June 7, 2024

Candle-lighting: Fri. 7:45 p.m., Tue. 7:47 p.m., Wed. after 8:50 p.m.

Dear Friends,

This Shabbat, Fran Grossman sponsors the kiddush in celebration of her 70th birthday. We look forward to celebrating with you, Fran. 120 עד!

Next week is graduation Shabbat. If there is someone in your life who is graduating and you would like to contribute to the kiddush in their honor, you can do so here.

Today is the 45th day of the omer, and you know what that means. Shavuot begins this Tuesday night. All the details are below. In honor of the occasion, we get three Haftarot Plethorot, Shavuot-themed trivia and Dear Libby finally gives a serious answer.

All that plus the usual stuff:

  • Shabbat Services - 9:45 a.m.
  • Mishnah Study - 9:15 a.m.
  • Shavuot Programming
  • AJU Gala Videos
  • Dodger Outing - July 21
  • 20s/30s Mini Golf - This Sunday
  • Torah Morsel
  • Upcoming Calendar
  • Donations This Week
  • Dear Libby
  • Haftarot Plethorot
  • Jewish Trivia

If you have questions, suggestions, or want to include something in a future Weekly Update, please email Joel Elkins at joel.elkins@gmail.com.


Shabbat Shalom

Shabbat Services

Services begin at 9:45 a.m. in Dorff-Nelson Chapel. Following services, everyone is invited to a special kiddush in Hersch Hall sponsored by the Grossmans in honor of Fran's 70th birthday. Additional contributors include Frumi & Benjamin Gluck, Sandra & Bob Braun, Alisa Shudofsky & David Cohen, Annette Berman, Melissa & Michael Berenbaum, Debbie Rich, Jules Kamin, Gary & Marlisse Bachrach, Michelle Wolf.

Mishna Study

Mishna Study convenes at 9:15 on Shabbat morning in the Whiteman Conference Room and virtually on Zoom. Zwi Reznik leads us in the study of the second Mishna of Chapter 12 of Tractate Shabbat.

Shavuot Programming

In case you lost count, Shavuot begins this Tuesday night. We kick off with Minha at 7:15 p.m., followed by dinner (by reservation). The welcoming session for the Leyl Tikkun starts at 8:30, followed by learning sessions all night, culminating in a sunrise service on the roof at 4:45 a.m.

For those who are averse to heights or being up at the crack of dawn, there are two other choices: a joint livestreamed service in the Sanctuary starting at 9:30, or a non-livestreamed service in the Chapel starting at 8:15. (Please contact Bill Seligman if you intend to attend this service.)

On Thursday (Day Two), services (including Yizkor) will be separate. Library Minyan will be in the Chapel beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Details can be found here.

AJU Gala Videos

For those of you who were not able to attend the recent AJU Gala Honoring Michael Berenbaum and Elliot Dorff, here are four short videos created for the event. The Library Minyan's tribute slides begin at the 2:41 mark of the fourth video.

Dodger Outing - July 21

The Library Minyan will be attending the Dodgers vs. Red Sox at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, July 21. Seats are guaranteed to be in the shade, and tickets are going for $54 (championship-caliber rosters don't come cheap). Click here to reserve your seat(s) today. Carpooling will be arranged for those who need.

20s/30s Mini Golf

The 20s/30s of Library Minyan is having a mini-golf outing in Sherman Oaks at noon this Sunday to make up for the one that was rained out in April.

Reservations are highly recommended: libraryminyancommunications@gmail.com.

Torah Morsel

This week's Torah Morsel on Parshat Bamidbar is brought to us by Jacki Honig. If you would like to present one in the future, sign up here.

This parsha, and the entire book of Bamidbar, begins with another census. For this counting, Moses is commanded specifically to count by the families of B’nai Yisrael, according to the houses of their fathers. The Torah even gives the names of the people to help count each tribe. This census is not like others we know where each person is counted equally. This is a census centered around divisions, what makes each person and tribe unique. You can see which tribes are larger, and therefore arguably stronger, and maybe more important as the Israelites begin this next chapter. In our lives it is easy to look at things that are meant to separate us out and create division. This sort of census happens in our own lives. There are a certain number of members of Sisterhood or a different number of people who attend Library Minyan every week, or many other ways to count and separate folks. It is easy to see the ways that we are all a bunch of small groups of individuals. 

But then, at the end, we are offered something different. Without being asked for it, we get a total: 603,550. Each of these tribes together makes one collective whole. Despite the direct command from God, we are still told this collective number. It is a strong reminder that as much as we all seem separate and different, we are one collective and are all in this together.

Upcoming Calendar

Below is a list of upcoming special kiddushes and events. If you would like to contribute to any of these (or to add another kiddush-worthy occasion), please click here and indicate the event in the notes.

