THE GOOD SHABBOS COMMUNITY

ENJOYING YOUR JEWISH HERITAGE THROUGH FOOD, FACTS AND FUN - SHABBAT SHALOM

 

 CHALLAH, WINE,  CANDLES , READ A LITTLE, TALK A LITTLE AND SING

TO ACT OR NOT TO ACT BLOG HOME WHY ABOUT US WHO FOR CONTACT WHERE LINKS FOOD FOR SHABBOS SHARING WHAT WE DO EACH SHABBOS SHABBOS LIGHT WEEKLY CONTENT SONGS - THE MUSIC
 

Short version

 

Challah dips wine drinks candles

 

SINGING

 

Balak, King of the Moabites, saw what the Israelites had done to the Amorites and had heard of other battles in which the Israelites had triumphed and was, thus, terrified for his people. He sent messengers to a man called Bilaam, a prophet, asking him to curse the children of Israel. But God visited Bilaam and warned him strongly against pronouncing a curse upon the Israelites, whom God had blessed. He ordered Bilaam not to go with Balak’s messengers and not to pronounce the desired curse.

 

The messengers returned to Balak. He sent even more highly ranked messengers back to Bilaam with the same request. Bilaam replied that even if he were given a house full of silver and gold, he could not go against the command of God.

 

Balak finally made Bilaam an offer he could not refuse. God then visited Bilaam and told him he could go with the princes sent by Balak, but he would only be able to utter the words that God put in his mouth. God was however, angry with Bilaam. On Bilaam’s route to curse the Israelites, Bilaam’s donkey on which he was riding suddenly refused to continue. The donkey could see an angel with a sword blocking the way. Bilaam and his two servants could not see the angel. Bilaam began to argue with his donkey, which was refusing to move. Bilaam beat the donkey to get it to move.

 

They travelled through vineyards and again the angel of God stood before them. The donkey veered sideways into a wall, crushing Bilaam’s foot. He hit the donkey again. The donkey began to remonstrate with Bilaam for beating him. Then the Angel of God appeared to Bilaam and told him the only reason that Bilaam had been spared from death was because of the donkey that served to protect him. Bilaam, chastened and apologetic, continued on his way.

 

When Bilaam reached his destination, he opened his mouth to curse the Israelites, but only blessings ensued, as God had given him a prophecy to speak. However, the prophecy blessed Israel. Balak reminded Bilaam that he was to curse the Israelites not bless them, but Bilaam told him that he could only speak the words put in his mouth. Balak took Bilaam to yet another high place to try again. Balaam produced another prophecy blessing Israel. After Balak took Bilaam to a further high place, Bilaam delivered a third prophecy blessing the Children of Israel. Balak threatened Bilaam, but Bilaam’s response was merely to deliver further predictions about the fate of the people of Israel and neighbouring tribes.

 

SINGING

MS: Use some sophistication, Sigmund. This parsha is an exploration of man’s motives, and the forces that drive us to good and evil. Bilaam whips the donkey because he doesn’t want to hear what he doesn’t want to know. In the end, he makes the right decision, and blesses the children of Israel.

SAS: You explain to me how he makes the right decision if he doesn’t control the words that come out of his mouth. He is just a puppet, a mouthpiece for God. And why does God need Bilaam if God is so omnipotent? I don’t get it. Your story reeks of blind obedience. It sounds like you are saying we have a choice to do what God says or not to do so. We will in the end, anyway, like it or not. So, is that interesting? Is that a blueprint for living?

MS: You seem not to understand that we are given choices, and sometimes we come to the right decision by paying attention to unconscious messages, and forces we do not fully understand. In the end, however, we make the right choices.

SAS: If we are on the right side of God, that is.

MS: Well, there doesn’t seem to be much wrong in taking God’s advice, surely.

SAS: That strikes me as being as sensible as listening to a donkey.

God Took Him for an Ass  

History 

 

 

SINGING

If you’d like to know more about the real history of our extended Jewish family, read on.

