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Sisterhood Open Meetings

Our programming continues in 2022-23!

Sisterhood welcomes congregants and their friends – women and men – to our open meetings.

1:00 pm open meeting programs may be followed by refreshments and conversation if public health requirements permit, with exceptions as shown below.

September-December | January-May

Upcoming Programs Our programs start in November this year. Details are below, and please stay connected via Rodfei Zedek's email newsletter for updates!
Nov. 21
1:00 p.m.
Pianist Elaine B. Smith will present a recital:
Five works by Scarlatti, Bach, Paganini/Liszt, Beethoven.
See details here.
Email for the link and passcode if you prefer to watch online.
Dec. 11
10:00 a.m.-
1:00 p.m.
At our annual Hanukkah Fair: 
  hanukkiot, candles, toys, books, jewelry, paper goods, and more.

This program postponed.


Three Identical Strangers, 2018 film, 96 minutes.  Online only.
  A documentary that questions the nature of reality and identity.
Email; we'll send you the link and the passcode.

Feb. 11
10:30 a.m.
Sisterhood Shabbat
Members of Sisterhood read from the Torah and participate in the service.
Feb. 20
1:00 p.m.

program tba

Mar. 20
1:00 p.m.

Rabbi David Minkus speaks on a topic to be announced
Email for the link and passcode if you prefer to watch online.

Please note Sisterhood's Gift to HIAS in Support for Citizens of Ukraine in lieu of our annual Dawn Rubin Torah Study Institute in spring 2022.
Postponed from 2020
An outing to the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.  Information about a new date, guided tour, registration, and other details TBA.

Our Sisterhood

Sisterhood Gift to HIAS in Support for Citizens of Ukraine


For many years, Sisterhood has sponsored a Dawn Rubin Torah Study program and luncheon.  However, last year year was fraught with difficulties due to ongoing concerns with Covid and the uncertainty many congregants continue to express about in‑person gatherings.  Our Dawn Rubin programs have been an invitation to examine how Torah informs the way we live in the world today.  Accordingly, the Sisterhood Board decided to honor the legacy of Dawn Rubin and our love of Torah with a gift to HIAS, an organization that supports refugees and distressed communities in war.  HIAS has set up a fund for helping Ukrainian citizens survive the Russian attack on their nation state.  We donated $1800, a hundredfold number of Chai, a symbolic number.  Our gift supported those who are there to provide help.


How does our gift connect to our love of Torah?


Our parashah for May 7, 2022, K’doshim, begins:  “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:  ‘Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them:  You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy’” (Leviticus 19.1-2).  We are thus commanded to be holy in the same way that Adonai is holy.  At morning minyan, Rabbi Larry Edwards explained that the Hebrew verb form for be holy is imperfect or conditional, meaning it is a state of becoming and not an end result.  The verb is plural, as explained in Etz Hayim, “the capacity for holiness is not restricted to spiritually gifted people; anyone may attain holiness” (693).


So how do we go about becoming holy?  The parashah includes a repetition of the Decalogue, and surely following these laws will help us become a holy people.  We have guidance for how to live in community with instructions such as:  pay workers as soon as the bill is due (“the wages of a laborer shall not wait until morning” 19.13); judges must be equitable (do not to favor the poor nor show deference to the rich 19.15).


But the second sentence of the parashah suggests that Adonai is the model for holiness.  Rabbi Edwards explained that just as Adonai has clothed the naked (consider Adam and Eve), we must clothe the naked; just as Adonai has fed us manna in the desert, so we must feed the hungry; just as Adonai buried Moses, we must bury our dead.  When our people were farmers, we were instructed to leave the corners of our field unharvested so the poor and the stranger may gather the grain (19.9-10).  In our modern understanding, we urban dwellers follow this instruction by giving Tzedakah.


In one of the most quoted passages in the Torah, we are bid, “Love your fellow as yourself” (Leviticus 19.18).  How does this command connect with our gift?  In Torah study on Saturday, we learned that the Hebrew verb for love includes respect in the way we act towards the sojourner among us.  In Biblical times, the sojourner might have been limited to our immediate neighbor; in the modern world, we understand our connectedness to the world at large.


Thus, we honor the tradition of Dawn Rubin Torah study this year in a different way.  Mindful of our obligation to help our fellows in distress, we chose HIAS as the means.  Hopefully, next year, we can once again return to in‑person learning and enjoy our special end of year luncheon with our community.

May 2022/Iyyar 5782

Fri, February 3 2023 12 Shevat 5783