Friday, November 30, 2018

Leadership, Strong Women, and Apologies: Parashat Vayeshev

             What is the relationship between strength and admitting wrongdoing? How does the relationship change in the context of gender, time, and place? As someone who tries her best to serve as a feminist mentor to young women, I encourage my students to affirm their place, power, and authority when applying for jobs, exercising political leadership, and teaching. Women are often taught to minimize their own voice -- its power and its clarity -- as the price of admission in polite and civil society. This dynamic can be infuriating and saddening because there are so many voices, specifically voices in social justice movements, that are muffled and muted because women's moral voices are dismissed as "shrill," "hysterical," or "paranoid." As much as this dynamic applies to all women, it is applied with even greater force and violence in many cases against women of color, queer women, and women who do not fit the usual mold of ideal womanhood.
             And yet, one of the most important skills to possess as a leader is the ability to apologize. One of my most important rabbinic mentors, Rabbi Bill Lebeau, gave me a critical piece of advice before I was ordained: "When someone says you've hurt them, apologize. No ifs, ands, or buts. Just say you are sorry. Then begin the healing process." It is a critical part of leadership, and spiritual leadership in particular, to put the needs of those you serve first.  For their sake, for the sake of your community, and in order to nurture the faith of those you serve. When a religious leader cannot or will not apologize for the way in which they have hurt others -- intentionally or unintentionally -- it impacts their followers' faith and connection to community. Religious and moral leaders are not only individuals in the world, but representatives of a much larger system of values, connections, and identities. This role is a heavy burden on those who assume leadership, but it is part of the responsibility of those who exercise true leadership.
           In Parashat Vayeshev, we encounter a rare moment when Judah, one of the strongest men in the community, publicly apologizes to Tamar, one of the weakest women in society.  She is a widow many times over with no children and no prospects for a future husband. She forces Judah's hand through an intricate deception in order to force him to live up to his responsibilities for levirate marriage. When he is confronted with the error of his ways, he does something rare and sacred: He announces publicly:

ויכר יהודה ויאמר צדקה ממני כי־על־כן לא־נתתיה לשלה בני ולא־יסף עוד לדעתה
Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more in the right than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he was not intimate with her again. (Genesis 38:26)
            The children borne of Judah and Tamar -- Peretz and Zerach -- become part of the Davidic, Messianic line. Their names mean "the one who burst forth," and "shining light." They are both righteous, and Judah's portion of the Land of Israel is never invaded by foreign armies. Why? I think we can postulate that even though they were conceived in a way that was somewhat tragic and non-traditional, they were borne in the context of justice and clarity. They were born in a context where their father respected Truth and decency enough to admit wrong doing, despite the political implications and the threats to his social standing.
           Orot Tzadikim writes the following words about truthfulness, rebuke, and a life well lived. He begins with words about how to deal with undeserved credit, and then ends with the righteous person's approach to reproach:
And, of course, if people credit him with good deeds he did not do, he should not rejoice at this but on the contrary feel great pain in his heart that he should have gotten credit for something he did not do. Also, in the case where somebody told evil tales concerning him — if these are true — he should not seek to twist the truth and thus clear himself, but do as Judah who said: "She is more in the right than I" (Gen. 38:26). And he should not try to contradict the man that told these tales, nor should he hate him because he revealed the matter, but he should bow humbly before the Creator, Blessed be He, that he has revealed a little of much that could have been revealed, in order to rebuke him and correct him that he might return to God.
One who lives a holy life -- one who is fit for leadership -- welcomes critique as an opportunity to better serve God and God's children. She is not defensive. She does not point out the wrong doing of others. She does not attack the one who offers rebuke for the sake of heaven and decency. My greatest moments as a leader involved sincere apologies, not eloquent speeches.  They were often offered in private, and on occasion, in public. They were difficult and required personal vulnerability and the trust of those to whom I apologized. They were rarely rewarded in the traditional sense.
         Regardless of your position in life -- whether you are imbued with power by society or need to fight for it through your own cunning and tenacity -- you need to assume responsibility for your leadership if you choose to assume it. When you make a mistake -- don't deny, deflect, demean, or diminish. Just say your are sorry, and work not to repeat your behavior. In the Biblical tradition, God does not show greater favor to the rich or the poor, but judges us equally. Our positions in society do not absolve us of moral responsibility. Let us take that learning with us, taking the best of Judah's humility and respect for justice -- and Tamar's demand for both in the context of her concomitant vulnerability and strength -- as two pillars of ethical leadership. Both of these pillars are necessary for the work of justice and repair, and this moment is too important and too fragile for excuses or cut corners.
Shabbat Shalom 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Parashat Toldot: Our Tone and How We are Seen

