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The Hanukkah Weekly Reader
Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dear Friends,

“They entered the sanctuary, rebuilt the altar, repaired the walls, replaced the sacred vessels, and were engaged in the rebuilding for eight days.” (Megillat Ta’anit, chapter 9).These words from the Talmud are the first acknowledgment of Hanukkah, the holiday that celebrates the miracle of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. Put another way, it is the moment when we discover within ourselves the power to bring light to others.

One light can dispel darkness and help us to see what is hidden. On the first day of creation, God said, “Let there be light!” On the fourth day, God created the heavenly lights, the sun, the moon, and the stars. The rabbis asked, “What then is the light of the first day?” This is the hidden light, or ha ganuz, the light of the new idea, the light of holy presence, and the light that will shine throughout the world one day when war is memory, no one is hungry, and no one fears another.

During High Holidays, we explored heroes and heroism. In the context of Hanukkah, we look at the Maccabees, a small band of Jews who found the courage to stand up to the force of the Greek-Syrian tyrant, Antiochus IV, and the temptation to let go of Jewish ideals in a world dominated by Hellenism, which placed physical power, grace, and beauty as a sovereign principle.

In this time of the year and this time in history, I invite you to sow light in dark times by dedicating each night of Hanukkah to kinds of heroism, large and small. Here is my list:
Standing alone for a principle.
Raising a child.
Forgiving, even when you’ve been wronged.
Seeking out someone standing alone in a room full of people.
Facing yourself.
Giving before you’re asked.
Proposing a new idea.
Risking of loving.


Jacob was forced to leave his tent to make a living, which the Mishnah regards as a good thing: busy people don’t have time for sin (paraphrase of Pirke Avot [2:2]. Now Jacob is in Hebron, weary of battles, raising twelve children, and losing his beloved Rachel. Rashi says that the verb vayeshaev implies that Jacob wanted nothing more than to dwell in peace, but it was not to be Joseph’s disappearance broke his heart.
Jacob shouldn’t have taken this personally, because the tradition teaches that every sentient being has work to do here: leisure has no place. (The deep rest of Shabbat is not just to feel good but to give us the time and strength to contemplate Creation.) The Rabbis taught that sin is impossible if you have no time for it.
Yet we must rest and renew ourselves, but we do it for the same reason we do everything, to help repair the world. By taking care of ourselves, we can do the work God wants us to do The point is, if Jacob didn’t get a rest, it’s because leisure, like pleasure, is a dangerous goal.
But let’s not confuse joy with pleasure. May your Hanukkah be filled with joy, laughter, and latkes so that we are renewed in our wish to dedicate ourselves to Torah and its power to transform the world. Happy Hanukkah!


Our Hanukkah party is on Friday night, Kabbalat Shabbat, 30 December at six p.m. at UnaVida. It’s a dairy pot luck, and not only will we eat latkes, rugelach, and other delectables, we’ll play games (Clue, Boggle, Nok-hockey, to name a few), we’ll sing with our talented community led by Cindy Freedman, and rededicate ourselves to the holiday by finding new meanings in an old story. I have also found new ways to play dreidel that conform to Las Vegas playing rules. Besides your culinary offering, bring a menorah with candles, and if you’re accompanied by a child, a gift under ten dollars that is age appropriate. We’d appreciate a call if you’re coming: 992-1905.

Just a brief mention of the hero that we have invited to our January 20 Kabblat Shabbat service at 7 p.m. at St. Bede’s, Some of you know that the Air Force Academy has been exposed for its allowing Christian evangelism and prejudice against non-Christian students. Mikey Weinstein is the reason you know about this, because he alerted the media after receiving no help from his Representative and the White House. He will be speaking at our January Shabbat service.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Decmber 16, 2005
Welcome and Shalom.

I am Lisa Freeman, a new-ish member of HaMakom and the new President of the Board. It is a deep and wonderful surprise to me to find myself in this position. I say deep and wonderful because HaMakom is such an amazing and unique Place and Space. It is a place where we can be ourselves and it is a sacred space where we can also search for ourselves, our spirituality, and our roots in Judaism in the context of a strong, sharing community.

The commitment of Rabbi Malka and this congregation to personal growth, to Judaism, to faith, and to joy deeply moves me. It is a living Judaism with a rare and welcoming vitality. So, again, I am happy to be here and look forward to meeting all of you individually. I am also interested to hear your stories of what brought you to this special Place and how you are nourished here.

We have some exciting programs I’d like to mention. On Sunday, December 18th, at 7 p.m. CCA will show the HBO documentary, “Protocols of Zion,” a film about the scurrilous accusation that no Jews were killed in the World Trade Center attack. Afterwards, there will be a panel moderated by Rabbi Malka with Father Richard Murphy, Rabbi Beryl Levertov, David Pollak, and Ben Morrow, to discuss whether antisemitism has increased since 9/11. There will be a charge of $10 to benefit CCA’s cinema program and the Jewish Community Council of Northern New Mexico. It will be moving, challenging and I hope to see you all there.

We are thrilled to announce that Marcelle Cady has been hired as our administrator.

We can’t go another moment without thanking and congratulating our amazing, hard working Rugelah Committee and their two fearless leaders: Laura Shubert and Margie O’Reilly. They and their co-workers produced over one hundred boxes of rugelah–sold for $25 each to the tune of a very successful and fun fundraiser. Because Margie and Laura made the dough before the baking, we were able to produce extra boxes that are available to those of you who thought we were all sold out. If you still want rugelach for the holidays, please call 992-1905.

Our dairy potluck Hanukkah party will take place December 30, at six p.m. at the rabbi’s house. We especially want to welcome our little ones to this event. If you are bringing a child, please bring a children’s gift of under $10. for our gift grab bag. If you’re handy with a frying pan, please volunteer to be a latke fryer.

We want to introduce all of you to our most current creation: The Hineni Healing Outreach Program. This program is one of service as well as education. Besides Hineni providing comfort and service to those in need with a cup of soup, transportation, and a home visit, it will also teach the Jewish path of healing. Dr. Karen Milstein will be the program chair and teach classes to support our volunteers. Karen will be teaching her last class of this session this coming Sunday, December 18, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Rabbi Malka will teach an intensive in February called The Last Journey: Dying, Death, and Mourning. We encourage anyone who wants to be a healer in this program to attend these classes. If you’re interested in our services and/or would like to volunteer to be a Hineni healer, please call our HaMakom number: 992-1905.


Happy Birthday to Shirley Mock.

We send our healing prayers to Michael O’Reilly who is recovering from shoulder surgery, to Leslie Davis, Claire Warhaftig, Judy Friedman, and Claudia Sanchez.

Mazel Tov to Joy Silver for the article about her and Rainbow Visions in the Santa Fe Reporter, and to Atma Wiseman and Sharon Woods for their appearances in the magazine, Su Casa, celebrating their design work.

Shabbat Shalom!


December 9, 2005
Dear Friends,

I’m beginning to feel more like a town crier than a rabbi with all our upcoming events. Torah comes in many forms, and community is a glorious path. You can’t be a Jew alone, and we’re doing our part in keeping you from staying alone with your dog in this season of holidays, which is not an easy time for many of us.

First of all, put on your apron, grab a rolling pin, and come to our house Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for the Rugelach baking marathon. Sylvia Boorstein received and sold her thirty boxes to her meditation class, and has, with Emily Berman’s gracious consent, given her recipe to a Jewish celebrity cookbook that will send its proceeds to victims of Katrina. Radically amazing how contagious generosity can be. Your volunteering to bake will not only delight many palates, it will raise money for HaMakom, help hurricane victims, and we’re participating in the New Mexican holiday cookie contest. Please call Margie: 992-6139 or Laura: 505-454-1023 to let them know if you can bake.

Second, on 18 December, at 7 p.m., CCA will show the HBO documentary, “Protocols of Zion,” a film about the scurrilous accusation that no Jews were killed in the World Trade Center attack. Afterwards, I will moderate a panel with Father Richard Murphy, Rabbi Beryl Levertov, David Pollock, and Ben Morrow, to discuss whether anti-Semitism has increased since 9/11. There will be a charge of $10 to benefit CCA’s cinema program and the Jewish Community Council of Northern New Mexico. The discussion alone is worth the price of admission! You’ll probably learn a few things from the film, even some things you’d rather not know. The film is as much about the filmmaker’s Jewish odyssey as about antisemitism, and only one person’s perspective.

On a cheerier note, our Kabbalat Shabbat Hanukkah party is coming on 30 December! In an effort to include all our children according to the Mishnah, the time to light candles is when it is late enough for everyone to be home and early enough for everyone to still be awake we have moved the time to SIX p.m. After a brief service to light the Hanukkah and Shabbat candles, we’ll have dinner with latkes, crafts for the children with the leader children most love, Leslie Davis, songs led by Cindy and others, and dreidel contests. Since it’s Shabbos, all bets are off. To summarize, the time is an hour earlier than our calendar announces, six instead of seven. And the place is not St. Bede’s but Una Vida. Bring a dairy dish (smoked salmon, chocolate, and wine qualify), and a menorah with candles.

Ethel Hess is going in for surgery tomorrow. Please include her in your prayers.

The Torah portion this week is Vayetze [Gen.28:10-32:3]. Bill Lazar will lead us in the Torah study at 9:15 accompanied by bagels, coffee, and good-natured contention. Meditation and prayer follows at 10 a.m.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

December 3, 2005
Dear Friends,

Life-Changing Upcoming Events

Traditional Jewish Healing
We never know what will be our revolutionary wake-up call, yet we know this: we pray every day, “Heal us, and we will be healed.” When we reach out to another and offer our presence, we witness ourselves as healers who become healed through our empathy and generosity. For this reason, we are called to look and listen carefully for opportunities to help others, and in so doing heal ourselves.

HaMakom has begun the Hineni Healing Outreach Program to offer lay pastoral care to those in need. More information about this will follow in the next few weeks. In the meantime, Dr. Karen Milstein will begin the first of three classes this Sunday, 4 December at 2:30, at St. Bede’s to teach us about the Jewish perspective of spiritual healing. If you have interest in being a HaMakom healer, consider this class as an excellent introduction.
Rugelach Baking and Buying
This past Monday a half dozen bakers gathered at our house to bake the first batch of rugelach. Laura Shubert, team captain, prepared the dough in advance, which made it possible to bake and box nearly 40 pounds of cookies. What the picture doesn’t show is Cat Stevens singing and our lunch from the Tesuque Market. The next baking marathon is December 12, 13, and 14, and we need you! Whether you’ve ever made a cookie or fried an egg, you’ll leave a rugelach expert. Please call Laura or co-captain, Margie O’Reilly, whose octogenerian parents were key workers, to let them know you can help on one of those days. There will also be one night for baking for those who cannot be here by day.

Hanukkah Party
Our Kabbalat Shabbat Hanukkah party will take place 30 December at 7 p.m. at Una Vida. We’ll light Hanukkah candles, pray a brief service, and play games. It will be a dessert potluck. Please call our hot line if you’d like to attend: 992-1905. If you want to talk to a person, call Lisa at 820-3325, or Geraldine at 455-1158. We also need latke fryers (not monks or chickens), and ask that you let the above people know if you can help.

Shabbat Morning
Our Torah study begins at 9:15 for the portion of Toldot, the chapter about Jacob and Esau that explains much about the struggle of God’s children that continues today.

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Malka Drucker
November 23, 2005
Dear Friends,

Every year I’m delighted by the synchronicity of the season of Thanksgiving. In Hebrew the word for thanksgiving is hodu, which also means turkey and Indian! This is the week that many of us allow Thanksgiving to bring us into a mood of gratitude, yet we often don’t have words to express thanks for all the blessings bestowed upon us. For those of you who resolved during High Holidays to come to services more often and haven’t yet gotten around to it, this Shabbat would be the perfect time to join in the eternal prayers of thanksgiving If you’re in town with family or friends, bring them with you Saturday morning at 9:15 for study and coffee followed by the service at 10 a.m. (Many people are out of town this weekend, so your presence will be worth double this Shabbat!)

This comes from Susan Seligman, ADL regional director. Although it is overstated–no one really knows if there is a connection it presents a persuasive case.

Is Thanksgiving just Sukkot with a stuffed turkey? by Linda Morel

Did you know that Thanksgiving is really a Jewish holiday?

Although Thanksgiving is not on the Jewish calendar, historians believe that Sukkot may have inspired America’s favorite farewell to fall, often nicknamed “Turkey Day.”

“The pilgrims based their customs on the Bible,” says Gloria Kaufer Greene, a food and holiday expert. “They knew that Sukkot was an autumn harvest festival, and there is evidence that they fashioned the first Thanksgiving after the Jewish custom of celebrating the success of the year’s crops.”

Linda Burghardt, author of “Jewish Holiday Traditions,” says, “Sukkot is considered a model for Thanksgiving. Both holidays revolve around showing gratitude for a bountiful harvest.”

Today Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, but President Franklin Roosevelt didn’t propose this timing until 1939. It was Abraham Lincoln who made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Roosevelt actually changed Lincoln’s decree that Thanksgiving be observed on the last Thursday in November, which may fall on the fifth Thursday of the month.

The pilgrims invited local Native American tribes to the first Thanksgiving during the fall of 1621. Historians speculate that this celebration occurred somewhere between Sept. 21 and Nov. 9, but most likely in early October, around the time of Sukkot.

“Originally, Sukkot entailed a pilgrimage to Jerusalem,’ says Greene, who believes the two holidays share much in common.

The Puritans who landed on American shores seeking religious freedom were called pilgrims, in deference to their journey from England. Their dream of finding a place where they’d be free to worship as they pleased is a recurrent theme in Jewish history.

After their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the ancient Israelites lived for a week in temporary huts while giving thanks for a plentiful harvest. Likewise, during their first winter in Massachusetts, the pilgrims dwelled in makeshift huts, wigwams that the Indians helped them build.

While Sukkot remains a seven-day observance, the first Thanksgiving celebration continued for three days, a time frame more similar to the Jewish harvest festival than today’s Thanksgiving dinner, which often begins in late afternoon and ends several hours later.

Rugelach is selling like hotcakes, so get your orders in early, and if you want to be sure we have enough, volunteer to be part of the baking bridgade that will begin next Monday at 11:30 a.m. Children are very welcome to help, and we’ll be baking all day, as well as on Tuesday. There will be more baking in mid-December.

The Torah portion this week is Chaye Sarah, which means the life of Sarah, although it tells of her death. The portion is so called because she lived a full life. May we all be so blessed.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

November 18, 2005
Dear Friends,

Since our friends at Spirit Rock need their rugelach early this year, we’ll bake their batch beginning on Monday, November 28 at 11:30 a.m., at the rabbi’s house. (Guarantees their kashrut!) The work will continue Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. Margie O’Reilly has asked me to sound the clarion for volunteers. It’s a great opportunity to learn the secret of the magic taste of the cream cheese pastry, listen to music (maybe Consuelo’s fabulous new CD), and shmooze with old and new friends. Some people come only on Yom Kippur, others like our gang bake so much that they come only to this. Personally, I’d like you to both fast and bake! Please call or write Margie to let her and Laura Shubert know you’ll be there: or 670-8047.

Here is the information about Karen Milstein’s class:

Adult Education with HaMakom: The Place for Passionate and Progressive Judaism

Traditional Jewish Healing with
Karen Kaufman Milstein, PhD, LISW

Surprising to many people, Judaism has a rich and valuable although much-neglected tradition of healing, extending back thousands of years. It includes tribal shamanic wisdom and more recent biblical and Talmudic teachings. Kabbalistic insights and wisdom are woven throughout. Many of these understandings and teachings are very applicable to contemporary psychotherapeutic and health practices. They offer a coherent spiritual framework for considering many of the challenges, paradoxes and mysteries of contemporary life. Interestingly, much of this tradition is also consistent with cutting-edge Energy Psychology work. The class will include experiential work and learning of practical tools.

