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Congregation Brothers of Israel

L'dor Vador - From Generation to Generation since 1883 לדור ודור


November 29, December 13, December 20 at 7:30 PM at CBOI
We request an $18.00 donation
Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland - Then, Now, Tomorrow
As with everything Jewish, different people, different approaches. Zionism was never one idea or one way. We can point to political Zionism, religious Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, Cultural Zionism, and more. Rabbi Gaber will explore the recently published "The Zionist Ideas" by Gil Troy, based on the 1959 classic work The Zionist Idea by Arthur Hertzberg. Professor Troy has updated and explained the original by including modern writers, philosophers, an Zionists such as Benjamin Netanyahu, Michael Oren, Ari Shavit, Yehudah Amichai and more.
If ordered by November 15 through the synagogue, the cost of the book will be $25.00 instead of the list price of $34.95. The book is available on Amazon as an E-book.

Observant Life



Chaired by Dr. Ellier Russ with the assistance of the Rabbi, this committee coordinates programs and classes to engage members in lifelong learning. Events include our yearly Scholar in Residence program, Talmud Study, Mah Nishtanah: What’s Different About Today’s Judaism, The Observant Life Book Series and more. Guest speakers, online webinars and Shabbat morning discussions additionally provide congregants with opportunities to expand their knowledge of Judaism and living a Jewish life.


 In fulfilling the following commandments one enjoys the yield in this world while the principal remains for all eternity, honoring father and mother, performing deeds of loving kindness, punctually attending the house of study morning and evening, showing hospitality to strangers, visiting the sick, helping the needy bride, attending the dead, praying with devotion, and making peace between individuals. And the merit of Torah study is equal to all of these

Talmud, Shabbat 127



Parashat Vayetse Self-Study
Vered Hollander-Goldfarb, Conservative Yeshiva Faculty

In this parashah, as Yaakov leaves the country (he will return at the end of the parashah), he has a vision of a ladder with angels ascending and descending and is promised by God to receive the land of Israel. He arrives at his uncle Lavan (Laban), marries Lavan’s 2 daughters and their 2 handmaids, and sires 12 children. He also proves to be a very knowledgeable and hard-working shepherd.
1) In this parashah, Yaakov takes his first steps as a patriarch. In the process, he leaves his country, and potentially the connection to his family. Compare him to his father (Yitzhak) and grandfather (Avraham). What similarities and differences have you noticed? Why do you think that the Torah gave us different models of Patriarchs?
2) When Yaakov heads to Haran, the land of his uncle Lavan, the Torah tells us that he “leaves Beer Sheva”, and only then are we told that he is heading to Haran (28:10). What does this extra information do for the story? What might it tell us about Yaakov at this point?
3) Arriving by the well in Haran (after a riveting dream in Beit El) Yaakov notices that several flocks are there waiting for everyone to gather to remove the big stone that covers the well. He tries to strike up a conversation with the shepherds, but they are not interested. He suggests that they water the sheep and get back to work. They explain that the stone is too big, but Yaakov removes it by himself when Rachel arrives (29:1-10). How do you think the shepherds felt about him at this point? What do the exchange and its content tell us about Yaakov?
4) Yaakov intends to marry Rachel, is cheated into marrying Leah her older sister, and ends up with 2 wives. Then we are told that God sees that Leah is despised, and so He opens her womb, but Rachel is barren (29:31). In this light, what is the role(s) of the children in this family? Where is Yaakov in this family picture?
5) After about 20 years of having worked for Lavan, his father in law, and having his pay changed time and again, Yaakov is told by God to leave. Despite that, he does not make the decision alone, but rather consults with his wives. He lists all the abuse he has suffered from Lavan (31:3-16). Why do you think that he feels a need to explain that? What might Yaakov fear?


Sun, November 18 2018 10 Kislev 5779