Adi Nes - Esau and Jacob
      I spend at least half of my day teaching my daughters to say "please." Our older one can say it without much of a challenge. My younger one is still working on it.  But if she can say "cheese" with two teeth, please should not be that far behind. There are moments when I wonder if this is my best use of time as a parent or simply as a person. In the face of grave injustice on a global scale, why does this word matter so much to us?

            In this week's parasha, we learn a lot about how words reflect our core values and identity. There is a famous scene in this week's story when Isaac -- whose sight now fails him -- is deceived by Jacob impersonating Esau. He wears animal fur and claims to be Esau in order to receive the birthright. There is a moment in the middle of this deception when Isaac wonders aloud how he is interacting with a body that feels like Esau, but a voice that sounds like Jacob.  When engaging with this narrative, I had always believed that Jacob's voice was higher or had a different timbre or tenor that Esau's. The commentators, however, do not assert that their voices differed in a physical sense.
We learned in Genesis 26: 21-22

21And Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come closer, so that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not."כאוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יִצְחָק֙ אֶל־יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב גְּשָׁה־נָּ֥א וַֽאֲמֻֽשְׁךָ֖ בְּנִ֑י הַֽאַתָּ֥ה זֶ֛ה בְּנִ֥י עֵשָׂ֖ו אִם־לֹֽא:
Please come closer, so that I may feel you: Isaac said to himself, “Esau does not usually mention the name of Heaven with frequency, but this one said: ‘Because the Lord your God prepared it….’” [from Gen. Rabbah 65:19]גשה נא ואמשך: אמר יצחק בלבו אין דרך עשו להיות שם שמים שגור בפיו, וזה אמר (פסוק כ) כי הקרה ה' אלהיך:

So Jacob drew near to Isaac his father, and he felt him, and he said, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau."

וַיִּגַּ֧שׁ יַֽעֲקֹ֛ב אֶל־יִצְחָ֥ק אָבִ֖יו וַיְמֻשֵּׁ֑הוּ וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הַקֹּל֙ ק֣וֹל יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב וְהַיָּדַ֖יִם יְדֵ֥י עֵשָֽׂו:
the voice of Jacob: who speaks entreatingly: “Please rise,” but Esau spoke harshly, “Let my father arise!” [From Tanchuma Buber, Toledoth 15]

קול יעקב: שמדבר בלשון תחנונים (פסוק יט) קום נא, אבל עשו בלשון קנטוריא דבר (פסוק לא) יקום אבי:

The lesson that Rashi teaches us that the difference between Jacob and Esau's voices lies in their tone and vocabulary.  Jacob calls upon God regularly, whereas Esau does not. Jacob makes polite requests, whereas Esau barks inflexible demands.
       From a rabbinic perspective, there are many qualities that make up our voices. There is tone, vocabulary, volume, and how we raise our voices in song and protest. All of these elements of our voice matter, and they affect how our prayers are received by God, and how we are received and perceived by others. Esau may have always gotten his game in the short term, but Jacob ultimately gained the birthright and defined the Jewish future.
        In contemporary debates, we often contend with the issue of "tone policing." The idea behind this phrase is that disempowered populations should not be forced to act with fake civility when engaging with those complicit in oppressive power structures.  The voices of the disenfranchised should not be censored or discounted because they either 1) are spoken with anger or 2) do not take into account the sensitivities of those whom they are rightfully rebuking.
        I think that policing voices of righteous indignation is a dangerous game.  If the prophets of the Tanakh were policed for their tone, we will lose a good third of the Bible. But it also worth noting that the prophets were not effective change agents, and they did not own the future. The Jewish future was controlled by priests, kings, and ultimately, rabbis. In the case of kings and rabbis, these human leaders -- who were more focused on the messy work governing human communities instead of conveying unadulterated Divine Truths -- ultimately needed to do the work of convincing and moving people instead of rebuking them. 
         Some of us need to be prophets, and some of us need to be politicians in order to maintain a holy society. Both types of speech are necessary and both types of leadership are essential in creating an ethical ecosystem conducive toward societal progress. The politicians rely on the prophets for their poetry, their aspirations, and their stubborn insistence that we aim toward messianic ideals. The prophets need the politicians to make change and implement their values, however imperfectly. 
         What no one needs, however, is a brute. There is a difference between words spoken harshly for the sake of heaven, and those uttered for the sake of dominance and cruelty. When we think about our voices, our identity, and our leadership, we must think critically about how we want to be seen. Are we messengers of a divine message and implementers of core values? Do we dignify others in the requests we make, and imbue our language with gratitude? Or are we superior, hungry people in a hurry?
          Our world is full of pain and struggle. God did not put us on this earth to make it worse, but rather to glorify the Divine Presence through our words and actions, and heal the world in the process. is your voice heard, and what does it say about who you are?