Karen Milstein is a psychotherapist with extensive clinical experience who includes health psychology and Energy Psychology approaches in her private practice. She is the author of Attuning to the River of Kabbalah: Playing with Energy and Consciousness. Karen has been studying Kabbalah, Jewish views of the afterlife, and Jewish shamanic healing for over a decade, gradually integrating these into her practice.

Where: St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, library

When: Sundays, Dec. 14, 11, & 18, 2005, 2:30 – 4 p.m.

Cost: $30

For registration or additional information:
Karen Milstein – 995-9596

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

November 18, 2005
Dear Friends,

The portion this week, Vayera [Genesis 18:1-22:24], contains what some commentators call a text of terror. It is the story of Abraham’s seeming willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The text tells us, “And Abraham arose early in the morning….” How could he have slept the night before taking Isaac to Mount Moriah? This is sublime equanimity or psychosis. The Talmud states that a person is required to praise God for the bad things that happen just as for the good things, and the praise be with simcha, normally translated as joy. Here it means not joy but ‘with a perfect heart’, i.e., with acceptance. It is easy to rejoice when things are going well, but to have equanimity in times of physical and emotional pain is the challenge. When we achieve this, or at least reach for it, we understand how healing can take place in the most terrifying moments.

This Friday night, 18 November at 7 p.m., we will celebrate Shabbat with a focus on healing. Dr. Karen Milstein will offer a dvar Torah on the deepest meaning of healing in the Jewish tradition. HaMakom is a place that heals us through community, prayer, and study, yet some of us need one on one healing with a bowl of soup, a ride to the doctor, or simply a phone call. We have begun the Hineni Community Outreach Program to serve the needs of those in need of personal attention. Dr. Milstein will be teaching three classes in December to show us how we bring people closer to God by our caring presence to one another. Salleigh Peterson and Marcelle Cady will coordinate volunteers to serve as healers as visitors, baby sitters, cooks, and drivers. Please call HaMakom: 992-1905 if you need help and/or you can be a healing presence.

Billy Lazar and Leslie Davis are our gracious hosts for the Oneg Shabbat tomorrow night. Please join us to heal and be healed.

We’ve changed our Torah study to 9:15 every Shabbat morning. Please join us for eye-opening coffee and heart and mind opening discussion before our services begins at 10 a.m.

I’m delighted to announce that the board has elected new officers: Lisa Freeman, President; Geraldine Fiskus, Vice-President, Margie O’Reilly, Secretary, and Beverly Harris, Treasurer. In addition, we welcome Beverly Harris and Consuelo Luz as our newest board members. The other important ingredient to keeping the wheels turning is the hiring of Marcelle Cady as administrator. Marcelle has served as a volunteer doing this work for over a year, and now we are able to offer her a staff position.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

November 18, 2005
Dear Friends,

The portion this week, Vayera [Genesis 18:1-22:24], contains what some commentators call a text of terror. It is the story of Abraham’s seeming willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The text tells us, “And Abraham arose early in the morning….” How could he have slept the night before taking Isaac to Mount Moriah? This is sublime equanimity or psychosis. The Talmud states that a person is required to praise God for the bad things that happen just as for the good things, and the praise be with simcha, normally translated as joy. Here it means not joy but ‘with a perfect heart’, i.e., with acceptance. It is easy to rejoice when things are going well, but to have equanimity in times of physical and emotional pain is the challenge. When we achieve this, or at least reach for it, we understand how healing can take place in the most terrifying moments.

This Friday night, 18 November at 7 p.m., we will celebrate Shabbat with a focus on healing. Dr. Karen Milstein will offer a dvar Torah on the deepest meaning of healing in the Jewish tradition. HaMakom is a place that heals us through community, prayer, and study, yet some of us need one on one healing with a bowl of soup, a ride to the doctor, or simply a phone call. We have begun the Hineni Community Outreach Program to serve the needs of those in need of personal attention. Dr. Milstein will be teaching three classes in December to show us how we bring people closer to God by our caring presence to one another. Salleigh Peterson and Marcelle Cady will coordinate volunteers to serve as healers as visitors, baby sitters, cooks, and drivers. Please call HaMakom: 992-1905 if you need help and/or you can be a healing presence.

Billy Lazar and Leslie Davis are our gracious hosts for the Oneg Shabbat tomorrow night. Please join us to heal and be healed.

We’ve changed our Torah study to 9:15 every Shabbat morning. Please join us for eye-opening coffee and heart and mind opening discussion before our services begins at 10 a.m.

I’m delighted to announce that the board has elected new officers: Lisa Freeman, President; Geraldine Fiskus, Vice-President, Margie O’Reilly, Secretary, and Beverly Harris, Treasurer. In addition, we welcome Beverly Harris and Consuelo Luz as our newest board members. The other important ingredient to keeping the wheels turning is the hiring of Marcelle Cady as administrator. Marcelle has served as a volunteer doing this work for over a year, and now we are able to offer her a staff position.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

November 8, 2005
Dear Friends,

Last Shabbat I heard Rabbi Harold Schulweis describe Torah as a story about the failure of God. The first earthlings eat from the forbidden tree of knowledge, off limits because Adam and Eve do not yet understand what to do with the information. They will err in thinking that they know everything, and that they, not God, are the supreme creators. It is this erroneous knowledge that allows Cain to kill his brother Abel. The flood comes because they use their intelligence to cheat one another. If they had only eaten from the tree of life, they would have know all they need to know: to harm another is to harm oneself.

In Noah, we saw that not only human failure but God’s in assuming that we were better than we were. God’s children aren’t perfect and neither are our own children. We try mightily to make them so, sometimes tell them that they are, and our pride in our illusion of them creates insensitive and self-absorbed people.

We learn from God’s mistake. Destroying the world by water doesn’t lead to perfection. On the contrary, immediately after the flood Noah’s children attempt to castrate him. The people build a tower of Babel, because they think they can make a better world than God has made. The desire for perfection may be the oldest addiction.

God needs us as partners to repair this world, not remake it, and this week’s portion, Lech Lecha, shows us how. We begin with ourselves with this direction to “Go, go into ourselves.” We are commanded to listen deeply and to follow a path that we cannot predict or figure out. We know only that we are to give up all worldly power of goods and reputation. It is not not knowledge but the willingness to live without knowing that is the path of wisdom. We are called not to know everything but to love everything. To be in God’s image is to love as we love our children, as God loves the world that God birthed.

God evolves in seeing the error of the flood, and so do we evolve in seeing that if God were perfect, God wouldn’t need us to perfect the world. As God needs us, so we need one another. Like Abraham and Sarah, we too must leave the path wanting to know and have more than everyone else. The tree of life feeds us with a taste of both heaven and earth, and when we care about our neighbors as much as ourselves, we are no longer hungry.


Speaking of food, it may seem trivial to mention HaMakom’s rugelach sale at this moment, but every box you buy will not only bring you earthly pleasure but a portion in heaven in supporting the work of our community. We represent Jewish pluralism, an experiment in interfaith community with St. Bede’s, and a laboratory for meaningful, laid-back Judaism. Helping to bake will not only bring you opportunity to make friends and shmooze over rolling pins and cinnamon, it will give you the pleasure of knowing that your effort will bring a smile with each bite.

Once again, remember that the boxes are very limited–we’ve already sold 30 boxes to our friends in Marin County at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.


Many advance thanks to Laura Shubert and Margie O’Reilly for their chairing this project that makes a great Hanukkah present.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

November 2, 2005
Dear Friends,

This Weekly Reader brings you announcements of both meta-physical and physical food. This Sunday at 12:30, at St. Bede’s, begins our interfaith Biblical Hebrew class sponsored by HaMakom and St. Bede’s. Father Murphy and I have enjoyed juicy conversations about the multiple meanings that Judaism and Christianity have found in the Hebrew Bible aka the Old Testament, as it is called by Christians. A single word, for example, that was mistranslated as “horns” instead of “rays of light”, is responsible for generations of non-Jews thinking that Jews have horns on their heads. Bonnie Ellinger, a gifted teacher of Hebrew, will be offering the tools to read Biblical text as it was written. If you’d like to hear the music and poetry of the Book, this is the class for you. Details are below:

Interfaith Hebrew Course for Adults – Part 1

Discover the linguistic roots of both the Jewish and Christian traditions by learning the basics of biblical Hebrew
(with some modern Hebrew thrown in)

Taught by Bonnie Ellinger, PhD
Retired university professor from Israel*

When: 8 Sundays from November 6th, 2005 – January 15, 2006
(no classes on November 27, December 25 and January 1)

Where: St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
1601 S. St. Francis

Time: 12:30 – 2pm

Cost: $90 (includes $35 textbook)

Registration: Call Charmaine at St. Bede’s

*Bonnie Ellinger has a PhD in Applied Linguistics and taught at Bar Ilan University in Israel for 20 years. Since moving to Santa Fe 3 years ago she has taught all levels of conversational and biblical Hebrew to adults.

For those of you who ordered and sampled our rugelach last Hanukkah, I don’t need to say much about getting in your orders early. One comment we received was, “I bought a box for my grandson and decided I’d better be sure that they tasted good. The cookies are gone and I need another box for him fast!” Sadly, we had sold out and couldn’t sell her another box. A few people complained that they had gained two pounds just looking at them. Details below:

Take part in a Jewish culinary tradition!

Dear Friends:

Jewish holidays are often centered on our kitchens, and our rich culinary traditions enhance the experience of festivities, rituals and holy days. This year HaMakom hopes to enhance your experience of Hanukkah through its second annual Rugelach Sale, a divine cream-cheese pastry treat.

HaMakom members will be busy baking and packing beautiful gift boxes full of Rugelach for you to give to friends and loved ones throughout this holiday season.

We are accepting orders through December 12. Price per box is $25, which includes home delivery within the Santa Fe area.

We will be selling only 100 boxes of Hamakom Rugelach so order early!

For more information contact Hamakom at 992-1905.

Return the completed form below to Hamakom, PO Box 520, Tesuque, NM 87574 or email us your order at

Rugelach Order Form

Number of boxes required:
Total @ $25 per box = $


One of the very best things about Hamakom is working on projects together. At this second annual Rugelach sale, we invite members to enjoy the aroma and tastes of our culinary heritage by baking rugelach together.

Baking sessions will take place in the afternoons and evenings at the home of Rabbi Malka Drucker and Gay Block, Dec. 12th to Dec.15th.
Join us for baking, talking and debating the finer points of Philadelphia cream cheese.
To volunteer for this project contact Hamakom at 992-1905 or email Laura Shubert at:

Mazel Tov to Joy Silver for the ribbon cutting of Rainbow Visions, a retirement community for gays and lesbians as well as their straight friends! Its beautiful buildings will be featured in the New York Times this Sunday, and you can drive by it on Rodeo Road.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

October 16, 2005
Dear Friends,

“You shall live in booths seven days…in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt…” Leviticus 23:42-43.

“Whoever fasts on Sukkot is a sinner.” Talmud.

In ancient Temple days, Sukkot was so glorious that it was simply called “The Holiday.” It celebrates both the fall harvest and the ripening of the Jewish people after wandering in the desert for forty years.
On Sukkot, Jews build a temporary hut called a sukkah where they eat, sleep, and invite their friends to share in the fun. Here’s a yearly opportunity to remember a holy wilderness trek and to reconnect with the earth.

We have prayed, we have fasted, and we have been judged. Now we are ready to enjoy the fruits of our efforts in the most joyful holiday of the year, Sukkot. The images shown on our opening page show you only how beautiful the sukkah our community has built; it will not offer you its delicious fragrance and the cozy, protected feeling it gives when you are inside. Our many thanks to our heroic builders, Jay and Billy, and to our decorators: Leslie, Laura and Jurgen, Bev and Cristi, Atma, and Dyanna and Schia (who Gay missed when she went out to photograph).

Please join us tomorrow night, 17 October, at six p.m. to experience the joy of entering the temporary little hut that will be HaMakom’s home for the next seven days. We will hold a brief service outdoors (wear warm clothing) and have a potluck dinner in the house. Please bring a dairy dish.

Everyone is welcome to come and study, eat a meal, wave the lulav and etrog, or just sit in our sukkat shalom (tent of peace) during the week-long holiday.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

October 3, 2005
Dear Friends,

We’re polishing the silver on the Torah, the sermons, and the service. All we need now is your presence to bring God’s presence. If you haven’t received your tickets and have requested them last week, they will be waiting for you at the desk. If this message suddenly awakens you to attend our services, please just show up. God is waiting, and so are we.

In addition to the schedule of services here on our web site, we will be holding Tashlich, the brief ceremony of casting our sins into the water, at 4:30 at the corner of Alameda and Don Gaspar. Only the sinless need not attend.

Besides High Holidays, we have another important event listed below:

Please join us!

GAY BLOCK: A Photographic Out Monologue
Monologue, Slide presentation, and Q&A
With thanks to Donalee Goodbrod and Pamela Thompson

Thursday, October 6 at 7:30pm

In conjunction with the exhibition
The Last Dance 1974 & 2005
September 10 – October 15, 2005

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

September 28, 2005
Dear Friends,

In this month of consolation, the Baal Shem Tov tells us, “Pray like a pauper-suspend all your sophistication, literacy, and intelligence. Stand vulnerable, with no layers, with your essence exposed before God’s essence. Stand innocent like a child. Then you will reach and see God’s face.”

Although the season and words are the same, we are not the same. The past year has offered offer us opportunities for learning to pray like a child and behave like a mensch. These are the days of grace, the days to make those last minute phone calls and letters we’ve postponed because of inertia and fear. HaMakom has also learned a few things and we’re grateful to announce the following changes:

We now can take credit card payments on line at our web site. Anyone who buys tickets (cash, check, or credit card) for High Holidays and decides to join HaMakom will have their payments applied toward membership. The web site contains the full schedule for High Holiday services.

Harpist Ruth Singer will join us Erev Rosh Hashanah, 3 October, before the service to bring us into a joyful, introspective spirit.

Cellist Joel Bachtel will play Bruch’s Kol Nidre as a prelude to our Kol Nidre service October 12.

Three members of our community, Joy Silver, Jay Zeiger, and Zuleikha will speak Yom Kippur morning because they are among the heroes in our congregation in their work and lives.

From Cristi Cave and Donna Fishbein: This year we will again have a food drive during the High Holy Days, giving us yet another great opportunity to do a mitzvah before the book closes. When you enter the sanctuary you will find a grocery bag (graciously donated by Smith’s Food & Drugs on Pacheco St. in Santa Fe) on your seat. Please take a little time during the week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur to fill your bag with some of the items from the list that you will find stapled to it. Bring your bag back to St. Bede’s on Erev Yom Kippur or any time during Yom Kippur, and we’ll take care of the rest for you! (Please remember: do NOT bring the bag back before that time!)

Shanah Tovah u’Metukah! May the new year drip with honey! “The one who loves, brings God and the world together” (Martin Buber).

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

September 22, 2005

Dear Friends,

We will be gathering this Saturday night, 24 September, at 8:30 at the rabbi’s home, to celebrate Selichot, An Evening of Forgiveness. Please bring a dessert, a jacket to walk the labyrinth, and a willing heart. One the best books that I’ve read in this season of self-examination and forgiveness is The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. Simon Wiesenthal, the author and seeker of Nazi war criminals, died three days ago. May his memory and wisdom be our blessing.

