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JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for July 27, 2012

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the voice of jewish washington A new chapter for the Seattle Jewish Film Festival Page 6 Focus on Mercer Island Page 9 The Middle East conflict takes center stage Page 20

jews on the ballot didate rs can a his ye t ok at ge 11 A lo s on pa start@jew_ish @jewishdotcom @jewishcal

july 27, 2012 8 av 5772 volume 88, no. 15

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www.facebook.com/jtnews

professionalwashington.com connecting our local Jewish community

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JTNews . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, July 27, 2012

Late Summer Family CalendarFor complete details about these and other upcoming JFS events and workshops, please visit our website: www.jfsseattle.orgFor the community For Adults Age 60+

AA Meetings at JFStuesdays, 7:00 p.m. Contact (206) 461-3240 or ata@jfsseattle.orgm

Endless OpportunitiesA community-wide program offered in partnership with Temple Bnai Torah & Temple De Hirsch Sinai. EO events are open to the public.

Kosher Food Bank EventPre-registration required Wednesday, August 1 5:00 6:30 p.m. Contact Jana Prothman, (206) 861-3174 or jprothman@jfsseattle.orgm

Walking Tour of the Seattle Center Campusm

thursday, August 9 10:30 noon

An Election Primer: The Initiative & Referendum Processm

JFS 120th Annual Meeting & Birthday CelebrationTuesday augusT 21, 2012 6:30 8:30 p.m. Hillel UW

thursday, August 23 10:30 noon

RESCHEDULED: The Body, the Soul & the Afterlifethursday, August 30 10:30 noon RSVP to Ellen Hendin, (206) 861-3183 or endlessopps@jfsseattle.org regarding all Endless Opportunities programs.m

Three Flavors of Marriage Equality: Spiritual, Legal & Psychologicaltuesday, August 14 7:00 8:30 p.m. RSVP to Leonid Orlov, (206) 861-8784 or familylife@jfsseattle.orgm

Chair: Margot Kravette All guests must be registered. For information, contact Leslie Sugiura: Lsugiura@jfsseattle.org (206) 861 3151

For surViVors oF intimAte pArtner ABuse Programs of Project DVORA (Domestic Violence Outreach, Response & Advocacy) are free of charge.

For pArents & FAmilies

Positive Discipline Summer Seriestuesdays, July 31 & August 7 6:30 8:30 p.m. Contact Marjorie Schnyder at (206) 861-3146 or familylife@jfsseattle.orgm

Support Group for Jewish Women with Controlling PartnersLocation, date and time are strictly confidential

in-home cAre From FAmily Just Feels right.PLAN AHEAD! Call for a no-fee, no obligation intake assessment today.

Meet The NW Network & JFS at the Market!Wednesday, August 29 5:00 6:30 p.m. Contact Leonid Orlov, (206) 861-8784 or familylife@jfsseattle.orgm

Exploring Jewish Themes of Hope & Healing Through Mindful Yoga Practicem

A S S O C I A T E SA division of Jewish Family Service

sunday, August 19 10:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. Contact Project DVORA, (206) 861-3186 or jackiesmith@jfsseattle.org Volunteer to mAke A diFFerence! (206) 861-3155 www.jfsseattle.org or volunteer@jfsseattle.org

