Haluach: December 2 - 8
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Torah Byte 

Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!"

The Hebrew Bible seems to go out of its way to counter this vision proffered by Jamaican reggae artist, Bob Marley (1945-1981).  CONTINUE READING

CBS Hanukkah Rededication Fundraiser

Many members of the CBS community regularly volunteer their time and energy and contribute financial support to charitable causes they're passionate about. In a sense, every day is #GivingTuesday for these individuals and families. Kol HaKavod!

Still, today is officially #GivingTuesday, and the ideal time to support our Hanukkah 5776 Rededication fundraiser!

Please read this inspiring letter from CBS Executive Director Angel Alvarez-Mapp, and consider making a generous donation to CBS today!

As Angel writes, "it is once again time for CBS to move boldly forward, to blaze a path and serve as a role model in the changing world of American Judaism."

Together, let’s kindle the Hanukkah lights and rededicate ourselves to the future of Judaism. 

Amanda Russell @ CBS
This Weekend

We're thrilled to have Amanda Russell, a cantorial soloist and rabbinical student at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, serving as our CBS Rabbinic Intern and enhancing our Shabbat offerings this year.

This week, Amanda will co-lead Kabbalat Shabbat services with Rabbi Glazer on Friday, lead Musaf davening and facilitate our Hot Topics for Teens class on Shabbat, and teach our university-accredited Intro to Judaism course on Sunday.

On Shabbat afternoon, please join Amanda and Rabbi Glazer to deepen the musicality of our Jewish prayer lives! Any CBS community members interested in exploring the musical meaning, both lost and forgotten, behind our tradition are invited to participate in the newly-formed Davvenen Leaders Co-operative (DLC), which will gather during Shabbat kiddush.

Hot Topics for Teens

Our second Hot Topics for Teens gathering will take place this Shabbat, December 5, from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., in the CBS Administrative OfficeParticipants will discuss their experiences as Jewish teens navigating the "December dilemma" and the winter solstice holidays.

Any and all post b’nai mitzvah teens (ages 13 and above) in the CBS community are invited to learn with and from their peers and CBS Rabbinic Intern Amanda Russell. Participants select topics of discussion which are explored through Jewish thought and texts. Hot Topics is free and drop-in participation is encouraged! These informal study groups will meet on three more Shabbat mornings during the school year (December 5, March 5, and May 7).

Hanukkah Zumbazaar Tomorrow!


You’re looking for a way to burn some Thanksgiving calories and you're probably facing last-minute Hanukkah gift crunch time. This Wednesday, December 2, 7 - 8 p.m., CBS has the prescription!

We're rebooting our old Hanukkah bazaar tradition with a twist. In addition to
 inviting several new vendors, we're working in another important element of the holiday season -- fitness!

Get your groove on at CBS Zumba, which will be FREE to all…and then stay for some interesting shopping at the Hanukkah Bazaar, 8 - 9:30 p.m. The bazaar will feature a diverse selection of activewear, handmade jewelry, gift bags, and other wares offered by a range of local vendors, including MINDINMOTION, Mighty Aphrodity, Rodan & Fields, Chloe + Isabel, BeePaw, Nudgitand more.

If you'd like to RSVP, please email the organizers, but you should also feel comfortable just showing up!

JCCSF Teen Hanukkah

The Limos & Latkes: Ultimate Teen Hanukkah Celebration for teenagers in grades 6 - 8 will take place this Saturday, December 5, 6 - 10 p.m. Ride in limousines, eat innumerable latkes, and find treasure at the snazziest Hanukkah party in town! For more information or to register, please visit the JCCSF website.

Use Your Holiday Gift
Shopping To Support CBS!

Hanukkah is just days away! This year, your gift purchases can support CBS, too.

Click here to shop Amazon via the CBS Amazon Smile page. For every purchase you make via the CBS portal, Amazon will donate a small percentage of each sale to CBS.

Also, Sports Basement offers a hybrid loyalty-charity program to CBS Preschool families and friends. Join the store's Basementeer program by December 31, 2015 (free of charge) and you will receive 10% off every item every day AND the CBS Preschool will receive 10% of what you spend! If you haven't already done so, on your next visit to Sports Basement, register as a Basementeer and select the CBS Preschool as your beneficiary!

CBS Art Exhibit: Not Forgotten

Not Forgotten tells the story of the lost generation of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews born in the Middle East and North Africa before they became refugees. Israeli artist Erella Teitler was born into a Sephardic family in Israel and has a strong connection with her Jewish identity.

Not Forgotten is on view through January 2016. 

Terra Firma Farm CSA @ CBS

Did you know that CBS is a pickup location for Terra Firma Farm, a 200-acre, CCOF-certified organic farm in Winters, CA, that grows vegetables and fruit year-round?

If you're interested in subscribing to a CSA that offers first-rate food and a convenient pickup, please visit the Terra Firma subscription page for pricing and other details. Membership is handled directly through Terra Firma -- just be sure to let them know that your pickup location is CBS!

