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.



Need a place to worship for this year’s
welcomes you back!
Our doors are open…
We have weekly services
An active adult education class
A Book Club
Shabbatone dinners throughout the year
And inexpensive dues!
Membership for the entire family is
and your High Holiday seats are included!
Please join us for our Shabbatone dinners
Friday, August 7th
Friday, August 28th
Call the Temple office for more information: 724-0424
Email info: office@tbsofs.org












Saturday, Sept 26 at 8 pm 


Book Selection:


The Lady in Gold


by: Anna Marie O'Connor


 We will meet at the Rabbi's Residence

 at: 2 Twixt Hills Rd., Smithtown, NY 11787

Contact  the Rabbi at Rabbi@tbsofs.org 




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 Saturday evening, Sept. 26 8 PM at the Rabbi's residence, 2 Twixt Hills Rd. Smithtown, NY.

RSVP to the Temple: (631)724-0424. This month's selection is "The Lady in Gold" by Anne-Marie O'Connor.

Here is a description:

This is the story of Adele Bloch-Bauer and Gustav Klimt's portraits of her in fin de siècle Vienna, which were looted by the Nazis, taken by Austria, and returned to Bloch-Bauer's heirs in the 21st century.

The book captures the richness and liveliness of the lives of wealthy and cultured Jews of Vienna,as O'Connor calls it, the "equivalent of a 1960s happening." The cast of characters wandering through the story includes Arnold Schoenberg, Alma Mahler, Gustav Mahler, Oskar Kokoschka and even Freud. Bloch-Bauer, the self-proclaimed atheist and socialist resides in the middle of this privileged life smoking cigarettes and spending long periods posing for Klimt. The exquisite painting, The Lady in Gold was created in those sittings.

This Utopia is shattered by Hitler's march into Vienna and although both Klimt and Adele are dead, their friends and relatives are confronted with a dystopia no one could imagine. As various Bloch-Bauer relatives are escaping, hiding or dying, the Nazis are looting massive amounts of art, homes, businesses and personal possessions, including The Lady In Gold.

Adele's niece, Maria Altmann, comes onto the scene as a Holocaust survivor from Vienna, a dress shop owner in Beverly Hills and one of the real heirs to the Klimt paintings. Next, Randol Shoenberg enters the picture as Maria Altmann's lawyer who fights to get the paintings returned. Skillful writing makes the transition from cultured and wealthy Vienna, to the Holocaust, to new life in California surprisingly smooth and it seems perfectly natural that another generation of Schoenbergs and Bloch-Bauers from another country and another century figure into this well researched history.



Contributor to the Washington Post Anne-Marie O’Connor brilliantly regales us with the galvanizing story of Gustav Klimt’s 1907 masterpiece—the breathtaking portrait of a Viennese Jewish socialite, Adele Bloch-Bauer. The celebrated painting, stolen by Nazis during World War II, subsequently became the subject of a decade-long dispute between her heirs and the Austrian government.

When the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the case, its decision had profound ramifications in the art world. Expertly researched, masterfully told, The Lady in Gold is at once a stunning depiction of fin-de siècle Vienna, a riveting tale of Nazi war crimes, and a fascinating glimpse into the high-stakes workings of the contemporary art world.

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Huffington PostThe Christian Science Monitor.  
Winner of the Marfield National Award for Arts Writing. Winner of a California Book Award.



