Rabbi's Message

Temple Sisterhood Shalom Congregation Tifereth Israel,

I’m very happy to report that we have been hard at work in planning our next big event, an Israeli wine party.

On Saturday, February 8th, we will celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the New Year of trees. Please join us for an evening of fine Israeli wine from the Tabor Winery. Thanks in part to a collaboration with the organization Wine on the Vine, we will enjoy music, delicious snacks, and learn about Israel’s deep wine history, culture, and tastes. We’ll be serving an array of wines - so we will be sure to please every pallet! Red (Cabernet and Shiraz), Rose and Gewurztraminer.

Tickets are $20 if purchased at the door but $15 if purchased in advance through the Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/israeli-wine-party-tickets-88726291727?fbclid=IwAR2jY1GJ368zgmKaX9si_ao6Yao4g9FOGAHMZscNx628f5JDQL_BGztjCWY

On Feb.15th, we will celebrate Parshat Yitro, which focuses on the relationship between Yitro, Moses, and the nascent Jewish people. Yitro, who had only heard about the Passover and Red Sea miracles from afar, throws his lot in with his son-in-law’s family - Moses and the Jewish people. Yitro makes a burnt offering to G-d, and celebrates his reunion with Moses and Aaron’s families. Upon seeing how stressed Moses is in his leadership responsibilities, as he spends dawn to dusk in deciding on disputes and offering judiciary rulings among the entire population of 600,000, Yitro recommends delegating responsibilities to a trusted core of judges who could ease Moshe’s work load. Yitro’s brainchild enabled Moshe to work more efficiently which facilitated the day to day operations of the entire camp, but more importantly, it allowed Moshe to finally create more space in his private life for family and G-d.

From this parsha, we learn the value of delegating responsibility and creating healthy boundaries in our lives, especially between our private/family lives and our professional careers. As brilliant as Yitro was, he was also smart enough to remind Moshe to ask for G-d’s permission in implementing this new form of governance among the people. Yitro saw Moshe answering emails at the dinner table and missing his son’s soccer game, and he had the vision and wisdom to suggest spreading out the responsibilities of running the camp. For his part, Moshe was smart enough to know when to listen to a wise, experienced, and trusted family member who had Moshe’s best interests in mind. May we all have the courage and wisdom to find a better balance between our work lives and our actual, real lives.

As a reminder, after Shabbat services and Kiddush, on Feb. 15th, we will continue with our support group meetings. Lastly, we will have a Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday, Feb. 28th, followed by pot luck dinner. If you have any questions, especially surrounding the Israeli wine party, please feel free to email me.

Chodesh Tov,
Student Rabbi David Joslin; benyisraelavid@gmail.com

Wine on the Vine

Wine on the Vine (WOTV) is a registered 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to exporting Israel’s wines under The Israel Innovation Fund. All contributions are tax-deductible for US tax-payers.

Under the WOTV program, donors: choose the number of vines they want, which winery they want them planted in, and the charity they’d like to benefit; Each vine is $18, and WOTV accepts all major US credit cards; can dedicate their purchase in honor of a loved one or major life event, reflected in a beautiful digital certificate; Can start a Vine Bank today and then plant them whenever they’re ready; WOTB’s secure online giving platform is easy to use and designed for every budget.

A portion of the monies donated will pay for the vine itself, expanding Israel’s vineyards and the rebirth of its ancient traditions of winemaking. A major portion will also go to the charity of choice. The remainder of the proceeds will help fund The Israel Innovation Fund (TIIF) in its efforts to spread the word about Israeli wines.

For additional information about Wine on the Vine, go to the WOTV web site at: https://wineonthevine.org.

NOTE: The Yatir Winery (described below) is one of the wineries associated with Wine on the Vine.

Places in Israel - The Yatir Winery

The Yatir Winery is a small and high-quality winery. It is located in the Judean hills, south of Jerusalem on Tel Arad, about 2,700 feet above sea level on the outskirts of the Yatir Forest. The Tel and the winery lie about 18 miles west of the Dead Sea and about 18 miles east of the city of Be’er Sheva.

Modern planting of Yatir Winery’s vineyards commenced in 1997. The winery began producing on two levels of wine: Yatir and Yatir Forest, the latter being the winery's flagship series. In 2004, Yatir introduced a Sauvignon Blanc wine and the following year a single-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. In 2006, it came out with a varietal Viognier.

The Yatir region, located in the southern tip of the Judean Hills, has a rich and fascinating history of wine production. The region’s wine industry dates back more than 2500 years, to the first reign of the kings of Judah. A large center of Jewish settlement existed in this region between the destruction of the Second Temple and the introduction of Islam. The region was known as one of the finest for growing grapes for winemaking and from this very region, wines were later exported to Egypt, Rome and across Israel.

David Ben Gurion had a dream of making the Negev region bloom and blossom. So when he wanted to plant a forest in the Yatir region, he consulted experts to guide him through the process. After numerous discussions and assessments, the agronomists determined that the region, which was overly dry and warm, was unsuitable for planting trees. So, Ben Gurion said: “Replace the experts!” and proceeded to plant the Yatir Forest. The forest, which borders the Negev Desert and which was planted in a semi-arid region, became one of Israel’s largest forests. The Yatir Forest was named after the Levite biblical city of Yatir located there.

The Yatir Winery itself was built at the foot of the Israelite Tel Arad Fort (an archeological site), located 10 minutes away from the vineyards of the Yatir Forest. On the grounds of the Yatir Winery, 180 ancient wine presses have been discovered. This small and exclusive winery is a joint venture between local vine-growers and the Carmel Winery, who recognized the extraordinary potential of the Yatir region. These days the winery produces 150,000 bottles of wine annually. Over the years, this southern winery has turned into a symbol of the region. In recent years, its wines have been rated among Israel’s top wines by local and international wine critics.

Shown below are photos taken at the Yatir Winery

Yatir Winery
Yatir Winery

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