Reception in honor of The Roiter Family!
Please join us on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 4:00 PM for a reception in honor of the Roiter family. The evening will feature a live klezmer band, stories from the Roiter family's years of making our shul the wonderful place it is, hors d'oeuvres, and dessert.
The Roiter family is one of the founding families of our Shul, with generations serving the Shul in many ways from the early years through the 1980's. Come meet the 5th generation of Roiters to be involved with the Adam's Street Shul as they celebrate what their Great-Great-Grandparents helped start, and subsequent generations continued, to make a wonderful place to gather, daven, learn, and celebrate together.Read more...
Preparing for Chanukah
To help you enter the spirit of the season, here are some audio and video recordings of Chanukah shiurim from the Adams Street Shul:
|The Hidden Lights of Hanukkah||Tuesday,
|Chanukah Party with Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe||Thursday,
|Candlelighting and Publicity-Seeking||Monday,
|The Miracle of Chanukah||Monday,
|A Children's Introduction to Chanukah||Monday,
|How is a Menorah Like the Bottom of a Burnt Meat Pudding?||Sunday,
|Lekutei Halachos --- Foundation Stone: The Point of Truth||Friday,
|The Laws of Chanukah||Wednesday,
|Netzach versus Hod: Moshe, Aharon & the Menorah||Tuesday,
Making History in Nonantum
Over 100 years ago, Joseph Roiter, having left the Ukraine with his family for an uncertain future in this country, joined with six other recent arrivals to found a small synagogue in Newton, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. He then served two terms as President of the congregation that you, dear members and friends, have animated and strengthened so that it has now served the Jewish community and the larger neighborhood for over a century.
Joseph remained active in the synagogue all his life, including serving on the Bima Committee of 1924 that raised funds and contracted to build the Ark. His seat, number 4 on the east wall, still bears his initials.
His sons, Harry and Mendy Roiter, continued the Roiter Family's involvement. When President Louis Fried passed away in the mid-1980's, it was Vice-President Harry Roiter, himself already ailing, who recruited Bert Grand to become President in his stead. Harry Roiter was also the donor of the Shul's first air conditioning. Brother Mendy long outlived Harry, and although no longer healthy enough to come to shul, Mendy maintained his membership right into the 21st century.
Longstanding member Eric Roiter is a grandson of Joseph and Zipporah Roiter and a nephew of Harry and Mendy Roiter. Shown here with his grandparents, Eric grew up in Newport but recalls visiting the Adams Street Shul as a child with his grandfather and uncles.
Eric is heading up the family's celebration of their ancestors' interest in the Shul.
You are cordially invited to be our guest at an event honoring the Roiter Family on Sunday, December 7th at 4:00 PM. The event begins with a reception featuring a live klezmer band, hors d'oeuvres, wine and schnapps. This is followed by a series of stories and presentations; and finally we will enjoy a dessert buffet together.Read more...
Early Mincha Begins!
For the winter months, we will be holding the Shabbat Mincha service right after kiddush.
That way, we can drive back for Maariv insted of wading through snow and ice. We can also enjoy the full afternoon meal with our families despite the very short days.
This week, maariv will be at 5:40 PM. For more information, contact .
Rules of Engagement
When the bullets start flying and the tanks are rolling, do the standards of peacetime apply? It takes great moral authority to tell soldiers what they can and can't do as they fight for their lives.
The Torah lays down uncompromising rules of engagement that regulate the harsh realities of armed conflict.
You can now watch a video of Rabbi Yaffe's lecture on Jewish War Ethics, delivered on October 27,2014.
Interested in the ethical significance of drones and of operations in Gaza? Take a sober and thorough look at both the contemporary ethics and the Jewish laws of warfare. Watch the video.Read more...
The Chosen Movie!
Did you miss Rabbi Yaffe's frank discussion on "The Chosen People" last week? Well not anymore! We recorded it. Click to watch the video for a deep analysis of Tevye's famous protest, as well as some of our own.
The source texts for the class are: Genesis Chapter 12, Exodus Chapter 19, Isaiah Chapters 56 & 66, Taana Devei Eliyahu Rabbah Chapter 9, and Maimonides's Mishnah Torah Laws of Kings, 12, halacha 5. Click to view or print the handout with these texts.
We often hear the Jewish People referred to as the "Chosen People".
Chosen by who for what?
Is the idea hubris?
This theme has been as source of conflict, prejudice, and pride – in spite of the fact that it has been almost universally misunderstood.Read more...
Rewatching the inspiring videos from Tisha Bav can help us stick to our resolutions regarding our speech.
Here are two of the ten short movies we watched. More are expected to be added here, as additional permissions are received.
...and this time, you can have popcorn.Read more...
Rabbi Zev Leff
So when he was ten years old he entered the Hebrew Academy of Greater Miami. While he should have been placed in the fifth grade, he was placed in a third grade class in order to help him catch up. Two years later, Rabbi Leff had not only caught up but was rapidly developing into one of the school’s best talmidim (scholars). During this time, Rabbi Leff also made the decision to become shomer Shabbat.
Rabbi Leff then went on to the Mesivta of Greater Miami where he was regularly assigned to the most advanced shiurim (classes) in the yeshivah. He was an enthusiastic student and reveled in the give and take of Talmudic discussions. It was not uncommon for him to come up with she’eilot (questions) that his rebbeim couldn’t answer, as well as teshuvot (answers) to questions they had never even thought of.