Anne-Marie O'Connor


Anne-Marie O'Connor is a veteran foreign correspondent, culture writer and former war reporter who has covered everything from post-Soviet Cuba to American artists and intellectuals. O'Connor attended Vassar and the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, where she and fellow students co-created an award-winning documentary on the repression of mural artists after the 1973 military coup in Chile. She covered the wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala as a Reuters bureau chief in Central America; the Shining Path guerrillas in Peru, coups in Haiti and U.S. interventions in Haiti and Panama; and covered Cuba and Haiti for a newspaper chain. At the Los Angeles Times she chronicled the violence of Mexico's Arellano-Felix drug cartel, U.S. political convention; and profiled such figures as Nelson Mandela, George Soros, Joan Didion, John McCain, and Maya Lin. Her story on Maria Altmann's effort to recover the family Klimt collection appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine in 2001. She has written for Esquire, The Nation, and The Christian Science Monitor. She currently contributes to The Washington Post from Jerusalem.​


Sat, 2015-09-26 20:00 - 21:30

Reflections from Rabbi Waxman

 Machshavot HaRav:
Reflections from Rabbi Waxman

A Sense of the Holy: The 9/11 Memorial Interfaith Service


Last Friday, I had the privilege of being one of a few hundred religious leaders to be present for the special service for peace held at the 9/11 Memorial with Pope Francis. Given that people without tickets to the event lined the nearby streets beginning before dawn to get a glimpse of the pontiff, that I was within the same space as he was---the service, as you might have seen on television,  was held in the cavernous lower level of the museum—was a special honor.


It was clear from the program and from the remarks offered by Pope Francis and from the leaders of other faiths that it was a concerted effort to be embracive. The sensitivity demonstrated by Catholic leadership was remarkable: the absence of Christology, indeed of any references to Jesus, was amazing. God language was used, but it was bereft of the usual Trinitarian concepts that one might have expected from the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The English prayer that the pontiff read, as well as his remarks—which were in Spanish (we had ear pieces to listen to a translation)—were universal in nature.


Aside from the papal remarks, what was noticeable was centrality of the Jewish role. True, religious leaders of many faiths had their moments, such as the Greek Orthodox prelate who read the Beatitudes in Greek or the Hindu leaders who offered a prayer first in Sanskrit and then in English, but in this inter-faith setting, Jews had a role perhaps second only to that of the Catholic Church. Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of the Park Avenue Synagogue in conjunction with Imam Khalid Latif offered words of introduction. Intriguingly, my colleague cited Saint Francis in his remarks, along with citing the Hebrew prophets in Hebrew and English. And then later, Cantor Azi Schwartz, also of the Park Avenue Synagogue,  not only chanted El Malay Rachamim, the memorial prayer, which was made more puissant because the sound echoed off the walls of the chamber, but he added a short prayer for peace—which he universalized-- Oseh Shalom. It was touching that so many present, not only the Jews, knew the verse and were able to lift their voices in this hope for peace.  And the program concluded with a children’s choir signing a prayer for peace. Incredibly moving.


To have been there in that space with all the other religious leaders was to be for a few moments to be in a Makom Kadosh, a holy place, sanctified by the presence and prayers of those there and of the tragic event of 14 years ago.


Let me conclude by sharing some of the pontiff’s remarks.


A few moments ago I met some of the families of the fallen first responders. Meeting them made me see once again how acts of destruction are never impersonal, abstract or merely material. They always have a face, a concrete story, and names. In those family members, we see the face of pain, a pain which still touches us and cries out to heaven.


At the same time, those family members showed me the other face of this attack, the other face of their grief: the power of love and remembrance. A remembrance that does not leave us empty and withdrawn. The name of so many loved ones are written around the towers’ footprints. We can see them, we can touch them, and we can never forget them.


Here, amid pain and grief, we also have a palpable sense of the heroic goodness which people are capable of, those hidden reserves of strength from which we can draw. In the depths of pain and suffering, you also witnessed the heights of generosity and service.


To which we can only add our “amen.”


Shabbat shalom v’chag sameach.





Chadashot MeYisrael:  News From Israel


A Non-Pharmaceutical Approach to Mental Disorders


An Israeli company has created a helmet that the US Navy will begin using. But it is not for everyday use. Rather it is a treatment mechanism to deal with major depressive disorders.


