JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Shoftim

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Shoftim

The Rabbi Car. Much ink has been spilled on what type of vehicle a pulpit rabbi ought to drive, including this 2009 gem from Vanity Fair: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2009/09/what-should-a-rabbi-drive

Even though my family owned multiple rust bucket jalopies, we slept more soundly knowing that at least our spiritual leader’s dreaded beige 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis did not sit in our driveway. Years later, upon ordination I sat with said childhood rabbi seeking his always wise counsel on navigating a career in the rabbinate. His advice touched less on the theological or philosophical than the deeply automotive. “Don’t drive a nice car. Their first thought will be ‘this is where my money is going?’” In a eureka moment I continue to process, it became clear that my rabbi was even wiser than I could have ever imagined.

King David writes in Psalm 20
אלה ברכב ואלה בסוסים ואנחנו בשם ה` אלקינו נזכיר
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we call on the name of the Lord, our God.

Well in the Scheer home, we say some trust in Tesla, and some in Lexus; but we call on the name of…a 2005 Brown Mazda Demio? Yes, the pride of Hiroshima now sits in our parking spot at the ready to visit some of our more far-flung members, potential members, people who have made it clear they will never be members and of course, Costco.

And so, the next time you see a wave and hear a comically weak horn emanating from a nearly 17 year old subcompact while standing on the corner of Arisugawa Park opposite National Azabu your friend will ask “who is that poor soul on their way back to Saitama, Chiba or some other such inaka?” you can proudly answer “The brown Mazda? That is my rabbi.”


We invite you to in-person Shabbat services this Saturday morning (8/14) at 10am. Please RSVP by replying to this e-mail. Social distancing guidelines will be maintained. Thank you to Todd Walzer and David Tropp for leyning.

Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat will begin on Zoom at 5:30pm through August 27th.

Schedule for Summer Shabbat morning 10am in-person services: 8/14, 8/28

Dessert Kiddush of Izaki-san’s famous pastries and Chloe’s Popsicles will follow Shabbat morning services. Kiddush is sponsored by the Seme Family in honor of the בכור ነብዪ ዬናስ Nebeyu’s earning a Master of Science in Nuclear Physics from UC Berkeley thereby setting the bar very high for his siblings.

This week’s Shabbocktail is even more glass Perrier bottles in honor of the Olympics handover to Paris 2024. I would have never guessed that instead of shlepping to an unmarked liquor store down a flight of stairs outside Mejiro station that the most popular beverage at the JCC was available this whole time on Amazon. Last Kiddush’s demand for Perrier far surpassed that of any rare sour, Trappist ale, kriek, stout, pilsner, lager or hard liquor that were featured in the past few months. As always, there will be options for those who wish to wet their whistle but do not hesitate to merely sit back and enjoy some naturally occurring carbonation. Vive la France!

Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat will begin on Zoom at 5:30pm through August 27th.

Schedule for Summer Shabbat morning 10am in-person services: 8/14, 8/28

Next Kiddush available for sponsorship is Shabbat Sukkot 9/25.


In-Person Shabbat Morning Services
Kiddush sponsored by the Seme Family
Date: Saturday, August 14th
Time: 10:00am – Noon

In-Person Shabbat Morning Services
Kiddush sponsored by the Andreu Family
Date: Saturday, August 28th
Time: 10:00am – Noon


We wish all who are observing お盆 a solemn commemoration.

Happy Belated 山の日 to all.

Mazal Tov to Linoy Ashram on bringing home Israel’s second gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We hope the momentum continues through the Paralympics which begin on August 24th.

The JCC received 100 tickets to the Chiune Sugihara exhibition being held on the 8th floor hall of the Nihonbashi Takashimaya S.C. Main Building through Monday, August 23rd. If you would like to pick up tickets, please reply to this e-mail. Feel free to take extras for friends as well.

The Ōmiya Library exhibition “History and me: How memories of the Holocaust relate to each of us” concluding this Sunday the 15th is well worth the trip. David Semaya and I visited this week and can attest to the tremendous effort of the university students in putting together a wonderful testimony to those who perished al kiddush HaShem. For more details, please see the following links.
English: https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210728/p2a/00m/0na/031000c
Japanese: https://watashi-to-rekishi.studio.site/

おかえりなさい (Okaerinasai) to the Rosenberg and Yeskel Families.

いってらっしゃい (Itterasshai) to the Rose Family.

さよなら (Sayonara) to our own personal Wing King, the Ashley Family. Please do not forget to turn in your AF Form 341 on your way to DC.

In the following weeks and months, we will roll out several new features in the newsletter including a message from the board, featured members, a Japanese column and member recipes. If you would like to volunteer for any of the above, please reply to this e-mail.

Parshat Shoftim
Candle Lighting: 6:15pm
Shabbat Ends: 7:13pm