 

Israel’s Independence: the Early Years 

The day after David Ben Gurion declared Israeli independence, five Arab countries invaded Israel – Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. This was the start of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Other Arab countries waded in too.

After a year of hostilities, a ceasefire was declared and a Green Line was delineated as a border. Jordan took charge of the West Bank and Egypt of the Gaza Strip. On May 11, 1949, Israel was admitted to the United Nations.

A wave of Holocaust survivors came to the new state of Israel. Many were housed in temporary camps called ma’abarot. The population boomed, rising from 800,000 in 1948 to two million by 1958.

 

SINGING

Sayings 

 

Every Shabbat we read five short sayings that express, with typically Jewish wit and humor, insightful reflections on this life of ours.

 

Here are tonight’s sayings:

 

·        People avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually, the failure to make decisions is one of life’s biggest mistakes. (Rabbi Noah Weinberg)

·        It’s not how much or how little you have that makes you great or small, but how much or how little you are with what you have. (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch)

·        A half-truth is a whole lie.

·        Pride that dined with vanity supped with poverty.

·        I love gentiles. In fact, one of my favourite activities is Protestant spotting. (Mel Brooks)

 

 

SINGING

Celebration of Great Lives 

 

Every Friday night we celebrate the achievements of our Jewish family in contributing to changing the world for the better and having an extraordinary impact on those around them.

  

David “Mickey” Marcus (1901-1948) 

“Colonel David Marcus – a Soldier for All Humanity” is the inscription on this man’s gravestone at West Point Cemetery.  Marcus is honored as a hero in both the USA and Israel. He was born to Romanian-Jewish parents in New York. A  West Point graduate, Marcus entered civilian life as a lawyer with the Attorney General’s Office. He returned to the army during WW2, and parachuted into Normandy during the D-Day airborne assault. He later helped oversee a military government in Germany after the Allied victory. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Bronze Star for his wartime service. One of the liberators at Dachau, Colonel Marcus answered the call from Israel to consolidate its new army. He became commander of the Jewish front and the first brigadier-general of the army. On June 11, 1948 he was accidentally shot dead by an Israeli sentry. The village of Mishmar Davis in Judea is named in his honor.  The 1966 film Cast a Giant Shadow, starring Kirk Douglas, was based on Marcus’ story. 

 

 

 

LONG VERSION

 

 

a.k.a. Parashat Balaq (Numbers 22: 2 – 25: 9) 

 

Balak, King of the Moabites, saw what the Israelites had done to the Amorites and had heard of other battles in which the Israelites had triumphed and was, thus, terrified for his people. He sent messengers to a man called Bilaam, a prophet, asking him to curse the children of Israel. But God visited Bilaam and warned him strongly against pronouncing a curse upon the Israelites, whom God had blessed. He ordered Bilaam not to go with Balak’s messengers and not to pronounce the desired curse.

 

The messengers returned to Balak. He sent even more highly ranked messengers back to Bilaam with the same request. Bilaam replied that even if he were given a house full of silver and gold, he could not go against the command of God.

 

Balak finally made Bilaam an offer he could not refuse. God then visited Bilaam and told him he could go with the princes sent by Balak, but he would only be able to utter the words that God put in his mouth. God was however, angry with Bilaam. On Bilaam’s route to curse the Israelites, Bilaam’s donkey on which he was riding suddenly refused to continue. The donkey could see an angel with a sword blocking the way. Bilaam and his two servants could not see the angel. Bilaam began to argue with his donkey, which was refusing to move. Bilaam beat the donkey to get it to move.

 

They travelled through vineyards and again the angel of God stood before them. The donkey veered sideways into a wall, crushing Bilaam’s foot. He hit the donkey again. The donkey began to remonstrate with Bilaam for beating him. Then the Angel of God appeared to Bilaam and told him the only reason that Bilaam had been spared from death was because of the donkey that served to protect him. Bilaam, chastened and apologetic, continued on his way.

