Congregation Beth Shalom ~ October 7, 2021 ~ ~ 573-499-4855

deadline for eShalom is Wednesday each week
Contact Rabbi Phil Cohen at or 716.481.7929
See the CBS calendar here:
Send calendar items to Mary at
Find 2021-22 pledge and school information on our ShulCloud site:

To make or renew your pledge using Shulcloud and to pay by check,
please contact the office:

For ShulCloud help see Emily Fuller’s excellent tutorial:

Shabbat Services
Friday Night/Erev Shabbat
Sacred Music Shabbat with Rabbi Phil Cohen, Rebekka Goldsmith and Eitan Kantor. Join the Schermer family in the tent or via Zoom.
Zoom: – Meeting ID: 841 2486 5329

Saturday Morning
Rabbi Cohen leads a Reform Shabbat morning service in-person and via Zoom at 10 am. B’nai mitzvah students and their families are encouraged to attend. Note: If you don’t have a copy of Mishkan Tefilah and would like to borrow one, contact the office:
Zoom: ~ Meeting ID 839 0085 4580

Rabbi Cohen leads Torah study in-person and via Zoom at 11 am.
Zoom: ~ Meeting ID: 844 9116 7901

Parashat Noach

Torah – Genesis/Bereshit 6:9-11:32

Haftarah – Isaiah 54:1-55:5

Here are links to this week’s texts via Sefaria:

Coming Up
CBS Board Meeting Thursday, October 7 @ 7 pm
Sacred Music Shabbat & Concert Friday, October 8 @ 6:30 pm
Bring Your Pets to Shul Sunday, October 10 @ 12:30 pm
Adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah Class organizational meeting Sunday, October 10 @ 7 pm
CBS Book Club Sunday, October 17 @ 3 pm
Maayan Lazinger’s Bat Mitzvah Saturday, October 23 @ 10 am
Loaves & Fishes Dinner Sunday, October 30 @ 4 pm
Joel Narrol’s Bar Mitzvah Saturday, November 6 @ 10 am
Schlep for CBS Sunday, November 7 @ 1 pm
Seminarion Mondays @ 7 pm –
Tefilah Tuesdays @ 7 pm –
Hebrew Bible with Howard Lidsky Sunday @ noon @ CBS
Religious School & Youth Group
Religious school meets Sunday, October 10
Hebrew school meets Wednesday, October 13
Youth Group meets Sunday at 11:30 am

This Sunday some students and youth group members will volunteer in the CBS garden. Also this Sunday, bring your pets to shul for a blessing and light lunch with Rabbi Cohen at 12:30 pm.
The next Tot Shabbat will be Friday, October 15th.

CBS Board Meeting
The board meets via Zoom tonight at 7 pm.
Sacred Music Shabbat
Join the Schermer family as they celebrate Judy’s  70th birthday
with a music-filled evening
on the CBS lawn (weather permitting)

Friday, October 8  @ 6:30 pm
Kabbalat Shabbat services followed by a concert of sacred music

We hope you can join us for an evening of music.  Rebekka Goldsmith from Philadelphia and Eitan Kantor from St. Louis will delight us with vocals and violin.

Rebekka performs and leads sacred music throughout North America.  For her, voice is a physical, emotional and spiritual practice for activating personal development and supporting deep group connection. Learn more about her at

Eitan is a musician, composer and educator. He evinces curiosity and playfulness, and has faith in the ability of each person to be an essential thread in the communal music tapestry. Learn more about him at

No Gifts Please. To honor Judy, please make a donation to the new sacred music fund, ℅ Congregation Beth Shalom. Proceeds will support bringing sacred music performers to CBS annually.

*If weather moves us inside, vaccinations or a negative COVID test required ~ masks required outdoors or indoors

from Rabbi Phil Cohen
I once counted the number of children’s books devoted to the Noah story in a well-stocked synagogue library. This was around 1995. There were some 25 books.

I’ve always been amazed at the attraction of the story to children’s authors.

