Yom Chamishi, 6 Nisan 5778

SHOFAR  September - November 2017

Jews’ Love Affair with Pomegranates:  Some believe the Pomegranate was the  taupach, (apple) in the Garden  of Eden.  The Hebrew word for pomegranate, rimon,  is derived from the Lati word pomum, ( apple), and granatus (seeded).  There is a story that the handles of Torah Scrolls were fashioned after pomegranates.  It’s beauty and richness add to its aura. 

Originating in Persia, the pomegranate is one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits, having been domesticated around 4000 B.C.E. The Egyptians imported pomegranates from the Holy Land in 1150 B.C.E., and natural pomegranate juice made into spiced wine was a favorite of Hebrews living in Egypt. Pomegranate wood could also be carved into skewers on which to roast the lamb for Passover.

The Hebrews yearned for the pomegranates they left behind in Egypt while wandering in the desert: “And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates” (Numbers 20:5). And so it was the spies reported their findings in Canaan back to Moses-“And they came unto the valley Eshkol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bore it upon a pole between two; they took also of the pomegranates, and of the figs” (Numbers 13:23). “For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land…a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates” (Deuteronomy 8:7-8). Thus pomegranate was one of the seven species of Eretz Yisrael. From http://www.jewishledger.com/2010/09/the-pomegranate-a-rosh-hashanah-symbol/.  

Exodus 28:33-34 states that images of pomegranates be woven into the hem of the me'il ('robe of ephod'), a robe worn by the Hebrew High Priest. “And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about.”

Pomegranates can also be found in the Bible in 1 Kings 7:13-22, where the fruit is depicted on the capitals of the two pillars which stood in front of the temple King Solomon built in Jerusalem. King Solomon is said to have designed his crown based on the 'crown' of the pomegranate. The significance of the Jewish pomegranate is further exemplified by its appearance on ancient coins of Judea, one of only a few images that appear as a holy symbol.  From www.jewishgiftplace.com/Symbolism-Of-Pomegranate.html.  

In the beautiful bible poetry of Song of Songs, “I went down into the garden of nuts…to see whether the vine budded, and the pomegranates were in flower,” and in another passage, “I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine, of the juice of my pomegranate.”

Throughout the Bible, as seen from the quotations above, the pomegranates are referred to and became symbolic of fertility.

The tradition of kabbalah recounted that there were 613 seeds in each pomegranate, equaling the number of mitzvot commanded by God, although pomegranates do not have a set number of seeds.

The misconception about the pomegranate having 613 seeds is widespread, but its source is readily apparent. In a discussion on the meaning of seeing the fruit in a  dream, the gemara in Berachot4 explains that, “seeing small 

ones portends business being as fruitful as a pomegranate, while seeing large ones means that business will multiply like pomegranates. If, in the dream, the pomegranates are split open, if the dreamer is a scholar he may hope to learn more Torah … while if he is unlearned, he can hope to perform mitzvot ….” Drawing upon a verse in Shir HaShirim (4:3; 6:7), the gemara concludes by stating that even “the empty ones among the Jews are full of mitzvot like a pomegranate [is full of seeds].”5 Many misread this gemara to mean that there are precisely 613 seeds in a pomegranate, as there are 613 mitzvot. It should be clear, however, that the gemara uses pomegranates to imply an abundance.  From https://www.ou.org/jewish_action/09/2008/whats_the_truth_about_pomegranate_seeds/

On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, when it is customary to eat a “new” fruit that has not been eaten during the year, many Jews choose pomegranate. Sephardic Jews recite the prayer “ken yehi ratzon-may it be thy will, O Creator, that our year be rich and replete with blessings as the pomegranate rich and replete with seeds.”

But pomegranates may also have aided in Jewish health.  Pomegranate juice, rich in polyphenolic antioxidants (derived from plants), has been shown to most significantly reduce oxidative stress. Dates, which are rich sources of phenolic radical scavenger antioxidants, also inhibit the oxidation of LDL (the so-called “bad cholesterol”) and stimulate the removal of cholesterol from lipid-laden arterial cells.in calories and low in sodium.

