Colors: Blue Color

Fleetwood Synagogue hosted Miriam Krupka Berger on Saturday night, as part of its annual Charles Sidlow Memorial Lecture series. This year’s program was titled “The Prophet, the Priest, and the Public: An Examination of the Balance of Powers in the Age of Prophecy and What it Means for Us Today.” Ms. Berger, the current chair of the Tanach Department at Ramaz and a teacher there for over a decade, highlighted the differences between a navi and a kohen, elaborating on the navi’s role as a leader and the challenges he faced in translating the words and emotions of G-d.

The most important election that you may never have heard of is currently taking place. Every 5 years, 145 delegates are elected to represent the Jews of the United States at the World Zionist Congress. This important organization – the international Parliament of the Jewish People – sets policy for important Israeli and diaspora organizations, including the Jewish Agency and KKL.  It controls a budget of $4 billion over the next 5 years and its allocation can influence Jewish education and identity around the world.

In Parshas Mishpatim, we learn: “Im kesef talveh es ami – When you lend money to My people, to the poor person who is with you, do not act toward him as a creditor/lender; you shall not impose interest upon him” (Sh’mos 22:24). There is a positive commandment in the Torah to lend money to anyone who needs it. Our sages teach us that the mitzvah to lend money is even greater than the mitzvah to give tz’dakah, because a person is much less embarrassed to receive a loan than to receive tz’dakah. The Torah prohibits a Jew from imposing interest on the borrower, because when people help each other, they are uniting through their act of kindness. However, when a person takes interest, he acts in the opposite manner, taking advantage of his fellow Jew’s misfortune in order to enrich himself.

According to Essex Ed, Turtle Back Zoo’s groundhog, everyone should gear up for an early spring. There’s no better place to start than the warm West Orange Jewish community at its annual Discover West Orange shabbaton. Discover West Orange, including the shabbaton, is a partnership between two of the community’s Modern Orthodox shuls: Congregation Ahavas Achim B’nai Jacob and David (AABJ&D) and Congregation Ohr Torah. This year, members of the community will be on hand to welcome visitors during Shabbat Zachor, March 6-7.