I mean, on the surface it is an attractive story for kids.  Animals entering a large boat two abreast, all being herded on by a short man with white hair and a long, white beard (as Noah is often portrayed).  How cute, all of animalkind united in their preparation for a long journey.

What these stories rather conveniently ignore is that the Noah story is about the destruction of the world because of the great sinfulness of its inhabitants.  These authors put aside the way the plot continues once all of those cute animals are onboard and the doors and windows are shut, namely that the world is about to experience an enormous flood.  This turn of events changes a cute kid’s story into one of considerable, serious drama.

Now, I don’t take this story as an historical account. Thus, I am not required to analyze the story as if it’s the historical record.  Instead, in analyzing it as an important story in the Jewish tradition, I’m permitted to look at it in terms of character, language, plot, setting, and theme, the tools we use when way look at a story.

In this brief message I am unable to unpack the story in its richness, but I would like to offer one analysis based on a rabbinic midrash.

The midrash would have it that one day Noah is perambulating about the neighborhood, when God addresses him and orders him to build the ark.  Well, Noah looks around and notices that there are no trees with which to build this rather large vessel. So he plants trees.  Trees take time to grow.

While Noah is tending this impending forest folks come to him and ask what he’s doing. “I’m growing a forest,” he says.  “Why?” they ask.  “To build a large boat,” he answers.  His interlocutors would look around at their desert locale and say, “Why do you need a boat in the middle of the desert?”  And Noah would tell them about the impending flood due to the wickedness of the people of Earth.  The people would scoff and walk off.

Well, it takes a while for trees to grow, to be turned into boards, to be assembled into a large vessel.  At each turn of events, people would query as to Noah’s activity, and he would give the same response. And after each response the folks would scoff, go on their way, and continue their nefarious activities.

Thus, the midrash writer would have us understand that, once the flood arrives, many, many years after Noah was ordered to build the ark, the peoples of the world have been sufficiently warned. They have not repented, and the flood is just deserts for a wicked planet.

This midrashic version itself leaves questions unanswered, but, at least, changes the context significantly to make God’s decision to destroy the world somewhat more understandable.

The story does one more thing. In the entire Noah story in the Torah, Noah says not a word, which would seem to make him a passive actor in the drama.  Nada.  In this story, Noah gets a voice, and in that way becomes less passive and more a participant in the struggle of good over evil.

Shabbat shalom,
Rabbi Phil M. Cohen

PS: My adult bar/t mitzvah class will meet on Sunday at 7 pm for a discussion over content and logistics. If you’re even curious, please consider coming by.  Here’s the Zoom link:

CBS Playground Clean-Up

Bring Your Pets to Shul
Bring your pets to shul on Sunday, October 10 at 12:30 pm.  In celebration of parashat Noah, which we read on Shabbat, October 9, we will celebrate the lives of our pets, and the joy our furry friends bring to us.

We’ll serve a light lunch and offer a prayer in honor of the animals who bless our lives.  Cats, dogs, rabbits, fish (admittedly not furry), ocelots, hamsters, mice, monkeys, gorillas, gazelles, goats—whatever animal makes your life better—all are welcome to be part of this gathering.  To repeat: food will be served. Please bring your own beverage in a reusable container.

Dinner for Loaves & Fishes
Every fifth Sunday, Congregation Beth Shalom provides a full dinner to our hungry neighbors through the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen based at Wilkes Blvd. Methodist Church, 702 Wilkes Blvd.

October 31st is our next assigned Sunday. We need food donations as well as volunteers to set up, serve, and clean up. Food items should arrive at the church (back entrance) between 4 pm and 4:15 pm. Volunteers should arrive by 4:30 pm. We expect to serve about 100 people.

Sign up to bring food and/or help with serving and cleanup here: Contact Noah Heringman at with any questions. January 30th will be our next opportunity to serve.

Seminarion Returns
Rabbi Cohen’s Seminarion class has resumed on Mondays at 7 pm via Zoom.

We are discussing antisemitism, its history and how what historian Robert Wistrich called The Oldest Hatred is manifesting itself in the world today.

