27 February 2015
President Harry Truman known for saying, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
There are some extraordinary things happening in the DC Jewish community, including cutting-edge young adult programing, remarkable day schools, thoughtful approaches to inclusion, caring services for the most vulnerable, vibrant arts and cultural programming, and wonderful agencies and synagogues. Credit goes to lay and professional leadership who are passionate about getting things done. Credit goes to those who disruptively innovate. Credit goes to those who are engaged in “doing Jewish,” in addition to “being Jewish.” There’s much more that needs to be done, for sure, but great things are happening, regardless of who gets the credit.
This week’s parasha, Tetzaveh, is distinguished not by what it contains, but rather, what it omits. Interestingly, Moses’ name appears in every parasha chronicling his life from birth to death – except for this week’s portion. Commentators reflect on a variety of reasons, including an exploration of the attribute of humility. While Moses is deeply involved in a number of activities in this week’s parasha, including the selection of Aaron and his sons for the priesthood, he does so without being named.
The concept of humility is a powerful lesson, especially with Purim coming next week. The story of Mordechai and Esther stepping forward to save the Jewish community from Haman is not only about being in the “right place at the right time”, but also about doing the “right thing.” Mordechai and Esther chose to take action, not because they would be recognized for their deeds, but because it was what needed to be done. Whatever our roles in the community, choosing to act positively, effectively, forcefully and appropriately are options we each have.
So, too, is acting with humility.
Steven A. Rakitt, Chief Executive Officer
Here are four ways to Make It Yours this week:
- Attend an info session for Honeymoon Israel, a brand new, highly subsidized trip to Israel for young couples this Sunday, March 1.
- Catch a screening of one of the 70 films selected for the 25th annual Washington Jewish Film Festival now through Sunday, March 1.
- Get a crash course on the Israeli political system at The Aleph-Bet on the 2015 Israeli Elections on Monday, March 9.
- Sign up to make a difference on Good Deeds Day, the annual, international day of giving back on Sunday, March 15.
Purim, Purim Everywhere
The happiest month of the year is finally here! Adar, that joy-filled time of year when the snow (very) slowly melts away, preparation for Passover begins and the smell of freshly baked hamantaschen reigns supreme in Jewish kitchens everywhere. It is our time to delight in the pleasures we far too often take for granted as we join with family and friends for Purim festivities of all shapes and sizes.
Celebrate at one of these Purim festivities around town or find more at Jconnect.org:
- Family Purim Carnival at the DCJCC on Sunday, March 1
- Purim Puppet Celebration & Potluck Dinner at the JCCGW on Wednesday, March 4
- Purim Pastry Parties in NoVA on Sunday, March 1
- Jewish Food Experience’s Pre-Purim Palooza at Commissary on Monday, March 2
- Challah Tots at Whole Foods Market Vienna on Thursday, March 5:
- Who is Your Queen Esther? at the DCJCC on Sunday, March 8 (International Women’s Day)
- DC Purim Bash at The Shakespeare Theater on Saturday, March 7