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            I am Tsilya, daughter of Yitzhar, wife of Aaron, the High Priest, mother of my Lost Boys, Nadav and Avihu. You will not read my name in the Great Scroll of the Torah-Teaching; no; my name has been lost in darkness, for I spent my days mourning for my boys, my sons, Nadav and Avihu, who died blamelessly, for their mistake before the Most High.


That day, the Great Day of Coronation and Dedication of the Altar through Sacrifice, had begun so favorably, so full of promise for the future—I was exhausted, as usual, but running all about, as I had to, caring for our children; we had many—not just the four boys, but our three daughters; you will never read their stories, either. .


Girls do not count; why should they? They cannot learn the Laws of the Hidden One, He Who Dwells in Smoke and Thunder. We women-folk are more quietly learned; we know the ways of the Earth-Mother, the Shechinah, the Old Goddess of Grains, and Fruits, and the Cycles of Seasons. We are the ones who cook, and bake, and sew; we bring Life to Being. We are kept from the Learning of the Scrolls, but we have our own Hidden Knowledge, unknown to the Men, who believe they know everything—but they are fools, in so many ways! And now, their so-called wisdom has taken away my sons, my babies, from me….


            As I said… it began in triumph. My boys, my boys—Nadav and Avihu—they were anxious, though eager to serve God; they were nervous. Their father Aaron had instructed them; Moses, their uncle, had drilled them, over and over and over: so many details! So many ingredients! This, to make up the Holy Incense; That, to measure out the Sacred Oil—and of course, how to examine the carcass of a Beast to judge it fit for a sacrifice. Only perfect cattle could be offered to the LORD GOD.


I know my boys so well—and, naturally, they were overwhelmed. I had laid out all of their garments, so carefully, so lovingly, the night before. I was their mother! Who should know better than I, who raised them? But, so quick-and-hurried are the Ways of Men, and of Priests, and Levites, that they yanked at their robes, and pulled at their holy shirts (which might have torn, had I not thought beforehand, and used the extra-strong Thread)—


They were out the door, before I could gather my three beautiful Daughters, and bring them along, too—


In hopes that, perhaps the girls, too, might gain a fraction, just a small, tiny portion of the Glory thereunto pertaining to their Famous Brothers—I hurried them along, but they were hard to hurry; they ran along, finally, giggling and whispering—but then, I heard the silver horns of the Tent-of-Meeting sounding a sennet, and the earthier tones of the shofarote, the rams’ horns, summoning the People, in the distance. I heard, and saw, the assembled multitudes of the Israelite Tribes cheering—


But, as I finally, desperately, snatched up my youngest, my dark-eyed, sweet, four-year-old Ariela, who was laughing and turning her head away from her Mother’s kisses, I rushed for the door of the tent—


And there, there he stood: my Husband, my Aaron. Where was his Splendor? His Golden Headband, with its Golden Words, “Holiness to the Lord”? Instead, he stood there, his royal, priestly robes bedraggled, torn, and trembling. He did not—look at me. I gave Ariela to her sister Noa, to hold—the Little One wailed a bit, upon seeing her father, distressed, and fell silent—and then, I  approached him, slowly; he looked—strange.


“How is it with you, My Husband Aaron, My Lord?” I asked him.


He stood, stock-still. I took him by his priestly shoulders and shook him:


“Aaron! It is I, Tsilya, your Wife and Helpmeet-Partner, who speaks to you!”


He blinked, and looked down at me—and rasped; a throaty noise came from his lips, as if he had been drained of all juice in his body; as if he had become a piece of wood himself, like those piney chips he burns atop the Altar-Flame. He wiped a sooty hand across his lips, opened his mouth, and—


“Dead,” he croaked.


“Dead cows? Dead goats?” I asked, “Why do you speak to me of sacrificial beasts?”


“No. Dead—“ he rasped.


I then realized. Slowly. But did not wish to.


“Aaron,” I said, and the words stuck in my throat, “Aaron. Where are my boys? Where are Nadav and Avihu? And Elazar and Itamar, my younger sons?”


“Nadav and Avihu,” he muttered, more to himself than to me, “are struck down—by the Hand of the Invisible One. They—“


Each word of his echoed in my ears, and tore a hole into my Mother’s heart. Nadav? Avihu? Dead? But I just saw them leave; they were going—were going—


“How? Why?” I said.


“They made a mistake,” he said, “Strange fire. They did something wrong; I cannot tell. The smoke—the fire—the clouds, all black—I could not see. They disappeared into the darkness—there was a lightning-bolt, an explosion—and then, I saw: they were lying there. Gone—gone, gone….”


