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Rabbi Joe's Weekly Message

Week of August 31

Town and Country

Rabbi Joseph Hample

The second week of June we got the tallit commandment, the instruction to wear the fringed garment (Numbers 15:38-39). Then, perhaps, you hung up your tallit for the season and took a little vacation from the sanctuary. I've enjoyed my share of expeditions during the hot weather, meeting family and friends in other states, sightseeing and hiking.

Some elements of Judaism are practiced al fresco. This week we have humane treatment of animals (Deuteronomy 22:1-4, 6-7, 10), safety precautions on rooftops (Deuteronomy 22:8), sanitary guidelines at campsites (Deuteronomy 23:13-14), how visitors should behave on a farm (Deuteronomy 23:25-26), and how farms should welcome visitors (Deuteronomy 24:19-21). Clearly our ancestors spent a lot of time outdoors.

In fact, the Torah portion cautions us to stay out of each other's houses, for privacy's sake (Deuteronomy 24:10-11). The text is concerned with a creditor trespassing on a debtor. A recent controversy in Morgantown, where a landlord confiscated and disposed of a tenant's illicit cat, shows the continuing relevance of the Torah's strictures. It also suggests that people may get along better under an open sky.

It's no surprise that Scripture is more popular in rural parts of America. A document from an agricultural society is easier to appreciate if you live in the country yourself. This week's advice on planting crops (Deuteronomy 22:9) and managing oxen (Deuteronomy 25:4) is wasted on the urban reader. But a God who loves us (Deuteronomy 23:6) and liberates us (Deuteronomy 24:18) is empowering anywhere.

Who could blame you for spending the summer in a swimsuit or a t-shirt? But the tallit commandment is repeated in our current Torah portion (Deuteronomy 22:12). Now would be a good time to put on real clothes and mosey back into the congregation. This weekend we have the Cooper's Rock service Friday night, a full Torah service Saturday morning, the start of religious school Sunday morning, and a board meeting Sunday afternoon. Please join us as your schedule permits. You look so stylish in that prayer shawl.

Yizkor Book Announcement

The Yizkor Book for 2014 - 5775 will be coming out at the High Holidays. There are dedicatory pages. The donation schedule is: Front Inside cover--$200; Back inside cover--$160; Full page--$135; Half page--$85; Quarter Page--$60. Because of spacing concerns, we may need to limit the number of names per dedicatory page.

For the regular dedicatory list of family and friends, the cost per name for TOL members is $12; the cost per name for non-members is $20.

The names of those who passed away during the previous year, and those on our memorial boards, are automatically listed without charge. However, annual listings must be renewed; those names do not roll over.

Send all submissions and donations to:

Sylvia L. Cooper
102 Forest Drive
Morgantown, WV 26505

Make all checks payable to Tree of Life.

The absolute deadline for inclusion in the Yizkor Book is September 3. Names received after that deadline will be listed on an insert.

High Holiday Schedule of Services, 2014

Wednesday, Sept. 10, 7:00-9:00 PM
Bimah for Dummies class
Saturday, Sept. 20, 7:00-10:00 PM
S'lichot program & movie (The Quarrel) and prayer service
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 7:30 PM
Erev Rosh ha-Shanah & Kiddush after service
Thursday, Sept. 25
Rosh ha-Shanah Morning
Children's service 9:15-10:00 AM
Service 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Tashlich 12:30 PM
Friday, Sept. 26 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Rosh ha-Shanah Second Day
Friday, Oct. 3, 7:30 PM
Kol Nidrei service
Saturday, Oct. 4
Yom Kippur
Children's service 9:15-10:00 AM
Morning service begins 10:00 AM
Break 12:30 PM
Rabbi's Tish 2:30-3:30 PM
Music & Reading of names/memorial 3:30-4:30 PM
Afternoon Service 4:30 PM
Yizkor 6:00 PM
N'ilah 7:00 PM
Havdalah 7:45 PM
Break-the-Fast after Havdalah
Friday, Oct. 10, 6:30-8:30 PM
Pizza in the Hut & Sukkot service
Friday, Oct. 17 6:00-8:30 PM
Family Shabbat & Simchat Torah service

High Holiday Schedule in PDF to print

Coming Events

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