Thursday, September 29, 2022

Live Up to Your Name

Jewish Pride: May we all be inscribed and sealed for life! 

ICYMI - Here is an inspired and strongly-delivered Rosh Hashanah sermon  - Jewish Pride: Live Up to Your Name - by the one and only Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, the Senior Rabbi of New York's Central Synagogue.

Rabbi Angela Buchdahl

Abq Jew knows - we all just sat through more than a few such sermons at our local shuls, just a few days ago. But Rabbi Buchdahl's (see November 2014's Rabbi Cantor Angela Buchdahl) Rosh Hashanah 5783 sermon - like her Rosh Hashanah 5782 sermon, All Is Not Lost - is really, really good.

What does it mean to be a public Jew right now?

What does it mean to post a Magen David, a Jewish star, on Instagram, 
show up to a Hillel event, march in an Israel parade?

Since when did our kids have to hesitate before showing up to a Shabbat dinner?
Weighing what their mere presence might project about who they stand with 
or what they stand for?

A 2021 Brandeis Center survey of Jewish students on campuses found
50% of students said they hide their Jewish identity.

Half our kids are hiding.

What Rabbi Buchdahl finds devastating is watching the impact antisemitism is having on our next generation, who feel they need to down-play of deny their Jewish identity; who have absorbed the idea that just being a Jew confers some kind of culpability. Brings shame. That is a chilling turn. 


If you're not sure what Rabbi Buchdahl is talking about - Kenneth J Marcus explains it in his column for the Jewish Journal, which begins:

Berkeley Develops Jewish-Free Zones 
Nine different law student groups at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law, have begun this new academic year by amending bylaws to ensure that they will never invite any speakers that support Israel or Zionism.
FYI - Kenneth L. Marcus is founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which has represented Jewish students in the New Paltz, Tufts, and USC cases discussed above. He served as the 11th Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education for Civil Rights.

Jewish Star

Here is the strategy that Rabbi Buchdahl proposes.

Click here to view the video.
Click here to view the transcript.
But know that Rabbi Buchdahl's delivery is everything.

But since my challenge today was to summarize Judaism in 5 minutes,
I would humbly like to conclude with my own personal encapsulation –
the driving force of my own Jewish pride.

For when I think of what Judaism values and expects of me –
it’s rooted firmly in one idea: to live up to my Name.

More specifically, the 3 names that God gives our people in the Torah:  

Ivrim – Hebrews (those who cross over)
Yehudim – Jews (those who give thanks)
Yisrael – Israel (those who wrestle with God)

Always Remember: You descend from a people 
who traversed impossible boundaries, 
opened eyes to wonder, and bravely wrestled with God.
What could be a more noble inheritance for you to live out?

Yom Kippur

Monday, September 19, 2022

Rosh Hashanah 5783

Dip Your Apple In The Honey: It's Rosh Hashanah! And, as we begin a New Year, please remember - as Rabbi Adam Rosenbaum of Temple Beth Tzedek in Buffalo, New York has taught us -

There is hope for the world.
There is hope for your life.

The way it is now is not the way it must be. 

Abq Jew warmly invites you to check out
this now-classic Rosh Hashanah hit from 5772:

Dip Your Apple!

No apples, pomegranates, babies, or smartphones
were harmed in the filming of this video.
Please don't feed babies honey.


Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Abq Jew knows (and knows you know), are special times for our Jewish hearts, minds, and souls.

The Ein Prat Fountainheads have touched our hearts. Now, here is something that will touch our minds and souls.

From Cantor Beth Cohen of Congregation Nahalat Shalom, who passes on a teaching of Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi zt”l (aka Reb Zalman), the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement.
“Leshana Tovah” as we often hear, say or sing during this time of year means have a good year. Reb Zalman teaches that the shoresh or root of the Hebrew word “shana” (shin-nun-hey) has two opposite meanings: “to change” and “to repeat.” 

He further explains that there are two ways to express this in the Yiddish language and tradition. 

  • When we wish to change something, we can say with a low mono-toned voice using a low hand gesture to the right: “Heynt azoy?” (Today this way?), and the same to the left, “Morgen azoy?” (Tomorrow, unfortunately this way?). 
  • When we want to repeat and bring something from the past year or past years into the New Year, we can say with an excited voice and two hands held up high “Heynt azoy! Un Morgen azoy!” (Today this way! And tomorrow this way!). 

And - to bring joy into our Elul practice and introspection - Cantor Beth presents Israel's Yamma Ensemble, with shofar “Mimkomecha” from the Kedusha prayer that is sung during the HHD services. 

This fabulous Sephardic group will be performing - yes, right here in ABQ - at ¡Globalquerque!, the Annual Celebration of World Music & Culture on Saturday September 24th. 

Rosh Hashanah

L'Shana Tova U'Metuka, New Mexico!
A Good & Sweet Year, Albuquerque!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

A Birthday At Rust

Hey, It Could Have Been Worse: Abq Jew here reminds his loyal readers (who, of course, do not need to be reminded) that it was just about eight (8) years ago that Abq Jew turned 64 (see For Vera, Chuck & Dave).


Remembering that day and those years, Abq Jew had planned to present (about four weeks ago) an updated repeat of his August 6, 2015 blog post Those Were The Days. Oy.

Man Plans God Laughs

Instead, Abq Jew had the opportunity urgent need to avail himself of the delightfully upscale (in every sense of the term), life-affirming health facilities at Rio Rancho's deluxe, relatively new

Rust Medical Center
Presbyterian Rust Medical Center

As Abq Jew reflects on what he has (and has not yet) accomplished during his 72 trips around the sun, he keeps in mind what his father, Richard W Yellin, of blessed memory, would have said: 

More Mad About Mozart

"When Mozart was your age, he had been dead for 37 years." 

