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Doing Good is Very Good

By: Sam Wach | July 15, 2013

The following is a dvar torah which was presented at Seudah Shlishis on Shabbos Chazon (July 13) by Eliav Hamburger (otherwise known as “The kid who usually leads ein keilokeinu/Adon Olam”).  Please join us next for a special Dvar Torah on Shabbos Nachamu (July 20), by Miriam Marks.

This week’s parsha is Devarim.  It takes place in the 40th and final year of Bnei Yisrael’s wandering through the desert.  They are preparing to enter and conquer the land of Israel.  Moshe is recapping some of the events that occurred during those 40 years.  He talks about the establishment of judges and the sin of the spies.  At the end of the parsha, Moshe talks about the wars that they fought in order to conquer the land east of the Jordan. 

Bnei Yisrael fought 2 wars, one with Sichon, the king of the Ammorites, and the other with Og, the king of Bashan.  Before each battle, Hashem told Moshe that He would deliver the kingdoms into the hands of Bnei Yisrael.  However, before the battle with Og, Hashem also added that Moshe should not have any fear.  Why did Hashem tell Moshe that he should have no fear only when it came time to fight Og, but he did not mention “fear” when Moshe was going to fight Sichon?

Rashi answers that Moshe might have feared Og because many years ago, Og had done a good deed for Avraham.  Back in Avraham’s days, Avraham’s nephew, Lot, was captured and held as a prisoner of war.  Avraham was notified of Lot’s capture from Sodom by a messenger.  The Medrash states that the messenger was actually Og. Even though Og had done this deed years and years ago, Moshe was worried that Og would be difficult to defeat because of what he had done for Avraham.

What is interesting about Rashi’s comment is that, even though Og’s actions were good, his intentions and motivation for telling Avraham about Lot were not.  The Medrash states that Og told Avraham about Lot’s capture because he wanted to marry Sarah.  He had hoped that Avraham would go to war to rescue Lot and would be killed in the process and he would be free to marry Sarah. 

We see from this story how far a good deed goes.  Even though Og had not intended to do a good deed, the fact that his actions benefitted Avraham was enough to cause Moshe to worry that Og might be difficult to defeat in war.  This teaches us that we should always appreciate the good someone else has done for us, no matter how small we think it might be.   We should be especially sensitive to appreciating others during the Three Weeks, since the Beit HaMikdasah was destroyed because of “sinat chinam,” a lack of sensitivity and appreciation for others.

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Summer Seudah Shlishis

By: Sam Wach | July 5, 2013

I don’t know about you, but by the end of Shabbos I am looking for something to make me smile :-) .  I can only read on my porch and talk about schools and shuls so long before I am ready to walk to my neighbors house and do the same.  So I am excited that during the summer some of our shul’s students will be coming to Mincha and Seudah Shlishis to say a dvar torah and sing along with the crowd.  We hope you will come out to hear them. 

The first dvar torah will be Eliav Hamburger on July 13.  Hope to see you there.

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Mitzvah Motivators

By: Sam Wach | June 28, 2013

Ner Tamid has always rocked the summer Mitzvah Motivators programs.  We have learnt thousands of Mishnayos as a shul, and collected hundreds of prizes.

But is not the slurpies and toys which gets us going.  Our shul sees this as special way to keep Torah every day and a chance to have parents and their children have great reason to spend 15 minutes a day together.

It is not too late to join this summers learning.  Print out the form and get going.

PS.  If you miss a day you get to meet the king of kishkah, the prince of pastries (Fishel Gross, who sits on his throne at the MItzvah Motivators national headquarters in the kitchen at Moses Montefoire Congregation) and he will give you a creative way to keep going.

Good luck and keep on learning.

 

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Kidz Korner

By: Sam Wach | June 28, 2013

Ner Tamid has a new place to relax and read with your children.  In the foyer outside the chapel is a book case with children’s books, which include toddler, pre-school, elementary, and middle school level books.  Every Shabbos there are bean bag chairs and a rug to make it cozy. 

Feel free to bring over a chair and read to your children or let them gather around and enjoy.  

To donate books in good condition to the collection please contact [email protected].

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Another Eagle Scout

By: Sam Wach | June 21, 2013

We are very honored to announce another Eagle Scout has been promoted in Troop 1299  Noah Abromowitz 2   Noah Abromowitz has been active in scouting since middle school in Yeshivat Rambam.  Noah has been the Rosh Snif (Chapter leader) of the Baltimore Bnei Akiva, a lead actor in Beth Tfiloh school plays, and much more.  He is a creative, intellegent, charismatic leader.  He not only completed his Eagle scout project, even though there were last minute changes by the institution sponsoring the project, he also made a siyum on Meseches Brochos at his Eagle court of honor ceremony.

