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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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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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

May, 2014

For several years, I have been captivated by a particular statement of Gandhi about non violence: "My nonviolence does admit of people, who cannot or will not be nonviolent, holding and making effective use of arms. Let me repeat for the thousandth time that nonviolence is of the strongest, not of the weak.”

What amazes me about this is that, despite Gandhi's utter and complete devotion to his principles of non-violence, he realized that--in his higherarchy--it was worse to be a coward than to be violent. If one could not learn how to be assertive through the non-violent ideal, violence was permitted to him as a means of fighting cowardice. The ideal, of course, was to be non-violent. But Gandhi realized that not everyone was courageous enough to take that path. In other words, his greatest value was human dignity, and that--for its sake--his deeply held conviction in non-violence could be set aside.

I've thought about this a good deal as a Rabbi. What are our most deeply held convictions?
Do they fall in the realm of Jewish observance (Shabbat, kashruth, festivals)? Are they
social values (human dignity, promoting the social welfare)? Do they concern issues of
peoplehood and continuity (raising Jewish families)? Or do they fall more broadly into the
realm if faith and spirituality--say, for instance, a belief in divine providence? When these
convictions fall into conflict--as they often do--which priority do we choose. If, say, an
impoverished person comes to the synagogue on the Sabbath, do we refrain from offering
tzdeakah because we privilege Sabbath observance over social welfare? Are there
occasions when we should privilege continuity and peoplehood over human dignity--how
tight should the gates to our community be? And is there a value that trumps even our
greatest held convictions--are we willing to set aside almost everything--as Gandhi was--
for a particular value?

I deeply value Jewish observance. And yet, if observing Judaism is going to cause people
pain and suffering--if it is going to alienate them from Judaism--we should acknowledge
that pain, and perhaps even set aside aspects of Judaism for those individuals. And yet, at
the same time, I believe that we should acknowledge, with a degree of humility, that
perhaps the problems we have with the faith belong not to the religion, but with ourselves.
Perhaps we have not sufficiently struggled to understand what our faith and our God were
trying to teach us. Perhaps only a very few of us will be able to be, in Gandhi’s words,
among the "strongest" those who are able to make all of Judaism meaningful and relevant.
The rest of us are left to struggle towards strength--to acknowledge that we are on a
journey. The path encourages us to hold on to that which we find meaningful, and to set
aside those things which we cannot accomplish without bitterness or malice.

Best wishes for a meaningful month,

Rabbi Stein