Shabbat Shalom

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Remarks at Beth Israel Congregation, November 2, 2018

The Torah is still speaking to us. One of the profound ways that Jewish life works is that there are always at least two narratives in conversation with each other. One one side, you have the stories of the Torah, read, and sung, and taught on a never ending loop since the days of Ezra the scribe. And on the other hand, you have our lived experiences, every day of our 2,000 year old existence, in nearly every country around the globe. And the space of that conversation in between our traditions and our lived experience -- that is where Jewish life presides.       
Last week, we read about the binding of Isaac on the altar, this week, we read about the death and burial of our mother Sarah, and our father Abraham’s burial by his sons Isaac and Ishmael. Last week, a massacre of Jews praying in synagogue in Pittsburgh. This week a staggering movement of support by Americans of all faiths, ethnicities, and backgrounds in synagogues across our nation from San Diego to Waterville, Maine. We are in conversation with our stories and they are in conversation with us, and the space in between is where we learn, and grow. It is where we change others and where we allow ourselves to be transformed.
Let us begin with the sacrifice -- for us Jews, it is Abraham and Isaac, for Christians that story continues with the crucifixion, and for Muslims, it is Ishmael who is on the altar. But something we all have in common as we engage in this story is that Abraham is called upon to sacrifice his most beloved son. Not his second favorite. Not someone else’s kid. If Abraham had picked up a random kid in the desert, this story would not be as resonant, or as powerful, or for that matter, as terrifying. Take your son, your only son, the son whom you love. I’ve been thinking a lot about this story as of late, even before the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, but especially now. The sacrifices that matter are the sacrifices that are painful, and those sacrifices are always closest to home.
Something that has disturbed me in the aftermath of the synagogue shooting is the assertion that it happened because of “those people.” And I’m not saying that “those people,” aren’t responsible, but what needs to be said as well, is that we all need to look in the mirror. Not because we are all guilty, but to borrow the words of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, we are certainly all responsible. On the Shabbat after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the esteemed Orthodox Rabbi, Norman Lamm, delivered these words to his grief-stricken congregation, “More significant is the fact, that in a measure, all of us are guilt for having tolerated in our society an atmosphere conducive to violence.  We have failed to appreciate the infectious nature of fanaticism and extremism that know no limits.  Anyone who has allowed himself to corrupt a difference of opinion into a personal hatred -- is guilty.  He who has shamed a fellow man to the point where he has provoked deep animosity -- is guilty.  Whosoever has suffered enmity and violence to supplant rational discourse in mutual respect is -- is guilty. The man or woman who has, however, imperceptibly, raised even by a fraction of a degree the temperature of hatred in our society -- is guilty of having pushed the ladder from which our beloved, brilliant, young chief was hurled to his death.”
These words feel eerily familiar, and are even more true, in my opinion when it comes to the normalization of antisemitism in our society. I know Jews and non-Jews alike who only see the sickness in “those people.”  But so help me God, I see it everywhere. It infects and affects all of us, Jew and non-Jew alike, progressive and conservative, because it is baked into the infrastructure of our most beloved and cherished ideologies. Are all of us equally guilty? No. Am I interested in this moment in having a debate as to whether Louis Farrakhan or David Duke is a greater danger to our people? No. That debate is silly, infantile, and a waste of time. But they are both threats, and it is time to sacrifice our beloved ideologies for the sake of the dignity and survival of your Jewish brothers and sisters. Attacking the ideologies of our foes has little impact, and it is not a true sacrifice. It is not painful. Looking in the mirror and standing up to the antisemitism in our own communities - that is a sacrifice worth emulating.

