Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April, May, June and July Meetings

Dear friends and members of the Fellowship,

    Our Palm Sunday (April 13) speaker, Rabbi David Kunin, from the Jewish Community Center, spoke enthusiastically and with many details about the Passover and his Jewish faith and Judaic history.He spoke of himself (an American who arrived with his family from a position in Edmonton, Canada last fall) as a Conservative--keeping close in practice and daily life to the many commandments from the Torah and

tradition-- but socially and philosophically more radical than many Conservative Jews.

     The wealth of detail and nuances he gave us required a much more careful recorder than I, but let me share one comment about the great (most important in the year) Jewish festival of Passover, which developed from  spring agricultural festivals in north Africa (Egypt) and the near East when this was a time of wheat harvest and new lambs.

Passover (and the Seder meal) starts April 14th this year.

   I was struck by his teaching that Passover for him was less a celebration of the special chosen-ness of the people of Israel than a call to action to everyone to be involved in our societies and actively work to set ourselves, indeed all people,  free >> whether from actual slavery  or our enslavement to materialism. He spoke for example of the two midwives who are said to have saved the first borns in the Jewish families (the last plague on the Egyptians before the Pharaoh agreed to set the Israelites free--although he tried to renege  and sent his army after them only to have all his troops perish when the sea closed over them). They might even have been non-Jews and yet they are revered in Jewish tradition  for courageously acting.


Next MEETING Sunday May 11, from 1:00

>>>Movie and discussion "Inside Hana's Suitcase."

How do we teach the next generation about the Holocaust?
(Note: Advance tickets from Peggy required)
Unitarians (all welcome) will gather at Paul's, Yotsuya station Atre (F1), for light refreshments/discussion afterwards (around 4:00).


Sunday June 8, International House 3:00

    Our own Mary Donovan will lead us in some rousing Unitarian related songs at the beginning of the meeting.


   Tom Eskildsen, long term Japanese resident, will talk about the history and problems of Buddhist villagers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts area of  overwhelmingly Muslim Bangladesh, and what he and the organization he helped to found >>JUMMAnet are doing. How can one person make a difference in the face of religious persecution?


Save July 13 for our annual potluck which will also be a  farewell party for Merry Levering  and Mary Donovan.


Peggy Kanada, moderator

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