A team of researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, led by Professor Michael Aviram of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Rambam Medical Center, discovered that the combination of pomegranate juice and dates along with ground pits provides maximum protection against atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which can cause a heart attack or stroke. The findings were published in the recent issue (March 26, 2015) of Food & Function, a Royal Society of Chemistry journal. 

The researchers conclude that people at high risk for cardiovascular diseases, as well as healthy individuals, could benefit from consuming the combination of half a glass of pomegranate juice (4 ounces), together with 3 dates. Ideally, the pits should be ground up into a paste and eaten as well, but even without the pits, the combination is better than either fruit alone. From http://www.onjewishmatters.com/the-significance-of-the-pomegranate-in-judaism-and-its-health-benefits/.


Seeking a Newsletter  Volunteer

After 20 years of editing the newsletter I need to cut back and hand over this task to someone else.  It is either that or our communication becomes more sporadic – never good for the health of an organization. 

What does it take?  A computer, the internet for researching articles and recipes, attending online board meetings, and 4- 6 newsletters a year.  A new volunteer can even redesign the current newsletter and change things around. 

I have a How To document to share, and am willing to maintain the email list and email and mail Shofars once they are done if a volunteer prefers. 




In March, during our Deli Night gathering, the board discussed with members options for increasing our income.  There are two options, increasing membership or increasing dues.  Based on that discussion, a board decision was made to increase dues and the following email was sent by Treasurer, Gary Kriedberg: 

One of the primary responsibilities of our Board is to insure financial stability and solvency throughout the year.  To this end we develop an annual operating budget at the start of each new fiscal year beginning every September.  The budget is based in part on our actual operating results during the previous fiscal year and includes any unusual expenses we anticipate for the coming year.  At each monthly Board meeting we review operating results for the previous month, comparing actual expense by line item to budgeted line item expense. Variances from budget are explained and any necessary adjustments that might be needed going forward are discussed and approved or denied.  Our overall financial goal is to break even at a minimum or generate a positive net income that can be saved for future needs in one of our Special Funds

Our annual income is based on the number of dues paying member units (family or single).  This number has decreased over the past few years by 10-15 as families have moved away or members have passed away. While new folks have joined us the net impact has been a decrease in member units from 30-35 to 20-25.  While our expenses are fixed for the most part (rent, phone, Rabbi for High Holidays and music for other holidays, URJ dues, insurance) our income fluctuates directly with changes in membership.

Rather than using our reserves year after year to get us through each year, the Board has voted to change our dues structure in a way that should cover these shortfalls for the foreseeable future and minimize the need for annual changes.

Effective for our new fiscal year beginning September 1st, Family Membership dues will be $460 and Single Membership dues will be $288.  As always we are open to anyone regardless of ability to pay.

Please let any Board member know if you have questions or concerns.


High Holy Day Schedule – 2017/5778 – Please post as a reminder!

Wed., Sept 20, 2017          Erev Rosh Hashanah

                                                            Set Up - 5:00 pm - come help if you can

                                                            Potluck - 6:00 pm

                                                            Services - 7:15 pm


Thurs., Sept 21, 2017                    Rosh Hashanah

                                                            Sunrise Service at City Pier – 6:30 am (7:00 Sunrise)                                                                                                          Breakfast Following Sunrise Service at Crabhouse

                                                            Morning Service - 10:00 am – Led by Rabbi Laura Rumpf                                                                         Bagel & Lox Oneg - 12:00 pm

                                                            Clean up – volunteers needed


RAILROAD BRIDGE IN SEQUIM Tashlich 2:30 pm at Rail Road Bridge Park – Bring your bread crumbs  

Directions to Railroad Bridge:  Coming from Port Angeles, get off Hwy 101 at River Road.  Turn left toward town.  Go around the traffic circle to get onto Washington Road.  The first traffic light is Priest St.  Turn LEFT onto Priest.  Take Priest till it dead ends at Hendrickson.  Turn left.  Follow the signs to the park.  There is a big parking area when you first get into the park.  If you bypass that one, you come to a smaller lot closer to the bridge.  From Sequim, take Washington to the traffic light at Priest, just before Wal-Mart at Home Depot. Turn RIGHT at the light.  Follow the directions as above. 


