Carnegie Shul Chatter – August 2, 2013

Candle lighting time is 8:16


In this week’s parshah, Re’eh, Moses sets forth two paths that the Children of Israel can follow to their future.  One is a blessing that will be received if they elect to follow God’s commandments.  The other is a curse if they ch0ose to turn away from the commandments and follow false gods that they have not yet known.

And what has Man done?  Yes, we follow God, and we try to follow his commandments to the best of our ability.  And even though we are not perfect and do not obey all 613 mitzvahs (some of which we cannot obey because we do not have the Temple, or they are intended for the opposite sex), aren’t there just a few more mitzvahs that we could try to obey?  I know there are some that I have personally thought about that I have let slip away.

No, we don’t follow false gods, like the gods of the Egyptians, Romans or Greeks, but what about the pursuit of money and other hedonistic pursuits that we to0 often place before our pursuit of God and His commandments?

The parshah also includes the definition of clean and unclean beasts, fishes, and birds. Some of us keep Kosher, some do not.  Is this a mitzvah that you don’t keep but perhaps could?  Are those who prepare and certify that our foods are properly prepared as Kosher charging too much for their services, putting an unfair obstacle in the path of those who might want to keep Kosher but perhaps find it economically difficult to do so?

Keeping all of the mitzvahs is a very difficult task.  I understand that and certainly do not intend to judge those who let them pass.  I am not Shomar Shabbos and can’t imagine how I could be after being raised to do all sorts of things on Shabbos.  But that does not mean that I am right. In America we live in a world dominated by Christians, a world that certainly does not shut down on Saturday.  That makes it very hard to stay home and observe the Sabbath, especially with temptations like college football games and baseball games lurking out there, but is that a good enough excuse?  Will God understand?

And what about forgiving loans every seven years?  Really, who among us does that?  But aren’t we supposed to?  This parshah says we are.

Can’t we perhaps sacrifice just a few more of our worldly desires to pursue God’s commandments?

We all must decide for ourselves which of these two paths we will choose to follow.

Mailing List

Marcia Steinberger, who maintains our mailing list, would appreciate it if you could provide her with your updated mailing addresses, email addresses or phone numbers.  Please send these to her email at  Thank you.

Good and Welfare

Paul Ostfeld is recovering very well after recent hip replacement surgery.  Hope to see him at our minyans soon.

Mazel Tov to Roz Hoffman on the upcoming marriage (August 17) of her daughter, Julia.

Welcome to our new board members, Roz Hoffman and Perry Bergman who were elected at the recent annual meeting.

Please let me know if there are any simchas or such occurring in your family so I can include them in the issue of the Menorah which will be coming out soon.

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