As the month of May winds down and we settle in for our typically hot summer in Henderson, I am announcing my yearly Summer Book Club and Summer Sermon Series.
This year I found two interesting books for us to read together. The first is by author Paul Boorstin, called David and The Philistine Woman. In the book, Boorstin reimagines the epic moments leading up to the battle between David and Goliath. The book gives us a chance to jump back in time and experience the life of the young would-be king during the time of the Israelite and Philistine battles in ancient Israel. We will discuss this book on Sunday morning June 24th at 10 AM.
The second is by noted journalist and author Matti Friedman called Pumpkin Flowers. Pumpkin Flowers is the name of an outpost that Israeli soldiers guarded during Israel’s unnamed conflict with Lebanon at Israel’s northern border during the 90s, the years between the first and second Lebanon wars. The book tells the story of a particular band of soldiers and how the experience affected them during and after their tour of duty. We will discuss this book on Sunday July 29th at 10 AM.
As always, we will have bagels and coffee as we discuss these wonderful books.
This year’s Summer Sermon Series will focus on our ancient rabbinic text known as Perkei Avot, Ethics of Our Ancestors. Perkei Avot is a compilation of rabbinic thought on morality and ethics. Rabbis from the Mishnaic period share their teachings about how to live a good Jewish life. We will study texts from a different chapter each week. The Rabbinical Assembly of America recently published a volume of Perkei Avot with commentary as part of their Lev Shalem Series, by Rabbi Gordon Tucker, Rabbi Tamar Eldad-Applebaum and Rabbi Martin Cohen. We will use this as our guide as we study the ancient text. The discussions will take place on Shabbat morning during the sermon time.
The schedule is:
June 16 Chapter 1 A Fence Around the Torah: A Tree of Life
June 23 Chapter 2 The Language of Faith: The Person of Faith
June 30 Chapter 3 Between Despair and Meaning: The Pioneer
July 28 Chapter 4 Student and Teacher: The Instructor
August 4 Chapter 5 The Path of the World: Destiny – The Human Being
August 11 Chapter 6 An Addendum: The Acquisition of Torah