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From the Desk - Responding to Yasher Koach

Shalom Friends!

As we reach the heart of the Summer and begin the countdown to the Jewish holidays, there is so much coming up at Congregation Beth Ora!

Following on from our wonderful Raffle Event and last night’s BBQ, we are delighted to let you know about a new Beth Ora learning group which we are running as part of the continued programming for the Rise Together Project. The first session for this men’s learning group will meet next Tuesday evening (August 27th). The first topic we will be learning about is the Jewish understanding of humility. At our Beth Ora Rise Together event in May, many of you were privileged to participate in an excellent session run by Mrs. Esther Hochstadter. We are delighted that Mrs. Hochstadter will be running a Rise Together class for women and the first session is at Beth Ora on the evening of Wednesday, September 4th. If you would like more information on either of these classes, please speak to me. We are also excited to let you know about a program that we are running on Shabbat, August 31st. As you know, the synagogue board, committees and staff are always exploring ways to advance our mission as a community. Part of this mission is that Beth Ora be a place of Jewish life, learning and spiritual growth. In that spirit, we are inviting the community to attend our Shabbat Kiddush Program. After the service on Shabbat, August 31st, we will be having a sit down Kiddush. The emphasis will not be on the food ( :-) ) but on the community atmosphere and enjoyment of Shabbat. Heshy will teach us a Shabbat song, one of our members will share an idea on the parsha and I will be giving a short talk on the provocative topic: Why Do Some Religious Jews Hate the State of Israel? I hope that very many of you will be able to join us for this program and that will inspire many more activities of learning, spiritual joy and community spirit in Beth Ora. There is a lot more happening in Beth Ora in September and October and we look forwarded to keeping you posted nearer the time! But before I let you go, I do need to tell you about two more dates for your calendar:

  • Morning of Sunday, September 15th – Our annual community fruit salad making

  • Shabbat, September 21st – a special Civic Shabbat with our MP, Member of the National Assembly and local city councilors.

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Anthony and Carly Knopf Dovid, Rachelli, Yehuda and Avrami

What’s the Deal with… Responding to Yasher Koach?

After someone gets an Aliya, gives a speech or does any significant accomplishment, it is common for people to wish them yasher koach (which basically means – go forth in strength). Many people will have heard and maybe used this phrase in synagogue. Sometimes it is pronounced as ‘Shkoyach’ and many Sephardim say ‘Chazak u’Baruch’.

Hershy Caplan suggested to me that many people might like to know the traditional response to give when wished yasher koach. The response is ‘Baruch tihiyeh,’ which means ‘you shall be blessed.’

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