Brainsway deep TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) helmets employ magnetic pulse energy similar to MRI to stimulate deep structures of the brain and regulate their electrical activity. The system has been used in Europe for treating a wide variety of brain related problems ranging from bipolar disorder to major depression to schizophrenia, as well as stroke rehabilitation and various forms of addiction. Currently, the company has 3 different kinds of helmets, each of which can have its outputs adjusted to deal with specific patients. A 20 minute daily non-invasive session is the standard protocol for most of the patients.


In 2013, the FDA granted approval for its use in patients who have failed to respond to anti-depressant medications. The adoption by the US Navy is but the latest feather in the cap of the Israeli company. The company hopes that its adoption by the American Navy will open more doors in the US market.


The core technology was developed by two Israeli scientists in the late 1990’s and Brainsway was established in 2003. Its COO, Ronen Segal, previously worked for the Israeli Navy on a state-of the art submarine data communication system.





Payrush LaParshahah:

 A Comment on the Weekly Torah Portion


The Torah reading for the Shabbat of Sukkot (October 3rd) is Exodus 33:12-34:26.


34:1 The Lord said to Moses: “Carve [Pesal]  two tablets of stone like the first, and I will inscribe upon the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you shattered.


…Why is the word “pesal” used? The verb “pesal” means “to hew,” and the noun “pesel” means “idol.” Why associate the word “idol,” in any of its forms, with the building of the holy tablets, tablets on which god’s word was to be inscribed, especially since Moses had broken the tablets in response to the building of an idol, the golden calf? Wouldn’t another word make more sense? A word having no association with the theme of idolatry? What about the word, “chatzov” which also means “to hew”?


What about the word, “asah” (to make), as in “Make yourself two tablets of stone? ”What about the word, “banah” (to build), as in “Build yourself two tablets of stone?” Surely these words would be more fitting. Or would they?


With these words in mind, I closely reread the story of the golden calf. It is interesting, ironic even, that the words used in the story of the golden calf are “asah” (to make), as in ‘aseh lanu elohim´(“make us a god”) and “banah” (to build) as in “vayevin mizbeach” (“and he (Aaron) built an altar”)> Also interesting is that, in the story of the golden calf, the words, “pesael/pesel/pesalim” (hew, idol, idols) are never used. Perhaps, then, the choice of the word “pesal” (“to hew”) in reference to the tablets was purposeful, in that the words used to describe the golden calf were rejected for this holy activity of rebuilding the tablets. It makes sense to use a different verb to distinguish between the building of the golden calf and the hewing of the two tablets of stone for the second set of commandments… (Rabbi Elana Zaiman, “Ki Thisaa” in Harriet Helfand, Lee M. Hendler, Judy Meltzer, and Larry Shuman, eds., Find Yourself a Teacher, Asay L’chah Rav: A Cycle of Divrei Torah Celebrating Rabbi Joel H. Zaiman’s 20th Anniversary at Chizuk Amuno Congregation, pp. 94-95. Rabbi Elana Zaiman is the daughter of Rabbi Joel Zaiman. She is a graduate of George Washington University and has a MSW from Columbia’s School of Social Work. She was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1993. Since then she has served as Assistant Rabbi at the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan, as program associate and associate scholar-in-residence at Brandeis-Bardin Institute in California, as interim rabbi for Beth Shalom in Seattle, as visiting rabbi in communities in Albert and Eastern Washington, and as the chaplain for the aged at The Caroline Kline Galland Home in Seattle. Currently she serves as the chaplain for the aged at the Summit at First Hill in Seattle, as well a motivational speaker and scholar-in-residence on topics such as forgiveness, healing, vulnerability and compassion. She has published essays and fiction in a wide variety of magazines and journals. She is also a contributor to The Women’s Torah Commentary.)





The Torah reading for Shemini Atzeret (October 5th) is Deuteronomy 14:22- 16:17.

16:14 You shall rejoice in your festival, with your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow in your communities.