(206) 861-3193 www.homecareassoc.org

1601 16th Avenue, Seattle (206) 461-3240 www.jfsseattle.org

friday, july 27, 2012 . www.jtnews.net . jtnews

OpiniOn

the rabbis turn

letters to the editorIn mEmORy OF DAvID BRumER

We dont have to go it aloneRabbi Jill boRodin Congregation Beth ShalomOne of my goals for this summer has been to expose my 6-year-old twin daughters to hiking. Over the past couple of weeks, we have gone out hiking twice. The first time, I picked an easy walk. This easy trail started out fine, but after five minutes the whines and demands for infinite breaks began and the interest in the hike waned. Tasty treats along the way and the promise of ice cream got us farther, but were not enough to get us to the end of the 45-minute hike without incessant whining. Determined that exposure to the wonders of the natural world is good for us, a week ago we set out on our second hike. This time, wanting a more positive result, I strategically invited another family. This time I was delightfully surprised to see my kids happily running up the trail ahead, eagerly pushing themselves and trying new challenges, calling out in excited cries, Ima, did you see the shape of that tree? Ima, listen to the birds. Ima, its so beautiful here. Ma nishtana? What was different (besides now venturing on a four-hour uphill hike)? I came prepared with better snacks, but more importantly, we werent alone. I followed the advice of Yehoshua ben Prachyah from Pirkei Avot (1:6): Aseh lecha rav, ukneh lecha haver. Select a teacher for yourself; acquire for yourself a friend. I found another family of experienced hikers and let them be our teachers. And I made sure my kids had haverim, friends for the experience. This teaching is usually understood to explain that our Torah learning is sharper and stronger when we study with a partner. While this is very much true for studying Torah, it is also true for every other type of learning, whether we want to learn how to be more reflective individuals, better parents, or just open to new possibilities. If we had gone alone on this hike, a self-fulfilling prophecy would likely have clicked into place. I would have expected my kids to behave in a certain way, and likely they would have fallen into our well-ingrained patterns of family dynamics. However, the variable of an additional family opened up the possibility of our leaving our entrenched patterns and helped us travel new paths, ascend to new heights (literally), and create the space for new possibilities to emerge. Since the success of this second hike, I have been reflecting on what lessons can be learned and applied from this experiment. How do we navigate to direct toward more positive experiences and the ability to ascend to new heights? Sadly, bad experiences or negative dynamics often become worse instead of getting better. Right now, we find ourselves in the Jewish calendar in the midst of the somber period of the three weeks (also called bein hameitzrim, between the narrow places), which falls between the fast days of the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av (observed this year on July 8, the night of July 28 and the day of July 29). We go from the minor fast of the 17th of Tammuz (which marks the day a number of calamities befell our people) to the major fast day of the 9th of Av (which marks a number of even worse calamities that befell our people). Can we imagine what would have happened if we had been able to successfully respond to the calamity of the Romans scaling the walls of Jerusalem on the 17th of Tammuz and avoid their destruction of the Second Temple on the 9th of Av? On August 19 we will begin the new month of Elul. With Elul begins the official traditional Jewish call to be reflective (though all year long is also appropriate timing), to do soul searching and to consider which relationships need improvement and which habits are harmful. It urges us to change them for the better. We are reminded that improvement is possible, that we dont need to be stuck in the narrow places or descend to new lows, but that new heights can be achieved. As former Israeli Chief Rabbi Lau recently reminded us on his visit, we dont need to accept ma yehieh whatever will be but can orient ourselves to practice ma naaseh what will we do to make it better? My experiments with hiking this summer demonstrated that by changing the expected dynamics and adjusting our familys normal relationship bonds, the bad did not get worse (which might have been expected as the hiking became longer and harder), and did not even stay bad. Instead, the result was a delightful surprise and accomplishment, a removal of the obstacles and blinders we had placed upon ourselves, allowing us to experience new beauty and connection. While it is easy to assume the continuation of negative patterns, habits and relationships as inevitable, the possibility of improvement and growth is equally possible and waiting around the corner, perhaps even accompanied by wonder and waterfalls. We need to open ourselves up to the possibility that it can be there, and

When we pass the biblical age of three score and ten, we begin to feel as Saul Bellow said when he passed that milestone that old friends are dropping all around as on a battlefield. Yet nothing could have prepared us for the sudden death of David Brumer (A farewell to David, July 13), cut off in his intellectual prime, when his appetite for ideas and his adroitness in handling them were at their most impressive. And who could miss the irony in the fact that, in his hospice work of recent years, he was helping people come to terms with the inevitability of death, but that he himself was taken completely by surprise when it came. I knew David in two capacities. For those of us who have parents resident in the Kline Galland nursing home, he was for many years the key figure there, not just a source of information but an exemplar of humane intelligence. David was also an exemplary, indeed a heroic, figure for the following reason: He understood, and acted upon the understanding, that the defense of Israel against its innumerable enemies would require of liberals the kind of sustained exertion and courage in the realm of ideas and political action that Israelis have had to manifest in the military defense of their country. That is why, although he probably never forsook his youthful liberalism, he was a liberal tempered by experience, reflection, and renouncement. He understood that Jews must judge the New York Times by the standards of Judaism, and not Judaism by the standards of the New York Times. He not only knew things that most of us did not; he had the courage to act upon what he knew, to enter into battle where the rest of us feared to tread. We shall miss him more than, at the moment, we can imagine. Baruch dayan emet. Edward Alexand