1545 Bushkill Street
Easton, PA 18042
Phone: (610) 258-5343
Fax: (610) 330-9100
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Service Schedule

Thursday, 7:25 am
Minyan

Friday, 8:00 pm
Shabbat Evening Services

Saturday, 9:30 am
Shabbat Morning Services

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Bnai Abraham

Jewish WeddingFrom weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs to business functions and lectures, our facility is a great setting and location for your special occasion.
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BAS Office Hours

Synagogue office is closed on Mondays and Fridays. Hours open: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Bulletin Distribution

We are going green and
encourage bulletin distribution through email. We will also communicate emer-gencies and special events through email.
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If you would like family members or others to receive a copy of the bulletin, please send name, address, and $15 payment to Elaine at Bnai Abraham.

Religious School

BAS Religious School welcomes all children ages 1-8th grade to enrolll in 2009-2010 program. Everyone is welcome.
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BAS Rabbi's Message

February, 2013

A Jew, the old joke goes, is shipwrecked on a deserted island. Years go by until one day a passing vessel spots his outpost. The crew takes time to inspect the Jew’s creativity; from the few supplies on the island, he has created for himself a surprisingly comfortable life. He lives in a wellappointed house, has built a small swimming pool, and even a sauna. One detail, though, perplexed the crew: near the house stood two buildings, both adorned at the top with branches tied to form a Star of David. A daring member of the crew inquired, “Why, sir, have you built two synagogues?” “Oh,” said the Jew, “Obviously you are not of the faith of Abraham. That building over there, you see, is my synagogue. The other building, well, that shul I wouldn’t set foot in.”

Recently, while on a cruise vacation, Dena and I saw this same joke acted out in real life. Among the activities listed for Friday evening was a “self-led Shabbat service.” As we walked the stairs to the chapel, I asked Dena if this could be a non-disclose event—we had agreed to talk about my profession only in certain situations, because inevitably, it changes the mood and the conversation. She agreed, and we both went curious to see how the service would unfold.

Our ship had sailed from Manhattan, and we discovered that there was a good number of Jews on board. By the time we arrived at the designated area, the chapel was filled with Jewish men and women, engaged in discussion: who shall lead services. Eventually, a well-educated woman announced that she would give it her best shot, and she led admirably well. As this conversation unfolded, a second group of Jews was equally visible. Like their compatriots gathered for prayer, this group was dressed in the cruisecasual dress code of chinos and button-down oxford shirts but with two clear differences. First, this group was made almost entirely of men. And, second, perched on each man’s head was not the cruise-provided black nylon yarmulke, but, instead, a well-worn baseball cap; they were dressed in the away uniform of the modern Orthodox. Each man glanced into the chapel, saw a woman leading prayer, and uncomfortably moved off to the side. This process continued until enough men gathered to form their own minyan, which they did in the room next door.

Both services—the progressive and the orthodox—followed roughly the same order; both ended at about the same time. Each group made the other uncomfortable, and, while everyone in their own service wished their new friends “Shabbat Shalom” or “Good Shabbos,” few made the extra effort to visit “the shul I don’t go to” to wish their fellow Jews a “Shabbat Shalom.”

I left the service(s) rather bemused. Jews represent less than two percent of the world’s population, and yet we manage to create divisions within our ranks at a time when we should be creating unity. While perhaps this trend is limited to cruise ships, my suspicion is that we have the ability to create divisions in most circumstances. The challenge for us, as a community and as a people, is to overcome this impulse. We, as a people, stand for something greater than our own individual convictions. While we must cherish those things in our shul, which we hold dear, we must not be unwilling to cross boundaries, lest we be reduced to a joke.

This month, as we prepare for Purim, let us strive to remember that, first and foremost, we are a part of a people; it is as a collective that Judaism has survived in the past, and our future survival depends on that ecumenical spirit.

Rabbi Daniel Stein