Plant a Tree in Israel
Planting a tree in Israel is the perfect way to show you care for the mere price of chai – $18.
You can plant trees for many different reasons and help green the land of Israel while sending a special gift to a friend or loved one. For each order, a beautiful certificate of your choice is mailed to the recipient with your own personal message. Plant trees for all of these occasions: Birth, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, graduation, wedding, birthday, get-well wish, or in memory of someone special. Over the last 100 years, JNF has planted over 240 million trees in the land of Israel.
For more information on planting a tree in Israel, please e-mail us or call the Temple phone.
Music by Scott Leader
Scott Leader, Temple Gan Elohim’s music director, is becoming one of the most sought after performers of original Jewish rock and folk music. His music is featured at many synagogues across the United States, including TGE.
Scott’s first full-length album, “Lift My Eyes” received positive reviews and individual tracks were featured on other compilations of Jewish music. Songs from Scott’s second release, “Gates”, have been featured in Jewish summer camps and are being adopted into many congregations’ regular worship.
Torah in Glass
“So now write this song and teach it to the children of Israel.” Deut 31:19
El Paso, Texas artist and Temple Mount Sinai member Hal Marcus has taken mitzvat k’tivat Sefer Torah – the commandment to write a Torah scroll – very much to heart. His “Five Books of Moses” tells the timeless stories of the Torah in the medium of stained glass. Though neither parchment nor ink is used this is very much Hal’s Sefer Torah, available through TGE for $54 unframed.
The story begins in the upper left corner of the work with a burst of light much like the one in Hal’s earlier “Seven Days of Creation”, which also is installed in Mount Sinai’s Zielonka Hall. In the Jewish mystical tradition, this sudden appearance of cosmic energy marks the beginning of God’s creation … a creation that continues each moment and in which all of us are God’s partners. The remainder of the first panel tells the story of Noah and the flood. In Noah, all of humanity is one family and we are all party to God’s covenant. The sign of that covenant, the rainbow, appears in this panel and in each one that follows.
In the second panel we encounter the Tower of Babel, a story that teaches the value of diversity. It is just after the Tower of Babel that the Torah shifts its emphasis from the story of the human race to the story of one family – Abraham’s. We see Abraham, Sarah and Isaac as well as the three “men” who hover over the landscape of the book of Genesis. Are they men? Angels? God?
Panels three and four depict God’s redemption of Israel from Egyptian bondage and Israel’s subsequent covenanting to God at Mount Sinai. The people of Israel in the wilderness are protrayed as jewels, casting brilliant light in all colors and all directions. In this “midrash in glass,” Marcus has chosen not to portray Moses’ death but rather to allude to the way in which Moses lives through the lessons that he taught us. And so it is that the bottom of the fourth panel pictures a bar mitzvah reading from Torah. With his immediate family surrounding him he takes his place alongside the generations who have read and transmitted Torat Mosheh – the Torah of Moses. The timeless story still lives.
Jews never finish reading Torah. As soon as we conclude Deuteronomy we turn back to the opening of Gensesis and begin again. Marcus’ windows don’t really end either. As we arrive at the bottom of the fourth panel our eyes are drawn along the ribbon of text that sits over the rainbow. The Hebrew is translated: “So now write down this song and teach it to the children of Israel” (Deut 31:19). The verse takes us back to the story of creation.
Light bursts forth, and we begin again …