Welcome to Temple Emanu El. We are a reform congregation conveniently located to encompass the Jewish community in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. Our doors are open to you and your family. Please come join us for Shabbat services, for learning opportunities, for fun and spirituality. We are a family centered congregation and strive to provide opportunities for members of all ages and interests to be meaningfully engaged.
At Temple Emanu El, we believe that learning is life-long. We know that our children are our future, but we also know that our parents and grandparents may want to gain knowledge and insight as well. Our religious school is outstanding with a child-centered approach and an active, participatory learning environment that has been recognized nationally. Our students are active in youth group, activities, camp and family retreats. Our pre-school is a warm and nurturing environment for our little ones. And for the adult learner, we have much to offer. Whether you love to cook, have a passion for music, are an avid reader or enjoy Torah discussion, we have a spot for you.
We strive to be your Jewish home away from home. Come visit us and find out more.
Judy Uram, President
What it is, What it ain’t.
The term “Tikkun Olam” is bandied from the Bema, in the Halls of Congress and by the unhinged, aging and amoral Ezra Goldman, played by Elliot Gould on Showtime’s series, “Ray Donovan.” Whenever a Hebrew term becomes this popular it is, inevitably, misused. Here is your incomplete corrective:
Tikkun has to do with putting something in order, completing, repairing or straightening it out. “That which is crooked cannot be l’tkon (straightened)” Ecclesiastes 1:15. Or as Ecclesiastes says of himself (12:9); he tekain (organized) many proverbs.” Nachmanides’ and others use “tikkun olam” as the justification for interpreting a law to make it more realistic and observable (ad loc Leviticus 25:5). A takkanah is a significant legislative act or correction in Halakah. Olam, minimally, means the world in which we live. Its greater meaning is the universe of earth and sky and maximally, infinity of time and space - this world as well as the heavenly realm.
In a full reading of Aleinu we say: “l’takain olam b’Malchut Shaddai” – to repair the world in the Rulership of God – which became part of our liturgy no later than 9th Century CE Babylonia, thanks to Rav Amram Gaon. It is associated with the closing verse of Aleinu, Zechariah 14:9 “… on that day God will be One…” In this context, tikkun olam is an illiberal concept suggesting that the world will be perfect when everyone worships God as we do.
In Jewish mysticism, tikkun olam has the metaphysical meaning of gathering the sparks of light that went forth during creation. For the mystic, this light is gathered whenever we do mitzvot, ritual or ethical. When the light has been re-united, the universe will have been repaired. This mystical influence is seen in the customs of gathering the light of Shabbat candles to the eyes, and the chanting of “Or zarua la’tzadik” – Light is sown for the righteous - as we take up the Torah scrolls in preparation for Kol Nidre.
By the early 20th Century, North American Jewry took up Jeremiah’s instruction (29:7) that we work for the welfare of the cities to which we have been exiled. Jewish leaders and individuals became engaged in many social and political causes. Enhanced by involvement in the mid-century civil rights and anti-war movements, so called ‘Social Action,’ became a hallmark of Reform Judaism. This broadened into a wide political agenda that was, eventually, bannered under the re-adopted Hebrew term of Tikkun Olam.
Unfortunately, Tikkun Olam has, in some quarters, been identified with a particular political party or outlook. This is an error. Tikkun Olam is the effort to perfect God’s creation, making the world a place that is more shalem – whole in every respect. And, although we may differ on how to get there, we are engaged in tikkun olam whenever we take action, ritual, ethical or political, that makes us better people, improves our congregations, relieves suffering or enhances justice.
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Saturday, September 20 ~ Selichot ~ 6:30 pm
Join us for an Israeli style dinner catered by Aladdin's ($20/person) followed by a video & discussion at 7:30 pm, dessert reception and Selichot service at 9:00 pm. RSVP to Renee Higer at 216/454-1209.
Sunday, September 28 ~ Annual Memorial Service ~ 2:00 pm
The Annual Memorial Service will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery Chapel at 26200 Aurora Road in Bedford Heights.
Sunday, October 5 ~ Family Fall Festival & Sukkah Building ~ 10:00 am - noon
Wednesday, October 8 ~ Sukkot Service ~ 7:00 pm
Join us to celebrate Sukkot
Friday, October 10 ~ Camp Reunion Shabbat ~ 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 12 ~ Sukkot Open House ~ 1:00 - 5:00 pm
Rabbi & Lisa Denker invite you for a visit and nosh in their sukkah at their home, 32675 Burlwood, Solon.