Fri., Sept 29, 2017                          Erev Yom Kippur

                                                            Join us at 4:30 pm at Café Garden for a dinner before the fast

                                                            Set up - 6:30 pm

                                                            Kol Nidre Service - 7:00 pm


Sat., September 30, 2017             Yom Kippur

                                                            Morning Service - 10:00 am

Torah Study - 2:00 pm

                                                            Afternoon Service – 3:30 pm

                                                            Yizkor, Neilah and Havdalah to follow                                                                                                                              Break the Fast Dairy Potluck

                                                            Clean up - volunteers needed

Fees for services:  We love sharing our traditions and truly welcome anyone, to attend our High Holy Days Services.  However, we ask that non COBS members pay a small fee which covers all services and our lunch on Rosh Hashanah.   We trust you to help support our Congregation.  Send in a check in advance, or bring a check made out to COBS to services. 

Non-Member High Holy Day Tickets:  $25.00 Single / $40.00 Family (Payment can later be applied for membership should you decide to become a member) Mail to 73 Bridge Lane Port Angeles, WA 98362 or bring to services

Please find enclosed my payment for ____  Single    _____ Family

Name:_________________________________________ Phone_____________________________

Address: ______________________________________ Email: _____________________________

Please complete entire form and return with check made out to COBS, 
Mail to address:  Gary Kriedberg, COBS Treasurer; 73 Bridge Lane; Port Angeles, WA  98362
Address:  ____________________________________________________________________________
Phone:    ____________________________________________________________________________
Email Address:  _______________________________________________________________________
May we send your Shofar through email only?  _____________________________________________
List Yarzheit’s of all family members you’d like to have included in our “Members’ News” section: 
Name:  _________________________________Date of Yarzheit (month/day)___________________
Please check one: (make checks out to COBS and mail to 73 Bridge Lane, Port Angeles, WA, 98362)
Family Membership:  		$460.00 __________	 monthly payments = $38.33
Single Membership: 		$288.00__________		monthly payments = $24.00
Limited Income:			$_______________   Note:  If you cannot afford a full membership, we would still like for you to join us.  Any donation you can afford is welcome.  
Newsletter Subscription:		$15.00 __________  You can also support the congregation by sending in a subscription to the newsletter which although mostly online still does have some expenses.  
In addition to my dues, I’d also like to make the following donation(s):
Amount $________  For:  ______________________________________________
Options for donations include the following funds:  General fund, Scholarship fund, Will Gordon Cultural Fund, Building fund, Tzedakah fund, Sunshine fund, and the Rabbi fund 	  
ANNUAL DONATIONS:  Living on the Peninsula we do not have access to all the services of a regular synagogue.  Neither do we encounter the very high dues, annual building funds, and required purchase of High Holy Day tickets.  Still we need dues and donor support to provide services throughout the year.  Last year, rather than raise dues we want to encourage regular donations by members.  So, we created several support levels.  In our first year, we had several donors who sent in regular monthly payments towards the Chaver Level in addition to their dues.  We also had 8 other donors who through various donations throughout the year, reached the Chaver level, and one donor who reached the Jubilee Level.  
This year, we hope that you will all consider giving a little extra regularly:  
Chaver Level - Consider annually donating $250.  This comes to just $21 per month.  
Jubilee Level - Consider annually donating $500 or $42 per month.  
Chai Level - Consider annually donating $1,080 or $90 per month.

