Message From Our Rabbinical Intern, Mimi Micner

Rabbinical Intern Mimi Micner Dear Temple Tifereth Israel Community,

Dear Temple Tifereth Israel Community,

     This has been a very important few weeks in Jewish time. In our Torah reading cycle, God freed us from slavery, began to lead us through the desert to the Promised Land, and gave us the Torah at Mount Sinai. With these milestone events, we began to become a community, coming together around shared experiences, values, and aspirations for the future.

    What kind of community did we begin to form? We get a hint of this with an important phrase that the People of Israel uttered in the process of receiving the Torah: כֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה וְנִשְׁמָֽע- “all that God said we will do and we will hear”.

    This is an unusual phrase. What does it mean to do what God commands before hearing what God commands? One meaning is that the Jewish people were so enthusiastic and committed to being in relationship with God that they were willing to fulfill whatever God requested from them in the future (Shabbat 88a-b). Another is that the Jewish people were willing to obey God’s commandments without knowing what the reward would be (Sforno on Exodus 24:7). Yet another is that through doing God’s commandment, we will be drawn into their meaning and joy at an ever-deepening level; as we learn in Sefer HaChinuch, “The heart follows the actions a person does” (Mitzvah 16).

    The kind of community that we began to form at Sinai is one that says “naaseh v’nishma”. It is a community of individuals who are so willing to invest in the lives of others that they commit to working on behalf of the community before they even know the task. It is a community of people who give of themselves without concern for what they will get out of their contributions to the community. And they are a community of people who because of their wholehearted service, have come to understand its deep rewards.

    I have been honored to work alongside so many leaders and members of the Temple Tifereth Israel community who say “naaseh v’nishma” day in day out, who give so much of themselves to this community with grace, humility, and selflessness. It is because of all of you that our community is growing and thriving, and we are all so grateful.

     May we blessed to continue to the work of building a supportive, connected, and giving community.


Note that, in February, Mimi will again lead the increasingly popular Erev Shabbat Friday evening family service on 15 February, starting at 6:00 pm and followed by light refresments; she will lead the Saturday morning service on 9 February; and she will lead the Sunday morning service on 24 February when she will stay after the service for bagels, coffee and shmoozing.

January Friday Night Family Service a Great Hit!

     Our monthly family-friendly Friday Night service seems to be gaining in popularity. Led by our Rabbinical Intern, Mimi Micner, our most recent service, held this past January 25th, attracted close to 50 participants who thoroughly enjoyed the short service welcoming the Shabbat and the pot-luck array of refreshments afterward. If you weren’t there, check with friends or family who attended this Friday evening service and ask them how they enjoyed the evening and then plan on attending our next service. Come and enjoy! For more information, contact the Temple at 617-846-1390 or by e-mail at Shown below are pictures taken at the aforementioned Friday night service.
Pictures from January Friday
	Night Family Service

A Bit of Israel - Talmudic Village of Katzrin

     The ancient Jewish farming village of Katzrin is located in the Golan Heights, about 8 miles northeast of the Sea of Galilee. It was built around a spring, which still flows. Although there were standing ruins on the site, archaeological excavations have increased the number of accessible ancient buildings. An ancient synagogue was discovered in 1967 and excavated between 1971 and 1984. Other parts of the village were excavated beginning in 1983. Some of the buildings have been reconstructed on their ancient foundations and furnished with replicas of household goods and tools. An ancient wine press and olive press have also been made functional with new ropes and beams. Costumed guides demonstrate and explain construction methods, agricultural and manufacturing processes in Hebrew and English.

     The Katzrin Synagogue was built in the 6th century CE atop a more modest 4th-5th century synagogue. Fragments of a mosaic floor have been found. The synagogue was apparently destroyed by the Golan earthquake of 749.

     Prior to 1967, the antiquities site on the outskirts of Katzrin was a closed military zone and off limits to archaeological research. Subsequently, an ancient village and a synagogue were reconstructed and opened to the public as a "Talmudic village" set in a national park. The Golan Antiquities Museum houses archeological findings from the region. Nearby is Gamla, a Jewish town that unsuccessfully fought the Romans in the 1st century.

     Katzrin contains a reconstruction of an ancient temple where audiovisual presentations are provided and where there are several reconstructed ancient olive presses. Olives and olive oil played an important role in the ancient world – they still do in modern Israel. The ancient village and synagogue were in use around 400 C.E., during the time of the Mishna (the written version of the oral law) and the Talmud (the commentaries on the Mishna). The village buildings and temple at Katzrin consist of a combination of original segments and reconstructed segments, some of which can be seen in the photographs below.


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