Beth El Binah hosts Pride-themed Shabbat

Dallas’ LGBT Jewish synagogue Beth El Binah is celebrating Pride month with a family and friends Shabbat June 22.

Rabbi Steve Fisch

Rabbi Steve Fisch said the congregation has been doing the Pride-themed Shabbat for many years but it is the second year the congregation has held it at the Cathedral of Hope.

Fisch, who joined the synagogue last June, will deliver the sermon at the Pride Shabbat for the first time. Calling his first year at the synagogue “the most fulfilling experience I’ve had as a rabbi,” he said his sermon will combine the Hebrew words for friend and family, chaver and mishpacha. The two words help form the word for life, chayim, he said, so his message will focus on the vital ties our personal relationships have in impacting and enriching our lives.

Although the event is called the family and friends Shabbat, Fisch said the theme reflects pride in life and how “we are truly fulfilled and our lives are complete” when we reach out to those who are important in our lives.

“In many cases we form families not only from our families of origin but from those people who surround us with love and they become more important in some cases then our family of origin,” he said.

He said having the Pride Shabbat was important because June is LGBT Pride Month and he wants members of the congregation to embrace their religion and sexuality. He said when people pride themselves on who they are they lead “full and enriching” lives, learning to accept themselves and share their lives with others.

“We want our family and friends to know that we’re very proud of our status and very proud of our religion and that we can combine the two,” he said. “We’re very proud of being liberal Jews and we’re very proud of being gay and that the two are very much intertwined.”

Beth El Binah’s Family and Friends Shabbat is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 22, at the Interfaith Peace Chapel at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road.

—  Dallasvoice

Happy Rockin’ Rosh Hashanah Eve

Crappy wine is part of every Jewish celebration

Rosh Hashanah literally means Head (rosh) of the (ha) Year (shanah) or New Year. The holiday starts at sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 8 this year.

The holiday is celebrated on the first day of the month of Tishrei, the seventh month of the year on the Jewish calendar.

So what’s up with that crazy Jewish calendar? Well I thought I’d answer some questions you might have been too polite to ask in the most smart-ass, but accurate, way.

How do I wish someone a good holiday?

That’s the No. 1 I’m asked every year.

Right:

Happy holidays.

Happy New Year.

Happy Rosh Hashanah.

Have a good few days off! See you Monday!

Also appropriate:

Are you getting together with your family?

You going to Florida for a few days?

Tell me again, is this a happy holiday?

Doesn’t God frown on taking a cruise during the holidays rather than going to temple?

Wrong:

You god damn Jews get so many holidays. (However, that’s the one I’ve been greeted with many times by well-meaning … well, you know who you are).

—  David Taffet