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Charles Flum, President


One of the two holidays of the year where the rabbis opined that it was perfectly fine to get drunk is fast approaching. I’m talking, of course, about Purim (the other is Simchat Torah). Now, we at Naples Jewish Congregation (NJC), the Small Congregation With the big Heart, are not going to do that (I hope) during our March 10 Purim service, but we are going to have a great time with our Purim shpeil. Directed by our music director, Alla Gorelick, congregation members will act for the enjoyment of all. So come, eat hamentashen, drink a glazele wine, and enjoy.


This is just one of many activities in which we engage. Last December, we hosted a table at the community Chanukah celebration in Mercato, offering children the opportunity to make and eat marshmallows and pretzel dreidels. Rabbi Herman participated in the Chanukiah lighting. Jane Galler, our cantorial soloist, not only sang with other cantors, she also led a children’s choir in Chanukah songs.


January saw another meeting of Flamingle, our informal congregation-wide get-together where we have various activities and get to know each other better. In December, we had a trip to the Holocaust museum in Naples along with a box lunch from Pandora Bread. It is good to get together with other congregants in informal settings where new friendships can be fostered.


On the education side, Rabbi Herman gave another of his Adult Ed classes in January. “Lessons Learned through Chassidic Tales” was very thought-provoking. February 24 at 5:00, he will teach: INSPIRED MESSENGERS: A SPOTLIGHT ON BIBLICAL PROPHETS The second section of the Tanach, the Jewish Bible is called “Prophets:Nevi’im”. It begins with the book of Joshua and concludes with the literary Prophets. What is the role of prophecy? When did it begin? What are the enduring messages that are relevant for us in the 21st Century? They lived and wrote during the difficult days of the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judea and the fall of Jerusalem. The primary resource will be selections from the Tanach. Come join us for the class, then a light dinner followed by services.


Speaking of education, did you know the Megillat Esther is the only book in the Tanach that does not mention God? Or that Esther’s mane is not really Esther, but Hadassah? Mordecai was Esther’s first cousin? Vashti was punished for not responding to Ahasuerus so that women would keep obeying their husbands. Esther was brought to the harem of virgins, spent a night with Ahasuerus and thereafter was in the harem of concubines until she was made queen. The decree Haman (BOO! HISS!) engineered to kill the Jews was never rescinded? A second decree was issued that the Jews could defend themselves. Haman (BOO! HISS!) was killed by impaling him on a stake. His ten sons were also impaled, but after they had been killed.  Look it up. It’s all in Megillat Esther.


So come, one time, learn about the prophets, another, eat Haman’s ears, and always, worship God. To find out more about the Small Temple With the big Heart, go to

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