We wish him Hatzlacha as he will be learning in Yeshivat Hakotel next year.

Troop 1299 has more Eagle scouts who will be promoted this year.  We look forward to the ceremonies for Ari List, Gershom Schleider, Jacob Mordfin and more.

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Why I am joining the IDF by Yossi Kuttler

By: Sam Wach | June 21, 2013

A significant part of my formative years were spent here at Ner Tamid. I prayed here, made friends here, volunteered here, learned here and became a Jewish man here. I can remember countless days when I walked to this synagogue through rain, sleet, snow, and freezing and boiling temperatures. Why? Because, most of all, I always felt a strong sense of community here.

My graduating class and I, including Asher Nissim Varon, Jack Kwatinetz, Kayla Kaplan, Jonathan Hurewitz and Elliot Heller, are all going our separate ways next year, after over a decade of laughing, yelling and learning together in this building. For some of us, our graduation means college. For others it means a year of yeshiva in Israel. For me it means the Israeli Defense Forces. So, how did I realize my aspiration to join the IDF, despite an assuredly arduous journey ahead of me?

When I was in Israel, along with my aforementioned classmates, I engaged in as many conversations as I could with as many former, current or future soldiers as I could find. This means pretty much every resident of the land of Israel. However, it also included two of my really good friends from Beth Tfiloh, Jordan Low and Itamar Rodban, who also had aspirations of joining the army and making Aliyah. After engaging in long discussions with my two good friends, I began to consider how my life would change if I joined the army. Up to this point, I had been completely content with my enrollment at the University of Maryland and my subsequent future here in America. When I began considering the army, I saw two life paths in front of me: one in America and one in Israel. I thought of my personal life and what I could accomplish in each country. I could probably accomplish more for myself in America. Then I thought of what ideals each country would instill in my children. In America, they would learn that everyone is equal and that everyone should have their own fair chance to succeed in this world. And they would be very fortunate to live in such a land. But in Israel, they would learn not to respect their neighbor, but rather to love their neighbor. Israel does not raise its children so that they will have their own life, their own liberty and their own pursuit of happiness. Israel rather raises its young to guard each other’s freedoms. That is why I will be joining the Israeli army this fall, because I have the romantic yet correct notion that there is a place on this earth whose inhabitants do not strive for personal accolades, but rather communal success and I have the utmost yearning to join this society with the hope of protecting our land together.

What I am doing now is merely an amplification of what I did for years here at Ner Tamid. I lived in an actual community who genuinely cared about their co-inhabitants, a community that celebrated every joy and lamented every loss. And now I am hoping to connect the smaller community of Ner Tamid to the vast Jewish community in Israel, in the hopes of not only strengthening myself, but also augmenting the Jewish community as a whole. Shabbat Shalom.

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Prize and Pun!

By: Sam Wach | May 24, 2013

The first youth contest question

Name at least 2 Brochos which are only said once a year (in the USA).

Answers:

1) Checking for Chametz the day before Pesach (Passover), which is called Bedikas Chametz.

2) Seeing the buds on fruit trees in the spring.

3) Lighting Yom Kippur candles.

4) Nachem which is said on Tisha B’Av

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Youth Shabbos 2013

By: Sam Wach | May 24, 2013

On June 8, will be the annual Ner Tamid Youth Shabbos.  Special features include:

  • Teens leading services in the main sanctuary, including the sermon, Kiddush, announcements, Shacharis and more.
  • Elementary students finishing services with an upbeat tune.
  • Pre-school and elementary carnivals during groups.
  • Special Kiddush snacks
  • Tribute to Mr. Charles Hauss, Boy Scout Troop leader, troop 1299.
  • Graduate recognition.
  • Student Awards
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Ner Tamid is going to Israel 65!

By: Sam Wach | May 24, 2013

On June 2 there will be a community celebration (Israel65, Celebrate!) at the Owings Mills JCC (Israel65).  Ner Tamid is a partner organization and we have been asked to man moon bounces and an inflatable obstacle course.    The shifts are from 12:00 -2:00 pm and 2:00 – 4:00 pm.   We would like to show our commitment to unity and community spirit by being part of this event.    Please let me know ASAP if you are available to help. There are additional volunteer opportunities if you are not available to help with the Moon Bounce noon – 4 pm.

We also would like a few people to sit at a small table with shul handouts and a small giveaway.

  • Set-up (10:30 – 12:00 pm)
  • Parking (Various shifts throughout the day)
  • Face Painting (12:00 – 2:00 pm & 2:00-4:00 pm)
  • Matisyahu Concert Check-in (must have a smart phone) (3:15 – 4:15 pm)
  • Clean-up (6:00 – 7:30 pm)
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