Rabbi Leff left to study at the Telshe Yeshivah in Cleveland, Ohio, where he became a close talmid of Rav Mordechai Gifter, zt"l.
In the fall of 1968, he was introduced to Rivkah Minkoff, from Ellenville, New York. Before the end of that year they were engaged, and married soon after. The Leffs settled in Cleveland, where Rabbi Leff learned in kollel and supervised the Telshe dormitory.
During a Pesach visit to Miami in 1974, Rabbi Leff stepped in to help the Young Israel of Greater Miami in North Miami Beach with the Holiday sermons. His sermons were received so well that after Yom Tov, he was invited to apply for the position of rabbi.
After returning to Cleveland, he mentioned the experience, in passing, to Rav Gifter. To Rabbi Leff's surprise, Rav Gifter told him to apply, adding that twenty years earlier the roshei yeshivah in the United States had made a major mistake by failing to encourage their best talmidim (scholars) to enter the rabbanut. Were more capable talmidim leading American synagogues, Rav Gifter said, America would look much different. He also reminded Rabbi Leff that he had a personal responsibility to serve the community that had helped him develop into a ben Torah.
Rabbi Leff returned to Miami for an interview. The board offered him a one-year contract. He took it, but asked Rav Gifter to hold his old job open in case things didn’t work out.
Rabbi Leff served as the rav of the Young Israel of Greater Miami for nine years. The transition from dormitory counselor at Telshe to rav of an out-of-town community was not terribly difficult for the young rabbi. He had been moving in two worlds his entire life. He had gone from growing up in a non-observant home to becoming the best talmid at the Mesivta. While he never compromised his religious principles, he always maintained ties with his former world. Indeed, his ability to incorporate all of his experiences enables him to relate to a broad spectrum of Jews. It is what gives him a perspective and a depth of experience that few other leaders in the Torah world have.
While Rabbi Leff served as a rabbi in Miami, he invested much time and effort working with the NCSY chapter based in his shul, and even returned to teach at the Mesivta where he had been a talmid more than a decade earlier.
By 1983, the Leffs decided to make aliyah. Upon moving to Israel, Rabbi Leff became the rav and morah d’asra (leader of the community) of Moshav Matityahu, a community located in central Israel adjacent to Kiryat Sefer, and just outside Modiin.
Today, in addition to his communal duties, Rabbi Leff is also rosh yeshivah of Yeshiva Gedolah Matityahu, and oversees the 20-member kollel on the Moshav. Additionally, he teaches a group of unaffiliated Israelis who live near Moshav Matityahu and lectures at several leading Israeli yeshivot, seminaries and institutions, including the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center. He is a featured speaker at the conventions of the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel, and Torah Umesorah.
"The lesson I learned more than thirty years ago at NCSY conventions is that Judaism is not monolithic and that there are many legitimate approaches to Yiddishkeit," says Rabbi Leff. "This has been the guiding philosophy of my life."
Rabbi Leff's shiurim can be heard in streaming audio format on his website: http://www.rabbileff.net
At the site, you may also submit questions to the Rabbi, which he will answer, B"H, in audio format.
Brandeis at Adams Street
On September 12th and 13th we will enjoy a Shabbaton with students from Brandeis University. This is about two weeks after school resumes, and two weeks before the High Holidays.
The Shabbaton is a joint project of The Adams Street Shul and the Brandeis Orthodox Organization. All of the events are for Brandeis students and Shul families combined.
On Friday night, there will be a congregational Shabbos dinner at the shul, followed by a shiur by a guest "Scholar-in-Residence", still to be determined.
Brandeis students will do the Shacharit and Mincha laynings for the shul that Shabbos. (The Torah portion is Ki Tavo.)
On Saturday, after a special kiddush, the students will be guests for lunches in congregants' homes. Some of the students will prepare drashes to deliver at the tables of their lunch hosts.
If you would like to have a group of students join you at your home for lunch on that Shabbat, please contact Jordan Lee Wagner. Some of the students may be vegetarians or have food sensitivities, so if your meals are gluten-free or otherwise special, please volunteer to be a lunch host.
On Saturday afternoon, we all regroup at the shul for special social and educational events, open to all. Please plan to be with us throughout this special Shabbat.Read more...
Our Newest Video: Jewish Music From Three Continents
Did you miss the wonderful concert, Jewish Music From Three Continents that we presented last month?
Well not anymore! We recorded it.
We hope you enjoy our newest video. It's a video of that evening's exciting performance of Ernst Bloch's Baal Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life.
Jewish Music from Three Continents is also the title of the beautiful studio recording Sergey Khanukaev and Daniel Broniatowski completed and released just days before the concert. Here is a link to purchase the CD.
Tu b'Shvat The Movie!
Did you miss our Tu B'Shevat seder last Wednesday? Well not anymore! We have produced a video of the event, which you can watch online.
We also provide the hagaddah that was used. You can print and have it handy while watching the seder. (You can also use the haggadah as the basis for your own future seders.)
Now here's the video:Read more...
Donate to the Shul Without it Costing You a Cent
Donate to the shul without it costing you a cent. When you shop at The Butcherie in Brookline, remember to ask for your receipt to be stamped. When you bring your stamped receipts to the shul, we turn them in, and The Butcherie donates to the Shul. What an easy way to support a great cause!
Bring your Butcherie receipts to the Shul and drop them in the pouch on the office door. The Butcherie will donate 3% of your credit card purchases, and 5% of your cash or check purchases, to the Shul. It adds up!Read more...