Showing posts from April, 2014

Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day thoughts, 2014

Tonight begins Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. For the last several years, I have sent a note to the congregation noting the survivors from our community who have died since last yom HaShoah.   As we know, those who survived the Holocaust as adults are now in their 90’s or older, and the youngest of the survivors -- those too young to remember anything about the experience -- are nearly 70.  Each year, we note the losses of survivors in our community, who were our links to a world destroyed. This year, I think especially of Gerda Stuiver z”l, mother of USH member Jake Stuiver, who died last April in her 80’s, and Lee Berendt z”l, father of USH member Chuck Berendt, who died just a month ago at age 90. Gerda Stuiver was originally from Vienna.  When she was 8 years old, in 1938, she was one of the approximately 10,000 Jewish children from Europe who were brought to England as part of the Kindertransport rescue mission.  She was fortunate to be reunited with her mother

Iron Chef Passover Edition at USH! -- results

On March 30, we had an amazing Pre-Passover program for the USH community - Iron Chef Passover Edition! Two teams of chefs from our community competed to make delicious Passover food using some secret ingredients they were told about only immediately before they began to cook.  (Secret ingredients were:  dates; fennel; mint.) Simultaneously, we had workshops on Matzah baking and Haroset making and a seder trivia game.  Then we ate some amazing food and voted!  (Of course it's too late to vote now, but you can see the ballot at . And the winners were: Best appetizer:    Team Emiril L'Chaim - BAM! -- Deep Fried Matzo Balls w/ dipping sauces! Best side dish:   Team MGSRR - Symon - Same Kukhers -- Vegetable Saag w/ Fennel & Mint! Best dessert:    Team MGSRR - Symon - Same Kukhers -- Matzah Bark! Most creative use of secret ingredients:   Team Emiril L'Chaim - BAM!  Grand prize winners:  Team MGSRR - Symon - Same

"Dayyeinu"? "Enough"? -- For Passover 2014 / 5774

  One of the best-known parts of the Seder is certainly one of the most unusual:  the song or prayer called “ Dayyeinu .”  It is perhaps the best known of all Passover melodies.   This is the song that expresses thanks to God for each of the various steps of the process of the Exodus from Egypt.  After each step, we say “ Dayyeinu - It would have been enough for us.”  “If God had taken us out of Egypt, but not imposed justice upon the Egyptians - It would have been enough for us.  If God had given us the Mannah in the desert, but not given us the gift of Shabbat, it would have been enough for us.”  Etc. The problem is that some of the lines of Dayyeinu just seem completely illogical. For example, I think of the line, “If God had split the Red Sea for us, but not led us through on dry land, Dayyeinu .  It would have been enough for us.”  Really now!  I’m not sure that would have been quite enough for me.  To have the opportunity to see this dramatic miracle - the splitting o