Welcome to Temple Beth Sholom 

433 Edgewood Ave, Smithtown, NY 11788

Tel: (631)724-0424


  Founded in 1956, Temple Beth Sholom of Smithtown is a progressive Conservative congregation where men and women enjoy equal rights in all areas of  synagogue and ritual life.


  We are delighted to have you join with us at our services led by Rabbi Waxman. Weekly services are Friday evenings at 8PM and Saturday mornings at 10AM.


  Interfaith families are always welcome.

Enrollment is still open for Membership Renewal and for New Members. For information regarding membership benefits and new programs planned for 2012-2013 call the TBS office at (631) 724-0424.  Information about new rates will be available soon.


See info about our Recent Events & Activities by

clicking on the Events pulldown at the top of this




Sisterhood Activities


For a complete schedule, check the Sisterhood portion of the "Our Community" pulldown Menu at the top of this page!



SCRIP:  Help TBS with its fundraising!

Everyone shops for food, clothing, gas, home items.  Everyone goes out to eat from time to time, or to the movies, or other types of family fun.
Purchase SCRIP cards and help the Temple with fundraising. 

Contact Lysa Selli   aka@92460@aol.com  to place an order. 
All checks are made payable to Sisterhood and mailed directly to the Temple: 433 Edgewood Ave., Smithtown, NY 11787

An order form is available through the following link:


Adobe Reader which can be used to read this file format may be obtained by using this link:



Temple Book Club

The TBS Bookclub will be meeting on Sunday morning, September 28 10:30 AM at the home of Richard & Bina Firestone: 48 Rockledge Path, Port Jefferson, NY

RSVP to the Firestones: 474-1344. This month's selection is "God's Ear" by Rhoda Lerman.


Here is a description:

From Publishers Weekly

Like a Chagall painting translated to print, this passionate, hilarious, God-infused novel centers on Yussell Fetner, Hasidic rabbi turned rich insurance salesman. His clients think he has the gift of prophecy, inherited from his rabbi father, whose own prophetic gifts descend directly from King David. Summoned from Far Rockaway to Kansas by his dying father, Yussel finds himself on a journey into the desert to locate an assemblage of three palm trees and a tent, where, the Rabbi announces, God has decreed that Yussel must found his congregation. Yussel explodes: he doesn't want a congregation, especially not in Kansas; he wants to be in Rockaway selling insurance. But he hasn't time to argue becuase his father dies almost at once (though he returns from time to time to guide Yussel in his ascent toward oneness with the Almighty). The incongruities of Talmudic worship in Kansas are further leavened by ribald Yiddishisms, and solemnized by informed reference to Jewish law. The very opposite of a minimalist, Lerman ( The Book of the Night ) proves herself mistress not only of side-splitting one-liners but also of pregnant perceptions about faith and virtue.

Other Reviews of "God's Ear":


After a couple of ambitious but disappointing outings (The Book of the Night, 1984; Eleanor, 1979), Lerman triumphs with the story of a Jewish insurance salesman, conned by his dead father's ghost into ministering to the spiritual needs of a congregation of losers and crazies. Hasidic Rabbi Fetner "lived in a universe in which absolutely everything is God's intention, where there's no coincidence, where an angel stands behind every blade of grass, singing 'Grow, darling, grow.'" His son, Yussel, can't be bothered with all that and lives a comfortable life with his wife and children, selling insurance instead of following the family tradition: he has no intention of sacrificing his life as his father did, opening his home to crazy strangers, his heart to everyone's pain, and his pockets to everyone's needs. But then Rabbi Fetner dies and is punished in the hereafter for unkindness to his wife. As his ghost explains--though he may be lying--he won't be allowed into Heaven until Yussel accepts his rabbinical destiny. In spite of himself, Yussel establishes a religious community in the Colorado desert where--after magically inventive happenings, misadventures with the locals (and with his father's pathetic followers), and much suffering brought on by desire for a beautiful, provocative neighbor--he finds he must defy tradition and look at women in a new light, a discovery which leads him to open his heart and attach himself to God. Lerman effortlessly works an immense amount of Jewish learning and Hasidic lore into a novel that's moving, wise, and very, very funny. Irresistible storytelling.