 

When Bilaam reached his destination, he opened his mouth to curse the Israelites, but only blessings ensued, as God had given him a prophecy to speak. However, the prophecy blessed Israel. Balak reminded Bilaam that he was to curse the Israelites not bless them, but Bilaam told him that he could only speak the words put in his mouth. Balak took Bilaam to yet another high place to try again. Balaam produced another prophecy blessing Israel. After Balak took Bilaam to a further high place, Bilaam delivered a third prophecy blessing the Children of Israel. Balak threatened Bilaam, but Bilaam’s response was merely to deliver further predictions about the fate of the people of Israel and neighbouring tribes.

 

 

 

Commentary on the 40th parsha (portion of the Torah). The Torah consists of the five books of Moses, the first part of the Old Testament. 

 

SAS: And this, Methuselah? A talking donkey? Give me a break.

MS: Well, it takes one to know one. Have you heard of the notion of poetic license, or of allegory, or indeed of interpretation?

SAS: Are you saying the donkey didn’t talk?

MS: I am saying that whether the donkey talked or not, Bilaam got a message from his conscience.

SAS: Are you saying his conscience was a donkey?

MS: You are impossible today. There are many literary masterpieces in which animals are seen to talk. Whether they actually talked or not, we are concerned with the character who heard them.

SAS: OK, so now your bible is not true, it is merely a literary masterpiece. Either that, or donkeys, and if I recall serpents, have now started speaking some ancient Semitic language.

MS: Get over it, Sigmund. Bilaam heard his conscience, a subconscious voice that warned him against cursing the Israelites. Recall that God had already warned him, but he was driven by greed and self-preservation to agree to Balak’s proposition. He was able to check himself and thus ensure his survival.

SAS: Allegory, metaphor, all these things I can understand. But why is the character of God so capricious and spiteful? Is he bored? Why does he need to play out this scenario and torture people by setting tasks and traps for them?

MS: Use some sophistication, Sigmund. This parsha is an exploration of man’s motives, and the forces that drive us to good and evil. Bilaam whips the donkey because he doesn’t want to hear what he doesn’t want to know. In the end, he makes the right decision, and blesses the children of Israel.

SAS: You explain to me how he makes the right decision if he doesn’t control the words that come out of his mouth. He is just a puppet, a mouthpiece for God. And why does God need Bilaam if God is so omnipotent? I don’t get it. Your story reeks of blind obedience. It sounds like you are saying we have a choice to do what God says or not to do so. We will in the end, anyway, like it or not. So, is that interesting? Is that a blueprint for living?

MS: You seem not to understand that we are given choices, and sometimes we come to the right decision by paying attention to unconscious messages, and forces we do not fully understand. In the end, however, we make the right choices.

SAS: If we are on the right side of God, that is.

MS: Well, there doesn’t seem to be much wrong in taking God’s advice, surely.

SAS: That strikes me as being as sensible as listening to a donkey.

 

 

History 

 

If you’d like to know more about the real history of our extended Jewish family, read on.

 

Israel’s Independence: the Early Years 

The day after David Ben Gurion declared Israeli independence, five Arab countries invaded Israel – Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. This was the start of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Other Arab countries waded in too.

After a year of hostilities, a ceasefire was declared and a Green Line was delineated as a border. Jordan took charge of the West Bank and Egypt of the Gaza Strip. On May 11, 1949, Israel was admitted to the United Nations.

A wave of Holocaust survivors came to the new state of Israel. Many were housed in temporary camps called ma’abarot. The population boomed, rising from 800,000 in 1948 to two million by 1958.

During the 1950s, parts of Israel were often attacked by Palestinian guerillas, the fedayeen, who aimed to win back lost land and agricultural products as well as inflict casualties on the Israeli army. The Israeli military responded in kind. Both sides targeted civilians on occasions.

