today and you who are not standing here today.” To teach us that every Jewish soul–past, present and future–stood at Sinai when the Torah was received. We eat a dairy meal to remember how we refrained from meat at the time of the reception of the Torah. The word milk, halav equals in number value 40, reminding us of the forty days in which Moses spent day and night receiving Torah. And we also eat it, says yet another sage, to remind us of the argument that Moses gave the angels when they would not surrender it from their guardianship. “You angels, don’t you remember how you were eating milk along with meat when Abraham served it to you? You obviously were not taking this Torah seriously! You don’t deserve it!” (Midrashic humor). Sadly, this year, we cannot stand in our pews as we hear from the Torah about the Torah being given, like we do every other Shavuot. But with this in mind, at least as we listen to the YouTube Supplemental beforehand, we relive the Jewish people’s receptiveness and selection to receive it.

More intensively, at the time of Shavuoth, we seek to become vehicles of Torah learning. Just as the Jews that stood at Sinai had minds and souls fully probed with Torah insights and knowledge, so too, we, their childrens’ children, seek to study the Bible in a macroscopic way. The effect of such an intense learning is to feel an even deeper kinship with the first Israelites, who were infused with the spiritual and the intellectual content of Judaism at Mt. Sinai. I hope, therefore, that you will join with me in advance of sunset Thursday for a Zoom Tikkun Leil Shavuot, in which we will look at some sources on revelation, and in honor of this year, on the subject of triage in the case of a response to the pandemic.

Your presence and your attendance at this year’s Siyum is most coveted. We hope you will join us for this special installment on Thursday, May 28th.  We will begin our short Mincha service at 5:45pm, followed by a study session. Then we will do a “Maariv” service with Yizkor and a sermon at 7:00 pm. Normally, we wait until starlight–until the very end of the 49th day in its entirety. But since this year is not normal, we will begin early enough to stream before sundown. Our study session, complete with cheese blintzes, cheesecake, coffee and tea, will end around 8:00 pm. Of course, you will have the option of providing your cheese blintzes and the coffee you prepare for the occasion😊

The Berdichever Rabbi once asked why is it that when Moshe counts the people in the book of numbers, it says, “as God commanded Moses, he counted them at Mt. Sinai” (Numbers 1:19). Usually, the phrase is reversed: “Moses counted… as God commanded.” The Berdichever teaches something additional: “that which God commanded (the Torah) is numbered like the Israelites. That is, there are 600,000 letters in the Torah just as there are 600,000 Israelites. That which God instructed is the number of the Jewish people.” From this idea, our rabbis said that every Jew is like a letter in the torah scroll. If he or she is vibrant, the letter is clear. If he or she is muted in their faith and practice, the letter can become faded, thus making the entire scroll, the entire Jewish people, unfit. All of us must be counted and all of us must play our parts clearly and energetically. Summer beckons–but so does your heritage, your Jewish religion–always. And when we stand up and be counted, as we did, all of us at Sinai, fantastic things can happen.

Hag Sameach in advance, and I hope very much to see you at our Siyyum! You’ll like the virtual blintzes and you’ll like the lessons learned– I guarantee it!

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With Pesah coming up, it's never too early to start thinking about seders. So I've been asked to offer up my chicken soup recipe, but the truth is that I can't give it to you–and not because it's top secret–but rather, I don't exactly use a recipe. Sure the ingredients are mostly the same: water, chicken, vegetables, spices, etc. But the truth is it varies: sometimes I use chicken thighs, sometimes I use gizzards. In fact, sometimes I've even used turkey necks for my "chicken" soup. I always try to use celery, carrots, onion and dill, but often I try to add parsley or parsnips, occasionally a turnip. This time, on Mary's suggestion, I added thyme, a lovely addition. But there are still some key tips and tricks I can give you to improve your chicken soup, no matter which recipe you use:

1. Don't cook the soup the same day you serve it. Soup is ALWAYS better a day later, when the ingredients have had an opportunity to mix and mingle. Waiting a day or even two can make all the difference between a good soup and a GREAT soup.

2. Brown the chicken before putting it in the soup. Sure, if you're in a rush, you can toss the chicken in a pot of water, but by browning the chicken in the pot before adding the water, you add an immense amount of aroma and browning flavors that will intensify your soup and bring it to the next level.

3. Sauté the vegetables as well, while you're at it. While not quite as impactful as cooking the chicken, you can make the vegetable flavors stand out more. Often I will do the chicken first, then remove the chicken and cook some of the vegetables in the chicken fat, and then add back in the chicken and the vegetables.

4. Skim the soup to eliminate extra fat, etc. Especially when using chicken wings, you often have to deal with feathers, and those things don't dissolve in the soup but float to the top, so you can skim that off along with any extra fat.

5. Know your audience. Some people prefer clear soups, and so you might want to wrap ingredients in cheesecloth, while others don't mind "stuff" in their soup. Some actually prefer it! Some people like throwing in thin egg noodles, or making kneidels/matzoh balls. But if you want to know about how to make those, you'll have to ask Libby, the Kneidel Maidel herself. She even as a song about it!

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Last month was very busy at the ENJC, with numerous activities for all. The turnout at all our events was outstanding, starting off with our second annual SOUPER SHABBAT!

Our Shabbat service was enjoyed by all, and was highlighted by the soups that over 85 congregants tasted while celebrating Shabbat together. A very special thank you to our chef’s – Steve Alberti, Beth Schlesinger, Ilene Glatman, Karen and Jason Tyll, Allan and Donna Berman and Hazzan Walvick. Look for their recipes in this month's Bulletin. I enjoyed all the soups I tried and my only regret was that I did not get a chance to try them all. Thank you as well to Robin Kain, the salad maker. YASHER KOACH to all that helped make it a very special Shabbat.

On Sunday morning, February 2nd, it was time for East Northport’s participation in the World Wide Wrap. The Daled and Hay students made their presence felt with a large turnout. Steve Krantz and the Men’s Club provided hot sliced bagels. Over 40 people got up early on Super Bowl Sunday to attend!

The following Shabbat was another busy weekend! Our Friday night Service was followed by 35 congregants enjoying our annual Tu B’Shevat Seder. It is one of my favorite nights of the year, as my 23-year-old daughter Amanda joins me in participating in the Seder. She was happy to attend and both Rabbi Silverman and Hazzan Walvick made it enjoyable and memorable.

The Engage Program is involving many ENJC members in the many activities offered. Mah Jongg Sundays have started up, and on February 23rd we were treated to some insights from Yossie Mermelstein about the War on Entebbe. Yossie was a pilot with the Israeli Air Force at that time and when he spoke, we all felt that we were there too.

February is ending with our participation in Shabbat Across America, highlighted by a Mexican Dinner. I’m sure it will be MUY BUENO!

Purim is next – SEE YOU IN SHUL!

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Services

  • This Week

 

Week of Monday, June 1

Monday-Thursday, June 1- 4
8:15 pm – Minyan - Zoom Service

Friday, June 5
Kabbalat Shabbat Supplemtal Video (see link below)
6:00 Kabbbalat Shabbat Zoom Service

Sunday, May 29
9:00 am – Minyan - Zoom Service
8:15 pm – Minyan - Zoom Service

 

SupplementalPhoto 
Click on the photo above to view the Shabbat and Shavuot Supplemental Video for 5/30/20
(Please view prior to Shavuot/Shabbat)

  

 

 

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The East Northport Jewish Center
328 Elwood Road
East Northport, NY, 11731  

Phone: 631-368-6474
Fax: 631-266-2910
Religious School Office: 631-368-0875

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