     If you are a Trump supporter or a Republican, and someone in your midst pedals deranged conspiracy theories about how George Soros - or other Jews -- are helping immigrants to attack “American values and the American way of life,” Speak out and cut them out of your lives. It is time for a quarantine of white supremacy and medieval Jewish conspiracy theories. It begins with lies. It ends with corpses.
     If you are involved in the Women’s March, and you don’t know about how its leaders have defended Louis Farrakhan who refers to Jews as demonic termites -- Google it. And then speak out and demand leadership that does not aid and abet notorious antisemites. Our country has millions of women -- black, brown, Muslim, Christian, Palestinian, Israeli, white, Hindu, and Jewish -- who can advocate for women and people of color without normalizing Jew-hatred.    It’s their turn.
     If you are an antiracist activist and you don’t think it is problematic to schedule an antiracist rally on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, mere months after Charlottesville when white supremacists chanted “Jews will not replace us,”  Don’t accuse Jews of centering themselves and being bad allies.    Find another day.
     If in speaking about Jews, your language is replete with stereotypes about wealth, power, control, brilliance, and shiftiness, whether in admiring or derogatory terms. Stop. It’s never a compliment. It’s never true, and it’s never right.
     If you belong to a church that talks about and treats Israel in a way it talks about no other nation on the planet - ponder that. If in an attempt to speak out for the dignity of Palestinians and lodge legitimitate critique of the Israeli government, your church employs the language and imagery of classical Christian antisemitism - say something. Our politics, nor our righteous intentions, make us immune to bigotry.
     If you are a Jew, and you think that the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue is completely unrelated to attacks on African-Americans, one of which happened the same weekend as an attack on our community, to the violence toward transgender Americans, lgbt families, Mexicans, Muslims, and immigrants - it’s simply not true. These hatreds are not identical, but they are related. The people who take whiteness deadly seriously do not see us as white. To them, we are the ultimate race traitors, the shape-shifting, disingenuous purveyors of liberal values who use social justice as a way of destroying them, their power, and their dignity. No amount of wealth, elite status, or passability will change that. It’s time to put our whiteness on the altar.

If you feel uncomfortable right now -- good. Because the sacrifices that matter are the sacrifices that are closest to us. We all have work to do. If in the aftermath of this attack, your takeaway is that “those people are the problem,” are not really an ally. The greatest impact you can have is in your own community, among your own friends, and in your own sphere of influence.  It is the hardest work, but the most important.

   *          *          *
         When Sarah died, Abraham could not just be a mourner. He was a ger toshav, a stranger, an immigrant, a non-citizen. And so, in his grief, he needed to negotiate with the Hittites for a place to bury his wife, Sarah. Now Ephron the Hittite told him that he could take a cave for free. But Abraham insisted on paying full price for the burial plot. Why? He was vulnerable enough as a religious and ethnic minority among the Hittites, and so he refused to also carry the burden of debt. Imagine pleading to find a place to bury your spouse or your child, days after their death, because you are stateless or in exile. Imagine that in your vulnerability, you cannot even consider accepting the kindness of strangers because that could make you even weaker.
My history as a Jew is replete with those stories. But statelessness, the most dangerous of all human conditions, is not unique to our people. And the Torah tells us that, over and over and over again. The most repeated commandment in the entire Torah is “You shall not oppress the stranger for you were a stranger in the land of Egypt.” This mitzvah, this commandment, is not just a way of pleasing God. To paraphrase friend and colleague, rabbinical student Lily Solocheck, It is an instruction manual of how to deal with trauma. If the pain ends with us, we are doing something wrong. What do we do with our trauma? Do lick our wounds and plead for perpetual recognition? Do we disempower others to protect ourselves? No. You take that memory, and provide for the other strangers in the world with what they need: a place to rest their head, a meal to nourish their bodies, and dignity to ennoble their souls. You never leave your fellow humans homeless. A person, a people -- like a tree -- can never thrive if it lacks a place to put down roots. That is why the Tree of Life synagogue worked with HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, to provide for refugees and immigrants. They died not just for being Jews, but also for bringing the Torah to life through their actions. And for that, they shall always be remembered as martyrs who have sanctified God’s name, and ensured that their souls would serve as an everlasting blessing.