One Bay One Book -- Primo Levi

The One Bay One Book project selection for 2015-16 is Primo Levi’s complex and beautifully rendered book, The Periodic Table. Levi, who was a chemist by profession, uses the elements as a frame for stories of his life in the Jewish community of Turin, his work with the Italian Partisans, and some extraordinary experiences during and after the War.  

For more information on the One Bay One Book project, click here.

CBS Preschool
Hanukkah Lunch

The CBS Preschool Hanukkah Lunch is Wednesday, December 9, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., in Koret Hall.

Students, parents, teachers, and all staff are invited for lunch, latkes, and sufganiyot!

CBS Hanukkah Celebration

It's getting dark early these days, so let's come together to chase back the darkness!

Bring your favorite hanukkiah to CBS for a communal lighting on Thursday, December 10, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.! We'll enjoy latkes and sufganiyot (mmm, jelly doughnuts) together, and there will be a selection of tasty beverages (for all ages) available!

This event is FREE, but we ask you to RSVP here so that we know how much food to prepare.
The closing section of each HaLuach newsletter features a Jewish-interest news item or curiosity. We generally prioritize the obscure and offbeat, and we welcome reader suggestions.
What's with the name? A kezayit (literally meaning "like an olive") is a Talmudic unit of measure. Halachically speaking, it is the minimum amount food or drink one can consume in order for a rabbi to be satisfied that you've actually eaten. (And, no, a kezayit's worth won't satisfy your mother! You're a growing boy!) In the context of this newsletter feature, we're using kezayit in a more metaphorical way -- it's a morsel, a tidbit, something light, but tasty, and totally worthy of your consumption.

Hanukkah: A Second Sukkot?

You know the story. After the Maccabees retook the Temple in Jerusalem, they rededicated it by lighting the oil-fueled menorah, the symbol of God's presence. Even though there was only one jar of oil remaining, the sacred flame burned for eight full days. The Hanukkah miracle!

If you read the Book of Maccabees, however, you'll be surprised to learn that no jar of oil appears. The Hanukkah story we know so well doesn't appear in the Jewish canon until about 600 years after the Maccabean Revolt, when it's recorded in the Talmud.

According to the Book of Maccabees, Hanukkah is an eight-day holiday not because of miraculous oil, but because the Temple was besieged during the revolt, and Israelites couldn’t access it to perform temple rituals, including the annual pilgrimage festival of Sukkot. As a result, they observed Sukkot late that year, during the Hebrew month of Kislev. The Book of Maccabees doesn’t even call the festival Hanukkah. Instead, it is referred to as Sukkot B’Kislev, or Sukkot in Kislev.

This history and the symbolic resonance between the two holidays enriches Hanukkah's contemporary meaning. Sukkot recalls the wandering of the Israelites in the desert and Hanukkah celebrates Jewish continuity/survival in the diaspora. That our wandering, cosmopolitan people has maintained a sense of national cohesion and common cause over millennia and against all odds -- that is a miracle!

For more Hanukkah trivia you may or may not know, check out "9 Things You Didn't Know About Hanukkah" at MyJewishLearning.

Image: "The Triumph of Judas Maccabeus," by Peter Paul Reubens, 1634-36

This Week At CBS

Wednesday, December 2
Morning minyan, 7 a.m., GFC
Evening minyan, 6 p.m., GFC
Mah Jongg: Drop-in & Play, 6:30 p.m., MMR
Zumba, 7 p.m., KH
Pre-Hanukkah Bazaar, 8 p.m., KH

Thursday, December 3
Morning minyan, 7 a.m., GFC
From Tiberias With Love, 8 a.m., MMR
Shabbat School Thursday afternoon class, 3:30 p.m., MMR
Evening minyan, 6 p.m., GFC

Friday, December 4
Amanda Russell @ CBS
Morning minyan, 7 a.m., GFC

CBS Sits: Meditation w/ Rabbi Glazer, 5:45 p.m., MS
Kabbalat Shabbat Services, 6:30 p.m., GFC

Saturday, December 5
Amanda Russell @ CBS
Shabbat School classes, 8:30 a.m., various locations @ CBS
Shabbat School Family Service, 9 a.m., GFC
Shabbat Services, 9 a.m., SANC
Hot Topics for Teens, 9:30 a.m., CBS office
Psalms A Shelter in the Word, 4 p.m., BR
Mincha Services, 5 p.m., GFC

Sunday, December 6
Amanda Russell @ CBS
Morning minyan, 8 a.m., GFC

Intro. to Judaism, 9 a.m., BR
Evening minyan, 6 p.m., GFC

Monday, December 7
Morning minyan, 7 a.m., GFC
Evening minyan, 6 p.m., GFC
Talmud Study, 6:30 p.m., MMR
Zumba, 7 p.m., KH

Tuesday, December 8
Morning minyan, 7 a.m., GFC
Evening minyan, 6 p.m., GFC

MMR: Main Meeting Room, KH: Koret Hall, RL: Rabin Library, GFC: Gronowski Family Chapel, SANC: Sanctuary, KIT: Kitchen, MS: Makom Sholom, BR: Board Room
Copyright © 2015 Congregation Beth Sholom