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Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center

A Jewish Community Built on Caring, Prayer and Learning

210-10 Union Turnpike, Hollis Hills, NY 11364
(718) 776-3500

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Weekly Shabbat Message

Shabbat Ekev 5778

  • Posted on August 2, 2018
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Thirty-five years ago, the British band The Police had their greatest commercial success with the song Every Breath You Take. On the surface, with its pleasant melody, it seemed to be a song about deep, devotional love. But a more careful listen to Sting’s lyrics will expose the speaker’s more sinister motives: “Every breath you take/every move you Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vaethanan 5778

  • Posted on July 27, 2018
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Hag Sameah! Today it is my pleasure to wish you a festive Tu B’Av, one of the least-known but most festive days on the Jewish calendar. No, it’s not Tu Bishvat, so we won’t be having a fruit-filled seder; and it’s clearly not Tish’ah B’Av, that mournful day we commemorated earlier this week.   What is Tu B’Av? It’s Continue Reading »

Shabbat Devarim 5778

  • Posted on July 20, 2018
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Two passages from this week’s Torah portion, Devarim, jump out at me this week. One is a seemingly irrelevant but oft-appearing geographical reference, for example: “Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to make this instruction clear” (Deuteronomy 1:5). The phrase B’ever haYarden, “across the Jordan, occurs several times in this Biblical book. But Continue Reading »

Shabbat Korah 5778

  • Posted on June 15, 2018
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The story of Korah’s rebellion is one of most textually complicated passages in the Torah. There are multiple players, all with a similar complaint, namely that Moshe and Aharon have solidified their leadership at the expense of others who were equally deserving or qualified. But these multiple players have diverse agendas, and sorting out who Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shelah-Lekha 5778

  • Posted on June 7, 2018
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“How could they have done this to their children?”    The Israelites have it all set up perfectly. God has freed them from slavery, rescued them from the Egyptians, sustained them in the wilderness, forgiven their foibles, and prepared them for the Promised Land. Now, so close in both location and time to arriving in Continue Reading »

Shabbat Beha’alotekha 5778

  • Posted on June 1, 2018
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  Two weeks ago, I reflected on the fact that according to the Biblical model, in approaching age 50, I would soon be exempt from military service. This week, in reading Parshat Beha’alotekha, I realized that if I had been born a Levite in those days, I’d also be on the verge of retirement. “But at Continue Reading »

Shabbat Naso 5778

  • Posted on May 25, 2018
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Who had the most famous hair in the Hebrew Bible? If your answer is Shimshon, you would be in good company. Hair is the source of his prodigious strength, and when he is betrayed by Delilah to the Philistines, he is doomed. But you might also have offered Avshalom’s locks as the Bible’s primary exhibit Continue Reading »

Shabbat Bemidbar 5778

  • Posted on May 18, 2018
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I’ve never worn a military uniform, not even as a Purim costume, because I’ve never considered myself worthy of one. But as I approach my 50th birthday in a few months, I realize this week that had I been born in a different time in Jewish history, I would just be aging out of military Continue Reading »

Shabbat Behar-Behukotai 5778

  • Posted on May 10, 2018
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Years ago, on one of my trips to Israel, I found myself bumping into one familiar face after another as I walked in Jerusalem. It was in the days before Facebook, but I realized at the time that in terms of Jewish geography, Jerusalem was the ultimate social media site. If you haven’t seen someone Continue Reading »

Shabbat Emor 5778

  • Posted on May 4, 2018
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“In three places [Scripture] mentions the festivals: In Leviticus, because of their order; in Numbers, because of their sacrifices; and in Deuteronomy, because of the leap year [to assure that Passover is celebrated in the spring].” (Sifrei Devarim 127) It is rather fascinating that the Torah instructs us about the scheduled celebrations we call holidays Continue Reading »

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