HaMakom welcomes everyone to our High Holiday services. If you would like participate in the service with an English reading, please call Ellie Edelstein: 988-2230. Thanks to all of you who have already sent in your membership and request for tickets either through our web site or through regular mail..

Yehudis Fishman, who once taught many of us in Santa Fe, is visiting from Boulder this week. She will be teaching at TBS at 7 p.m. tonight. If you can make it, I promise that you’ll learn.

In addition to the work to the work that our social action chair, Consuelo Luz, is doing, to alleviate the suffering of the hurricane victims, please read about the meeting below:

Dear Community Member:

The devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina has left thousands of residents throughout the Gulf Region homeless and an unknown number dead. Since this disaster struck, we have learned of many members of New Mexico’s Jewish community who wish to offer their assistance to those impacted.

Therefore, we are pleased to announce Hurricane Katrina Mitzvah Day on Sunday, September 25, from 3:30-5:00 p.m., at the Ronald Gardenswartz Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque (5520 Wyoming Boulevard NE.). The JCC will be serving as a drop-off point for the below needed items, and all local Jewish organizations and congregations are asked to send five volunteers to
help with the sorting and boxing of the donations. These volunteers will need to commit to be at the JCC from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

This is the first of a yearlong community effort to support those whose have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. There will be live entertainment at this gathering, as well as a bake sale with all proceeds to go towards Hurricane Relief.

The needed items are:

Children and adult diapers
Canned goods
New school supplies
Financial contributions*

Please RSVP your (and/or your fellow representatives) participation to Claudia Haas by September 22 at (505) 821-3214 or


Leslie Davis is our reminder of miracles. After a harrowing and dark May and June, she has continued to gain strength, is driving, hiking, and itching to do her good work. She will not only be at High Holidays but will be reading Torah!

White Fire: A Portrait of Women Spiritual Leaders in America, has been nominated for the PEN New Mexico Literary Award. I’m enjoying the suspense until October 22nd, when they announce the winners.

Please note the letter from Rabbi Berel Levertov.

Dear Friend,

As today I concluded the seven-day mourning period for my father of blessed memory, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your condolences and your support in this trying time.

In the next eleven months I will be reciting Kadish for my father and I would like to ask for your assitance in helping me gather a minyan to be able to observe this special ritual to help my father’s soul in the afterlife.

I would like to have minyans at least once a day untill Yom Kippur (Oct. 13) We would start with four nights and three mornings this week and see which works better for people. Here’s a schedule of services for this coming week, please let me know if you can join us, and which ones.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 7:00-8:00pm
Thusday and Friday 8:00-9:00am
Saturday 9:30am-12:15pm


Wishing you and all your a blessed new year, Shana Tova Umetukah.

Rabbi Berel Levertov
Chabad Jewish Center
Santa Fe, NM


The powerful Rosh Hashanah card that Geraldine has designed is for sale and you can contact her directly: 455-1158.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

September 19, 2005
Dear Friends,


Listen to the urgency of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in describing the cosmic content of this season in the Hebrew month of Elul: “The summer is drawing to its close. The earth receives the final glow of the sun and its fruits approach their full maturity. Everything that grows and lives seeks to extract the maximum benefit from the last rays of the year. The apple paints itself with its final shade of red, the wine receives its richest sparkle. The ground gives its last sap, the cornstalks grow to their limit. The bee seeks the last drop of honey in the flower before it vanishes. The squirrel drags the last grain of corn to his winter store. The returning swallow carries the last straw to the nest. There is no time to be lost; the end is in sight. The Master will soon call…”

We’ve been an urban people so long that we need Hirsch’s words to remind us that the natural world is our book of wisdom. Careful observation of the outer world reveals clues about our inner world. The scent of an early fall morning tells us, “Wake up! Life isn’t a dress rehearsal! If not now, when?”

The Kabbalists tell us that Elul is the month for greatest intimacy with the Holy; it serves as an acronym for “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li (I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine).” During this month when God draws nearest to us, we blow the shofar every day and recite the 27th psalm as part of our courtship. Love awakens us from the numbness of buried sorrows, resentments, and forgotten dreams.  Together we move toward a birth of a new spirit in the new year.

This Saturday night, 24 September, is Selichot, an Evening of Forgiveness. Everyone who is attending our High Holiday services is welcome to join us at 8:30 p.m., at the rabbi’s house for a potluck dessert, havdalah, a film about a hero (my surprise), a labyrinth walk, and services. Please bring a dessert along with an open heart and mind to discuss the heroism of forgiveness. For more information, please call: 992-1905.


Harley Parry is still in the hospital recovering from a difficult surgery that removed part of his lung to help his body heal from a serious fungal infection. Yafa and Harley are grateful for your prayers. Harley’s Hebrew name is Harli Emet ben Sarah. If and when they’re ready for visits and help, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, Salleigh Peterson and baby Ariel are enjoying one another immensely, and the Foxes continue to be there for whatever is needed.

My mother, Francine Chermak, dislocated and fractured her shoulder and her wrist last week. Her Hebrew name is Feigah bat Ruchel. Please pray for her physical and emotional well-being.


The HaMakom blog carries the details about our trip to Oklahoma City where our exhibit, Rescuers of the Holocaust, was paired with a traveling U.S. Holocaust Museum exhibit about the persecution of homosexuals in Germany.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

September 13, 2005
Dear Friends,

Harley Parry is in the hospital with complications from his accident and surgery. He and Yafa are grateful for all your prayers. Harley needs rest more than anything, and if and when they need more from us, I’ll let you know. For the time being, no calls or visits.

Gay and I will be in Oklahoma City this Shabbat for an opening of our work, Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust in conjunction with a traveling exhibit from the Holocaust Museum in Washington about the persecution of homosexuals in the Holocaust.

This High Holidays will focus on heroism and heroes, and the rescuers that we met nearly twenty years ago were my first exposure to being in the presence of great heroes. From them I learned that heroism is another name for godliness. They showed me what it means to be in the image of God by their seeing every human being in the divine image. I will be speaking about: Awakening the Hero Within, Varieties of Heroism, and Jewish American heroes. Members of our community who do heroic work will share with us on Yom Kippur morning what led them to their work, and how it has changed their lives. On Selichot, 24 September, those who are attending High Holiday services are invited to dessert, havdalah, walking the labyrinth, and Selichot services. Together we will explore the heroism of forgiveness. If you haven’t already done so, please send in your requests for High Holiday tickets.

We’ve been using Machzor Hadash, a traditional text with tranliteration, excellent translations, and inspiring readings, for the last three years. Rabbi Harold Schulweis, my mentor, has just announced that Valley Beth Shalom will be using this prayer book for the first time. It feels great to know that we’re on the right path!

David Soifer will be playing music especially appropriate for the High Holidays on his radio show, on KSFR (90.7) from two to four p.m. Friday.

Consuelo Luz is our social action chair and is coordinating efforts to help those suffering from Katrina. Here is the information about how you can help:

The Santa Fe Katrina Relief Committee is a local group that is coordinating different actions to help Katrina’s displaced both in New Mexico and out of state.
The next meeting will be Monday, Sept.19, 5:30 pm at First Christian Church, 645 Webber St

Immediate actions that can be taken:

NM State Hotline to offer housing or other donations or to request housing, help and info:

Volunteer licensed therapists are needed. Please call Leona Stucky-Abbott 820-2433 or email:

This Thursday Sept 15 three trucks with kid supplies will be leaving from Santa Fe going to shelters in Texas and LA. to help 1500 displaced children. Many are ill.
What is needed: (think of kids ages 2-11)

Pedialite (many of the children have diarrhea)
Clothing (including underwear)
Children’s Tylenol/ cough syrup/kleenex
Games & books (nothing with batteries unless you supply them)
Lice shampoo
Food (baby food)


The Spectacle Shop ; 1430 Second St. (983-6150) 9am – 4:30 pm
Tues, Wed and Thurs (trucks planning to leave Thurs. 4 pm)


They may return with animals to be fostered and/or adopted.
PO Box 9855; Santa Fe, NM 87504

Jane Davis is also a member of HaMakom. We’re proud to have members who are active in the world’s repair.

Please note the following information from Rima Miller:

Please pass this on-Gafni is a great teacher, I am studying with him now- recommended by Yafa Chase!!
and this elul class series is a fundraiser.
thank you

Greetings Chevre!

This is a reminder about the Elul Teleclass with Reb Gafni and a request that you sign up ASAP if you are participating. It starts this Sunday, September 11th.

Please send an email to Michael at to let him know and to get the call-in information.

It goes without saying that the learning will be deep and for people who have not studied with Reb Gafni this will enrich their preparation and experience of the High Holy Days. Please take this opportunity to reach out to people you have thought of in the past as friends or family you would like to expose to our rabbi’s teachings. This is a perfect forum for entering the chevre! You can learn while sitting in your living room!!!

Thanks to all for getting involved and blessings to you for the most meaningful Elul ever.

The quickest and easiest way to register is by taking this link– –you can securely register by credit card. It takes only a minute or two.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker
The focus for this year’s High Holiday teachings is heroism and heroes. Finding forgiveness isn’t easy. When I remind myself of past acts about which I am not proud, I find it an easier task. Humility and forgiveness are heroic acts that help to turn us toward the holy spark within ourselves. The Torah portion this week, Shoftim, calls upon the king to work his steps by writing a Torah and to carry it into the battlefied. How much more for us!

Although we are far from the site of hurricane Katrina, we are called to act. We can send money to the following agencies to aid the victims: Send a check to The Jewish Federation – Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048 or go to
Send a check to the United Synagogue – USCJ Hurricane Relief Fund, 121 Congressional Lane #210, Rockville, MD, 20852 or go to Locally, Jewish Family Service tells us that for professionals, New Mexico has established a registry of medical and related personnel to possibly be deployed to go to the Gulf or to help with evacuees to New Mexico. Social workers and psychologists are eligible, as I understand it, as are others with clinical skills. The web site is:

We will recite this prayer tomorrow morning at Shabbat morning services:

God Who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah,
God “Who summons the waters of the sea
and pours them out upon the earth” (Amos 5:8)…
“You rule the swelling of the sea;
when its waves surge, You still them” (Psalm 89:10)…
Bless and show mercy to the men, women, and children
of our land who are suffering in the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina.
Healer of the Broken Hearted,
comfort those who are bereaved;
protect those who have been displaced from their homes.
Grant them strength and courage,
and move our hearts, and the hearts of our fellow citizens,
“to keep the way of the Lord by doing
what is just and right” (Genesis 18:19), as it is written:
“Share your bread with the hungry,
provide a home for the desperate poor” (Isaiah 58:7),
May the prophecy of Isaiah be fulfilled through us
and through our efforts:
‘None will suffer and none will be harmed
in all MY Holy Mountain,
for the Land will be filled with knowledge of God,
as the waters fill the sea” (Isaiah 11:9)

And let us say: AMEN.
by Joseph Prouser.

Over thirty of us enjoyed the champagne brunch hosted by Atma Wiseman at her home last Sunday. We listened to Genie Zeiger read from her most recent work about mother’s dying and a daughter’s embrace of life. Like Genie, my mother has dementia, and I was comforted and enlightened by Genie’s fearless description of her experience.

Jay Zeiger, who brought Genie to us as his cousin and friend, currently has a show at bang! Galley, 717 Canyon Road, has an opening nearby at Red Dot Gallery, 616 1Zˇ2 Canyon Road from 508 p.m. this evening. I plan to get to both before sundown.

We are now able to take memberships, requests for High Holiday tickets, and donations on-line. Some of you have discovered our new blog and have responded. Many thanks. Marcelle Cady has asked me to remind you to include your High Holiday requests with your membership forms. If we haven’t heard from you yet, remember that part of your spiritual preparation this month is to send in your memberships. Promptness and generosity add velocity to teshuvah (this isn’t Rambam, just R. Malka).

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Dear Friends,

Judaism holds sacred the important principle of shalom bayit aka domestic harmony. Like the shoemaker’s family without shoes, I forgot a very important art opening tomorrow evening between 5 and 7 at CCA: it is called The Last Dance and the artist is photographer Gay Block. I’ve seen a preview of the art and can tell you that it will knock your socks off.

Karen Milstein would like you to respond to her calls regarding High Holiday readings: (or 474-8011).

Finally, Gay’s son is a rabbi in San Antonio and has been active in
providing assistance to evacuees from New Orleans. The following comes from him:

Reform Jews organize relief efforts
The Reform Jewish movement established a project to help organize its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. As part of Jacobs Ladder, the movement will stock supplies for those affected by the hurricane in a Mississippi warehouse close to the Union for Reform Judaism’s Henry S. Jacobs Camp. In addition to collecting donations, the union is accepting donations of items such as bottled water, diapers, medical supplies and new blankets. More information on donating is available at
New Orleans synagogue OK
A historic synagogue in New Orleans suffered internal damage due to Hurricane Katrina, but its exterior is unscathed. Rabbi Andrew Busch of the Touro Synagogue told JTA that a local police officer with ties to congregants was able to verify the building’s condition. Synagogue leaders hope to return soon to the shul to safeguard Torahs and other items; much of the staff is using temporary space in Congregation Beth Israel in Houston.
The synagogue bills itself as the oldest Jewish house of worship in America outside of the 13 original colonies.
Aid sent to Katrina victims
Israel dispatched aid to New Orleans to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Thursday’s airlift, supervised by military logistics officers and representatives of the Health and Foreign Ministries, included humanitarian and medical experts.
Also sent were 80 tons of food packages, diapers, beds, blankets, generators and other essentials. The Jewish National Fund helped fund the shipment.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

September 10, 2005
Dear Friends,

Elul, the month of greatest intimacy with the One, has begun. This is the time to get naked and cry out, “Save me! Help me to know my essence through teshuvah. Help me to return to You, to know my Godly potential.” Rambam (Maimonides) writes, “Even though repentance and calling out to God are desirable at all times, during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, they are even more desirable and will be accepted immediately as Isaiah says, ‘Seek God when God is to be found.'” We are in training this month before the High Holidays in this search for our essence.

Many of you have asked about the broken doors of the ark. Bill Light has been able to repair them, and we will have them back soon. More important than their repair is the response of our community to the person who broke them and his teshuvah. He has sent money for the repair and has written, “It is with the deepest regret that I would ever imagine writing a letter to you (or anyone else) about my unintended out-of-character behavior!! It was a horrible thing for me to give you frear and instability in your sacred space. I feel that area should be a place of peace, joy, and celebration of life! I have failed you! I would like to find out how you would want amends to be made to you, and especially to make a change in my behavior.”

We will not press charges. The one who does not forgive the one who has made the above request is the sinner. May he get on with his life and show repentance by never doing such an act again.

August 25, 2005

Dear Friends,

You’ve received information about our brunch on Sunday morning. Here it is one more time. It deserves your presence and we hope to see you.

Please Join Us At The 1st Annual
HaMakom Champagne Brunch Benefit
Featuring a prose reading from Atta Girl by author, Genie Zeiger

Atta Girl!” is a poetic and poignant coming of age memoir of a young girl living in 1950s-Queens under the approach and departure path of La Guardia airport.  She goes to public school, Hebrew school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, ballet class, and camp in the summer.   This soon-to-be teenager thinks her neighborhood as well as her family—a younger sister, mother, and father and their connection to the loving words that provide the memoir’s title:  ATTA GIRL!

Genie Zeiger’s poems, stories, and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Georgia Review, Tikkun, and The Sun. She is the author of SUDDEN DANCING, LEAVING EGYPT, and the highly acclaimed HOW I FIND HER: A MOTHER’S DYING AND A DAUGHTER’S LIFE. Ms. Zeiger was born and raised in Queens, NY and now lives in Massachusetts and is the sister of Hamakom member, Jay Zeiger.
This will be Ms. Zeiger’s only Santa Fe public appearance.