Rhoda Lerman


Rhoda Lerman is known as a “writers’ writer.” When her first novel Call Me Ishtar was published in 1973 the New York Times termed her “a first novelist of formidable gifts.” Her subsequently critically acclaimed, award-winning novels including The Girl That He Marries, The Book of the Night, God’s Ear, Animal Acts and Eleanor have received remarkable praise from the national and international press. As a speaker and writer, her work has been recognized and honored in India, Tibet, South America, and Europe. She has taught and lectured at major universities, including Ghent, Harvard, Wisconsin, Colorado, Syracuse, Buffalo, and California Institute of the Arts as consultant. She has served the State Department as an AMPART speaker. In 1979 her novel Eleanor, based on years of extensive research, was hailed by critics as “beautiful, elegantly written, true as anything could be. An imaginative success, Lerman brings what has always been a stick figure in history to glowing, aching life.” It is from this novel that Ms. Lerman adapted the play, Eleanor Roosevelt, Her Secret Journey.


Sun, 2014-09-21 10:30 - 12:00

Reflections from Rabbi Waxman

 Machshavot HaRav:
Reflections from Rabbi Waxman
On Becoming  Senior Citizen
Last week I officially became a senior citizen, I may have been a member of AARP for well over a decade, but I now have a Medicare card along with a supplemental insurance card. Welcome to the club.
And yet, I compare myself to how I viewed my parents and grandparents at similar ages. My grandparents were definitely old; my parents much less so, particularly my father who maintained a brutal pace into his 80’s. I look around and see those in their 80’s and 90’s still vital and active. So perhaps I am not yet an old geezer. We Boomers are not ready for our chronological age to dictate our mental outlook.
Even if I miraculously, with the help of modern medicine make it to 120, I am more than half way through my life span. I find myself thinking of “bucket lists”, of things that I want to do; places I want to visit; books that I should read; articles and books I dream of writing before…As for the second list, it is one that at the one that is most compelling: I know of too many people who deferred their dream vacations and trips and never managed to do them. There are vast parts of this country I have yet to visit, let alone many sites around the globe.
Beyond the bucket lists, I discover that it is a time for stock-taking. Some of it deals with the trivial: am I ever going to read this growing stack of magazines or is it time to say dayenu and put them in the recycled bin and vow to stay on top of what comes in now. Some of it is more profound including beginning to reflect on what I want to do with the rest of my life, on what might be my legacy. My grandfather Meyer, beyond having two accomplished children—my aunt was a distinguished economist--, left behind over a dozen volumes plus hundreds of articles which he authored. My father’s literary output was more limited—though there are probably several hundred pieces he wrote for the Temple Israel Light, in addition to other published material---, and yet clearly his impact on the Jewish world and indeed on Jewish relations with the Catholic world endures. So what trace of immortality can I yet acquire and how? A second cookbook? Perhaps. Something more scholarly? Maybe. Much to think about in the months ahead.
But first things first: time to enjoy the discounts that go with being officially a “senior.”
Shabbat shalom.

Chadashot MeYisrael:  News From Israel
Let There Be Electricity

Glass facade buildings may yet be producers of electricity, if the efforts of SolarOr prove fruitful. Israeli electro-optical engineer Oren Aharon concluded that such buildings could be a source of energy.
Currently these glass buildings have glass and air sandwiches, designed to protect the building from the ravages of the elements, while allowing in natural light. Aharon thought that the inner layer of the sandwich could use the sunlight to generate electricity for the building.
The company has created something called BIPV—building-integrated photovoltaic—which is inserted into the air layer between the glass panels in such a way that it produces a significant amount of energy on the one hand, and still permits about 30% of visible light to enter. These BIPV panels also provide heat insulation. SolarOr’s system is designed to bring the electricity into the building via wiring that leads from the panels into the building frame, where a converter will transform the DC energy into AC current.
Chosen last years at an a major alternative energy expo here in the States as an especially promising technology by reporters, SolarOr, which is based in Nesher, in northern Israel, near the Technion, is currently seeking funding to begin producing the panels at Kibbutz Magen located in Israel’s south.
Aharon is confident of success. “We have interest worldwide. China and other countries are waiting to place orders. We applied for patents worldwide and were approved in china, Mexico and Israel. The technology is patent-pending in the US and other countries.”