6/15 - Graduation Shabbat

6/22 - Noveseller simchat bat

6/29 - Bob Roosth's birthday celebration

Donations This Week

Susan Laemmle & John Antignas

-in honor of the Simchat Bat for the Novesellers' new baby

Melissa & Michael Berenbaum

-in honor of Fran Grossman's 70th birthday

Russell Cohen & Rachel Berwald

-in honor of Fran Grossman's 70th birthday

Annette Berman

-in memory of Sam Rubin

Allan & Laraine Kokin

-in memory of Sam Rubin

Robert & Sandra Braun

-in honor of Fran Grossman's 70th birthday

Gary and Marlisse Bachrach

-in honor of Fran Grossman's 70th birthday

Dear Libby

Dear Libby:

Why do we eat dairy on Shavuot?


Dear Not Complaining:

There are a number of suggested explanations. Pick your favorite:

  • To symbolize the "Land flowing with milk and honey" (some communities also traditionally eat honey);

  • The description of the Shavuot sacrifice מִנְחָ֤ה חֲדָשָׁה֙ לַֽה' בְּשָׁבֻעֹ֖תֵיכֶ֑ם (a new grain offering to God on your Festival of Weeks) has the initials מחלב, or "from milk";

  • The word for milk (חלב) has the value of 40 in gematria, representing the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness or the 40 days that Moshe was on Mount Sinai receiving the Torah;

  • Mount Sinai is referred to in Psalms as הַר־בָּשָׁ֑ן הַ֥ר גַּ֝בְנֻנִּ֗ים, reminiscent of גבינה (cheese);

  • Dairy is considered a more humble diet than meat, to remind us to approach Torah with humility;

  • It is difficult to stay awake to study all night after consuming a large meat meal;

  • The laws of kashrut were first given at Sinai. After receiving these laws, the Israelites realized that none of the meat in their possession had been slaughtered properly, and so they ate dairy that night;

  • Cheese-filled triangular kreplach are traditionally eaten to symbolize the three aspects of the scriptures (Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim), given to Moshe (the third-born), after three days of preparation during the third month;

  • Some communities eat two meals (first of dairy, then of meat), either back-to-back on the first night or dairy on first night and meat on the second, to represent the double loaf offering for Shavuot;

  • According to midrash, the angels beseeched God not to give the Torah to mere mortals saying "What is man that You should remember him, and the son of man that You should be mindful of him?” (Psalms 8:5-7). In order to prove our worthiness, we eat dairy, in contrast to the angels who visited Avraham and who ate dairy and meat together;

  • But the main reason is "Why not? Cheesecake is delicious!"


If you would like Libby to answer your questions or solve your problems, submit your questions and/or kvetches to dearlibby@libraryminyan.org

Haftarot Plethorot

In the Haftarah Plethora episode for Parshat B’midbar, the boys discuss the various metaphors for God and His (yes, masculine) relationship to the people, including Hosea’s allegory of the angry husband and unfaithful wife. Rick takes a pre-positive view of the trope. And don’t miss the special episodes for both days of Shavuot.

In the episode for the first day of Shavuot, Rick and Larry discuss whether Ezekiel’s weird, wild and wondrous visions were a divine revelation, chemically induced hallucinations, or encounters of the third kind. Rick discovers his inner poet while Larry thinks that Ezekiel’s frequent use of the words D’mut and Marei hold the key.

In the episode for the second day of Shavuot, Rick and Larry get a little carried away by this lone reading from the Book of Habakkuk. Larry explains how little is known about this prophet while Rick talks about the unusual musical instructions that seem to be unique among Haftaroth. Rick suggests that the plethora of bombastic sound and light imagery is suggestive of the scene at Mount Sinai, thus linking the Haftarah to the holiday.

You can see all of Larry and Rick's recordings here.

Jewish Trivia

Last week's question:

  1. An ardent Zionist, I was was born on Shushan Purim in 1861 in the village of Ekimovtsy.
  2. In 1921, I impressed Winston Churchill while giving him a tour of the then-new city of Tel Aviv.
  3. I served as mayor of that city for 12 of its first 15 years of existence.
  4. A major thoroughfare and shopping mall are named in my honor.

Who am I? Answer: Meir Dizengoff. (You think his parents had a premonition of the infant's fate when they named him?)

For this week's trivia, match each character from the Book of Ruth on the left with their relationship to the titular character on the right:

(Answers next week.)

  1. Boaz
  2. Chilion
  3. Elimelech
  4. Machlon
  5. Naomi
  6. Orpah
  7. Oved

a. Ruth's mother-in-law

b. Ruth's kinsman (and husband)

c. Ruth's son

d. Ruth's husband (deceased)

e. Ruth's brother-in-law (deceased)

f. Ruth's sister-in-law

g. Ruth's father-in-law (deceased)

The Hesed Fund supports Library Minyan members during the birth/adoption of a child, illness or death in the family. The Outreach Fund supports new, particularly youth, membership. The General Fund goes for everyday expenses, primarily kiddushim. If you would like to make a donation to any of these funds, click here.