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Haazinu: An Adaptation for 2023


By Rabbi David Hartley Mark


                                      Blossom, O Heavens, as I invoke,

                                      Let the round Earth attend to my saga;

                                      We laud the LORD, Maker of Heaven and Earth—

                                      Of all of our lives, He is Author.

                                      We mortals are human, and oft miss the mark,

                                      We fail when attempting endeavor:

                                      It is our God’s duty to discern in us Right,

                                      And teach us that sin cannot prosper.


We can blame the Almighty for all that goes wrong,

                                      We can lay our shortcomings before Him—

                                      Accuse Him of setting a snare to entrap us,

                                      Or placing before us temptation.

God grants all free will and free life and free choice:

                                      God formed human beings, not robots.

                                      But bind your free will to responsibility,

                                      Not grabbing at gratification.


                                      We Israelites claim to be Chosen, in truth;

                                      The world looks upon us as models,

                                      And, when a Jew errs, they must swift make it good,

                                      For their sin reflects on our People.


                                      While those of us blessed with high station in life

                                      Must accept that this comes with constraining:

                                      Our Sense of Temptation we must overcome,

                                      Or plummet to th’ Pit, as did Korach.


                                      Beloved before God is telling the truth,

                                      And that is the theme of this Season;

                                      A leader who lies is a dysfunctional dolt,

                                      And God will dispose him in due time.


                                      The World judges all Jews by the behavior of each,

                                      And, all the moreso, those in Power;

                                      And nothing in His nostrils raises a stench

                                      As a Jew in high place acting badly.


                                      Consider your deeds, O My People, repent!

                                      The Judgment-Day is fast approaching

                                      Think not you can sin and then hide it from view;

                                      The Eye of the Lord is upon you.


                                      Israel! Rise and shine in our perilous world

                                      And confess all your sins at this season;

                                      Though your deeds be dyed crimson,

                                      God will turn them to snow—

And may this continue, forever.


Amen. Selah.



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.  




Cantor Anita Schubert, grew up in Queens and Lynbrook in New York, says it was a combination of her love for both singing and religion that led her to train to become a cantor. “I grew up in a conservative synagogue. My parents weren’t super religious,” she said. “I started going to shabbat services and never stopped. I learned the musical chants . . . all the right stuff. I picked it up and was able to lead services as well. When I was a teenager I was asked to be one of the adult leaders in the junior congregation. I graduated to running it.”

Although she found her niche leading her congregation, it never occurred to her to be a cantor. “I was the wrong gender until the 80s.” As for her musical style, “It’s mostly a cappella. But I have been accompanied by someone on guitar and piano.”

Her academic background includes both undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory, sight-singing, ear-training, music history, conducting, choral arranging, voice building for choirs, vocal training, as well as studying the piano and flute. Plus, “I began singing in choirs starting in the third grade.”

She also took college courses in Hebrew, modern Jewish thought and the history of Jewish music.

Schubert said although women had been taking cantorial courses, they were not considered cantors at first. However, things changed for the better when women were finally accepted into the Cantors Assembly, an international association representing the cantorial profession.

Schubert has been actively working as a cantor at various congregations around the nation for many years before her new position at Temple Sholom. She realizes her coming here will be an historic event for the local place of worship. And what will she bring to her new congregation? “My spirit, my choice of music. We have a lot of options. We go beyond the traditional.”




Lecture Series


Your connection to the Jewish faith
is a vital part of who you are, and your family.

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.

Visit us and let us make you feel at home.


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.

Tue, September 26 2023 11 Tishrei 5784