Sunday August 28,2005
11 AM –  2 PM
Suggested Donation $15.00
Call 989 – 4042 to RSVP and for directions
Please RSVP Before August 25th

Many of you responded so generously and swiftly with offers to contribute to the repair of the ark after the incident on Monday. Thank you for your concern; it’s good to know that we can call on you if necessary. Bill Light, a cabinet maker and friend of HaMakom, is restoring the doors which thankfully will not have to be replaced. The damage was a random act of violence and Father Murphy has assured us that the group will no longer be meeting in the library but the common room.

Leslie Davis returned last week from an overnight camping trip with her family to celebrate her 55th birthday. She is stronger than she was two months ago and we thank God for this. Miracles abound and we hope to see her during High Holidays.

Please send in your requests for membership and High Holiday tickets asap.  We’ve already heard from many of you, are delighted to welcome new members, and don’t expect to have to turn anyone away, but you never know. We will accept all requests, and if you have any questions please call 992-1905.

If you’d like your own High Holiday prayer book or the Shabbat prayer book, please let us know. They both cost $25. If you’d like to donate either book to the congregation in honor or memory of a loved one, we have lovely book plates designed by Geoffrey Laurence. We now have PayPal, thanks to Dianne Stromberg, and you can pay for the books (and membership/High Holiday tickets) by credit card off our web site.

Last Tuesday night I spoke with a young Palestinian peace activist at the Awakening Museum about how people with different points of view can speak to one another in friendship. Did this happen? I’m not entirely sure. Yaqub’s experience of living in the West Bank is not mine. His remarks implied that he is a man of peace despite the injustice of the Israelis. I stayed away from a political polemic about who has been wronged more and spoke personally about my struggle and attempt not to blame others. I wasn’t surprised by his remarks, maybe a little disappointed, however. We can only work our side of the street and are not responsible for what others do. His occasional one-sided statements do not mitigate his intention to be a peacemaker. It could have been much worse, and I’m grateful that I was invited to speak peacefully.

Below is a great editorial in the New York Times regarding the Gaza turnover. It makes the very important point that Israel and our people deserve acknowledgment of carrying out this painful process without violence and with courage.

Ariel Sharon’s Statesmanship
New York Times Editorial (8/24/05)

This page has never been shy about criticizing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. But this week the last Jewish settlers left Gaza, completing Israel’s withdrawal from the desert it took control of 38 years ago. And yesterday, Israeli soldiers completed the evacuation of four much smaller settlements among the hundreds on the West Bank. This is the first time Israel has abandoned communities in lands the Palestinians claim for their future state, so it is incumbent upon us – and all of Mr. Sharon’s many critics – to reflect on this extraordinary accomplishment.

The history of the Jewish people made the relative ease of the Gaza evacuation all the more remarkable. For Israeli forces to force Jewish settlers off land that many consider theirs by birthright was clearly gut-wrenching. The commander of the Gaza pullout praised his troops, with good reason. So did Mr. Sharon. “No state in the world can be as proud of having mobilized such a force in such difficult conditions,” Mr. Sharon said, adding that they had done their job “in a way that demands respect.”

Mr. Sharon can take pride in his own actions. He was resolute in the face of condemnation from extreme right-wing members of his own Likud Party, which may well fracture from the strain of the Gaza pullout. As the father of the Israeli settlements and a member of the bloc that has always favored a greater Israel, Mr. Sharon has nevertheless demonstrated that he is able to carry out a territorial compromise, a necessity if there is ever going to be any chance for peace.

The Palestinians have done themselves a favor by behaving with restraint during this emotional time. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, knows that for better or worse, the Gaza pullout now puts the burden on the Palestinians to show that they can govern themselves. It would behoove the Arab states to favorably acknowledge the Israeli withdrawal and provide more aid to Mr. Abbas. That would further strengthen his hand among moderate Palestinians, who must be made to see that their best chance for peace and a Palestinian state lies with Mr. Abbas, and not militant groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

On Monday, Mr. Abbas called Mr. Sharon to praise him for a “brave and historic decision.” He suggested that Israel and the Palestinian Authority renew negotiations, and he told Mr. Sharon that “we are your partner for peace.”

That is a good start. But both men have big battles looming. Mr. Sharon will probably face another election soon, with Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister, as his likely challenger for control of Likud. Mr. Abbas’s party, Fatah, will be battling Hamas in the coming municipal and legislative elections.

Real peace talks are unlikely before those elections are settled, but such talks are needed to build on the Gaza withdrawal, which we hope is a sign of readiness to negotiate rather than a final gesture. In a region where there have been too many dark days, this flicker of sunshine deserves to be nurtured.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

August 18, 2005
Dear Friends,

The parashah this week, V’etchanan [Deut 3:23-7:11], falls on a glorious Shabbat. It is the Shabbat of Consolation and Tu B’Av , the holiday when in ancient Israel eligible young women dressed in white, went out into the fields, and the young men would follow them. This was the original dating game, with the girls taking the lead. Join us on Saturday and we’ll see who is wearing white.

Suzanne Lederer Freilich is appearing in a performance that I hear is so good people are seeing it at least twice. Hope to see you there this weekend. Details from Suzanne:

I thought you might be interested in seeing a wonderful and different production. I am in “Impressions and Landscapes” part of the Ainadamar Festival that the Opera is sponsoring this summer. We opened last night, and tickets can be obtained thru the Opera.

It’s Lorca’s poetry with music and Flamenco!! Only about an hour and ten at El Museo Cultural, off Paseo (across from Warehouse 21).

So, now thru Aug 20th!! I’d love to see you, see me show off!

Call 986.5900 for tik info and for reservations.


Many events are occurring in the coming week. Briefly, they include: Tuesday night, 23 August, I’m speaking with Yaqub Hussein, a Sufi Palestinian peace activist at the Awakening Museum at 7 p.m.
Here is the information about our brunch on Sunday, thanks to Atma Wiseman. The book sounds wonderful and we look forward to seeing you.

Please Join Us At
The 1st Annual HaMakom Champagne Brunch Benefit
Featuring a prose reading form Atta Girl by author, Genie Zeiger “Atta Girl!” is a poetic and poignant coming of age memoir of a young girl living in 1950s-Queens under the approach and departure path of La Guardia airport. She goes to public school, Hebrew school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, ballet class, and camp in the summer. This soon-to-be teenager thinks her neighborhood as well as her family, a younger sister, mother, and father and their connection to the loving words that provide the memoir’s title: ATTA GIRL!

Genie Zeiger’s poems, stories, and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Georgia Review, Tikkun, and The Sun. She is the author of SUDDEN DANCING, LEAVING EGYPT, and the highly
acclaimed HOW I FIND HER: A MOTHER’S DYING AND A DAUGHTER’S LIFE. Ms. Zeiger was born and raised in Queens, NY and now lives in Massachusetts and is the sister of HaMakom member, Jay Zeiger. This will be Ms. Zeiger’s only Santa Fe public appearance.

·Sunday August 28,2005
·11 AM – 2 PM
Call for directions
Suggested Donation $15.00
Call 989 – 4042 to RSVP
Please RSVP Before August 25th

Dennis Ross lecture at 3 p.m. the same day.
Dennis Ross
Author of The Missing Peace:The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace
U.S. Envoy to the Middle East 1988-2000
The Carol J. Worrell Lecture 2005
Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005 at 3 p.m.La Fonda Hotel
100 East San Francisco Street
Admission is free.
Is Peace Still Possible in the Middle East?
This event is made possible by The Francis W. and Carol J. Worrell Trust and Santa Fe Hadassah.
For information,call 690-9892.

Please note below the profile of Cristi Cave, who normally writes profiles about our members. For this profile, she asked her partner, Beverly Harris, to write it.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Question: How does someone raised on a small island off the coast of Seattle, Washington and trained as a fisheries biologist become a member of HaMakom in the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico? Answer: Very indirectly.

Cristi Cave was born in Florida, but when she was just 6 months old her family moved back to Washington State where they bought a home on Vashon Island.. Back in those days Vashon was off the beaten track and considered country. Her parents grew most of their own vegetables and they had a milking cow, egg bearing chickens, and various other farm animals. They commuted to their jobs in Seattle via ferry each day. Summer jobs for Cristi involved picking fruit, and like a lot of country kids, Cristi’s best friends were her brother, her dog and her horse.

At the age of 19, Cristi left home for the Army. Her tours of duty took her to South Carolina, Maryland, California and Germany. Just like the Cristi we know today, she was meticulous in her work and became a non-commissioned officer.

In the 1980’s after years of living in pain and slowly losing more and more of her functionality, Cristi was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This was the reason she left the military. Her disability made it difficult for her to do civilian work as well. She decided if she could not use her body to earn a living, maybe she could use her mind. Using her VA benefits, she earned her degree in Fisheries Biology from the University of Washington, finishing at the top of her class in 1998.

So how did Cristi make her way to HaMakom? Not easily, that’s for sure. She’d been searching all her life for a religion that felt right to her. Though her values had been taught her by her mother, she found those values to be different from the ones she found around her.

When she was 11, she read about the Holocaust. That was about all she knew about Jews until she rediscovered Judaism while looking in the Encyclopedia of World Religions when she was 38 years old. She realized that she had met and known Jews and they always seemed to be the people she liked best. As she looked into Judaism, she found a religion whose concept of a supreme being matched her own. She read and studied the “Old Testament.” And in Proverbs she found the social wisdom of how people should behave, what’s good and bad. This was one of the things she had been searching for: rules to live by that felt right in her own heart.

Eventually, Cristi made her way to Rabbi Rosenthal at Temple Beth Shalom in Tacoma and asked if she could be a Jew. His response: “Why would anyone want to be a Jew?” And Cristi’s answer: “These are my people; I want to be with them.” Cristi began receiving instruction from the Rabbi and Tovah Ahdut. When the classes ended, Tovah continued to tutor her in Hebrew. Cristi is very proud of her very Conservative conversion over which Rabbi Rosenthal officiated, and which included both a Bet Din and a mikveh. Though usually not spoken of, she wants to share how important this was in her life. The tallit she wears is a gift from Tovah given at that time.

Cristi met her partner, Bev Harris, while studying Fisheries in Washington and began concentrating on stream biology in preparation for moving to New Mexico. Unfortunately, though she chose fisheries to use her mind, she discovered that beginning at the bottom in fisheries meant wading through hip-deep waters and mud carrying 50 pounds of equipment. Though her career was short-lived, she worked for US Fish and Wildlife in Albuquerque and then the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in California.. Only recently has she discovered that a joint hypermobility syndrome was what caused her to have the frequent injuries that ended both her military and fisheries careers.

Now she has turned her talents to research and writing. She maintains her own web site at <> . ItÕs chock full of information about streams aimed at students from elementary school through college.

Soon after Cristi had moved back to Santa Fe from California, she heard that Debbie Friedman would be leading High Holiday services here. Having heard Debbie in Washington, Cristi had to go. That was her first exposure to HaMakom, and she and Bev have been members ever since.

Cristi is now a member of the current B’not Mitzvah class and has recently learned to leyn Torah from Anita Redner as well.

Much of her time is spend researching and writing a book about the effects that the ancient migrations of people from the Great Eurasian Steppe Belt have had on the rest of the world. This has, thus far, been a two-year project.

Though Cristi usually does the profiles of HaMakom members, this one is about her. Turnabout is fair play!

August 4, 2005
Dear Friends,

Shabbat services at a different place this coming week! This Shabbat, August 6, HaMakom will hold its services at Los Alamos at 10 a.m. in the Community Building adjacent to Ashley Pond. For those who wish to carpool and caravan, meet at my house, (call 992-1905 for directions) , at 9:15 a.m. If you’d like to go directly to Los Alamos, please go to and enter your info and the destination of Trinity Dr Los Alamos, NM 87544.

It is not only August 6, it is also Rosh Hodesh, 1 Av, the saddest month of the year, because Tisha B’Av falls within it. This is the day when both Temples were destroyed, as well as other catastrophes, but it is more than a day of grief. It is a three week season of mourning and remembrance, and it is during this period that the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki fell.

The 17th of Tammuz (this year 24 July) until Tisha B’Av, the Ninth of Av (this year 14 August) is a time of caution. The Talmud cautions us to exercise extra restraint, deliberation, and patience. We are forbidden to hit a child, and we are encouraged to watch our words with each other, because these are the days that preceded the shattering destruction of the Temple 2000 years ago. The arrow is in the air, it has left the bow, we cannot control its flight, no one knows where it will land, and so we watch and listen carefully, conserve our energy at the hottest time of the year, and recognize that despite air conditioning, we are of the earth, and the seasons touch our mood and spirit.

With the first of Av, the mourning intensifies. We do not drink wine nor eat meat for nine days. Tisha B’Av is called the Black Fast. By contrast, Yom Kippur is a joyful fast. We wear white, we make believe we’re angels by not needing food, drink, sex, or any physical comfort. The Ninth of Av is a fast of deep grief. While the practice of the physical prohibitions is the same, its meaning is different: here the fast represents darkness and depression. The saying goes, “When Av begins, cut back joy.” Home construction and painting is held off (who can think about fixing up the house at the time when the Temple was destroyed?). Haircuts, weddings, or buying something new that might inspire a shehiyanu are also forbidden. These are the same deprivations that take place when we mourn a death of a loved one.

In Los Alamos, we will bear witness to what happened 60 years ago during the Three Weeks. We will pray on this day in this place without polemics, only with a sadness that will be softened by Shabbat and Rosh Hodesh, the minor holiday that celebrates the new moon each month. These holidays keep hope alive even in the dark night that this period remembers.

When our services end in the Community Room, we will carry the Torah into a pageant of sunflowers, the universal symbol of nuclear disarmament. What better place for Torah Ora, Torah of Light! In dire times, such as drought, the Torah was taken out of the sanctuary into the midst of the town, for additional prayers. May we bring the light of our people, who have prayed for peace several times a day for 3000 years, out of the room and into the world.

Remember, no services at St. Bede’s this week. If you have a siddur and kippah, please bring them to Los Alamos. We’ll have some on hand but not a lot.

We continue to pray for Leslie and Barbara Zusman.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

July 26, 2005 8:57 AM
Subject: The Monthly Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,

There are drawbacks to everything, including memory, yet for a people that has continued to live for 3500 years, it is our weapon against annihilation and despair. Our mythic narrative is a collective recalling of a vision, a promise, a steadfastness, and a future punctuated by many dark nights.

1945 marks the year of the liberation of Auschwitz and the dropping of the bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some will say that these weapons of destruction brought peace, and all will say that it was the day that the world learned the power and terror of nuclear weapons.

“Never again,”Jews cried after the Holocaust. Never again can the world witness nuclear holocaust and never again can any nation justify their existence. As Jews who remember not only the horror of the Holocaust but who continue to live with its fallout: declining numbers, the garrulous and depressive spirit perhaps as a direct result of what we have suffered, we stand as miraculous survivors who can teach the world that it is possible to live and love in the face of death. We do this by remembering not only the indifference of so many but cherishing the few who risked their lives to save us.

In tribute to this sixtieth anniversary, Hamakom will be holding its Shabbat service at Ashley Pond in Los Alamos on August 6 at 10 a.m. Please meet at my house at 9:15, ( Call 505 992-1905 for directions) . Our intention is never to forget what it felt like to be forgotten by the world and to turn darkness into blessing by standing with the victims of Japan as a remembering presence where we say our prayer of remembrance, the Kaddish.

