Dec. 3, 2009
In the preface to his book, "The Way into Tikkun Olam," Rabbi Elliot Dorff says: Tikkun Olam -- to fix the world. Quite a task! Yet that is precisely the goal that the Jewish tradition sets for our lives. It gives us a mission, and thereby lends meaning to our lives.
Rabbi Tarfon, from Pirkei Avot, Ethics of our Fathers, said, It is not incumbent upon you to finish the task. Yet, you are not free to desist from it (social action). Both Rabbis Tarfon (who wrote in the 1st century) and Dorff (in the current era) teach us of our obligation and duty to community. The importance of social action has been alive for 21 centuries. With Debbie Kurzrock as its chair, PTS has revitalized the Social Action Committee.
There are many diverse programs on our plate and I am sure everyone can find a meaningful place in which to participate. Here are some of the Social Action programs at PTS. Hopefully, you will be inspired to be part of one or many of these worthwhile causes:
Chanukah Toy Drive: We are collecting toys for Jewish Family & Children's Services. Watch for a list of needed toys, which are distributed to both Jewish and non-Jewish families in need. Contact: Fred Sturm
Shelter Network: Adopt-A-Family for the holidays. Help give a family a meaningful holiday experience. Watch for more information. Contacts: Patty Anixter & Gail Karp
Greening the Synagogue: You may have already noticed that we are using biodegradable paper and plastic goods; we have a 'bright idea' in our schmooze; and recently installed solar panels. Contact: Sonny Hurst
Project Open Hand: This program provides food and nourishment to needy men, families to break the cycle of homelessness among children and their parents, and to help them re-establish long-term self-sufficiency. We will begin hosting families next year; meanwhile, watch for dates when we will help another host congregation. Training dates are available. Contact: Sheryl Goldman
Mitzvah Garden: I want to thank the Goldman and Mendel families for all their help and support with our Mitzvah Garden.
When Abraham goes into the world, God bids him with a destiny (Gen. 18:19) "la'asot tzedakah umishpat, extend the boundaries of righteousness and justice in the world."
What will our destiny be? What will our legacy be? Are we working towards alleviating the social injustices of our local community and in essence the world? Friends, this is the time. Let us join together.