16:14 You shall rejoice in your festival. You should rejoice with all manner of rejoicing. On the basis of this they said that a person is obligated to rejoice his sons and the members of his household because of the pilgrimage festival. How so? One rejoices with wine. Rabbi Judah ben Betayra says at the time that the Temple stood there was no “rejoicing” without meat as it is said “you shall sacrifice there offerings of well-being and eat them, rejoicing before the Lord your God.” (Dt. 27:7). Now there is no “rejoicing” but with wine as it is said, “wine rejoices the heart of man.” (Psalms 104:15).  Our Rabbis taught: a person is obligated to rejoice his family members on the pilgrimage festival as it is said, “you shall rejoice in your festival: you, your son and your daughter.” And how does one rejoice? Rabbi Judah says: men with what is appropriate for them and women with what is appropriate for them. For men what is appropriate is wine. For women what is appropriate for them? Rabbi Joseph taught that in Babylonia it was with colored garments; in the land of Israel it was with pressed linen. And [as for] children, one gives them roasted food, nuts, and sweets. And when he eats and drink he is obligated to provide food and drink to the poor, to the depressed as it is said, “you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maidservant, and the Levite within your gate.”… (Solomon Fisch, ed., Midrash HaGadol: D’varim.  Midrash HaGadol is a compilation of the non-legal material of both the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds with the addition of material found in early Midrashim. It also includes quotations from Maimonides, the Targumim [the Aramaic translations], and Kabbalistic writing. Of Yemenite origin, it was unknown in the West until the 19th century. Solomon Schechter was the first to publish an edited version of a portion of the work, issuing the volume on Genesis in 1902. It had been theorized by Fisch that the original was written in Arabic by the son of Maimonides and then translated into Hebrew by a Yemenite scholar. Current scholarship posits that it was the work of the 14th century Yemenite rabbi, David bar Amram al-Adeni.)






The final portion of the Torah, Vezot HaBerachah (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12) is read on Simchat Torah, along with Genesis 1:1-2:3 (and a maftir portion, Numbers 29:35-30:1)


33:23 And of Naphtali he said: O Naphtali, sated with favor/ And full of the Lord’s blessing/ Take possession on the west and on the south.


Rabbi Joseph the Frenchman said: the end of this verse returns to its beginning, that is to say: even though it fell into his portion the west [literally “the sea”] and the south, and not fertile and verdant land, nonetheless Naphtali was satisfied [with his lot]. He rejoiced in his fate and was happy about his portion as he had the “blessing of the Lord.”  For no person has a greater gift from God and blessing than the one who finds pleasure in his burden and is joyful about his work. (Brought in Mordechai HaKohen, Ahl HaTorah. The most likely candidate is Rabbi Joseph ben Isaac Bekhor Shor, who lived in the 2nd half of the 12th century. He was a French commentator on the Torah and one of the Tosafists, the super-commentators on Rashi’s commentary on the Talmud. The name “Bekhor Shor” is a reference to Deut. 33:17 where Joseph is described as “Bekhor Shoro, a firstling bull.” He is identical to Joseph ben Isaac of Orleans. His biblical commentary is known for its hewing close to the Peshat, to the literal meaning of the text. Apparently, he was familiar with the Latin translation of the Bible and Jerome’s commentary. Over a half a dozen of his liturgical poems, Selichot, have been published.)






What appeared a week ago to be an excellent forecast for Sukkot--pleasantly warm weather without precipitation--has apparently morphed into wet and windy with the threat of a hurricane greeting us early next week, as we conclude the festival. The rain and wind may alter plans to gather in the sukkah, but it should not diminish plans to join together to celebrate. The TBS Sisters will be having their inaugural event this evening (Thursday, October 1st), even if the rain prevents entry into the sukkah, and the other services and meals will go on as planned. I strongly urge you to join us for services this coming weekend:  Friday at the “rabbinage” with Kiddush in the sukkah, weather permitting; services Shabbat morning fin the sanctuary ollowed by lunch, also in the Sukkah; and for Shemini Atzeret and Yizkor on Monday morning also in the sanctuary.



Syndicate content