Day 5/Elul 4

The Daily Blast

Jeremy Pappas
Managing Director
Jewish Federation
of Cleveland

Jeremy describes his thoughts about Super Sunday and how the annual campaign for Jewish needs is all about connection, an important theme during Elul.

Daily Reading

Daily Sources

‎אַל תִּפְרֹשׁ מִן הַצִּבּוּר
אבות 2:4

Do not separate yourself from the community.

– Avos 2:4

‎אל תפרוש מן הציבור. אלא השתתף בצרתם. שכל הפורש מן הציבור אינו רואה בנחמת הציבור [תענית י״א ע״א]:
עובדיה מברטנורא

Do not separate yourself from the congregation”: but rather share in their troubles. As anyone who separates from the congregation will not see the serenity of the congregation. (Taanit 11a)

– R’ Ovadia M’Bartenura

‎בשעה שהצבור עוסקין בתורה ובמצות הוא כתר כל עולמים וכבוד כל ממשלתו.
רבינו יונה

At the time when the community is involved with Torah and the Mitzvos, it is the crown of all the worlds and the glory of all of His domain.

– Rabeinu Yona

Daily Goals

Join A Synagogue!

Synagogues give us a place to connect with others. It’s the setting for some of the most intimate and important moments in our lives. The very act of being near other people, united for a common purpose, can give us the feeling of bonding with other people that we all crave.

Joining a synagogue reminds us that we’re part of a wider community and gives us the chance to reach out to and unite with others. Some of the most important moments in Jewish prayer, such as reading the Torah publicly and saying the Mourners’ Kaddish, are only done when a minyan (a quorum of ten) is present.

Making a commitment to join a synagogue is a powerful way to connect with the rhythms of the Jewish year. Shabbat or daily services shape our Jewish week. Holiday celebrations are a focal point to the Jewish year. Receiving a weekly newsletter or being part of a synagogue-sponsored group can help strengthen our Jewish connection and sense of being part of the wider Jewish community.

Jews have always supported their local synagogues. In the poverty-stricken shtetls of Eastern Europe, in the beleaguered Jewish communities in the Middle East, everywhere Jews have lived, we’ve always built and maintained and attended our synagogues. It’s in our spiritual DNA to come together and find a way to pray and learn and experience our Jewishness together.

As we enter another Jewish year still reeling from the devastating isolation of the coronavirus pandemic, we are so fortunate that we can once again connect to ourselves, our community, and to God through communal prayer in synagogues.

Today In Jewish History

4 Elul – HaTikvah – 1907

On this day in 1907 at the 8th World Zionist Congress, the song Hatikvah was adopted as the anthem of the Zionist Movement.  It was sung at the First Zionist Congress in 1897, but would not become the official national anthem of the State of Israel until 2004. 

The lyrics came from a 9 stanza poem written by Naftali Hertz Imber 1878.  In the next 10 years, it would be set to music by Samuel Cohen who adopted the tune from a Maldivian folk song.  The song spread rapidly, but not without opposition.

Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, for one, did not like the song, and in 1897 launched a competition to find a worthy alternative.  His main objection was to a song written by Imber himself, who was not considered an upstanding member of society. Others did not like the non-Jewish origins of the melody and tried to compose alternatives.  Religious Zionists have never favored the song, as it makes no mention of G-d or the Torah.  R’ Kook, the intellectual father of the Religious Zionist movement (discussed in yesterday’s briefing) wrote an alternative called HaEmunah (the faith).  Ironically, the Socialist Zionists also opposed HaTikva for its religious and messianic undertones.  They instead proposed Chaim Nachman Bialik’s ‘Birkat HaAm’ (the people’s blessing).  

Nonetheless, the song persevered.  Many of those persecuted and martyred by Stalin and Hitler would sing the song in defiance.  When the State was established in 1948, the government did not make it the official anthem.  That would not happen until 2004 when it was enacted by the Knesset. 

Daily Quotes

"Deep human connection is the purpose and the result of a meaningful life - and it will inspire the most amazing acts of love, generosity, and humanity."

- Melinda Gates

"Trust and value your own divinity as well as your connection to nature. Seeing God's work everywhere will be your reward."

- Wayne Dyer

"We are one family, and the connection between all Jews, all over the world, is very important to the State of Israel."

- Reuven Rivlin

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