This summer, help us and help yourselves by committing to our regular Minyan
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high
Your daddy's rich and your mama's good lookin’
So hush little baby, please don't cry…
One of these mornin's, you gonna rise up singin'
Spread your wings and you'll take the sky
Until that mornin' there's a nothin' can harm you
With Mommy and Daddy standin' by
–Words of Porgy and Bess that conjure up the easy days of summer. Some are of the opinion, no doubt, that the summertime months are a time when we should have a break from it all. In fact, congregants have sometimes asked, "Don't you basically close up for the summer?" The answer is NO, there is not much programming until the High Holidays and the school year starts, but the shul never closes up. VeShiviti Hashem negdi tamid…we must hold up God and faith before us at all times–and especially at times when less of us are around!
In our timely Torah portion, Shelach Lecha, the spies of each tribe expand their souls. They do so, says the Midrash, by each being infused with the soul of one of Jacob’s sons, according to which tribe to which they belong– the head of the tribe of Naphtali receives Naphtali’s soul and the head of the tribe of Reuven receives Reuven's soul. But apparently that is not enough. Those spies, fearful of what they see, come back and tell the people there is no hope. Yet two of the spies receive additional reinforcement that gives them optimism and courage. Caleb goes to Chevron and stretches himself out upon the graves of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and “absorbs” their faith, while Hoshea is given an exta yud in his name and becomes Yehoshua– getting a dose of God's name. Only they, Joshua and Caleb have courage and hope in the end, and they are the only ones of their generation that enter the land of Israel.
This, connecting ourselves to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is what we do when we pray together as a minyan. The very first lines of our Shemoneh Esrai, when we say “their God is our God,” gives us that additional dose of their faith and makes it our own. Its not enough to only connect to our ancestors’ faith, however. We say Elokeinu ve Lokai Avotainu, "Our God and the God of our Ancestors," making God our own in our generation. Declaring this regularly in a community of faith is essential to experience God as our own. The intent of our regular prayer is to receive the double reinforcement of both Caleb and Joshua. That is the potential that regular prayer, “davenning,” can offer. Does this happen for us all the time when we daven? No, I cannot make that claim. But it cannot happen at that special moment if we don't make prayer regular.
I remind you that the shul doesn't close down for the summer. The shul's pulse never stops. But we need davenners or it will. Please take a moment to consider how important regular communal prayer is, not just for those saying Kaddish, but also for each and every one of us. Don't let the pulse stop, particularly when the summer months approach while many are a way. Select two or three extra days each month when you or someone in your household can commit to coming. Put it on your calendar. If our membership of well over 200 families did this, there would never be a shortage of minyanaires, and there will always be a strong pulse at ENJC–summer, winter, spring and fall.
So here are additional words to Porgy and Bess, a la Rabbi Ian:
Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
Every evening, you're gonna rise up praying
Spread your wings and take to the sky
And when you daven, there's nothing can harm you
With your fellow minyanaires standing by!
|Executive Vice President||Richard Kessler|
|Building Administration Vice President||Wendy Isaac|
|Community Relations Vice President||Ilene Glatman|
|Fundraising Vice President||Scott Keiser|
|House Administration Vice President||Karen Tyll|
|Membership Vice President||Linda Pollack|
|Ritual Vice President||Ed Isaac|
|Youth Vice President||Allan Berman|
|Education Vice President||Brad Becker|
|Finance Vice President||Brian Kain|
|Financial Secretary||Gabe Weinstein|
|Corresponding Secretary||Sue Kazzaz|
|Recording Secretary||Robin Kain|
|Past President||Eric Loring|
|Sisterhood President||Anita Slade|
|Men's Club President||Steve Krantz|
The East Northport Jewish Center Men's Club is a social organization open to all male members of the synagogue. Its mission is to involve Jewish men in Jewish life and to promote friendship and comaraderie in that community by providing opportunities for socializing, networking and supporting synagogue activities.Read More
2017-2018 Woman of Achievement Beth Krantz, with family and friends
The East Northport Jewish Center Sisterhood is an active arm of the synagogue, made up of a dynamic, vibrant group of women of all ages, who together work toward providing rich and varied programs of educational, cultural and social value for the congregation. Through these efforts, we reinforce our bond with Israel and Jews worldwide.Read More
The ENJC Youth Group's activities combine a wide variety of monthly events created for different age groups. Anyone looking for fun, friends, social or cultural events, community service or leadership opportunities will find them in our youth lounge.Read More
Families in hundreds of communities across the United States and Canada are exploring the timeless core values of Judaism through books and music. PJ Library is a Jewish Family Engagement program implemented on a local level throughout North America, which mails free, high quality Jewish children's literature and music to families on a monthly basis. If you are raising Jewish children from age six months through eight years, you are welcome to enroll.Read More