JTNews | March 11, 2011

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  • 8/7/2019 JTNews | March 11, 2011

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    t h e v o i c e o f j e w i s h w a s h i n g t o n

    professionalwashington.com

    connecting our local Jewish community

    www.facebook.com/jtnews

    @jew_ish @jewish_dot_com @jewishcal

    7 16 18 22

    the president speaks a tribute to shelhappy onstage headed to israel

    march 11, 2011 5 adar II 5771 volume 87, no. 5 $2

    Eli Genauers amily has been part o the Bikur Cholim-Machzikay Hadath Orthodox congregation since 1909. Genauer, who on March 6was honored with his wi e Eva at the synagogues 120th anniversary gala,says the BCMH story is also Seattles story. As the city has grown roma transport center to a technological hub, the congregation has gottenyounger and larger.

    At the hundredth anniversary, our president used an expression:Founders and nders, Genauer said. I think its a good mix o old-tim-ers and their amilies with a lot o newcomers. Without the newcomersthere wouldnt be the growth.

    Larry Russak, a third-generation member o the Orthodox congrega-tion and also its president, notes that his grandchildren are the h gen-eration o his amily to be a part o Seattles oldest synagogue.

    Russak points to constancy as a reason or his congregations stayingpower; times may change, but BCMH stays true to its roots.

    Te average level o observance is much higher than it was at any

    point in the last 20 years, Russak told J News. I think its more oswing toward traditionalism.

    BCMH celebrated that swing, as well as the ebbs and ows o its 12year history at a dinner event on March 6 at the Sea ac Marriott. Tesold-out gala eatured Richard Joel, president o Yeshiva University an

    ormer national Hillel director, as keynote speaker.BCMH started out as Chevra Bikur Cholim, or the Society to Vis it the

    Sick, which incorporated in 1891, according to a book on WashingtonsJewish history, Family of Strangers. As Seattle became a more populatransport hub in the wake o the Klondike gold rush, local Jewish citizens saw a need or basic services such as medical assistance and a propJewish cemetery. Te cemetery, just o Aurora Ave. near Shoreline, pre-dates the congregations rst actual structural home.

    In 1898, Bikur Cholim moved into its rst synagogue on 13th

    S att s o d st s u brat s 120 y arsEric Nusbaum A i tant Editor, JTNew

    CourTEsy sJC

    Fourth r ders fro the Se tt e Jewish Co unity Schoo tr ve ed to the st te c pito in O y pi , where they et with Rep. D vid Frockt (D46th). The fresh n e is tor ve the students tour whi e e rnin so e of the st tes history fro their ener -studies te cher E iz eth Sie e . Frockt, incident y, is the p re

    students who ttend SJCS.

    PagE 7

    X

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    2 JTN . www.JTNews.NeT . friday, march 11, 2011

    t i c k e t s o n s a l e n ow !

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    friday, march 11, 2011 . www.JTNews.NeT . JTN OpiniOn

    WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR: We wo ld love to hear from o ! O r ide to writi aletter to the editor a e fo d at www.jt ew . et/i dex.php?/letter _ ideli e .html,t plea e limit o r letter to approximatel 350 word . The deadli e for the ext i e i

    Mar h 15. F t re deadli e ma e fo d o li e.

    LETTERs TO THE EDITOR THE RAbbIs TuRn

    There are two issues that will ensure Jewish survival: One is text and the other is context. An ignorant tribal Jewishness doesnt transmit.

    Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University, during his recent visit to Seattle.

    A ew weeks ago I was atan event in town and a riendo mine came over. We beganto discuss di erent goings-onin the Seattle community. My

    riend, lets call him Jack, toldme about a certain Jewishevent that goes on every year.

    ongue-in-cheek he said,You can come, its Ortho-

    riendly.A ew o us got a good

    laugh rom the new terminology. But asI drove home I got to thinking about theword he used and the perception thatwent with it. Ortho- riendly generateda series o thoughts that led me to a newword: Ortho-phobic: the ear o Ortho-doxy or ear o Orthodox Jews.