Queen Elizabeth II

And then, while Abq Jew's health was improving - slowly, steadily, day by day - Britain's revered monarch Queen Elizabeth II (lehavdil) died. 

In whose honor Abq Jew now presents Jerusalem (see July 2018's Jerusalem, England for the extensive backstory) and - of course - God Save the Queen.

King Charles III

God Save the King

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Fall 2022 @ OASIS Abq

Great Courses of Jewish Interest

Jewish Star

Abq Jew is pleased to inform you that
OASIS Albuquerque has just announced
their Fall 2022 line-up of classes!
Registration opens on

Wednesday September 7
but you can Wish List your selections now.


OASIS Albuquerque Executive Director Kathleen Raskob and her staff continue (as always) to bring you new and interesting class offerings, and continue to make sure there are plenty of courses of Jewish interest.

Ducks Lined Up

This fall, OASIS Albuquerque plans to offer many
classes LIVE and many classes via Zoom.


This session's courses and instructors include,
but are by no means limited to:

Lonely River Village

Nu Shu: The Secret
Language of 
Chinese Women
Wednesday October 12 @ 10:00 - #155
Instructor: Norma Libman
What It Is: In pre-Communist China, when women were not allowed to attend school, they invented their own secret writing system and sewed the characters into household linens so the men would not know they were writing. This is the story of how the language worked, how it was discovered, and what it revealed about life in rural China that male historians never were able to observe.


The Feast of Sukkot:
Harvesting, Housing, & Healing

Thursday October 13 @ 2:30 - #197
Instructor: Paul Citrin
What It Is: This presentation on deals with the ethics and philosophy of the festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) through scripture, rabbinic literature, and folk tales. The festival emphasizes care of the earth and of the poor, our independence on the natural world, and our obligation to protect it.

Happy Dance

Happiness: Is it Fun?
Is it Joy? 
Is it Hope?
Wednesday November 16 @ 10:00 - #198
Instructor: Harry Rosenfeld
What It Is: What does it mean to be happy? After a pandemic that has lasted more than two years, in a country that seems divided at its core, what does it mean to be happy? To help us figure that out, we look at Eastern and Western faith traditions and philosophies to see what they have to teach us. Has the
meaning of happiness changed over the millennia? Join us as we explore these questions.


But Wait

Jane Ellen Farewell

Beloved OASIS Albuquerque instructor (and award-winning composer and recording artist, and now Floridian) Jane Ellen also continues (as always) to bring you new and interesting class offerings via Zoom@OASIS or Zoom@Home, and continues to make sure there are plenty of courses of musical and Jewish interest.

Jane's courses this session include,
but are by no means limited to:

The Wit and Wisdom
of Tom Lehrer

Monday September 19 @ 12:30 - #170Z
What It Is: Songwriter Tom Lehrer (1928- ) gained a national following in the 1950s and 60s as a piano-playing political satirist, poking fun at politicians, academia, Cold War paranoia, organized religion, and anything else that tickled his fancy. In odd non-musical moments he found time to teach
at MIT, work as a researcher in Los Alamos, NM, and invent the ‘jello shot.’ His musical career was brief but influential and his songs continue to be quoted today.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Back to Las Vegas

Reclaiming Our History: Our New Mexico Jewish community has an incredible opportunity to purchase the old Montefiore Synagogue of Las Vegas, New Mexico. After 70 years of being used as a Catholic Church, our building can return to the Jewish community. With everyone's help.


And so, a little New Mexico Jewish history ans possibility, via GoFundMe.

In 1880, Las Vegas, New Mexico had one of the largest Jewish populations in the Southwest, many of them merchants who came west on the Santa Fe Trail. 

They became prominent and involved members of the community, who established themselves and their businesses throughout northern New Mexico. They were integrated into and accepted by the local community. 

Many of the original Jewish settlers of Las Vegas are buried in Montefiore Cemetery, the first Jewish cemetery west of the Mississippi, established in 1881.

In 1884 Congregation Montefiore, the first Jewish congregation in the New Mexico Territory, began a campaign to raise funds for a permanent synagogue in Las Vegas, NM. 

According to records, over half the donations came from nonmembers, another example of the locals’ respect for the Jewish population. 

Montefiore Plaque

Congregation Montefiore was dedicated on September 20, 1886 in downtown Las Vegas, and in 1922 moved four blocks uphill, to its current location at 901 8th Street.

Due to a declining Jewish population, the building was sold in the 1950’s to the Santa Fe Diocese and became the Newman Center. 

The Jewish Community of Las Vegas regrouped in the 1990’s and included more Sephardic Jews, some of whom were “conversos” who were discovering their Jewish heritage. 

The Jewish community has long wished to purchase it back and reclaim a very important piece of New Mexico Jewish history.

A long last, it has become available with an immediate deadline to purchase. 

Our goal is to raise $200,000 to purchase
by the end of September, 2022. 

We are seeking generous donors from across the country who will help us save this part of New Mexico history and the legacy of those pioneer Jews who build the congregation.

In addition to being a permanent place for services, this building will provide a space for Jewish history, which will include the very old Sephardic Jewish history of the region. Las Vegas, NM has a tradition of acceptance of the Jewish people. 

We believe that through education, diversity, inclusion, and community partnership, we can restore cooperation and combat antisemitism.

Tax-deductible donations will not only establish a permanent synagogue in Las Vegas, NM, they will make the history and contributions of Jews in New Mexico known worldwide. 

 Temple Montefiore

 This will help us reclaim, repair, and restore this important historic and symbolic building.


A GoFundMe page has been established for this important initiative.
The Las Vegas Jewish Comunity, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Welcome to Las Vegas