Rabbi Krief draws lessons from Hurricane Katrina

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:54

    LAKE HOPATCONG-In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Rabbi Asher Krief of the Lake Hopatcong Jewish Community Center will speak from the pulpit during High Holy Days services about the need for Jews to rekindle their spirit of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (charity). Natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina strike people of all faiths, the rich and the poor alike. At the In that spirit, the synagogue will open its doors free of charge for High Holy Day services. This is unusual because synagogues normally charge members and non-members alike for tickets to their High Holy Days services. Rabbi Krief will draw parallels between the outpouring of compassion and support for those displaced by the devastating Gulf Coast hurricane and other instances where people of good will have come forward to help those in need. Giving charity, is cyclical, according to the rabbi, who explains that nobody knows what life has in store. As a result, giving charity now and helping someone recoup from a life-altering event teaches others, including children, that we are all responsible for each other in this world. Rabbi Krief emphasizes that charitable giving should not be limited only to times of disaster: It needs to be done year round. There is always someone in need. If the need is not brought to our attention, we should seek out those who may need a hand. It's our obligation not only as Jewish people, but as members of the human community. Even if you cannot give a lot, anything you give is appreciated and enhances the sense of compassion that makes the world a better place. Charity, the rabbi notes, is not limited to material things. Emotional support is critical as well. Too often, people identify charity simply with money. They give money and believe they are called on to give nothing more. The rabbi points out that sometimes a non-monetary gift, a gift of wisdom, a gift of kindness, means even more than simply a gift of dollars and cents. Our mission as human beings is not completed if or when we write a check, the rabbi says. There is still more to do, and that can be accomplished by opening our hearts and our eyes to the needs all around us, which require more than monetary compensation. The hours for High Hold Days services are Monday, Oct. 3, Erev Rosh Hashanah, 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Oct. 4, First Day of Rosh Hashanah: Shacharit 9 a.m., Mincha 5:45 p.m., Tashlich 6:30 p.m., Ma'ariv 7:15; Wednesday, Oct. 5, Second Day of Rosh Hashanah: Shacharit 9 a.m., Mincha 6:45 p.m, Ma'ariv, 7:15; Wednesday, Oct. 12, Erev Yom Kippur: Mincha 6 p.m.; Kol Nidre 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 13, Yom Kippur: Shacharit 9 a.m.; Yizkor noon; Mincha 5:30 p.m.; Ne'ilah 6 p.m.; Ma'ariv 7:05 p.m.; Shofar blowing 7:15 p.m. The Temple on the Lake, a liberal conservative synagogue, welcomes young adults, interfaith families, and single or separated parents and their families. Located on the shores of Lake Hopatcong, the synagogue is accessible by boat. The center, located at 15 Durban Road, integrates traditional Jewish values with contemporary lifestyles. For more information, call 973-398-7339 or 973-598-9196.