Remember, too, the One who revives the dead, i.e. those whose spirits die and are reborn again. In these days of caution use the search function on my web site for more information, may our memory make us stronger and kinder.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker
July 1, 2005 12:33 PM
Subject: The Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,

We always thought that we knew how amazing a president Leslie Davis has been, but only until she stepped down did we fully know how much her energy and commitment fed our community. We continue to pray for her life that has enriched and served so many in our own community as well as in other worthy organizations.

These last weeks have been challenging and frankly a little frightening, but thank God, our retreat spoke loudly and clearly. We have a board that is committed to the sustenance and future of HaMakom. Ellie Edelstein and Atma Wiseman have graciously agreed to serve as interim presidents through High Holidays, and we potentially have three new board members.

We are a little behind in getting out our High Holiday letters, so we ask you to please be patient. Our intention is to mail them by mid-July. In the meantime, mark your calendars for Erev Rosh Hashanah, October 3rd.

I’ve mentioned Sharon Woods’ heroic marathon in honor of Leslie that took place several weeks ago. To date, Sharon has raised fifteen thousand dollars that will go to children suffering with cancer. If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please send your checks to Sharon Woods, 302 Catron, Santa Fe, 87501, made out to the Santa Fe Community Foundation. Earmark it to the Sam Burnham Fund.

This will be the last Weekly Reader for a month, but please remember that we will be going to Los Alamos August 6th, which is Shabbat. It is a custom to take the Torah out of the sanctuary in times of emergency, such as a drought. It feels as if this is a time of spiritual drought and we’ll be bringing the Torah up to Los Alamos. More information to follow in a couple of weeks about the logisics of our gathering.

Welcome to our newest members Denise Kusel and Joie Singer! Many thanks to Gail Glasser for her generous contribution to HaMakom. Happy birthday to Samoa Wallach in reaching the age of joyous wisdom.

June 23, 2005
Subject: The Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,

When Abraham Joshua Heschel marched in Selma, Alabama, with the Rev. Martin Luther King, he said that he was praying with his feet. The time has come for us to take our presence and prayers outside our community. August 6 will be the day that the world remembers that 60 years ago the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. From that day on, Albert Einstein spent the rest of his life trying to get all nations to destroy their nuclear weapons.

HaMakom has been invited to go to Los Alamos on August 6th to participate in the memory of that day, and our community has signed the petition for a Call for Nuclear Disarmament. We will go up in the morning, daven our prayers for peace, and say Kaddish in memory of the 200,000 innocent people killed by the bomb. As the day grows closer, I’ll send the logistical plans for our presence. In the meantime, please put the date in your calendar and consider joining us.

We have many people who make the work of HaMakom possible and pleasurable, and they work anonymously to most of the community. Through your contributions you have given a Nambe Kiddush cup to Anita Redner inscribed “With gratitude from HaMakom, Iyar 5765”, an impressionist art book to Elaine Tarango, who takes care of your correspondence to us, and a baby gift to Wendy Young, who has designed many of our special prayer booklets. Elaine and Wendy are not members of the community, nor are they Jewish. They just believe in what we do and offer their time in support of us.

This coming Shabbat will offer us another way to be Torah. In lieu of our Torah study that follows services, we will end davening at 11 a.m. so that we may attend the gay pride parade beginning at 12 noon on the Plaza.

The board, along with angels like Marcelle Cady, Geoff Laurence, Dianne Stromberg, and Samoa Wallach, will meet on Sunday for a rigorous retreat at the Santa Fe Mountain Center to plan for the future of HaMakom. Include us in your prayers, and if you haven’t begun such a practice, this would be a great time to start.

The portion this week is Shelach [13:1-15:41], which means “send.” In this portion, we learn about the best of the tribe being sent to Canaan to scout the territory. They return shaken by the might of the inhabitants and frighten the already anxious Israelites. Fear is a lack of faith. Because of their doubt, we don’t get to Canaan in two years but must spend another 38 to gain readiness to enter a new land. May the retreat give us the courage to see the work ahead, the faith that we can do it, and the commitment to serve with a whole heart.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

June 15, 2005
Dear Friends,

Many of you have asked how Leslie is doing and what you can do to help. For the moment, Leslie is grateful for your prayers and love. If you wish to call her, she is grateful and regrets that she may not be able to return your call. If you’d like to offer a meal, a ride, or companionship, please call the HaMakom number: 992-1905, and coordinator Salleigh Peterson will get back to you.

Samoa Wallach is having surgery today and would like to be included in your prayers. We wish her a speedy refuah shlemah and hope to see her soon.

Rima Miller is holding a comedy workshop this weekend:

written conceived and performed by Hilary Chaplain.
Part Lucy, part Chaplin, this quirky physical comedienne exposes her most intimate moments as she chases the elusive promises of happily ever after.
at YogaMoves
825 Early St
Santa Fe
June 18 at 7pm

Rima Miller, Lenny Hoffman and Nate Patrus will perform the opening set

This is an hysterical physical comedy without words about a woman who has a very vivid imagination!
Approximately one hour of fun filled laughter and pathos.

Part of the proceeds go to helping children for scholarships for the afterschool comedy program.

Photographer Gay Block’s works will be part of the Out Monologues, a performance at CCA June 18th at 8 p.m. At the Armory for the Arts theatre. The same person who did the Cancer Monologues and the AIDS monologues is now focusing her attention on the GLBT community. Four people will be telling their stories in monologue form, with multi-media components for them as well as another four, including Hilda Rush and Jodie Ellis / Marcia Muth. Gay’s portraits will be projected before and during the performance as well as being exhibited as framed pieces in the lobby. Gay is featured in this week’s Reporter announcing the Out Monologues.
I’ve been invited to offer a prayer for peace for the Celebrate Peace! An Interfaith Concert at the St. Francis auditorium tonight at 7 p.m Since every Jewish prayer ends with a plea for peace, I’m going to speak not only as a rabbi but as a mother and grandmother who fervently prays every day for a world that brings wholeness and well-being for all its beings. I’ve chosen a poem by Nelly Sachs for the occasion:

We Mothers
We mothers,
We gather seeds of desire
From oceanic night,
We are gathers
Of scattered goods,

We mothers,
Pacing dreamily
With the constellations,
The floods
Of past and future,
Leave us alone
With our birth
Like an island.

We mothers
Who say to death:
Blossom in our blood,
We who impel sand to love and bring
A mirroring world to the stars–

We mothers,
Who rock in the cradles
The shadowy memories
Of creation’s day–
The to and fro of each breath
Is the melody of our love song.

We mothers
Rock into theheart of the world
The melody of peace.

The Torah portion this week is B’ha-alotecha [Numbers 8:1-12:16]. It means “When you ascend….” Please ascend with us in prayer, study, and fellowship this Shabbat morning at 9:30 a.m. at St. Bede’s.
Speaking of which, please read the letter below from Father Richard Murphy. Awesome! If you would like a more dynamic role in the community, consider joining the HaMakom board by e-mailing or calling our office to let us know of your desire. The board will joyfully and gratefully consider all applicants.

Hi Malka,

Last night I had a meeting with St. Bede’s vestry. I told them that I am strongly feeling that St. Bede’s is at the point when the conversation for building should begin. I also told them that there is growing support for building within the congregation. Mind you now that this is all very early.

One of the things I mentioned is that members of Hamakom have mentioned to me in the past that if there were ever a capital campaign for building they would like to be considered to a part of the program. I also mentioned that at a recent lunch with one of older pillars of St. Bede’s the idea of not only building was brought up but that this parishioner, with HaMakom in mind, raised the idea of building an interfaith center. Needless to say I rose to the occasion and said “yes.”

Well, at last night’s meeting I raised the idea of an interfaith center, with Hamakom in mind, and was met with enthusiasm. One member even said why not include the Muslim community as well.

I’ve already put St. Bede’s in contact with our Episcopal Church Center (our national denominational offices) in New York City which has a dept. that deals with building churches. We haven’t even gone to the congregation with this yet so for now I just want you to have this email as a heads up and as things progress I will keep you and your board in the loop. But so far in conversations with other parishioners the idea is supported.

I’ve underscored with people that my feelings and theology are such that I see interfaith dialogue, worship and ministry as the hallmark of religion in the 21st. century. So far there is a lot of agreement with that outlook. For a congregation of Episcopalians that is amazing.

It is also a sign as to how much loved you and your congregation are. Stay tuned.
Peace, Richard

Friday, June 10, 2005
Subject: The Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,

Bring your babies, best blooms (especially roses), and the part, word, or sentence of Torah that is the most useful to you, to our celebration of Shavuot this Sunday, 12 June, at seven p.m. at St. Bede’s in the library. Join the star-studded cast of our Tikkun Lael Shavuot [Shavuot study session] following the service by speaking for a few minutes about why this piece of Torah has your name on it. Our children who are beginning to learn about Judaism will march with miniature Torahs and stand under the chuppah with the big Torah. Who’s getting married? All of us who stand together in the memory and future of Sinai, and our beloved partner is the One.

Just before the service, we’ll dedicate St. Bede’s as our home by hanging a HaMakom mezuzah designed and created by Linda Kastner on the doorpost of the library. Since Shavuot celebrates both our receiving the Torah and the bringing the first fruits of the harvest, we’ll also bless the sacred space around our two signs by planting the first of the landscaping planned to celebrate what a new day our alliance is. Blessings to Atma Wiseman for her underwriting and undertaking this project.

Last Monday night ten B’not Mitzvah students hosted a farewell feast for their teacher, Anita Redner, who is returning home to Boston. Like Jacob blessing his children, Anita blessed each student by speaking of the unique gift each had brought to the class, and in so doing revealed her gift as a teacher. Mature learners bring much life experience to the journey of knowing oneself, but it doesn’t help much when you have to learn a foreign language with different characters. Anita’s encouragement, patience, and faith transformed fear and self-consciousness into enthusiasm and pride. The radically amazing class each spoke of how much they’d learned from Anita besides trop and Torah. We’ll miss her.

There would not have been another B’not Mitzvah class were it not for our president, Leslie Davis. After her class celebrated becoming B’nai Mitzvah last year, Leslie encouraged a reluctant rabbi to do it again. “Reb Malka, after seeing our service, many want the same opportunity!” Thank God that Leslie prevailed. We are impatient for her return to the community. El Na Refah Na La [Please God, heal her now].


Welcome to our newest board member, Lisa Freeman! Gratitude for your willingness to help build and sustain us.
Sharon Woods completed her marathon in San Diego last weekend that was inspired by Leslie Davis. Sharon, who had never been a runner let alone run a marathon before, said that Leslie’s cancer journey that she has undertaken with such courage and grace moved her to the challenge. Leslie asked that Sharon raise money not for her but for children with cancer. God bless both women for their generosity and caring.

Cindy Freedman will be celebrating her birthday tomorrow by leading the Torah service for the first time and hosting the Kiddush. Please join us in this great simcha.

The Out Monologues will not be at CCA but at the Armory for the Arts on June 17th and 18th.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

June 2, 2005 3:20 PM
Subject: The Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,


On June 12, 7 p.m., we will celebrate Shavuot, the day that we not only were given but received the Torah, i.e. we decided we could handle it. What is it? The Ten Commandments, Ruth’s love for Naomi that was so strong that she left her own community to walk with Naomi and her people, or the personal revelation each of us must reach to know who we are and what we have been called to do in our lives? Come to the service that celebrates the future by blessing the babies born this past year and the giving of the Torah to our children who are old enough to grasp it. (The Torahs are small and easily grasped by anyone under Bar Mitzvah age). After the service, we invite you to join us in a study that includes song, dance, and mystical text. If you would like to bring an offering of original ideas, poetry, or cheesecake, please call 992-1995. Margie O’Reilly, our events chair, is providing blintzes and needs all the help she can get and it will be counted as holy as a brilliant biblical exegesis. Michael Margolis, Rima Miller, Rabbi Nick Behrmann, Zuleikha, will be among those who will bring their gifts to illuminate Torah.

The study, traditionally known as Tikkun Leyl Shavuot, is supposed to go on all night. While ours may not be that Orthodox, it will be no less fervent. When the people waited at Sinai, they were not exactly ready for the word: perhaps it was their anxiety that caused them to fall asleep. To demonstrate that we’re evolving and maturing, we stay up late to study. Being awake to the moment is a challenge in every generation and in every life. May our 49 day counting of the Omer give us the clarity, courage, and curiosity to become vessels buoyant as children and faithful as the elders to receive the blessings of Torah that have your name written on it.


Our Ner Tamid being designed by Bette Yozell with input from Leslie, Gay, Jill and Michael is going to be glorious! We thank the following for their generous contribution for this Cley Kodesh (holy instrument): Jill Reichman and Michael Hare in honor of their baby son, Will: Jim and Betsy Chase in gratitude to HaMakom for their help to Yafa and Harley, and Nancy Reichman.

We also thank the following following people (random order) for their generous contributions in the past month:

Gay Block, for the restored health of Leslie Davis
Bill and Donna Fishbein, in honor of their son, Jacob, becoming a Bar Mitzvah

For the rabbi’s birthday that, according to the Talmud, marks the onset of old age:
Miriam Silverberg
Sharon Nanez
Michael Gold and Claire Lichtenstein
Barbara Weintraub
Ira and Susan Thomas
Claire and Irving Warhaftig
Marjorie Kamine
Frieda Arth
Karen and Phil Milstein
Barbara Zusman and Rachel Rosen
Atma Wiseman and Joy Silver
Michael and Margie O’Reilly
Mort and Shirley Mock
Beverly Harris and Cristi Cave
Anita and Sid Redner
Peter and Ethel Hess
Jim and Marcelle Cady
Suzanne and Joshua Freilich
Al and Arlene Becker
Lyn and Ellen Fox
Jurgen Reinzuch and Laura Shubert
Ruth and Paul Kovnat
Sandy and Paul Young
Christopher Rocca and David Rosen


Dyanna Todd
Shayna Samuels and Glenn Turner–Mazel Tov on their June 4th wedding!


We continue to pray for our president and friend, Leslie Davis. A call to find out what she and family may need is a great prayer and it doesn’t require a knowledge of Hebrew.


The Torah portion this week is Bamidbar, In the Wilderness. Services begin at 9:30 and go to roughly 12:30. During that time we daven (pray), sing, study, and fortify ourselves with bagels and cream cheese, and other foods spontaneously and generously brought by angels. Come and leave whenever. We’re always glad to see you.

Shabbat Shalom!

B’shalom v’Ahavah (Peace and Love),
Rabbi Malka Drucker

May 19, 2005 6:05 PM
The Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,


This Shabbat will be especially delightful, because we will call Ariel Chase-Parry’s parents to the Torah for an aliyah celebrating Ariel’s birth, Yafa’s recovery from childbirth, and Harley’s recovery from the many injuries he suffered in a car accident a few weeks after the baby was born. Although Ariel has sat on Yafa’s lap, as well as others, during Shabbat services for a couple of months, this will be her formal coming out (of the womb) and into the embrace of the community. Yafa has invited her students to lead the service, and we invite everyone to join us.

Congratulations to Aaron Salman upon his graduation from Santa Fe Prep! This week’s parashah perfectly fits Aaron, because of his family connection to growing things with their business, Santa Fe Greenhouses.

The Torah portion that we’ll study ((over cream cheese and the bagels faithfully brought by Peter Hess ever since manna ceased to fall from above) is Behar, In the Mountain (Lev. 25–6). Within the eternity of Sinai’s rock, God warns us to care for the land by providing Shemittah, a sabbatical year that requires the land to remain fallow every seven years. The land is not ours, we leave the corners of the harvested field for the widow and orphan: we are stewards of the earth, not owners.