Please welcome our new student rabbi this year, Rabbi Laura Rumpf

Laura Rumpf, grew up in San Francisco and Seattle, WA, and graduated from Roosevelt High School and Stanford University. She is in her final year of rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College.  Throughout her studies, Laura has focused on creative ritual and writing, spirituality in nature, and social justice. Her rabbinic internships have found her in diverse inter-generational settings-from a playful Jewish summer camp for teens in Yosemite, CA, to serving as a chaplain on a college campus, and most recently, in a residence and hospice for senior adults. This fall, she will coordinate a social justice fellowship for Jewish millennial activists exploring creativity and resilience. She is thrilled to be joining Congregation Olympic B'nai Shalom for a joyous, meaningful celebration of the new year, 5778.

Upcoming Programs

Sukkot – 10/7/17: Come at 2::00 pm with flowers, garden harvests and branches to decorate the Sukkah, followed by a 3:00 pm service and a potluck meal at Suzanne DeBey’s home.  Susan Stombaugh may lead this family friendly event filled with tradition, music, good friends and great food!  Bring chairs, blankets and yourselves along with decorations.  Directions:  112 Old Black Diamond Road, just off Black Diamond Road.  From the East, take 101 to Race, left on Race and right on 8th Street.  Turn left at Pine Street across the fist new 8th Street bridge.  Pine Street will become Black Diamond.  Follow Black Diamond on bridge across 101 and up the hill.  At the first intersection (right turns only) take the 2nd or left Y – this is Old Black Diamond.  If you miss that turn, the next right is also Old Black Diamond.  452-2471. 

Adult Ed Program: 11/3 – 6:30 pm dinner potluck hosted by Jody Moss and Gary Kriedberg and led by Phyllis Darling - Jewish Nobel Peace Prize Winners.  Directions: 73 Bridge Lane in 4 Seasons Ranch.  Take 101 to just east of Port Angeles.  Turn north (towards the Strait) on Straitview Drive at the bottom of the hill in between Deer Park Theater and Wal-Mart.  Go past the barn and turn left at the first street onto Bridge Lane.  Go over the one lane bridge and take an immediate left into either of the two driveways.  Park close together 3 rows in the car port drive and 2 in the house drive.  If no parking is left in driveways, you can park in the circle just west past the house.  Please do not park along the street in the front.  417-2869

Adult Ed Program: 11/17 – 6:30 pm dinner potluck hosted at Bruce & Mary Schleicher’s, presented by Steve Bearman – topic TBD.  Directions:  1010 South Half Mile Road – Take Highway 101 to Race Street, south on Race Street .  Race Street will become Mt. Angeles Road.  In 2.3 miles, turn left onto South Half Mile Road.  Continue to first house on right.  457-1115 if you get lost.

Dues, Donations & Newsletters subscriptions:

Dues: Please consider becoming a member of the Congregation: $375-Family, $225-Single, $_____Limited income, Newsletter subscription-$15.00/year. Membership includes a subscription to the Reformed Judaism Magazine. Complete form & return with check made out to COBS to Gary Kriedberg, 73 Bridge Lane, Port Angeles, WA 98362/ 360-452- 2471, congregationobs@olypen.com

Donations: As you might imagine, donations are always welcome and highly appreciated by the Congregation. With this form please consider honoring a loved one, or celebrating a simcha with a donation to the Congregation. This form serves as both a new membership and donation form.

Please circle one of the following:

I plan to donate regularly at the      Chaver Level   ___ $21per month or $250 per year

Jubilee Level   ___$42 per month or $500 per year

Chai Level       ___ $90 per month or $1080per year

Donation: _____In honor/memory of ________________ o Rabbi Fund; o Building Fund; o Other Fund

Donation/Dues From: _______________________________________________________________

Address: _________________________________________________________________________

Email / Phone:___________________________________________________________________________

(Please include your email – we frequently use email for newsletters, reminders and special program notices)

Yarzheits: ________________________________________________________________________