    Could this really be true? I thought.And i it is, what can or should be doneabout it? It has certainly been somethingon my mind in one way or another or thetwo-and-a-hal years my amily has beenback in the United States. But this wordconcretized it in my mind.

    here is an astonishing discussionamong the classical commentators on the

    orah. Tey compare and contrast theollowing two episodes: First the orah

    details the generation o the ood. Herewas a people completely broken downmorally who mistreated one another to anextreme. Te other generation was knownas the Generation o dispersal. Tesepeople tried to build a tower to ghtagainst God.

    I we were looking at it and decidingwhich group was worse, I assume most o us would argue that trying to ght againstGod should warrant a harsher response.Yet the orah tells us that the generationo the ood was wiped out completely,whereas those who built the tower to ghtGod were only dispersed. he lesson:When there is unity among the people,even or a ne arious purpose, God cantolerate it, but disunity and stri e has noplace.

    As a ather, Ive o en contemplatedthis idea. Should my children when my children? band together as a unit to pullsomething over on us, I walk away with acertain sense o joy that they get along andare able to work together despite their di -

    erences. Sure, there may be consequencesthat need to be meted out or what they did, but theres a parental satis action intheir loyalty to one another. But shouldthey ght, call each other names, or hurtone another, we cannot tolerate it. Period.Such behavior is unacceptable.

    In describing the encamp-ments on the way to Sinai,the orah repeats the phrase,and they. Yet when theJewish people are actually at the oot o the mountain,ready to receive the orah,the orah re ers to the peoplein the singular. Te commen-taries point out: Tey werelike one person at that time,a completely uni ied being.

    hey were able to see the di erencesamong them and love each other nonethe-less. It is a power ul lesson indeed.

    In the story o Purim we will be readingthis month, Haman, the ne arious despoto the story, when trying to convince theKing Achashverosh to allow him to killthe Jewish people, describes the Jews asa nation spread out and dispersed. Ourcommentators pick up on this expressionand take it to mean something beyond thephysical locale o where the Jews lived.Rather, Haman was saying, nows thetime to get them or they are dispersedand distant rom one another. Tey lack the unity to band together and withoutthat unity they crumble. And it took anEsther and Mordechai to piece (peace!)them back together.

    We live in very turbulent times.he Jewish people have spite ul ene-

    mies around the world. Tere is hardly a day that goes by without a terrible acto anti-Semitism and hate being perpe-trated somewhere on the globe against our

    ellow Jewish brothers and sisters. Tere isno better time or us, the Jewish people, toband together strongly than there is today.Teres no greater a time than now to turnto our brothers and sisters, no matter howdi erent looking weve become and tolook past all di erences and unite. Histor-ically, Jews have lived in diverse cultures,picked up diverse habits rom their coun-tries, di erent modes o dress and evendi erent styles o ood. But there has beenone ront where the Jewish people havebeen uni ed throughout the generations:Te study o our sacred orah. Tis is aplace where our diversity comes to greatly enrich our understanding o the depthand beauty o the orah, and I would pro-pose that there is no time like the presentto engage in its richness like today. So graba study-partner, maybe even a Jew youveonly recently met, maybe even a Jew roma di erent stream o Judaism than yougenerally a liate with, and study uniteand study!

    Ortho-pho : How we ustr n Jews to ether

    rabbi DaviD FrEDmaN We t seattle Torah Learning Center

    IsRAELs sHORTEDsIgHTEDnEssJosh Bassons latest letter deserves congrats (In need of democracy, Feb. 25): He

    has made the strongest case possible against dozens of letters he authored over thepast decade. He wrote forcefully and unceasingly in support of a rejectionist stance tonegotiations with Palestinians (because of Palestinian terror, missile strikes from Gaza,and Palestinian refusal to accept Israeli statehood).

    He wrote against land for peace, and recently urged Israel to not negotiate at all.He criticized Arafat and successors unrelentingly, including moderate Palestinians. Hespoke of the need for strong military ops as the only way to address the con ict and hasbeen a tireless local spokesperson of the same policies promulgated to Congress andthe president by AIPAC, the ZOA, the ADL, and in Israel by every Israeli prime ministerexcept for the assassinated Yitzhak Rabin.

    Now that Mubaraks brutal, corru