Evil is the will to dominate, not just other human beings, but the land itself. In this time of mad scientists proclaiming the benefits of genetic engineering, this portion deserves close study. The wisdom of the earth teaches that we are part of it, and our willful ignoring of the natural cycle will destroy us.”The land is Mine; you are but strangers resident with Me,” God tells us. Learning our place in the universe rather than seeing everything as created for our pleasure is a lesson that we must learn quickly. May our song of praise not only come from our lips but in our choice of what foods we buy and in our support of organizations committed to keeping the natural world natural and healthy.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 12:39 PM
Subject: The Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,


On May 6, at 7 p.m., in the St. Bede’s Library, we will mark Yom HaShoah, the Day of the Holocaust, with a Kabbalat Shabbat and service of remembrance that will be accompanied by a slide presentation of “Rescuers: Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust”, a collaborative project of Gay Block and Malka Drucker. In addition, members of our community who are children of survivors will tell us how they have been touched by the Shoah, which means utter destruction in Hebrew. Please join us to remember the six million.

From sorrow to joy: On May 7, at 9:30 a.m. Jacob Fishbein will be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Please note that we will NOT be meeting at St. Bede’s but at LA FONDA HOTEL in the New Mexico room. Jacob’s portion, Kedoshim, is known as the Holiness Code, the guide to bringing heaven to earth through our behavior with one another.

Hope to see you at the documentary described below this Thursday:

The Santa Fe Film Festival presents special screenings of the documentary “Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust” at the new Film Center at Cinemacafe on Thursday May 5 at 7 pm, Friday May 6 at 5:15pm and Saturday May 7 at 4 pm. Tickets are $8 general Admission and $6 for festival members, and will be sold at the door, beginning one-half before showtime. The Film Center at Cinemacafe is located at 1616 St. Michael’s Drive in the St. Michael’s Village West Shopping Center.

“Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust” is a 90-minute documentary that chronicles the full spectrum of Hollywood’s treatment of the Holocaust, beginning with early films about the rising Nazi threat, the first post-war films including “The Diary of Anne Frank”, and the more modern and graphic films and mini-series, including NBC’s 1978 “Holocaust” and Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List.”

Hollywood did not begin to depict accurately the horrors of the Holocaust until 1964 with Sidney Lumet’s “The Pawnbroker”, starring Rod Steiger as a survivor trying to suppress his memories. The images, while groundbreaking at the time, seem tame by contemporary standards.

“Imaginary Witness” raises the issue of whether Hollywood should even be making films about the Holocaust. Gen. Eisenhower wanted the horrors portrayed for the world to see but years later, some still question whether building sets and hiring actors to depict the Holocaust is “in many ways a desecration,” in the words of Thane Rosenbaum. But according to historian Neal Gabler, “Hollywood is the means by which most people, for better or worse, come to terms with the Holocaust.”

The documentary includes scenes from old newsreels that show disturbing treatments of the Holocaust, in particular, a scene of a book burning with an up-beat narration. Also featured are touching interviews with Sidney Lumet, Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg, Rod Steiger and many others.

The film was narrated by Santa Fe resident Gene Hackman and much of the cinematography was shot by Santa Fe’s Dyanna Taylor. Daniel Anker directed the picture, which earned a special jury award at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival.


Cristi Cave is recovering well from her surgery this morning and will be glad for your prayers and good wishes.

Congratulations to our graduates! We’re counting on you to repair the world.

Danny Newman
Hilla Culman
Allison Strull
Michael Schaefer

I’ll be a the Upaya Zen Center Friday night to celebrate Shabbat at the annual women’s retreat.

From the second day of Passover to Shavuot we count 49 days, our stairmaster to heaven. By Shavuot we have climbed day by day through our forgetfulness, blindness, and doubt to arrive fit and faithful at God’s doorstep. We are ready for our instruction manual for living. Yesterday was the tenth day and it’s not too late to begin. If you don’t have a prayer book say it, standing, in English, at nightfall or before you go to bed: Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, Asher Kideshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al sefirat Ha-Omer. Ha Yom…la’omer. (Today is the…day of the Omer.) You’ll be amazed at how difficult it is to remember to count, and perhaps you’ll gain insight into why our tradition sees memory as our weapon against annhilation. Count the flying days and let each one bring you closer to a heart of wisdom.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 1:08 PM
Subject: The Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,

Wow! What a week we shared! Sunday was a radically amazing day, both in the morning and evening, that expressed a love of freedom and offered a glimpse of redemption that touched not only HaMakom but the gay/lesbian and Christian communities of Santa Fe. Dayenu! I’m sending you an op-ed piece, below, that I’ve written in the hope that local media will publish, so that many will learn what actually happened after all the advance publicity about Phelps’ visit.

In the evening we experienced the most beautiful community seder imaginable. We sang, danced, dipped, drank, and tasted history. The St. Bede’s common room’s walls rocked with Cindy Freedman’s soulful singing, flowers abounded, and joyful voices filled the room. Margie O’Reilly’s committee created elegant tables that reflected great and successful effort for a dinner matched only by the gratitude of those who partook in celebrating Passover. I’m sure that that Elijah’s account of the evening delighted heaven.

Those who helped set up and clean up have told me of their pleasure in working together to create a wonderful experience for the community. Father Murphy and his wife, Carol, joined us, and he said that HaMakom really knows how to pray, at length! Todah rabbah to everyone who brought their gifts, both in the morning and evening, to make this an unforgettable and abundant Pesah.

This Shabbat coming morning, 30 April, at 9:30, we will hold a Festival service that will include a Yizkor (memorial) service for those who would like to remember departed loved ones with special prayers. Please join us for song, prayer, study, and a Kiddush of Passover treats.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Two Faith Groups Turn Hatred Into Blessing

Believe it or not, last Sunday was a great day for religion in Santa Fe. Not only Passover, the Jewish holiday that celebrates freedom, it was the day that Christians and Jews and built a holy bridge of redemptive connection over the homophobic waters of Westboro Baptist Church. For weeks, local media had reported that specific churches were going to be picketed by Phelps for our recent outpouring of sympathy for James Maestas, a young gay man who had been beaten into a coma because of his sexual orientation.

St. Bede’s Episcopal Church, with its rainbow flag and open message of inclusion, was an obvious target of the church. Despite precautions and plans, the church community was edgy: they had been vandalized by local hate groups several times already.

St. Bede’s is not only home to its parishioners but to HaMakom: The Place for Passionate and Progressive Judaism. Despite Phelps’ arrival on a major Jewish holiday, our community immediately pledged its support of the church by offering to escort its members into the church to attend services. There were so many people coming to church that day that its rector, Father Richard Murphy, remarked that it looked like a Christmas mass.

It also looked like something none of us had ever seen before. If God is radical amazement, we glimpsed the holy at St. Bede’s. As the picketers were photographed singing puerile, original lyrics to “God Bless America”, we caught another picture. Amidst their repellant signs and the wonder of spring rain, the church parking lot bloomed with umbrellas carried by HaMakom members wearing white yarmulkes (scull caps) as they met parishioners to escort them into the church. Fears of violence melted as people from both congregations huddled together smiling and laughing at the remarkable way God had brought them together to be lovers of peace and freedom.

As a church that has long stood for freedom from prejudice and exclusion of lesbians and gays, St. Bede’s was now being helped by its Jewish friends to have the freedom to attend church without the blight of homophobia. This may have been a historic moment: while Jews have often marched with oppressed groups, we rarely have been called to shelter Episcopalian faith groups. For HaMakom, it was a sacrifice for which we were profoundly grateful, because St. Bede’s has given us so much.

30 of us met to pray that morning in Father Murphy’s office, and as we ended our song that prayed for the God of heaven who makes peace in heaven to bring peace on earth, there was a knock at the door. I wish that the world had been with us to witness what happened next. Deacon Kyra Kerr, resplendent in her white chasuble, entered to thank us, and showed us her head covering: a white yarmulke with a blue Star of David! The night before, members of St. Bede’s made these symbols of friendship, solidarity, and appreciation to wear in church. Her tears inspired ours, as we thought of the Danes in the Holocaust who wore Stars of David to let their Jews know that they were not alone.

When the picketers left and we all entered the standing room only crowd in the sanctuary, the white yarmulkes that dotted the room might have confused many about exactly what kind of religious service it was!

While Father Murphy and I won’t be sending Fred Phelps a thank you note, we’ve come to humbly accept the presence of angels, no matter how disguised. We had hoped for a non-event. What we had gotten was infinitely better, an event that demonstrates that the power of compassion can set us free of fear and violence.

April 22, 2005 5:05 PM
Subject: The Last Weekly Reader before Passover

Dear Friends,

Once again, God has given us a great gift. Because of the mishagas (craziness) that the minister from Topeka is bringing to Santa Fe on Sunday–did you know that homophobia is the eleventh plague?–we get to daven together for the first day of Passover. Please come to St. Bede’s at 9 a.m. Sunday morning for a brief praise-filled morning service, have a nosh of matzah brittle and coffee, and join us in a second mitzvah of escorting St. Bede’s parishioners into the sanctuary where we will join them in solidarity during the service. We’ll wear our white kippot, bring Passover joy, and offer our support of the courageous work of Father Murphy and his followers.

Last night 70 people showed up for the non-violence training, and our presence equaled half of the group. It included our World War II hero and people with chronic, disabling disease. God bless you all for your good hearts.

In response to your many inquiries, Jeremiah Murphy is doing well and it looks as if his brush with cancer will soon be memory. Father Murphy has thanked us again and again for our prayers.

A correction about Ellen Lampert’s daughter: her full name is Hillah Orit Culman and she is graduating from College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, Maine.

May your seders bring the redemption of connection to you, and may you enjoy a week without chametz of the heart, i.e. the terrible burden of pride. If you have any last minute questions about Pesah, tomorrow morning is a great time to ask four or more questions. 9:30 in the library at St. Bede’s. Come and see our what we serve at the kiddush instead of challah or matzah.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker
Monday, April 18, 2005 12:31 PM
Subject: An Urgent Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,

God has such a sense of humor. How else can we understand the notorious homophobic minister from Topeka, Kansas, coming to trouble our community on the first day of Passover? When are we busier than at this time of year cleaning our kitchens, planting our gardens, and flattening the hubris from our hearts than in this season of our freedom?

So, please don’t laugh when I ask you to fulfill the following mitzvah. As I’ve mentioned before, St. Bede’s is one of “Reverend” Phelps’ targets, and he, along with his congregation who is comprised entirely of family members, plan to be at the church at 10 a.m. Sunday, April 24th. As grateful friends of St. Bede’s, HaMakom has offered its assistance in some of our members being present that Sunday to escort members of the church from the parking lot into the building. When I announced this to the congregation yesterday, they applauded and one of the deacons burst into tears. Your presence means that much. Heschel said, “I cannot see God’s face but I see yours.”

Every volunteer MUST attend a training at the church at 6 p.m. this Thursday, April 21st. Phelps is known for inciting illegal and occasionally violent reaction and no one will be permitted to be a beacon of peaceful presence without this training. So your commitment means coming to the training and being at St. Bede’s for at most an hour and a half.

Woody Allen says that 80 percent of life is showing up. This is the moment to behave in God by standing up for friends and for what we believe. If you are not giving a seder, please make your sacrifice of time to this most important event. Call the HaMakom line: 992-1905 and say you’ll be there.

St. Bede’s has invited us to put up a mezuzah on the doorpost of the library, and of course it will be Linda Kastner’s beautiful HaMakom mezuzah. She is an inspired potter and I forgot to mention her show last week at St. John’s Methodist Church, where she was selling her work, including mezuzot. We will be selling mezuzot before the seder, Sunday night, April 24th, as well as by mail. They cost $18. and we have kosher, i.e. handwritten parchments for $25. Linda is donating her time to make these cley kodesh, holy instruments, and if you want rabbinic presence when you affix the mezuzah, I’ll be there.

My favorite Passover story, especially this year…
When I begin to feel overwhelmed with cleaning the house and preparing for the seder, I lean on a story about a rebbe who suddenly took sick the day he was to inspect the matzah to make sure that it was kosher for Passover. This entails watching the flour and water mixed together and being put into the oven in less than eighteen minutes to be sure that it doesn’t have time to rise.

The rebbe, who had asked his disciple to watch the matzah for him, grew concerned when the young man began to ask many questions and wrote down every word of instruction. The rebbe put his hand on the paper and shook his head. “You’re so worried that the matzah won’t be kosher if you don’t follow every step perfectly?” he said. “Let me put your mind at ease and tell you all you have to do. There is an old woman who works very hard making matzah. She is poor and her son is sick. Make sure that she is paid fairly and promptly. That will make the matzah shmurah (the most guarded and precious kind).”

May God help us to keep the biggest, most expansive picture of our work here. A ziesen (Yiddish for sweet) and cosmically kosher Pesach!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Friday, April 15, 2005 4:20 PM
Subject: The Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,

Events, Past and Future:

“Are Artichokes Kosher for Passover and Everything Else You Wanted to Know About the Holiday” will take place on Sunday, April 17th at two p.m. Ask Rabbi Malka and she’ll do the best she can in the format.

As of Tuesday, April 12, we are completely booked for the second night seder, April 24. Thanks for your prompt responses, regrets to those who hadn’t yet reserved, and Hag Sameach to everyone.

Moshe Cotel’s concert was a first for us, and the hard-working committee that only printed 60 programs learned a great lesson when attendance exceeded 100! The music and stories moved an audience of communities that had never sat together before. St. Bede’s served lovely refreshments, three Jewish communities shared their common tradition with music lovers and non-Jews, and the messianic era may actually arrive this Passover.

Cooking class last Tuesday night rocked at Las Cosas with a sold-out class of twelve people that included all ages, genders, and a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds. All eight dishes were delicious and my favorite was the apricot macaroons. Maybe the HaMakom cookbook will happen in the coming year.


Mazel Tov to Hila Lampert upon her graduation from Atlantic College in Maine!
Refuah Shlemah to Michael Schaefer, Susan Thomas’ son, who is now home from the hospital.


The Torah portion this week is Metzora, which means “leper.” Maybe it’s the daffodils springing up outside my window, or maybe it’s the nauseating experience of having a good portion of our house torn apart because of mold, this past year (and beautifully restored, thanks to Woods Construction), but whatever it is, I’d rather write about anything other than leprosy and mold as evidence of moral transgression. If you’re curious about all this, join us at 9:30, Shabbat morning, 16 April, at St. Bede’s, in the only church library in Santa Fe that contains a Torah, for a an in-depth discussion about the portion.

Instead of the weekly parashah teaching I offer the following that I found somewhere sometime ago:

Dear God,

We celebrate spring returning and the rejuvenation of the natural world. Let us be moved by this vast and gentle insistence that goodness shall return, that warmth and life shall succeed, and help us understand our place within this miracle. Let us see that as a bird now builds its nest, bravely, with bits and pieces, so we must build human faith. It is our simple duty, it is the highest art, and it is our vital and natural role within the miracle of spring to find You in this season of rebirth.

Ken y’hi ratzon (may it be Your will).

Shabbat Shalom!
Hag Sameah!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Friday, April 8, 2005 5:06 PM
Subject: The Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,


Tuesday, 12 April, at 6 p.m. I will help Jonny V. at Las Cosas cooking school in DeVargas Mall whet physical and spiritual appetites for Passover with original recipes and teachings about the holiday. Spaces are very limited and we’re almost full, so if you’re interested, call Las Cosas to reserve a place. The teaching and meal will cost $65.

Joy Silver won’t be giving a presentation about the first woman, Lilith, on April 17th two p.m at St. Bede’s. Instead of canceling, we’ve decided to offer “Are Artichokes Kosher?” and other burning questions regarding Passover, including its connection to the feminine. “Ask Rabbi Malka.” If she doesn’t know, she promises not to make it up but to find the answer for you and herself.