The different Arab states viewed various armistice agreements as temporary setbacks, and in Israel’s first seven years of existence, 1300 Israelis died in Arab raids. Attacks by the fedayeen provided a motive for the Sinai Campaign of 1956 in which Israel, Britain and France attacked Egypt, which had nationalized the Suez Canal in July of that year.

The Israeli armed forces launched Operation Kadesh on 29 October 1956. The offensive was joined by British and French forces. The action was successful, but America’s Eisenhower administration forced a ceasefire on the aggressors. By March 1957, all three countries had withdrawn from the Sinai. This was a positive outcome for Egypt’s President Nasser and Pan-Arabism.

In 1960, the Israeli government scored a coup when the Mossad (the Israeli Secret Service) received information that Adolf Eichmann, former head of the Department for Jewish Affairs in the Gestapo from 1941 to 1945, was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mossad agents captured Eichmann and smuggled him back to Israel where he was charged on 15 counts under the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators Law, 1950. Eichmann was found guilty and sentenced to death after a long trial. He was executed on 31 May, 1962. He is the only person ever to have been officially executed in terms of the Israeli judicial system.

A notable attendee at the trial was Hannah Arendt, who covered the proceedings for the New Yorker magazine, and who subsequently wrote about Eichmann in terms of “the banality of evil”. Eichmann’s high profile trial increased public awareness of the Holocaust in other parts of the world.

 

 

Here follows a discussion on this historical segment by Dad, Chaya and Ben. 


BEN:
So Israel has not been so innocent, has it? They were the aggressors in the 1956 war.  They also targeted civilians.

CHAYA: But they were not unprovoked, Ben.

DAD: Maybe not, but this conflict is enormously complicated. It has reached a point that no one knows any more who started what. Too much blood has been spilt, on all sides.  

BEN: I think we should face the facts. The Israelis gave as good as they got, in some cases, more so.

CHAYA: Yes, but they were the ones who were threatened. Should they have just lain down and died? Given up what they had fought to build? The Arab states wanted the total destruction and annihilation of the State of Israel.

BEN: But some would say that the Jews had occupied the land illegally in any event. Why do you think the fedayeen were conducting terrorist acts? The Stern Gang and other Israeli guerilla groups did the same, whilst fighting for the right of their state to exist.

DAD: I think the issue is that terrorist acts were committed against civilian populations.

BEN: Well, what’s a civilian population when you have a nation under arms?

CHAYA: I can see that we will get nowhere with this argument, because it will go on and on, like the conflict itself. I want to talk about Eichmann. I thought the State of Israel did not subscribe to the death penalty.

DAD: Well, it doesn’t. Eichmann was a special case.

CHAYA: What’s a special case? Does it relate to how many people he killed, or something else?

BEN: There was a basic inconsistency here. Eichmann was considered to warrant the death penalty. I wonder whether there will be others. I don’t think that the law should be amended for special cases.

CHAYA: Well, what do you think they should have done to Eichmann?

DAD: It’s a very serious question, Chaya, and I am sure that the decision to execute him was not taken lightly. I think we should also understand that his execution was symbolic, as well as retributive.

BEN: It doesn’t make sense to me. A legal system should be consistent. Let’s not pretend then, that Israel does not employ the death penalty when the courts consider it to be warranted.

DAD:I think we all need to think very carefully about the different ways we can look at this problem. It’s not one that is soluble, as far as I can see.

Sayings 

 

Every Shabbat we read five short sayings that express, with typically Jewish wit and humor, insightful reflections on this life of ours.

 

Here are tonight’s sayings:

 

·        People avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually, the failure to make decisions is one of life’s biggest mistakes. (Rabbi Noah Weinberg)

·        It’s not how much or how little you have that makes you great or small, but how much or how little you are with what you have. (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch)

·        A half-truth is a whole lie.

·        Pride that dined with vanity supped with poverty.

·        I love gentiles. In fact, one of my favourite activities is Protestant spotting. (Mel Brooks)

 

Celebration of Great Lives 

 

Every Friday night we celebrate the achievements of our Jewish family in contributing to changing the world for the better and having an extraordinary impact on those around them.