Rabbi Cohen shares some history and some thoughts on this always important topic.

Join in via Zoom:

Schlep for CBS
We are excited to announce that the second annual Schlep for CBS is set for Sunday, November 7 at 1 pm.

The Schlep for CBS is a run/walk/roll (5K or 1 mile) fundraiser. Our goals are to have fun and raise money to support our awesome Jewish community in mid-Missouri.

See the information about registration fee options and fundraising here:

Much is new about this year’s Schlep, including:

  • A marked course. Our Schleppers in Columbia will start out at the Twin Lakes Pavilion*, jaunt around the lake, go through the scenic Forum Nature Preserve (5K only), and finish back at Twin Lakes Pavilion.
  • A virtual option is also available.
  • Discounts for students: only $10 for all students through college.
  • Fundraising options: Schleppers can raise money beyond their registration fees. Raising money for CBS is as simple as sending out an email to friends and family.
  • Prizes: Prizes for those who raise funds and finish at the top.

Sign up today – it’ll be a blast!
With questions, contact Paul and Kim at 314-435-3224 or

*Link to Twin Lakes map:,-92.3805473,15z/ /data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x2b163531baf4529b!8m2!3d38.9284148!4d- 92.3805473

Out of the Darkness Walk
On Sunday, October 24th, a CBS team will join the 2021 Out of the Darkness walk, a benefit for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The walk is from 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm at Stephens Lake Park, 2001 E Broadway. Registration begins at 11 am, but it’s also ok to just show up and walk with the group at 1:30 pm – the money raised by our team will go where it needs to go whether we register on-site or not. There will be some inspirational talks and opportunities to pick up t-shirts (for teams that raise $150 or more).

Here is the link for our team: With questions, contact Kelly Durante at

CBS Book Club
The next CBS Book Club meeting will take place on October 17 at 3 pm.  We will be discussing The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner. The novel is based on true stories of Jewish children hidden during World War II.  Reviews describe it as a beautiful story that testifies to the strength of the mother-child bond and that celebrates hope in even the worst of times.
All are welcome to join.
Desserts for True North
CBS helps True North feed the women and children in their shelter by supplying desserts/snacks once a week. The residents make their own meals and this helps them greatly!

If you can help, plan for around 40-50 people. Drop off the goodies between 9 am and 7pm Thursday through Saturday for the week you sign up. Since they keep their address private (due to the nature of their services) please call ahead and let them know you are on your way: 573.875.1370. Ring the doorbell and tell the staff that you are from CBS, dropping off food for the residents.
Please label your treats with any allergens – dairy, nuts, etc., in case a resident has an allergy.

If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Golden at 314.603.3087 or

Sign up here:!/showSignUp/10c0e4fa4aa23a7fc1-true/14044160

In honor of those who helped with High Holy Days services
Dee Dee Strnad  (L’dor V’dor)

In honor of my virtual aliyah
Steve Weinstein

To Congregation Beth Shalom
Lisa Schwartz

With thanks for the honey bag
Elaine Lending

In memory of Ruben Hakimi
Joan Luterman
Sheri Radman-Iken & Rich Iken

In memory of Gary Oxenhandler’s brother Allan
Sheri Radman-Iken & Rich Iken

Speedy recovery for Leah Cohn
Joan Luterman

In honor of the membership committee, and thanks for the honey bag
Bryony & Robert MacGregor (RDF)

Donations to CBS are a good way to remember or honor people and special life events. Your gift can be directed to the CBS general fund, the rabbi’s discretionary fund (RDF), the library, the Sasha Yelon book fund or the school scholarship fund.

Send a check to CBS, 500 W Green Meadows Rd, Columbia 65203, with a note with details about honorees and where you’d like the notification sent. We’ll send a handwritten card as you direct.

Tell & Kvell!
Have you received an award or a promotion, welcomed a new child to your family, or otherwise have reason to kvell? Share your good news with your CBS friends. Send an email to Mary at to include in eShalom.