At a recent Kabbalat Shabbat service we revealed our heroes to one another, and in so doing revealed ourselves. Not surprisingly, Amy Goodman, Lenny Bruce, and Bella Abzug were the best-known figures in a community that values honesty, non-conformity, and courage. In addition, we discovered that we have a World War II hero who received a Purple Heart; it was Mort’s wife, Shirley who told us that he was her hero. A daughter turned to her mother and called her “my hero”, a father claimed his son who has chosen to live in Israel as his hero, and several described grandparents of valor and kindness whose memory continues to inspire them. God and a couple of rabbis also made the list.

At the oneg Shabbat, a few of you noticed that I hadn’t claimed a hero, so here is my offering. Last Sunday, I attended a gala dinner in Los Angeles celebrating Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis’ 80th birthday. Eighty is the age, according to Talmud, of gevurah, sometimes translated as special strength, or heroism. Anyone who has come to more than one service or teaching that I’ve led know that Rabbi Schulweis has been my teacher, mentor, and spiritual abba (father) for the last 35 years.

In 1970 I had heard that Valley Beth Shalom synagogue, a place famous for its rapid rabbinic turnover, was getting a new, hip rabbi, and at 25 I was excited, ready to be done with teachings that left me cold. I wanted someone who touched me like Cat Stevens. Imagine my surprise when I met the new rabbi.. He didn’t play a guitar, didn’t have long hair, and looked like my father. We were in a Chinese restaurant for a dinner preceding Selichot services when he came up to me and introduced himself. It embarrasses me to tell you that I attempted to brush him off by telling him not to waste his time with me because I wasn’t a member, absolutely certain that Judaism was a club that I was ambivalent about. He looked me in the eye and replied that I was exactly the one he wanted to speak to. This was his first lesson to me in humility, patience, and not taking things too seriously.

He asked if I had children and taught me something else that I’ve never forgotten. He talked about how to talk about God with little ones. Now I do this with my grandchildren: “Touch my nose. Touch my ears. Touch my hands. Touch my love.” First they look puzzled and then they get it. Love is as real as what can be touched but it cannot be seen, and so is God.

At the Selichot service, he spoke about teshuvah being like creativity. To create we turn within, and teshuvah, which means return yet is translated as repentance, a turning with oneself to find a new way to see and understand, and in so doing we birth a new self. And he spoke of God’s tzimtzum, the cosmic contraction that created space to birth this world. That did it. I had found myself a rabbi. I began to attend Shabbat morning services eagerly. Here was a rabbi who didn’t give a sermon but held a conversation with the congregation about the Torah portion. He made us open the Torahs at our seats, encouraged answers, occasionally disagreed, and sometimes answered a question with, “I don’t know;” Imagine. Within a year, I found my atheism being shaken, and shortly thereafter I was shocked to find myself in tears when the Torah was returned to the ark, as I might when saying goodbye to a beloved friend. This was my first religious experience in a synagogue.

Valley Beth Shalom is a big synagogue with close to 2000 members, yet when I wanted to get help on my first Jewish book, Rabbi Schulweis agreed immediately to meet with me, and I learned enough for a dozen books. For years I couldn’t write the first sentence to any book without first talking with him, as if he were a talisman. It wasn’t that. Even more than offering teachings from his great fount of knowledge, he gave me his faith in me gave me mine.

I went to Israel with him in 1979. I remember his walking up and down the narrow El Al aisles schmoozing with our group, asking me what I was reading (Jewish science fiction), and his talking about Isaac Asimov. It was the first time I’d seen him without a tie. He took a group to the back of the plane for Shaharit prayers and I learned that Jews pray three times every day, not just on Friday night and Shabbat. On a kibbutz he smiled at a small boy staring at him and said in Hebrew, “I’m Zvi. Who are you?” His abundant enthusiasm caused us to be shlepped us to so many places that half the people on the trip got sick; I learned that there is not a minute to waste in this precious life. He joked with his wife, Malkah, sang Yiddish songs on the tour bus, and once or twice, bummed a puff of a cigarette. At the end of the trip, he asked us to say a few words about the experience. The first man nervously stood up and puffed out his chest, until the Rav said, “Be haimish, Nate.” I learned that all we have to offer is ourselves, and it’s about heart attached to head, not being the smartest and profoundest.

In 1985 I was in Jerusalem at the Reform seminary and my marriage was ending. Rabbi Schulweis happened to there on a visit. He met me in the King David Hotel, and over a whiskey sour, he eased my fear, smoothed my passage home, and taught me the healing power of presence: my pain did not repel him but drew him nearer to me. I learned that I cannot see God’s face but I see yours. Again and again I see him on the bima, sitting across from me in his office, and having that drink with me, and every time he is the same, at once imminent and transcendent in his compassion, clear mind, and outstretched hand. The public and private are one and the same.

I sat at his birthday party along with 1240 other friends of his who love him as I do, of course including Malkah, who at 17, refused his proposal of marriage after their second date. She was carrying a stack of books and he asked her to read him something. She read a poem by Yeats. “That was it!” he laughed. She accepted his proposal after the fourth date, and after 58 years, you can still feel the buzz between them.

The video of his life was breathtaking in its catalogue of accomplishments that carried one theme: this is one who loves and cares for his people and all people. He earned the reputation of being cool for his seder in the Haight Ashbury for 150 Jewish kids in 1968, bringing them not only a bit of tradition but a sense of belonging. They were his people, no matter what they sang, smoked, or did. His accomplishments, ranging from bringing the havurah into the synagogue, honoring Christian rescuers, insisting on the Jewish community’s inclusion of gays and lesbians, to his most recent project of helping the Sudanese in Darfur, have earned him an article in the Encyclopedia Judaica.

During a long evening that ended too quickly, my favorite story was told by the senior rabbi of the synagogue, Eddie Feinstein. (Schulweis wouldn’t claim the title, emeritus). He said that Eddie rejuvenated him by becoming senior rabbi and making him the junior rabbi. Rabbi Feinstein told us that as a teenager he had worked the whole summer of 1970 at Camp Ramah to earn $75, and he planned to spend it on one date with a woman who had captured his heart. After a romantic dinner in Malibu and a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, he asked what she would like to do. While love songs played through his head, she told him that there was a new rabbi at her shul and there was a late night service. It wasn’t his idea of a great conclusion to the evening, but he was eager to woo her and went to VBS.

Maybe we were sitting near each other when when we heard the teaching that would change both our lives. “I fell in love twice that night,” he said. He married Rabbi Nina Bieber, and she also works at the synagogue.

I should apologize for the length of this Weekly Reader but I have a lot to say on the subject. I’m a rabbi because of Harold Schulweis. From him I glimpse what it means to love God with all one’s heart, soul, and might. From him I’ve learned that loving in an imperfect world is the work, and that to do so keeps the heart young. Rabbi Feinstein beseeched him for all of us, “Don’t grow old. Grow strong.” Despite many close health calls that make his earthly presence let alone his continuing work a miracle, Rabbi Schulweis expressed his intention to be at Eddie’s 80th birthday. Ken yehi ratzon (May it be Your will). Rabbi, may your many loving disciples raise more disciples, so that you live forever.

Shabbat Shalom! Come hear more about Rabbi Schulweis tomorrow at Shabbat morning services, meet Moshe and Aliya, and study the polemical parasha, Tazria.

Peace and Blessings,

Rabbi Malka Drucker

Friday, April 1, 2005
Prayers for our friend

Dear Friends,

On Tuesday I attended a meeting at St. Bede’s concerning the crazy troublemaker Rev. Phelps, who is threatening to picket eight churches in Santa Fe as a punishment for being too gay-friendly. Of course St. Bede’s is at the top of the list. I’ll write more about this next week.

The best part of the morning was the warm hug and beaming smile of Father Murphy as he offered, “Welcome back!” My affection and gratitude for him increases the longer I know him, and never more so than on Thursday when I received a collective e-mail from him concerning his son, Jeremiah, a lovely young man working as an actor in New York. His note revealed a parent’s heart and a man of faith.

To the family’s shock, a mole on Jeremiah’s back has turned out to be a melanoma. Father Murphy, and his wife, Carol, are going to New York to be with him for his surgery on Monday. The hope is that the lymph nodes will be clean and he will go home with his parents the same day.

I ask that however you pray to please do so for Jeremiah Murphy and his family. Any words, any way, is right. At such times the knowledge that we are not alone but part of a community of caring people is what sustains us. Father Murphy has been a great friend to HaMakom and while we wish it were not necessary, at this testing moment we want him to know that we will make every effort to imitate God by drawing near. May God bless and keep his son.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

March 25, 2005
Dear Friends,

I found my Queen Esther costume for Purim in Laos on a dusty red earth street in a village on the Mekong River. Although we’ve just returned from a part of the world where very few people even had heard of Jews, I received a teaching there about this holiday that I hope I never forget.

For my generation, Vietnam, Mekong Delta, Hanoi, and Danang resound with images of violence and death. It was a faraway place that we saw on television, with bombs going off in jungles, mothers holding dead children, and soldiers whose eyes revealed shattered spirits. Our war was not the noble war of our parents, and by the time it ended it hardly mattered that we were on the losing side.

While being an American abroad is challenging these days, I expected hostility or at least coldness more in Vietnam than anywhere. God is surprise. No undercurrent of anger between the north and the south, no resentment of the west, and no rancor toward America. Of course I’m speaking in broad generalities, yet here was a place where the past was the past, and it wasn’t going to contaminate the present nor abort the future.

Many are poor, the workday is ten hours, and yet there is an equanimity, a grace, and a generosity that radically amazed me. Smiling gods grace restaurants and camera stores, and my smiles were always returned.

We Jews are a serious people, given gravitas by history and future. Once a year we allow ourselves a day of laughter, burlesque, drinking, and revelry. For twenty-four hours we’re supposed to let go enough so that we cannot tell the villain from the hero. I’m thinking that we could do with a little more Purim and a little less worry and despair.

God has gifted us with abundant comedians. Maybe if we sanctified humor in the synagogue, attendance would be more abundant. The Shechinah abhors sadness and indolence, because sadness leads to indolence. The Talmud tells us that the highest wisdom is joy, and Purim may be a key to living that we’ve overlooked.

This Shabbos, I invite your participation in the spiritual practice of smiling. Any time that you think of it, lift the corners of your mouth slightly. If a voice asks, “Why should I smile?” answer with, “Why shouldn’t I?” In Hebrew the word for “face” is plural, because we see ourselves in another’s face. Smiling is contagious, and if the Vietnamese can smile because the war is over and it’s a new day, so can we.

Be happy, it’s Adar!

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Thursday, March 17, 2005 Subject: Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,

I’ll be coming home soon and look forward to seeing many of you albeit in disguise. Here are the upcoming events of the week:

Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m.–We will celebrate Purim with Rabbi Jack the Los Alamos Jewish Center, 2400 Canyon Road, Los Alamos. We’ve been invited to share in the readings. Atma Wiseman is organizing the readings, and if you feel inspired to read or chant, in English or Hebrew, please call her: 989-0402. This is the one time of year when disguises are encouraged, and so is drinking enough to blur the mind from knowing who is the hero and who is the villain. If you’d like to carpool up there, be at my house at 6 p.m.

Friday, March 25, 12:30 p.m–I’ll be on Desiree Mays’s radio show, KSFR, talking about Passover and bringing some appropriate music (her show is generally about opera). I promised Billy Lazar that I won’t sing on the program. Services are another story.

The Torah portion this week is Vayikra, the first book of Leviticus, which is Vayikra in Hebrew. This book, not Genesis, was where a child began to learn Torah. Since it was my firstborn’s portion for his Bar Mitzvah, I paid special attention to why a portion dealing with the sacrifice of animals–my son hated Bamb–was chosen to introduce a child to Torah. Two answers. The cynical one is that if a child can get through this, the rest is downhill.
The second one is sweeter. The word, vayikra, is written with a small aleph at the end, a little letter that begins the alphabet, Every child begins a generation. Vayikra means, “and God called.”” The word is loving and intimate, as we would speak to our beloved, saying, sweetheart, or my love. (Really, this is Rashi, not me.) Without the aleph, the word means the same, vayikar, but it’s cooler, more casual. It’s the way God talks to the prophet Balaam.
So why shrink the letter? Moses was a man of the greatest humility, and remember, he was writing the book. He didn’t want to boast of his special relationship with God, that God distinguished him from others. He couldn’t change God’s words, but he could lessen the impact by altering the letter.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Subject: Weekly Reader

Dear Friends,

Be happy! It’s Adar! Is the traditional greeting for this month in which Purim falls. Here is the information about our Purim celebration:

Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m.–We will celebrate Purim with Rabbi Jack the Los Alamos Jewish Center, 2400 Canyon Road, Los Alamos. We’ve been invited to share in the readings. Atma Wiseman is organizing the readings, and if you feel inspired to read or chant, in English or Hebrew, please call her: 989-0402. This is the one time of year when disguises are encouraged, and so is drinking enough to blur the mind from knowing who is the hero and who is the villain. If you’d like to carpool up there, be at my house at 6 p.m.

We have an abundance of events to celebrate our Festival of Freedom, aka Passover:

Friday, March 25, 12:30 p.m.–I’ll be on Desiree Mays’s radio show, KSFR talking about Passover and bringing some appropriate music (her show is generally about opera). I promised Billy Lazar that I won’t sing on the program. Services are another story.

Saturday, April 9, 7 p.m.–We are hosting a piano concert of classical and Jewish music at St. Bede’s with a friend of mine, Moshe Cotel, a composer and pianist turned rabbi. Temple Beth Shalom, Beit Tikvah, and St. Bede’s are partnering with us for this performance which will cost $12. I’ve listened to the music and it’s moving as well as inspiring. Please mark your calendars for this special event that is also notable in bringing these four faith communities together in a project for the first time. Please call us for tickets: 992-1905.

Tuesday, April 12, 6 p.m.–Jon Vollertsen has invited me to be his kibitzer/teacher for a Passover cooking class at Las Cosas Cooking School in the DeVargas Mall. Having done this with Jonny V., the high-energy mensch, once before, I can tell you that it’s a lot of fun, you get to eat a delicious dinner, and you’ll go home with a new vision of what Israel Zangwill’s words mean: “On Passover Jews eat history.” We expect that it will cost around $40 and is limited to eight people. Call Las Cosas to reserve a place.

Sunday, April 17, 3p.m. –Joy Silver, once a bass player for the rock band, Lilith, and now the CEO of Rainbow Visions, an exciting retirement community under construction, knows more about the first woman, Lilith, than anyone I know. She will be speaking at St. Bede’s about Lilith, the feminine divine, and the importance of women in the Passover story. I’ll be on hand to answer questions such as, “Are artichokes kosher for Passover?” and to offer some tips on how to make this year’s seder different from all other seders.

Sunday, April 24, 6 p.m.–at St. Bede’s, we will hold our second annual seder celebrating the feminine. Men, women, and children are all welcome. This will take place the second night of Passover. We will use the famed haggadah from the seder Debbie Friedman leads each year in New York for thousands of people. Suzanne Freilich will lead us in the spirited music of this haggadah. We’re still working out details, such as cost, but this much I know: once again, we are limiting the number to 50 participants. Last year we had to turn away people, and it breaks our hearts, but we’re a small community that knows its limits. Please reserve early: 992-1905.