  

David “Mickey” Marcus (1901-1948) 

“Colonel David Marcus – a Soldier for All Humanity” is the inscription on this man’s gravestone at West Point Cemetery.  Marcus is honored as a hero in both the USA and Israel. He was born to Romanian-Jewish parents in New York. A  West Point graduate, Marcus entered civilian life as a lawyer with the Attorney General’s Office. He returned to the army during WW2, and parachuted into Normandy during the D-Day airborne assault. He later helped oversee a military government in Germany after the Allied victory. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Bronze Star for his wartime service. One of the liberators at Dachau, Colonel Marcus answered the call from Israel to consolidate its new army. He became commander of the Jewish front and the first brigadier-general of the army. On June 11, 1948 he was accidentally shot dead by an Israeli sentry. The village of Mishmar Davis in Judea is named in his honor.  The 1966 film Cast a Giant Shadow, starring Kirk Douglas, was based on Marcus’ story. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


HOW TO SING THE SONGS
ADON OLAM WORDS
Adon Olam David Solid Gould & The Temple Rockers
ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS
ALLE BRUDER SONG
ALLE BRIDER SONG
AL KOL ELEH WORDS
AL KOL ELEH
BASHANA words
BASHANA SONG
BEI MIR BIST DU SHEYN
BEI MIR BIST DU SCHEYN SONG
BMBDS song
CHIRIBIM WORDS
CHIRIBIM Song
DAYENU WORDS
DAYENU SONG ENGLISH
DAYENU SONG
DONNA DONNA
DONNA DONNA SONG
HALLELUYA
HALELUJA KARAOKE
HATIKVA
HATIKVA SONG
HATIKVA SONG
DAYENU
HATIKVA WORDS
HATIKVA SONG 1
HAVA NAGILA WORDS
HAVA NAGILA SONG
HAVA NAGILA KARAOKE
HAVEINU SHALOM ALEICHEM
HEVENU SHALOM ALEICHEM WORDS
HEVENU SHALOM ALECHEM SONG
HINEH MA TOV WORDS
JERUSALEM THE GOLD WORDS
JERUSALEM THE GOLD KARAOKE IVRIT
JERUSALEM THE GOLD SONG
JERUSALEM THE GOLD JARAOKE
MAYIM MAYIM WORDS
MAYIM MAYIM DANCE
OIF'N PRIPITSCHOK song
OSE SHALOM
OSE SHALOM SONG
PAPI ROS'N
PAPIROS'N SONG
PARTISAN SONG 1
PARTISAN SONG
PARTISAN SONG MUSIC
RABBI ELIMELEKH
RABBI ELIMELEKH SONG
AS DER REBE SINGT
AS DER REBBE SINGT LEONARD COHEN
AS DER REBBE SINGT SONG
RAISINS WITH ALMONDS WORDS
SIMANTOV U MAZELTOV WORDS
SIMAN TOV MUSIC
MAZELTOV CLARINET
TUMBALALAIKA WORDS
TUMBALALAIKA MUSIC
TUMBALALAIKA MUSIC
TZENA TZENA
TZENA TZENA
TZENA TZENA 4
TZENA TZENA The Weavers
TZENA TZENA WORDS
ALLE BRIDER KLEZMATICS
ALLE BRIDER KLEZMATICS
HATIKVA STREISAND
HATIKVA STREISAND
BIM BAM SHABBAT SHALOM FOR KIDS
BIM BAM SHABBAT SHALOM FOR KIDS
YO EN ESTANDO - SEPHARDIC
ELIYAHU SEPHARDIC
SEPHARDIC SONG
SEPHARDIC SONG 3
Sholem Aleichem Susan Allen
Shalom Aleichem Susan Allen
OTHER VERSIONS OF SONGS
DUVID CROCKET WORDS
DUVID CROCKET MICKEY KATZ
MODERN PASSOVER SONGS
This will help you find yourself]