​​The Akeda Foundation

"We are our brothers and sisters keepers".


Dear Chevre / Friends,
          This year is a milestone because it’s the 203rd Anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, September 13, 1814, written as the British Navy unsuccessfully attacked Fort Mc Henry for 25 hours during The Battle of Baltimore. The flag was made by local Mary Pickersgill and Betsy Ross. 
                                     SYMBOLS OF FREEDOM
The War of 1812 raged on and the British were going to attempt to take Fort McHenry using its Navy located in the Chesapeake Bay of the Baltimore Harbor. Ironically, aboard one of those British ships was a lawyer from D.C. named Francis Scott Key. As the assault on Ft. McHenry intensified the sky lit up with plumes of fire from cannons from the Fort and ships.
To his credit Key was an amateur poet and had a gift with words. As he stood watching from the ship the poem originally entitled “Defense of Ft. McHenry” four (4) stanzas long described the epic battle with an illustrative quality.
…” O say can you see by the dawns early light…with the rockets’ red glare, bombs bursting in air, “gave proof through the night that our flag was still there”. ... O say does that star-spangled banner yet waive, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave” …
You can feel the Battle and his sense of pride knowing that if they didn’t get the Fort by dawn it was not going to fall to the British. How about a little musical history?
 Like would you believe the ‘Poem’ that became our National Anthem was a cover melody. (just like Linda Ronstadt did to Roy Orbison’s records with great success or today Nick Masi’s popular “Cover Me” on XM (featuring artists covering Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band). Can you imagine that at least for myself, the surprise to find out it’s not an original melody but rather “The Anacreontic Song” By John Stafford Smith. (great Quiz Show Q wouldn’t you agree)?
The Navy was the first official use in 1889. President Woodrow Wilson used it in 1916 but it did not become the National Anthem until March 3, 1931. A Congressional Resolution signed by President Herbert Hoover (46 Stat.1508; 36 U.S.C. 301) made it officially our Anthem.

Aside from our National Anthem and ‘Old Glory’, our flag, nothing sends more of a message of freedom and opportunity than the Statue of Liberty. A French sculptor, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, lovingly brought to life this humanized statue towering in the New York harbor on the land of Liberty Island, a national park .Once the head was completed it was displayed at the Paris World’s Fair in 1878. Donations and sales from souvenirs helped to fund the statue’s construction. (See Burlington Free Press.U.S.A. Today Section; June 29,2014).
Just as the words to ‘The Anthem’ and America The Beautiful are etched in our hearts so are the immortal words of Poet Emma Lazzarus ‘s poem ‘The New Colossus’ inscribed on the pedestal in 1903. It was the first words immigrants saw and still see today about the hopes and dreams here in America and the imposing figure of the Statue giving re-assurance of welcome. 
In Part:  …” Give me your tired, your poor, /Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” …  In fact, it was a Slovenian journalist in 1916, the Statue’s 50th Anniversary in 1916 emblazoned those words on the public. I sometimes in a quiet moment sit and think about being on a ship leaving all that was familiar behind for a new adventure in a new world with nothing in my pockets but hopes and dreams. Better yet hoping against hope that I will have the money to bring my family over so we can face the future together, good or bad, come what may. Or if alone praying for the guidance, strength and faith to get me by.

January 1,1776 a Congressional resolution put the American forces under the leadership of George Washington. The Continentals were trying to recapture Boston from the British. To show strength and unity he raised the Grand Union flag at their base on Prospect Hill which contained 13 red and white alternate stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner.
Betsy Ross of Maryland reported she sewed the first American flag. Her house is a national, state and local historic site in Baltimore, Maryland. To make it official Congress on June 14,1777 passed the Flag Act, (still a recognized holiday but no time off work).
In Part: “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”
Congress  passed several Acts between 1770 and 1960 changing  the design, shape arrangement of the flag .As states were added additional stars  and stripes  reflected admission of each new state.
Flag Acts:
Act of January 13, 1794-15 Stars and Stripes after May 1795.
Act 0f April 4 1918-pr0vided or 13 stripes and one star for each state to be add3d on the 4th of July following admission of each new state signed by President Monroe.
Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 established the dimensions of the flag and arrangement of stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
Executive Order of President Eisenhower January3, 1959 put seven stars in rows of seven each, staggered both horizontally and vertically.
Executive Order-President Eisenhower, August 21,1959 put stars in nine rows staggered horizontally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically. (See. History of American Flag)
Today our Flag consists of:  Thirteen Horizontal Stripes, seven red alternating with six white. For your history buffs the original 13 colonies is represented by the 13 Stripes, the Stars are the 50 states of the Union. 
 Colors are symbolic: Red is for valor and hardiness, White is for Purity and Innocence and Blue stands for Justice, Perseverance and Vigilance.
While there are many heroes on our way to liberty in the War of 1812 it should be noted that those of the Jewish Faith served with distinction Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy commanded a ship that help to sever British supply lines   during water fire fights destroying an estimated 21 ships. It’s important to note that the Commodore is responsible for ending corporal punishment or flogging in the Navy. He was court martialed six times by anti –Semitic naval officers convicted all six times and reversed on Appeal all six times.
Not to be- grudge the Army, Mordecai Myers became a Captain in the Thirteenth Infantry after serving as an officer in the militia serving with distinction in the War of 1812. 
And so, it is fitting that our Parsha, Segment, is the continuation of the life of a warrior in G-d’s Army. Pinchas whose family would be the High Priests while the elevation of another warrior and leader, Joshua, through Semicha (Public Ordination) would take over for Moses as the leader of the Israelite Nation and take them into the promised land. 
Shabbat Shalom-A Peaceful Sabbath/Shavuah Tov-A Good Week/ Reb ‘Z /R’Z /STU