- L’SHANAH TOVAH / NEW YEARS GREETINGS FROM YOUR MOTAS BOARD
- SEPT MOTAS MEETING – THU SEP 20 DINNER MEETING @ GOLDEN HUNAN
- GUYS WITH HANDS NEEDED TO HELP BUILD THE TEMPLE SUKKAH – SUN SEP 23 @ 8:10AM
- CHARITY POKER TOURNAMENT (SUN OCT 21) – VOLUNTEERS/PLAYERS NEEDED
- IN CLOSING
The Leadership of the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom — your MoTAS Board, your MoTAS Past Presidents — collectively wishes all the men of Temple Ahavat Shalom a sweet and happy New Year. L’Shanah Tovah. May you be written and inscribed in the Book of Life, and may your fast be an easy one. We look forward to celebrating the start of the new year with you at our first meeting of the year, which will be held the evening after the end of Yom Kippur, as described in the next item in this message.
For those curious about Jewish customs at this time: There are a number of things you will see. The first is an abundance of sweet foods. Apples dipped in honey. Honey cakes. The sweet foods remind us of the sweet year to come. Apples in honey, specifically, express our hopes for a sweet and fruitful year. Apples were selected because in ancient times they became a symbol of the Jewish people in relationship to God. In Song of Songs, we read, “As the apple is rare and unique among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved [Israel] amongst the maidens [nations] of the world.” In medieval times, writes Patti Shosteck in A Lexicon of Jewish Cooking, apples were considered so special that individuals would use a sharp utensil or their nails to hand-carve their personal hopes and prayers into the apple skins before they were eaten. And the Zohar, a 13th-century Jewish mystical text, states that beauty – represented by God – “diffuses itself in the world as an apple.” With respect to the honey: honey – whether from dates, figs, or apiaries – was the most prevalent sweetener in the Jewish world and was the most available “sweet” for dipping purposes. And as for the biblical description of Israel as a land flowing with “milk and honey,” the Torah is alluding to a paste made from overripe dates, not honey from beehives. Still, enjoying honey at Rosh HaShanah reminds us of our historic connection with the Holy Land. Although the tradition is not in the Torah or Talmud, even as early as the 7th century, it was customary to wish someone, “Shana Tova Umetukah” (A Good and Sweet Year).
Another traditional food is a round challah. Some say they it represents a crown that reflects our coronating God as the Ruler of the world. Others suggest that the circular shape points to the cyclical nature of the year. The Hebrew word for year is “shana,” which comes from the Hebrew word “repeat.” Perhaps the circle illustrates how the years just go round and round. But Rosh Hashana challahs are not really circles; they are spirals… The word “shana” has a double meaning as well. In addition to “repeat,” it also means “change”. As the year goes go round and round, repeating the same seasons and holidays as the year before, we are presented with a choice: Do we want this shana (year) to be a repetition, or do we want to make a change (shinui)? Hopefully, each year we make choices for change that are positive, and each year we will climb higher and higher, creating a spiritual spiral. The shape of the Rosh Hashana challah reminds us that this is the time of year to make those decisions. This is the time to engage in the creative spiritual process that lifts us out of the repetitive cycle, and directs our energies toward a higher end.
There are also apologies, for during the ten days starting Sunday evening, Jews examine their lives and see how they can do better. On Yom Kippur (starting the evening of September 18th), Jews apologize to G-d for their misdeeds during the past year. However, for an action against another person, one must apologize to that person. So, in that spirit:
If your MoTAS leadership, past or present, has offended any of you, in any way, shape, manner, or form, real or imagined, then we apologize and beg forgiveness. If we have done anything to hurt, demean, or otherwise injure you, we apologize and beg forgiveness. If we have done or said over the past year that has upset, or otherwise bothered you, we sincerely apologize, and will do our best to ensure it won’t happen again. If you have done something in the above categories, don’t worry. We know it wasn’t intentional, and we would accept any apology you would make.
Gmar Chatima Tova.
September is crazy with the first three Sundays falling over Labor Day weekend or over the High Holy days. So, how about rebuilding your calorie count with us on the Thursday after Yom Kippur, September 20 by joining the Men of TAS for a welcoming dinner meeting on Thursday September 20 as our first monthly meeting of the year. It will be at: Golden Hunan (in the private room), 10334 Reseda Blvd, Northridge.
