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

July 5 - 8:25 PM
July 12 -  8:22 PM
July 19 -  8:18 PM
July 26 - 8:11 PM
August 2 - 8:04 PM
August 9 - 7:54 PM
August 16 - 7:44 PM
August 23 - 7:33 PM
August 30 - 7:22 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 Ed. Fund
•Memorial Plaques
•Simcha Plaques
•Tree of Life Plaques

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

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A Message from Cantor Socolof

CantorMost of the time when we read from the Torah, we take out a Torah scroll. One Torah scroll. There are a few occasions throughout the year when we take out two or even three scrolls. When we do, it is because the prescribed readings for that day are in two (or three) different parts of the Torah. While it would be permissible to read them all from a single sefer Torah (especially if that was all that was available), we generally don't for a simple reason: we are respectful of the congregation. By having the different scrolls already set, we avoid making the congregation sit idly while we roll the Torah to the correct place.

What is the most valuable thing any of us has? It is our time. While we do not know how much time any of us has, we do know that our allotment is finite. Consequently, one who wastes my time is stealing my most valued possession. We are commanded not to steal, and this is no less true of people’s time. Thus we are solicitous of the congregation’s time, even when it relates to waiting for the Torah.

From time to time members will ask me when a particular part of the service will fall. I am usually loath to give a straight answer, as I am not a fan of showing up for a particular part of a service, and this goes double for Bar and Bat Mitzvot! Still, reality being what it is, I often give a ballpark guess.

All of which brings me to the matter of times for services. This bulletin regularly publishes the times that services will be held. On the days when we say Yizkor, it also typically publishes a start time for that part of the service. I understand why this is done; some members have to arrange to take time from work or other activities so as to be able to attend Yizkor. The published times, however are stated given the assumption that there will be a minyan. If there is not a minyan, there is no repetition of the Amidah and no reading of the Torah. We can and do say Yizkor without a minyan, but the lack of a minyan can affect the time it is said by more than a half-hour.

When people show up for Yizkor at the published time, only to find that it was said a half-hour or so earlier, they can be a bit put­out. An obvious corrective would be to let those who showed up at the beginning of the service sit doing nothing for thirty minutes, biding their time until the published time for Yizkor arrives. This would bring us hard up against respecting the congregation’s time.

As I see it, there are three possible solutions to this dilemma that respect the time of those who come at the beginning of the service and those who cannot, but wish to attend Yizkor:

    1. Make sure we have a minyan at services. Failing that, either
    2. Don’t publish times for Yizkor, or
    3. Publish times based on both presence and lack of minyan.

If you can think of another, please feel free to share it with me.

Cantor Socoloff

Contact him at uticacantor@verizon.net