2710 Genesee St.
Utica, New York 13502
Phone: (315) 724-4751 ✡ email: tbeutica@gmail.com

A Conservative Jewish Congregation Established for
the Worship of God, the Study of Torah, and the Practice of Righteous Deeds

Candle Lighting

December 7 - 4:08 PM
December 14 - 4:08 PM
December 21 - 4:11 PM
December 28 - 4:15 PM

Temple Beth El
by Making a Donation
In Honor or
In Memory
to a Temple Fund:

•The Victor H. Flax Fund
•The Dr. Leonard Levinson Cemetery Care Fund
•The Minyanaires Fund
•The David M. Philipson Fund
•The Religious School Education Fund
•The Harry N. & Eleanor L. Savett Scholarship Fund
•The Dr. Albert A Schwartz Education Fund
•Memorial Plaques
•Simcha Plaques
•Tree of Life Plaques

To Make a Donation Contact the Temple Office at
(315) 724-4751

is selling SCRIP

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in any amount.
Help support
by purchasing
a card today.
Stop by or call!
To see detail
on this project,
click here.

Please notify Temple of any ADDRESS CHANGES you may have for the winter months, we need these address changes if we are to continue sending the bulletin.
Thank You

A Message from Cantor Socolof

CantorThis year Chanukah happens to fall (early) in the month of December. We will light the candles, sing the songs, spin the dreidel and eat the fried foods - all the traditional observances of the holiday. We should also think about what Chanukah is truly about.

In 168 B.C.E. Antiochus Epiphanes, leader of the Syrian Greeks, intensified an already existing campaign of Hellenization in Judea. It was his intent to unify the disparate peoples under his rule by having them share one culture and one religion: the Greek system of Gods and demi-Gods with him as their local representative. The truth is, it was showing some fair success. Many of the Jews were taken with Greek culture and were eager to embrace it, even at the price of their traditional beliefs and practices. But Hellenization was not progressing quickly enough to suit Antiochus. So he outlawed the practice of Judaism and had his troops enter the Jews' Temple in Jerusalem and defiled it. They installed statues of Zeus on the Temple grounds and offered swine as sacrifices on the altar.

As we know, the Maccabees initiated a revolt which ultimately drove Antiochus' forces out of Judea. They then set about the task of once again making the Temple fit for sacrifice to God. Aside from the cleaning, they dismantled the profaned altar and replaced it with a new one. Only then did they hold a dedication ceremony, encompassing the rededication and the postponed observance of Sukkot.

What if someone, God forbid, had come and desecrated our sanctuary? What emotions would we be feeling, and how much would we want to repair and refurbish it so that it was once again a fit setting for worship? For the residents of Squirrel Hill, PA these are not academic musings. Their shul has been desecrated far beyond what many of us might have imagined possible. Not only must they get on with the restoration of the structure and its contents, but they must also tend to the damage done to the congregants.

As we celebrate Chanukah this year, let us do so in the spirit of rededication. Let us strive to repair the breach, whether in ourselves, in our environment, or between us and others. Let us more seriously take on the work of increasing the holiness in our world.

Cantor Socoloff

Contact him at uticacantor@verizon.net