April 13, 2023
22 Nisan 5783

This Week

Friday, April 14, 2023
24 Nisan 5783
Shabbat Evening Worship at 6:45 PM

Service Leader: Rabbi Lisa Goldstein
Musical Accompaniment: Rabbi Lisa Goldstein

Join us here on Zoom
or on 

Rob and Marianne Salzman - April 4
Congratulations on 42 years of marriage!

Of Blessed Memory

Allen Samet - father of Steve Samet
Ruth Samet - mother of Steve Samet
Florence Weintraub - mother-in-law of Sue Weintraub

Sunday, April 16, 2023
25 Nisan 5783

Kesher 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

Congregation Meeting 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Watch your email for Zoom link and relevant documents
PLEASE NOTE: There is a lot of new timely information about upcoming programs/holiday celebrations in this email. Be sure to scroll all the way down so you don't miss anything!
Torah Reading
Sh'mini: Leviticus 9:1-11:47
Read Sh'mini here.

Shalom Friends, 

We’ve been doing a bit of counting in my house lately. Being avid Boston sports fans, Maury is constantly counting runs, errors, goals, games lost by the Red Sox and games won by the Bruins. We were anxiously counting down the days before we would be back in our house following our burst water heater incident, and as I write this, we’re eagerly counting down the hours until we can eat chametz this evening! And Maury and I both count our steps daily – competing a little obsessively – with our Fitbits.

Last week, I counted RSVPs (43), tables (5) and haggadot needed (20) for our Congregational Seder; and this week, we’re counting down the days until our grandson’s 2nd birthday (7).
Each year, for forty-nine days, from the second night of Passover until Erev Shavuot, we Jews count. What are we counting?  We count the days of the Omer. Whereas we typically count down to an upcoming event, in the case of the Omer, we count up, with great anticipation, to the day when we will receive the Torah yet again. 


Why do you think we count these days? 
According to our tradition, there are several reasons:

  1. God told us to. In Leviticus 23:15 we read, “You shall count from the eve of the second day of Pesach, when an omer [barley sheaf] of grain is to be brought as an offering, seven complete weeks.”
  1. It connects Passover to Shavuot: Passover is a holiday of great celebration. By preserving the counting of the Omer, we are reminded that while freedom is certainly joyful and worth celebrating, our Passover is not truly complete until we commemorate the giving of the Torah at Sinai on Shavuot. Freedom without responsibility is incomplete and unrealistic. By counting, we remind ourselves that the process is not yet finished.
  2. The counting demonstrates our excitement for the receiving of the Torah. When we are excited about something, we count the days to that event. It is also true that when we behave a particular way, we cultivate the emotions and the thoughts that go with that behavior. i.e. dressing a certain way for school or work affects behavior…   When we count the Omer, we cultivate excitement about Torah in our lives.
  3. It fosters self-improvement: In preparation to receive the Torah, we work to become better Jews. The Kabbalists point out that the Omer is counted for seven weeks of seven days, and they match each week with the seven sefirot through which God interacts with the world. Each of the seven days within those weeks are also matched with the sefirot, and those various permutations of Godliness provide an opportunity for study and self-improvement.  I will admit, I don’t yet really understand the Kabbalistic approach. Fortunately for me, another tradition during this season is to read and study Pirkei Avot, also known as the Ethics of our Ancestors, and which consists mostly of advice on proper behavior and attitude.
Two more modern interpretations:
  1. Counting the Omer creates mindfulness:  It’s so easy these days to get distracted. Forty-nine days is a long time to do anything, especially something we’re not in the habit of doing year-round. Counting the Omer helps us to be mindful of Jewish time.
  1. We Jews like to count people. We count people needed to make a minyan, the number of people attending services and programs, the number of children in Kesher. In the Torah, there are several censuses taken, each with a different purpose. What we can learn from this counting of people is that each person counts. When we count these days from leaving slavery to being reborn as a people, a nation, we are reminded that each one of us has a unique and essential role in the history of the Jewish people.

Receiving the Torah isn't something that can just be done at the drop of a hat, it takes preparation and work. The period of the Omer gives us that time to reflect and consider, to pay attention to each and every day, and to literally "count up" until the Torah comes into our lives.  So, like our ancestors, each year we make our way from Pesach to Shavuot, from Egypt to Sinai, reenacting the journey from slavery to freedom, from involuntary servitude to Pharaoh to our chosen service to God.
We are taught to number our days.  I always thought this was a strange idea.  I have come to understand, however, that if we are cognizant of the limited number of days that we each have on earth, we can be more aware of what we do with them.  In other words, make every day count.

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Lisa Goldstein

To add or remove a name to/from our Mi Shebeirach (Prayer for Healing) list, visit our website at

If you or a loved one is in the hospital or ill at home and would appreciate a call or a visit, please let Rabbi Lisa know.
Email:     or call: (210) 474-6082
Sunday, April 16
1:00 p.m.

Zoom link, last month's minutes, agenda, and financial report will be sent to all members by email before Shabbat.

If you wish to add any item(s) to the agenda, please contact one of our officers:

David Shane:   
Adam Falkiewicz:   
Kim Martinez: 
Sponsor an Oneg Shabbat!
Do you have a birthday or anniversary coming up in our family? Sponsor an Oneg Shabbat to celebrate your simcha (joyous occasion)! Your donation of $36 helps to cover the cost of wine, baked and paper goods, and soft drinks. If you prefer, bake or purchase brownies, cookies, or cake to donate. If you bring a large batch, we can store them in the freezer for a later date. Please let Sondra Singer know if you can bake.