The dinner will start at 6pm and will cost $20 per person. The meal will include soup, five entrees, and an ice cream dessert with tax and tip included. The entrees will have no pork or shrimp. Please invite your wife and temple friends to join us; your preference as to which one sits next to you. Please bring your $20 in cash. This will be our 2018-2019 introductory meeting so we will have a little bit of announcements, a little bit of news and the first glimpse of our new secret signal for the Men of TAS.
Please RSVP by Sunday September 16 with the number attending by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Howard Miller at (818) 993-0796. If you are new to the Men of TAS or even just to TAS, we look forward to meeting you. Let me know if more info is needed or if you have questions.
On Sunday September 23 the Men of TAS will be exhibiting our annual precision teamwork and construction comradery in building the Sukkah for our TAS school children. Come by 8:10 and we will have bagels and cream cheese along with a variety of drinks before we start at 8:30. If you are the parents of religious school kids and would like to help, we welcome your assistance. We will have the Sukkah ready by 10:30 in time for use by the kids and their teachers. All you need are work gloves but an Allen wrench would also be handy. There is no height requirement but old basketball players are a big help. Just show up on the south patio and ask for Howard or Mike.
MoTAS NEEDS VOLUNTEERS/PLANNERS/DONATIONS: MoTAS, along with the Men of TRZ, is organizing a big Texas Hold-em Poker Tournament on Sunday October 21. We hope to have 120 players, so please plan on coming and ask all of your poker playing friends to participate. Anyone, male or female, who likes poker will have a great time. We also have opportunities for sponsorship recognition, so please help us find sponsors. If you don’t play, we need a few guys to help with our registration desk and to serve food and drinks. We are also looking for raffle and auction items that help us make additional money. So, even if you don’t play, we can use your help in making this event a success. We are all proud of what the Men of TAS does with our financially supported projects, so please find a way to help us execute this fundraising effort.
POTENTIAL PLAYERS: You are invited to participate in the 2018 Men of TAS (Temple Ahavat Shalom) and Men of Temple Ramat Zion Texas Hold-em Charity Poker Tournament to be held on Sunday October 21 at Temple Ahavat Shalom. This year’s winner will earn $1,000 and there will be cash prizes for everyone making the final table. Other opportunities to win big include our famous 50/50 cash drawing (final selection can win $1,000), a raffle and a silent auction.
Your $80 entry fee entitles you to a players seat, a lite dinner, a drink and five raffle tickets. Feel free to print and fill out the registration form and mail your check payable to Men of TAS (or your credit card information) to Howard Miller at 9656 Geyser Ave, Northridge CA 91324. You can also visit poker.tasnorthridge-motas.org and register and pay online (or click here to go directly to the Eventbee).
This year we are holding our tournament along with the Men of Temple Ramat Zion. Also, a portion of the Men of TAS proceeds will benefit the TAS Early Childhood Education Center. Various sponsorship opportunities are available on the registration form for those who want to help the Men of TAS and the Men of Temple Ramat Zion fund important activities in support of their temple and local community. Other contributions may include future local sports tickets (Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers, Galaxy, LAFC, UCLA, USC, etc.) and upcoming entertainment (tickets to local concerts or plays) that can be used for auction items or raffle prizes.
Please forward our invitation to all your poker playing friends so that we can make this event a rousing success. You can download a copy of the flyer here. We have always had a fun tournament and this year’s will be no exception. No player needs to be expert to have a great time! Please register now to ensure your space as our seating is limited to the first 120 people. Please call Howard Miller at (818) 993-0796 if you have any questions.
We’re also exploring a parallel boardgaming event (if there is sufficient interest) for those under 18, or those that don’t play poker. To RSVP for that, click here.
As always, remember that the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom is *your* organization. Keep up to date on our activities at http://www.tasnorthridge-motas.org/ and participate. Sign up for our action alert list at http://tinyurl.com/motas-action-alert. We want to serve all the men of Temple Ahavat Shalom and welcome new participants from the TAS membership. Join our Facebook group and “follow” our website. Come be part of the Men of Temple Ahavat Shalom!