“I saw it happen,” came a voice, a strong, deep one.


I looked, and saw Moses—my brother-in-law, the Spokesman for our G-d—his G-d, at least. No more mine.


“It was harsh, but justified,” he said to me—Moses, that is—“Your boys were wrong, in what they did. They did not follow my—that is, God’s—instructions. When a priest wields the Sacred Fire, he must do so correctly, strictly according to Torah, or God knows what might happen. As it did. And they are dead. I am sorry, Tsilya, but the ways of God are just! Amen; Selah.”


“God knows, and—God—is—just—” I croaked, legs suddenly numb, so that I slumped to the ground, there in the dust before my-husband-my-lord and his-brother-the- Spokesman, “God may know, but I—but I….”


I lay there, and wept. The men left, as men do who know not what to say. My daughters gathered ‘round, and we cried together, for my poor, dead, Lost Boys….


Why? What did they do? Tell me God what did they ever do to You? You Who claim to love us so….


…And that is why I left the Camp, and stay in this tent, this Black Goatskin Tent, outside the Camp Boundaries. I mourn; I pile dust upon my head; no one comes to visit me, but—Bless Her! Miriam. She is my solace.


My brother Korach has also been by:


“There is no Justice, and no Judge,” he whispers, through the closed tent door, and, “You will be avenged, my Shadow, my Sister, my Tsilya.”


Miriam does not agree. She weeps without; I weep within. We mourn my Boys together.


I still do not know exactly what they did wrong.


They were so young. Why must the Young die because of the Instructions of the Old?


O Shechinah, Earth-Goddess-Mother! Help me to return to my People; help me to believe, again….


OUR RABBI - David Hartley Mark

WATCH RABBI MARK , To Life, L'Chaim #217 - Rabbi David Mark (You Tube)

Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Rabbi David Hartley Mark was born in New York City, and grew up on the Lower East Side, that legendary Jewish immigrant neighborhood, attending Hebrew Day School. He was first from his school, the East Side Torah Center, to attend Yeshiva University High School for Boys—Manhattan. David attended Yeshiva University, where he attained a BA in English Literature, a BS in Bible and Jewish Education, and a Hebrew Teacher’s Diploma (HTD). He spent his third year of college at Bar Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel, where he developed a fluency in Hebrew, and toured around the country. He has also attained a Certificate in Advanced Jewish School Administration from the Hebrew College in Brookline, MA.

David attended the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he earned an MA degree from Queens College, as well as an M.Phil. degree, majoring in 17th Century English, specializing in the work of John Milton, as well as the Romantic Poets. A year teaching Hebrew School in a Reform temple in Brooklyn convinced him of his great love of Judaism, and he began attending the Academy for Jewish Religion, Yonkers, NY, where he was ordained a rabbi in 1980.


He met Anbeth, who was hired as temple secretary the same day he was hired to teach. They were married in 1978. They have two grown children, Tyler and Jordan, as well as a grandson, Aidan.


Rabbi Mark served pulpits in Warren, NJ, Fayetteville, NC, and Portsmouth, NH, in which last pulpit he spent 22 years, a record for that state. Seeking warmer climes, as well as closer family members, he and Anbeth took the pulpit of Temple Sholom in 2009. He also fulfilled a lifetime dream of teaching English at Keiser University in Ft. Lauderdale.  


OUR CANTOR - Javier Smolarz

Cantor Javier Smolarz

Cantor Smolarz comes to us originally from Argentina and via Congregations in various U.S. localities, joining Temple Sholom in September of 2018, where he has been wholeheartedly embraced by the Congregation.  His strong beautiful singing voice is coupled with a great sense of presence and decorum, but with a warm welcoming demeanor - all of which enhances our morning minyans and shabbat and holiday services.



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Shabbat Services April 3, 2020
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Shabbat Service February 21, 2020
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Video December 27, 2019 Shabbat Services
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At Temple Sholom, congregants join together to celebrate our faith in a warm, comfortable and supportive environment, where all are welcome.

    We are a modern, egalitarian congregation, and encourage full participation by women in synagogue life, as well as offer full access to Jewish worship and religious experience for all of our members. At the same time, we cherish our Jewish traditions, and work to preserve them as a precious legacy for ourselves and our children.

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Our Czech Torah - Holocaust Memorial Scroll

The Torah was shipped in 1989 following a request from Malcolm Black who was the President at that time. The Torah is about 200 years old and comes from Mlada Boleslav, a town in the Czech Republic.

Mon, April 12 2021 30 Nisan 5781