Payrush LaParshahah:
A Comment on the Weekly Torah Portion
The portion of Aykev (Deuteronomy 7:12-9:3) is read this Saturday, August 16th.
8::2 Remember the long way [Heb. Is Kol Haderechold JPS—“all the way”] that the Lord your God has made you travel in the wilderness these past forty years, that He might test you by hardships to learn what was in your hearts: whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Who remembers “all the way: that the Children of Israel were led in the desert for forty years? It is a new generation—the ex-slaves who came out of Egypt have died, many of these people on the bank of the Jordan are young, born midway through the desert sojourn. They cannot remember “all the way,” since they did no experience it. Can the command be for generations who read this verse millennia later?... (Discussion Question)
The discussion question assumes that the words “all the way” in the instruction must refer either to remembering the entire distance travelled through the wilderness of Sinai, or to remembering the whole time spent there. Rather than looking at it this way, I think this about identifying with the essential formative experiences of the Jewish people. If this is correct, this generation of our ancestors needed to remember because is necessary to the covenantal relationship.
Let me refer back to the book of Shmot [Exodus], in particular to parashat Beshalach, to make my point, There the problem in the way of accomplishing this genuine partnership was the people’s slave mentality, the mentality of a people who had been shaped and formed by their long experience in Egypt.
You asked why all the miracles weren’t enough to secure the people’s faith and why they were not enough to secure their sense of being God’s partners. My point, then, was that real faith, real partnership with God, cannot be established through the experience of miracles alone. Such partnership requires true religious character, and true religious character is built on the way we experience the regular or even ordinary aspects of routine life. As I said then, solid faith is constructed on a whole pattern of living, not on momentary experiences, no matter how dramatic.
Confident that they are God’s partners and that the covenant is real. However, now a new, yet inevitable, obstacle arises for the first time. Recognizing that the entirety of the story from Joseph on shows us God’s intent to build the relationship with the Jewish people on the formative experiences of the Exodus through Sinai, the new problem is what to do about a people who did not undergo these essential experiences themselves. As you point out, they were too young to remember for themselves, or they were not even born yet.
Indeed, for certain this issue was soon to arise anyway. If it weren’t this generation that faced it, then it would have been the next. Every generation of Jews since has had to wrestle with it. How do we who were not there experience those crucial events? This verse is pointing us in the right direction by teaching us that each individual can become part of the collective memory; that by identifying with the formative story, it is as if each individual is part of it remembers it.
Judaism accomplishes this kind of “remembering” in the Pesach Seder with the careful combination of study of the sacred story, use of symbols, and ritual experience. Everything we do that night is designed to help us experience the Exodus individually by tying ourselves into our collective memory… (Rabbi David Sofian, “Ekev: Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25” in Shammai Engelmayer, Joseph Ozarowski, and David M. Sofian, , Common Ground: The Weekly Torah Portion Through the Eyes of a Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform Rabbi, ed. By Steve Lipman, pp.335-336. Rabbi Sofian was ordained by Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. He began his rabbinic career as assistant to Rabbi Stanley Davids at Temple Emanuel in Worcester, MA. He served Temple Shaarai Shomayim in Lancaster, PA from 1980 to 1993, and Emanuel Congregation in Chicago from 1993 to 2003. Since then he has been the rabbi of Temple Israel in Dayton. He is the author of several booklets of teachers’ materials published by Ktav. He owns a home in Modi’in, Israel, and during the summer works with Yozma, the Reform congregation in that community.)


Syndicate content