A New Year’s greeting- T’shuvah, T’filah, Tzedakah

It is not news that much of Oahu’s Jewish community has been in turmoil lately. The Honolulu Star Advertiser covered some of it in stories that were published last month. As with any conflict, there is a lot more to it than the newspaper reporter can capture or communicate in a few articles.

Recent events have made a huge impact on our family. While my husband and I have much to say and this topic tends to dominate our dinner table discussion and other daily conversations, I am conflicted about what to post. My personal perspective and disappointment leave me feeling a bit paralyzed–not for action, but in finding the right words.

Our actions certainly speak for themselves. We quit our membership at Temple Emanu-El Honolulu. For us, it’s about the process, which was anything but transparent.

It’s about the disparity between control and leadership. It’s about the fact that the leadership made their decisions based on only one perspective and completely disregarded any sense of compromise with or consideration of ours. It’s about zero tolerance for  leaders who resort to bullying and physical abuse to get their way.

The Sunday School deteriorated from bad to worse and they refused to address the issue in a timely manner due to their single-minded agenda in regards to getting rid of the Rabbi. It has not been as amicable as some might suggest.

We will not be a part of the Temple Emanu-El congregation for the beginning of 5772. We will attend High Holy Days services at Aloha Jewish Chapel where my husband and I met over nine years ago. Our courtship was spent celebrating Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the seats of this congregation.  We have returned each year for Shabbat services and holidays. Our family will reflect on the past year and welcome in the new one from those same seats.

I will embrace this time for t’shuvah (repentance,) t’filah (prayer,) and tzedakah (justice.)

I found some cool thoughts on this in “The Torah In Haiku” on an RJ blog and am happy to share it with you.

My friend Toby sent a link to a You Tube video that is worth sharing. It’s a nice new year greeting and the sentiment is warm.

L’shanah Tovah U M’Tukah.

No more lau lua for kau kau at the local Jewau

When I was preparing for our Passover seder a few weeks ago, I opened the  cookbook that our Temple’s Sisterhood  published last year.

That was the first time I really looked at the book. I bought it for two reasons: to support the sisterhood and my mother’s recipes were inside. I never really imagined that I would use it.

Pressed for time, instead of digging through my recipe drawer for the index card with my mom’s hand written instructions, I got “Cooking With Shaloha” down from the shelf.

It was much more interesting than I expected. Filled with typical recipes for challah and brisket and kasha varnishkes, it is also peppered with local dishes such as haupia and mango bread and poke.

The best surprise came at the end of the book: The Juau!

I was thrilled to find this one. Contributor Jill Merl suggests a menu for a porkless luau. I thought it was hilarious.

And then I started thinking that  a Passover seder is the Jewish version of a luau–the ultimate Jewau.

I looked up the meaning of  luau on the internet and an online dictionary defined it as: an elaborate Hawaiian feast or party (especially one accompanied by traditional foods and entertainment.)

Sounds like a seder to me. Just substitute the word Hawaiian with Jewish and entertainment with telling the story and there you have it–a Jewau.

Gefilte fish fills in for poke or lomi salmon, chicken soup for chicken long rice. Eat brisket instead of kalua pork and macaroons instead of haupia! Drink four glasses with tiny bubbles…..You get the idea.