Shavuot, starting Thursday night, celebrates the giving of the Torah at Sinai. We were given the laws to live by and to share it with the world.
It appears that our ancestors have fulfilled this obligation well. Today, even though we comprise less than 0.2% of the world’s population, the message of the ten commandments has penetrated the world. More than ¾ of the world believe in the one God. The notion of the Sabbath as the day of rest has become universal. Other commandments are either part of laws or lore of most cultures.
In relation to the commandments, there is an Iranian angle. As you know we are the descendants of those who stayed behind when the Jews with the encouragement and support of King Cyrus the Great returned to Judea to rebuild the Temple. We were confronted with a culture that did not have the notion of the week. The Zoroastrians recognized days, months, seasons, and a year, but not the week. For the Jews, the week was most important leading to Shabbat. The Jews likely influenced Iran on the notion of the week. Eventually, the days of the week in Persian contain the word Shanbeh “Sabbath”: Yek Shanbeh, Do Shanbeh, etc. comparable to Yom rishon, Yom sheni, etc.
Two programming notes:
- Consul General Dr. Hillel Newman will be making his presentation on the Second Temple period on July 26.
- On June 29, in cooperation with PACAN, we welcome the documentary filmmaker Cyrus Kar, who will speak about “Cyrus the Chivalrous Zionist”. We look forward to his presentation (more to follow).
This week, we are delighted to highlight our Vice President of Elderly and Social Services, Dr. Minou Soumekh Michlin. She has been a tremendous blessing in our community over the years.
M. Elie Alyeshmerni, President
Dr. Minou Soumekh Michlin is a Professor Emeritus of Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University. Her educational record spans a bachelor’s degree from Tehran School of Social Work, as well as a master’s degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University. She later earned her doctorate in Social Welfare from the Wurzweiler Yeshiva University School of Social Work. From 1976-2000, she also maintained a private clinical practice working with families and children.
Her social work career started at Iran’s only Jewish medical institution, Sapir Hospital. Minou later oversaw Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization’s daycares across Iran. After retiring from her position as a professor of social work at SCSU in 2010, Minou moved with her husband, David Michlin to Los Angeles.
For more than a decade, Minou has been an active member of the Iranian American Jewish Federation (IAJF), where she works as a member of the Emergency Fund Social Service Committee. Minou is happy to have returned to her roots as a social worker working with vulnerable Iranian Jewish families. An active volunteer, Minou also serves as Vice President of Social Services at IAJF and as a B’nai B’rith board member.
The Jewish Book Council called Minou’s memoir, I Kept Walking: The Unlikely Story of a Persian Woman with Polio, “deeply inspirational – a poignant account of growing up in Iran.”