We are Grateful to...

...our donors for supporting Congregation Shalom

Send a check to
Congregation Shalom
San Antonio, TX 78270
P.O. Box 700187

or use the link below to donate by credit card

Donate with PayPal or Credit Card
NO FEES with Zelle!
We can now accept payments and donations through Zelle with no fees to either you or to Congregation Shalom! You can find us by scanning the QR code in this box or by searching Congregation Shalom of San Antonio at
Invoices for the third quarter of our fiscal year have been emailed. Paying your Membership Commitment promptly helps our congregation operate in the black. Please do not delay; send in your Q3 Commitment today!
 Congregation Shalom of San Antonio 
PO Box 700187
San Antonio, TX 78270

Congregation Shalom phone number:
(210) 474-6082
Invite a Friend to Join Congregation Shalom
NOW is always the perfect time to become a member of Congregation Shalom! Invite your friends to our joyful and friendly Shabbat services and extend a warm invitation to join our congregation.
Congregation Shalom Membership Applications
If you or someone you know would like to become a member of Congregation Shalom, please contact Rabbi Lisa at or (210) 474-6082 for an application or visit our website.

If you see or experience an act of antisemitism, report it:

Report to ADL (Anti-Defamation League)
Report to JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council of Jewish Federation of San Antonio)

Join the JCRC for an evening of dialogue and friendship as we share a dinner with our Muslim friends to help them break the fast of Ramadan.

We will discuss the shared concept of "repairing the world" in both Jewish and Muslim faith traditions. Having a common, moral imperative to perfect the world, both traditions offer help and support to those who are most in need. As it says in both the Quran and Talmud, if you save one life, it is as though you have saved all of humanity.

We hope you will join us on

Sunday, April 16
7:00 - 8:30 pm

RSVP for Dinner 4/16/23

Sign Up to Donate to Gift Drive

Questions? Contact JCRC Director, Lisa Epstein, at
An open invitation from Imam Abdul Hakim:
I hope that this message finds you well and in a blessed state.

As you may be aware, our Holy Month of Ramadan has commenced, and as a result, we are keen on opening our doors and hosting an Interfaith Iftar, so we could share our values regarding Ramadan and what fasting means to us.

I want to personally invite your congregants. Please respond to with your name, congregation, and the number who will be attending.

Yalla 75
Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration
Sunday, April 30, 12 - 3 pm

Join the Jewish Federation of San Antonio, your friends and family for a community-wide event! Free admission, plus food-for-purchase options.
Congregation Shalom will have a booth at this event, making paper mosaics. If you can volunteer for a shift, please email Rabbi Lisa.

Questions? Contact Director of Israel and Family Programming,
Sammi Mazuz, at

Tradition says all Americans should remember and honor those who died in service to the Nation.  The members of Jewish War Veterans Post 753 asks you to pause wherever you are and observe a moment of silence to honor all deceased military veterans on

Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2023 at 3 p.m.  

To further honor Jewish military veterans, members of Post 753 will be placing an American flag on the grave of Jewish veterans buried in the Agudas Achim, Beth El, Temple Chai/Congregation Shalom and Rodfei Sholom cemeteries for Memorial Day.  The Post provides the flags (see schedule below).  If you want to volunteer, please contact Herschel Sheiness to let him know your name, contact information, how many will be coming and if you have a preference of cemeteries.  His e-mail address is

Flag placing schedule, weather permitting: 
Friday, May 26, 10:00 a.m.  Rodfei Sholom
Sunday, May 28: 
9:00 a.m. – Temple Beth El Memorial Park
10:30 a.m. – Agudas Achim Memorial Garden
(Temple Chai/Congregation Shalom is covered)


In addition to the schedule above, we need several volunteers for both the old Agudas Achim and Beth El cemeteries. As these two cemeteries are across the street from each other at the corner of Palmetto and Crockett Streets, the same volunteers will be asked to do both.  If no one volunteers, then, regretfully, flags will not be placed on the graves of the 82 Jewish veterans buried there.  Date and time will be worked out with the volunteers.

If you have any questions or to volunteer, please e-mail me at

San Antonio Food Bank

Our neighbors will soon feel the loss of SNAP Emergency Allotments, which expire at the end of this month. This cut will dramatically reduce monthly food budgets for families already facing hunger. Your San Antonio Food Bank is gearing up their inventory and their staff for a tidal wave of demand for food assistance as these SNAP Emergency Allotments expire. 
Many families turn to the Food Bank for nourishment. The Food Bank needs your help to feed our neighbors in need today.
Every $1 you give provides 7 meals to neighbors in need.
If you do, or if you know someone who does, please reach out to the Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Antonio. Donations are also very welcome! 
Please click HERE for more information.


Would YOU like to make someone smile? To sign up to become a Challah Helper
and deliver Shabbat goodies to older adults in the community,
contact Sandra at, or visit

Jewish Family Service (JFS) has been providing affordable mental health counseling, group therapy, case management, and senior services to the greater San Antonio community and beyond since 1973.

Services are available to all, regardless of age, race, faith, sexual orientation, or economic status.

JFS is able to offer services through the generous support of individual contributors, the The Jewish Federation of San AntonioMethodist Healthcare Ministries, the H.E. Butt Foundation, the San Antonio Area Foundation, and other private funders.

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Congregation Shalom of San Antonio · P.O. Box 700187 · San Antonio, TX 78270 · USA

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