The Torah portion this week is Pekudei (Ex. 38:21-40:38. It is a CPA’s dream. Pekudei, meaning accounts, is about the measurements and weights of the vessels inside the Mishkan. But the Rabbis said, “Blessing is never found in that which is counted.” You know how they count people in Yiddish? It’s in the negative: “Not one, not two, etc.” Maybe we are afraid to count heads after the plague that followed the census in Ki Tissa.
Yet here we bump into our limitation as humans, hard-wired to need the material realm and to take an accounting of it. Even within the place we build for God we must acknowledge human limitation.
But counting and measuring with diligence is praiseworthy. Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair in the Talmud lists ten steps necessary to drawing close to God, i.e. becoming a better person. The first two are diligence: God is in the details.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

March 3, 2005
Dear Friends,
We thank God that Leslie Davis is not going into surgery, her organs are clear, and she is changing her chemo treatment for one that we pray will be effective. As I write, Leslie is taking a few turns in the fresh snow after having led a successful board retreat last night. She says, “Given that I’m in this ballpark, I’m in good shape.” Leslie still needs us to call and ask, “How can I help?”

Harley and Yafa are grateful for all the help they have received. Not only has HaMakom been a support but members of St. Bede’s and Temple Beth Shalom have also made offerings of prayer, food, time, and money. We thank the following for their contributions: Paul Golding and Bonnie Ellinger, Rabbi Malka Drucker and Gay Block, Lyn and Ellen Fox, Sharon and Joe Veltmann, Margery Lazar, Michael Margolis, Ava and David Salman, Ralph and Mary Krolik, Scott and Katherine Abbott, Larwin Measeles, and Norton and Sheila Bicoll.

Geoff Laurence, designer of HaMakom’s printed materials, is a powerful artist. Peter Burman writes,”There’s a painting by Mr. Lawrence at the LewAllen Gallery that must be seen. It’s of a Nazi officer with his arm around a skeleton wearing a Jewish prayer shawl. It’s a moving, disturbing, powerful piece. I know one man who is willing to help purchase the piece to donate to a museum or university. If we round up enough people, perhaps we can get the piece permanently displayed somewhere.” Having seen the painting, I too encourage you to see its pain, courage, and beauty at the gallery. Thank them for showing it.

By the time you read this, I’ll be in Vietnam celebrating an awesomely big birthday, and will return March 23. Rabbi Jack Schlachter has graciously agreed to be available for emergencies. His paging number is: 505-664-8781. Other numbers: 665-1888 and 667-4117. Please don’t call him unless it is really urgent.

Thursday, March 24, 7 p.m.- We will celebrate Purim with Rabbi Jack the Los Alamos Jewish Center, 2400 Canyon Road, Los Alamos. We’ve been invited to share in the readings. Atma Wiseman is organizing the readings, and if you feel inspired to read or chant, in English or Hebrew, please call her: 989-0402. This is the one time of year when disguises are encouraged, and so is drinking enough to blur the mind from knowing who is the hero and who is the villain. If you’d like to carpool up there, be at my house at 6 p.m.

Friday, March 25, 12:30 p.m.- I’ll be on Desiree Mays’s radio show, KSFR talking about Passover and bringing some appropriate music (her show is generally about opera). I promised Billy Lazar that I won’t sing on the program. Services are another story.

The Torah portion this week is Vayakahel ((Ex. 35:1-38:20). Apologies for announcing Ki Tissa instead of Tetzaveh two weeks ago. In this week’s parasha, God is once again playing architect with Moses as general contractor for the traveling road show sanctuary, the Mishkan. But here the portion opens not with building plans but with the prohibition to work on Shabbat. The rabbis understood the smichut, i.e. the placement of these two ideas next to each other, to mean that even the holy work of building of the Mishkan must stop on Shabbat. No mitzvah appears without good reason. Humans like to keep busy; in the hum and buzz of doing we feel virtuous and useful. Yet it is only in the stillness of being that we can experience God.

The 39 work prohibitions of Shabbat are based upon all the activities necessary for the construction of the tabernacle, yet the idea is not to see work as lesser than rest. “Six days shall work be done” (Ex. 35:2). The idea is not to disappear into a heavenly realm but to build a place here on earth where the heart opens and knows it is not alone. Please accept my invitation to come to our prayer, song, and study this Shabbat to enjoy the delight of being, not building. We are now providing enlightened childcare with Ariel Freilich. Our little ones may well learn as much as their parents.

Peace and Blessings,
Malka Drucker

Monday February 21

Dear Friends,

This Friday night we will welcome our personal and collective Jewish-American heroes to our Kabbalat Shabbat service at 7 p.m. Whether one’s hero is father Abraham, a beloved grandmother, or Hank Greenberg, as a people we recognize that we look at the lives of others to find the divine.

Understanding who a hero is in an age of celebrity requires the wisdom of discernment. Being a football star, rock singer, or even president of the United States doesn’t make somebody a hero. While it doesn’t always take the form of risking one’s life for another human being, heroism requires the courage to speak the truth when no one wants to hear it, to stand up for the weak, and to risk ridicule by doing something new that makes the world a little better. Heroes set an example of the best a human being can do, and they work not only for themselves but also for others.

Why someone becomes a hero is a mystery that some call God. Having just finished a manuscript for children ten and up called Portraits of Jewish American Heroes, where I’ve profiled 20 such people, the hero I’m thinking of this morning is outside this project but one who has changed my life and one whom you all know, Leslie Davis.

On Friday, Leslie received, once again, profoundly challenging information. Her cancer has returned suddenly, and we don’t know yet what it means. For three years she has faced the shock of diagnosis, the struggle with pain, and the uncertainty of the future. It is not only a physical roller coaster but also an emotional one.

Leslie began her active Jewish practice shortly before her diagnosis. It was Torah study that initially attracted her, yet within a short time she found her ground of being in prayer. She told me that one day, as she led the community in prayer, she asked God for her life so that she could pray. She became a Bat Mitzvah last year and wrote a paper on her Torah portion, Bamidbar, which means “in the wilderness,” and described her own wilderness journey. When she found that she didn’t have the energy to race around town doing her good work, she took it as a gift that she had more time to pray in the morning.

Within weeks of her surgeries, she not only returned to yoga and skiing, but to her work as our president. What she has accomplished in building our community in just one short year is miraculous. We pray no less miracle of the restoration of her physical and spiritual health.

We are God’s agents on earth, because we cannot see God’s face but only one another. What keeps us from drawing near to the one in need may be excessive self-interest, fear of our vulnerability in the presence of witnessing human fragility, and forgetting that we have the power to heal one another simply by being present.

We are a community with a purpose. We come together to be better people than we can be as individuals. Leslie needs our prayers, and she needs our presence. Let her hear from you by phone or by e-mail. Whether she feels up to talking or responding is her decision. Our work right now is to put out a hand and ask her what she needs from us. Please do not fail her. As much as she needs us right now, our salvation also depends upon our response.

I am going on vacation for the next three weeks and will not be writing you until I return in time for Purim, March 24. We will be celebrating Purim with the Los Alamos Jewish Center in Los Alamos at 7 p.m. You’ll be receiving more details about the holiday in the coming weeks. If you’d like to carpool up there, meet at my house at six p.m.

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

Dear Friends,

When we say the Shema we hear that we are “to write them (the words of Torah) on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.” Mezuzah is the word for doorpost, and the words of the Shema are written and placed on the entrance to one’s home. It is not an amulet to ward off evil but rather a reminder to behave like a Jew inside and outside the house. “And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might” means to behave lovingly to all who live within and without the house.

HaMakom, which means the Place, takes seriously the importance of creating sacred space at home, and placing a mezuzah on your doorpost is the first physical step that dedicates our homes as sanctuaries of lovingkindness.

Here is a kavannah, or intention, you might say before the blessing to attach the mezuzah:

Shelter of the world, let all who cross this threshold feel that they are at home. As we enter and leave this home, be with us in all that we do.

May we dedicate this house to be a shelter of welcome for all who enter. May all who leave carry strength and generosity into the world. May this home bring forth the best in on another so that we feel Your presence everywhere.

May we bind the words within the mezuzah to our mouths, eyes, and ears, so that we may be shelters for one another.

Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam, asher kideshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu leekboah mezuzah.

While the law commands that we put up a mezuzah within thirty days of moving into a house, if you haven’t gotten around to it, we’re offering encouragement to begin your consecration now. Linda Kastner has designed a beautiful mezuzah with our logo on it and if you’d like help and company in the ceremony of the dedication of your house, I’ll be happy to pray and hold the nails for you. The mezuzah costs $18 and the handwritten parchment costs somewhere between $25 to $35.

Linda would like help in making the cases to hold the precious words. She is holding two workshops: Passover Sunday, Feb 20th and then again to glaze the pieces on Sunday, Feb 27th at 1:00PM. This will take place at Linda’s home. For directions and more information e-mail or call her: or 989-9779.

Next Friday night at 7 p.m. February 25, at St. Bede’s, we’ll welcome Jewish-American heroes in celebration of American Judaism’s 350th anniversary. The Kabbalat Shabbat service, which is prayer and song devoted to preparing ourselves for a day of rest, will focus on distinguishing heroism in an age of celebrity and will explore how Jewish tradition has identified and honored Jewish heroes. I invite you to think about who has been a hero to you and share with us on Friday night who this person is and what makes them an example to you. My father wants to be sure that I mention him, as if I might forget!

The Torah portion this week, Ki Tissa, describes God’s Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. You learn about a people through its language. Join us tomorrow morning at 9:30 for bagels, cream cheese, coffee, and a taste of the 13 different ways Jews describe love.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

PS–Apologies to those of you who received last week’s Weekly Reader in almost gibberish. I sent it from a New York hotel room overlooking miles of orange gates. Surely there is some connection.

February 4, 2005
Dear Friends,

Heaven teaches us how to be with each other. This is the meaning of Mishpatim (Ex. 21:1-24:18), this week’s parashah that describes what Moses received at Sinai: a set of transcendent laws that are mostly concerned with human relationships.

My belief in the vision of all of us standing together at Sinai to receive this Torah has been strengthened this week by what I’ve witnessed in the immediate compassionate response to Harley and the needs of his family in the aftermath of his car accident last Thursday. Whatever the laws explicitly say, on one foot the message is: we are God’s agents/messengers/angels (all the same root word in Hebrew) of empathy and love.

Harley grows stronger day by day and Yafa is getting the rest she needs to care for her husband and baby. With profound gratitude, they thank all of you who have provided them with 24/7 love and care. They ask for your prayers and know that we understand that Harley is still too fragile emotionally as well as physically to see visitors. There are other ways to show caring. Ellen Fox is coordinating baby Ariel watching: 983-3690. Please call her if you can help. Claire Lichtenstein is coordinating providing meals for the family and the caregivers: 988-1417. Please call if you can prepare and deliver a simple meal.

We are also collecting funds for Harley and Yafa to help them while Harley is recovering from the accident. While any amount is welcome – we know the generosity and goodwill of this community – Samoa Wallach is offering her hand -crocheted kippot for all contributions over $1000. Please make your tax-deductible checks out to HaMakom, Rabbi’s Discretionary Account – Chase-Parry. Thanks to Norton and Sheila Bicoll for being the first to contribute.

The other Torah teaching this week, I’m reminded by our spiritual sister Sylvia Boorstein, comes from Psalms: Zeh hayom asah Adonai; n’simha v’nagilah. This is the day that God has made; let us sing and rejoice. Nothing awakens gratitude faster than the awareness of how a split second can change all our plans and blessings.

This Shabbat we nearly faint with gratitude for Harley’s life, and thank God for the opportunity of blessing a new baby into the eternal community of Israel. Tomorrow morning Lisa Freeman will bring her grandson, Ethan, to the Torah to receive his Hebrew name, and we’ll have the opportunity to meet her family. Please join us.

Welcome to the Fishbeins, our new associate members. We look forward to Jacob’s Bar Mitzvah May 7. Welcome also to our newest board members: Sharon Veltman, Atma Wiseman, and Shirley Mock.

Many thanks to Michael Hare and Jill Reichman for their generous contribution in honor of their son, Will, for his baby naming.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker

January 21, 2005
Dear Friends,

HaMakom is flourishing with fecundity! On Monday night we celebrated the naming of Ariel ClaraRose Chase-Parry, the month-old daughter of Yafa and Harley. This Saturday morning Will Reichman-Hare will attend his first Shabbat service with us. His first words may be his aliyah. Please join us for a special Kiddush hosted by his parents, Michael and Jill, in their baby’s honor. On Shabbat morning, February 5, we’ll welcome new member Lisa Freeman with her grandson, Ethan, born January 1. A couple of weeks later Ariel will bring parents Yafa and Harley for her special Kiddush. Perhaps all three little ones will share in messianic responsibilities.

We began as a community of mid-aged seekers and now we are blessed with God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah: in our babies, we see the future of our tradition. These celebrations center on welcoming a new member of the eternal Jewish community, and the tradition encourages friends and family to make a contribution to the synagogue in the baby’s honor. The family may plant a tree, a cedar for a boy or a pine for a girl, and when the child marries, the trees’ branches will become its huppah poles. How amazing that we live in a land of juniper and pinon!

Ariel Freilich was eight years old when we began learning together. Tutored by Yafa Chase, she became a Bat Mitzvah and now she is fifteen. Now she is our youngest teacher. Beginning February 19th, Ariel will teach Torah to our youngest members of HaMakom. My grandson Solomon, who will be three next week, made a tzedakah box with Ariel a few weeks ago, and I wish he lived nearer to benefit from her caring lessons.

We haven’t worked out all the details–we don’t know the childcare needs of our community yet–but this much I can tell you: we will provide enlightened childcare on Shabbat mornings from 9:30-12p.m. that will be free to members. For those who are not yet members, we ask for an $18 contribution. Please call 992-1905 to let us know if you’re interested.

The tradition of honoring one’s child has been generously demonstrated by Irving and Marion Wiseman, who have donated eighteen Etz Chaim chumashim (Five Books of Moses) to HaMakom in celebration of their daughter, Atma, reaching the jubilee year. A precious few of these will be available to buy for $60. Having your own chumash lets you underline the words that get you through the night and to write associations into the margins. Call us to order a book.

More upcoming events:

I’m speaking at the JCC in Albuquerque this Sunday, January 23rd, at four p.m. about non-Jewish rescuers of Jews in the Holocaust, as part of the exhibit on anti-Semitism.

At seven p.m., Sunday, January 23, in the common room at St. Bede’s, we will celebrate Tu B’shevat with a seder created by 17th century mystics. Under a full moon, we align ourselves with the seasons and the natural world by eating 15 species of fruits and nuts, singing songs of the elements, and remembering our connection to the tree of life.

The B’not Mitzvah class continues January 24. I’ll be teaching about Tu B’shevat and the Jewish calendar.

January 27, at 7:30, HaMakom, St. Bede’s, Human Rights Alliance, and Samoa Wallach are hosting a financial planning workshop for same-sex couples led by financial consultant Claire Fulenwider and attorney Elizabeth Martin.

The Torah portion this week, Beshallach, tells us that it’s not as important to believe in God as it is to believe God. “And Miriam the prophet, the sister of Aaron, took a drum in her hand; and all the women went out following [Miriam] with drums and dancing. “(Ex. 15:20). Here is a lesson in exuberant faith that we learn from the forgotten white fire of Torah, i.e. the women. After Moses sings his over-the-top song of praise to God for birthing us from the broken fetal waters of the Sea of Reeds, Miriam and the women do more than sing. They dance with drums and tambourines. The Midrash has Moses asking Miriam how she and the women should happen to have drums with them, when they had to flee in such haste that they didn’t even have time to let the bread rise! Miriam answers her brother, “We packed our musical instruments because we knew we would need them to sing our heartsong after the deliverance.” The women believed God and came prepared to celebrate.

Shabbat Shalom!

Peace and Blessings,
Rabbi Malka Drucker