Har Sinai celebrating 150 yearsHar Sinai Congregation, the...

Religion Notes

October 16, 1991|By Patrick Ercolano | Patrick Ercolano,Evening Sun Staff

Har Sinai celebrating 150 years

Har Sinai Congregation, the oldest Reform Jewish congregation in the nation, will begin its series of 150th anniversary events with a service of rededication this week.

Rabbi Floyd Herman, the spiritual leader of the congregation since 1981, and his predecessor, Rabbi Emeritus Abraham Shusterman, will speak at an 8:15 p.m. service Friday at Har Sinai, 6300 Park Heights Ave.

Shusterman will present an updated version of his book "Legacy of a Liberal," a history of the congregation whose first worship took place in May 1842 at the Eastern Avenue home of Moses Hutzler, the patriarch of the department store Hutzlers.

Herman said the founders held that inaugural service "in the upstairs of the house, where Moses lived. He had his business on the bottom floor. So you can say this congregation started above a Hutzler's store."

Other anniversary events will take place through May 22, 1992.

They will include lectures on Reform Judaism in the past 150 years, held from Nov. 15 through Nov. 17; a seminar on important religious firsts in Maryland, with an interfaith panel, on Nov. 24; a service with leaders and members of other local Reform congregations, on Dec. 13; a communitywide interfaith service, on March 20, 1992; a concert by the Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra, on April 8, 1992; a "reunion" service for families who have been Har Sinai members for generations, on May 22, 1992; and a gala dinner dance honoring Shusterman and Herman for their years with the congregation, on May 23, 1992.

Metaphysical graffiti

"The things that make us happy make us wise."

That's the message written in big, colorful letters on the side of a rowhouse at 25th Street and Guilford Avenue.

The question begs, what is the origin of the phrase? Did it come from the Bible? The Koran? The Bhagavad-Gita? A Hallmark card? A recent querying knock on the door of the house, alas, went unanswered.

The graffiti -- large green letters outlined in black against an orange wall, the words sprouting from a depiction of a huge potted plant -- appeared a year or two ago on the rowhouse at the intersection's northwest corner. It was painted over at one point, but the determined graffitist has recently restored the message.

OK, so this sighting might not qualify as a standard "religion note." But who would deny the spiritual ring of this "writing on the wall"?

Franciscan wish list

The Franciscan Center at 2212 Maryland Ave. has released a "wish list" of materials it needs for the coming months. The list specifies seasonal clothing, unbreakable mugs, booster seats, cloth diapers, diaper pins, rubber pants, disposable diapers, school supplies, children's socks and underwear, peanut butter, tuna and canned meat. If you want to help, phone 467-5340.

The center, operated by Franciscan sisters, provides food, shelter, medical counseling and other services to the needy.

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