                                                     *              *                *
         And then Abraham dies. Isaac and Ishmael come together to bury their father. They never really hated each other. Their last moment together was at play. It was their parents who couldn’t get it together, and let hatreds, resentments, and jealousies tear their family apart. And over their father’s grave, they chose not only to bury their patriarch, but also to made amends with one another despite a dysfunctional familial past. Our future does not need to be defined by the savagery and sins of our past. It can’t be.

Every day that God gives us life, God gives us a choice.

Will we live lives defined by resentment and hatred, or inspired by the possibility of familial love, peace, and reconciliation. Will we be like Sarah and Hagar and Jacob and Esau, or like Isaac and Ishamel. All I know is this: this world, this world, is not the world I want for my children, as human beings, as Americans, or as Jews. I fear for their safety because they are Jewish. I fear that they will be taken from us because we are gay. Those fears are not paranoia, they are a reflection of what America has become. That is my family’s daily reality.

So what now? It is time to reach across the grave.

It is time to engage with those we have been taught to hate, but are our family just the same. We are all children of Adam and Eve, created in the image of God, infinitely valuable and completely unique. We all embody the worlds that God thought would complete the grandeur of Divine creation. Let us begin to act accordingly.

Zichronam L’vracha. May the souls of our fellow Jews be remembered as an everlasting blessing.  May we continue to pray for the first responders injured in saving so many more.

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Responding as a Jew: From Pittsburgh to Waterville

At the end of the day, I come back to one fitting response time and time again: be a loud and proud Jew.
I know that many of our friends, and many of us, are at a loss about how to respond to to the shooting at Pittsburgh. I have been distressed by the quickness that this tragedy has been used by people across the political spectrum to mobilize their base on a variety of issues, and in the process, intentionally or unintentionally, obscuring the motive and the effect of this attack. This murderer killed Jews in synagogue because they were Jews. And though I have opinions, as many of us do on gun control, the importance of voting, our current president, and American support for Israel, I plead for a little bit of honesty.
Antisemites target Jews before and after elections, and when political leaders of all parties are president or prime minister. When antisemites want to kill us, they will use whatever means are available to them. We have been killed in gas chambers, fires, labor camps, bombings, and through economic boycotts. US policy toward Israel has no impact on the safety of our American synagogues, and moving our embassy to Jerusalem has no relationship to the ever-shrinking American budget for monitoring and stopping the domestic, white nationalist militias and individuals who are armed and ready to inflict mass carnage on our community and other minorities in our nation. Our president has ignored and obscured the danger of white nationalists in Charlottesville, used antisemitic imagery in campaign advertisements, and has stoked conspiracy theories about George Soros that are clear dog whistles to antisemites. And the increase in antisemitism in the US long predates our current president, and the place where most young Jews learn about antisemitism, and experience it in profoundly insidious and damaging ways, is on liberal college campuses. Pointing out these realities isn’t “whataboutism” or "both-sides-ism" -- it is the complicated truth about a sophisticated and malleable ideology. Antisemitism is a complex and unique hatred, and we cannot address it properly unless we are willing to see it in all of its diversity and contradiction.
To quote a woman whose writings are more relevant now than ever, Hannah Arendt, “When you are attacked as a Jew, you respond as a Jew.” Antisemitism is not new, it is not partisan, and it has been a deadly force in human affairs, in the United States and abroad, for thousands of years. The words of Alana Newhouse are intellectually honest and instructive:

Anti-Semitism is not the exclusive province of either Donald Trump’s supporters on the alt-right, or of his most fervent opponents on the left. It transcends partisan alignments. It appeals to defiant bigots and proud justice-seeking universalists alike.
Anti-Semitism, whether expressed as hatred of Jews because of their religion, or their politics, or the actions of their nation-state, provides its believers with a single, all-encompassing explanation of reality, which turns on the unique evil of the Jewish people, or the Jewish race, or the Jewish religion, or the Jewish nation-state. It is at once the black mass of reactionary thought, and the great perversion of all reactionaries, the primal howl of idiots in their basements and the most sophisticated frontier of right-thinking academics and the way the half-lettered of every ideological leaning impress their peers with the depth of their insight into the inner workings of large events: It. Was. The. Jews.

Our American Jewish community has been blessed by historically unprecedented safety due to the leadership of individuals like George Washington, our first President, who wanted to create a country that was not infected with the disease of antisemitism like the nations of Europe. When General Ulysses S. Grant expelled the Jews of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky for being untrustworthy citizens, President Lincoln made him reverse his despicable order. The famous lynching of American Jew, Leo Frank, is noteworthy precisely because it was rare. However, our world lacks leaders of Washington and Lincoln’s quality and integrity, and the mostly reliable veil of safety we have enjoyed previously has been pierced by an unprecedented increase in antisemitic hate crimes over the past two decades.
When you are attacked as Jew, respond as Jew. And respond by being open, proud, and joyful in your Judaism. Come to shul, learn about your history and faith, so that you can build a resilient Jewish identity that is not shaped primarily by the hatred of others, but rather by the beauty of what our people has built over two millennia. Your God and your community are waiting for you. Most of your neighbors love you and want to support you now and always. Cultivate that love through relationship building with them, meaningful allyship, and by bringing them into your Jewish lives. Invite them to come to our services, parties, and homes. Speak lovingly and proudly of what your heritage and your people have given you, and make sure your kids and grandkids are listening.
I wish that heinous hate crimes against our community were not the most effective and public wakeup calls about what it means to be a Jew, the threats we face, and the importance of holding fast to our faith, traditions, and people. We cannot bring back the dead, but we can make their legacies last forever through our actions and commitments. Because at the end of the day, when these 11 beautiful souls thought about the holiest and most meaningful way to live their lives and spend their Saturday morning, it was celebrating their relationship to God and the Jewish community at synagogue. This week, come to shul for them. Next week, come for yourself, your people, and our future. May their memories be for a blessing, and may their lives be bound up in the bonds of life. Zichronam L’vracha.

Rabbi Isaacs

Friday, September 28, 2018

Yom Kippur Sermons 5779

Yom Kippur Sermons 5779

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Rosh HaShanah Sermons 5779


Rosh HaShanah Morning: On Parents and Children

Friday, August 17, 2018

High Holidays 5779 in Waterville!


Join us for the High Holidays.  
All services are free and open to the public!

Erev Rosh Hashana Services and Dinner:
Sunday, Sept 9, 5:30 (services) and 6:30 (dinner - RSVP requested)

Rosh Hashana Morning Services:
Monday, Sept 10, and Tuesday, Sept 11, 9:30am
Children's Services 9:30-10:30 am
Tashlich: Monday, Sept 10, 1:30pm at the boat launch across from Thayer Shabbat Shuva services: Friday, Sept 14, 6pm
Kol Nidre Services: Tuesday, Sept 18, 6:30pm
Yom Kippur morning services: Wednesday, Sept 19, 9:30am
Children's Services 9:30-10:30 am
Mincha/Ma’ariv/Neilah: Wednesday, Sept 19, 5pm

Break the Fast: Wednesday, Sept 19, 7:25pm
Beth Israel hosts a dairy potluck break fast; please bring a dish to share

Learning and festival meal to welcome Sukkot: Sunday, Sept 23, 5pm in the Isaacs/Weiss sukkah (9 Messalonksee Ave)
Potluck and Shabbat services in the Waterville communal sukkah: Friday, Sept 28, 6pm (Located on the Colby campus, next to the Foss building. Park in the Mary Low lot. More at
Shemini Atzeret services, including Yizkor: Monday, Oct 1, 10am

Erev Simchat Torah celebration: Monday, Oct 1, 5pm