Today is December 9, 2019 -

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 Vayeitzei 5780

  • Posted on December 5, 2019
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When we think of the many stories of sibling rivalry in Sefer Bereshit, the Book of Genesis, we tend to focus on brothers. But let’s not forget that in this week’s Torah portion, Vayeitzei, the relationship between two sisters, Leah and Rahel, is front and center.   There are several ways that the Torah draws our attention to Continue Reading »

Shabbat Toldot 5780

  • Posted on November 29, 2019
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In the religion of Biblical Israel, as in many societies, being the first-born was of great signficance. In Deuteronomy 21:15-17, we learn the legal impications of first-born status: “If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, but the first-born is Continue Reading »

Shabbat Hayei-Sarah 5780

  • Posted on November 22, 2019
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There is trouble in King David’s palace, and not for the first time. The king is elderly and cannot stay warm. All around him there is turmoil and uncertainty. As his days are numbered, who will succeed him and ascend to the throne? In a scene reminiscent of the tragic, failed rebellion of Avshalom, Adoniyah Continue Reading »

Shabbat Lekh-Lekha 5780

  • Posted on November 8, 2019
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As we mark Veterans’ Shabbat this week as is our tradition at HHBJC, let’s all visualize the image of a military cemetery. We can see it in our mind’s eye, even if we’ve never been to Normandy or Arlington. We see a vast array of crosses, with an occasional Jewish star sprinkled in. That has Continue Reading »

Shabbat Noah 5780

  • Posted on October 31, 2019
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All the rain we’ve had in the last two weeks may be annoying, but I’d hardly consider it frightening. From the picture the Torah paints in this week’s Torah portion, Noah, I imagine that the victims of the flood would have been terrified from the moment the skies opened and the rains came down in a Continue Reading »

Shabbat Bereshit 5780

  • Posted on October 24, 2019
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If you look carefully at the first chapters of the Torah, you will notice two different creation stories. Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 were traditionally understood to be one and the same narrative, but there are many clear differences between them. As we studied together in the waning minutes of Simhat Torah, the most glaring Continue Reading »

Shabbat Hol HaMo’ed Sukkot 5780

  • Posted on October 17, 2019
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It’s one of the Hebrew Bible’s most famous passages: chapter three of Kohelet, or Ecclesiastes. Pete Seeger’s folk song popularized it, and The Byrds recorded the version most people know: Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season). In our annual chapter-by-chapter ritual reading of Kohelet, we will chant and ruminate on this poignant passage this Shabbat Hol Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ha-azinu 5780

  • Posted on October 10, 2019
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This short week has a short Torah reading, Ha-azinu. In the traditional count of the 613 commandments, we reached the final mitzvah last week, in Parshat Vayelekh. The most famous Bar-Mitzvah gift in Jewish history, Sefer HaHinukh, which lists all 613, has no entry for this portion, seeing it as a poetic recap of Israelite history from Sinai, and a Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayelekh/Shuvah 5780

  • Posted on October 3, 2019
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Every Yom Kippur afternoon, in the haftarah, we read one of the most fascinating short books in the Bible–Jonah. Because of time considerations, we spend more time chanting it than delving into it. So on this Shabbat Shuvah, when we are beckoned to return, we ought to look more carefully at the Jonah story and its thoughts Continue Reading »

Shabbat Nitzavim 5779

  • Posted on September 26, 2019
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Is teshuvah, repentance, easy or difficult? Your thoughts on this question will surely vary, depending on your experience. They might also vary based on what we think the Torah meant when it introduced us to teshuvah in this week’s Torah portion, Nitzavim.   Chapter 30 of Deuteronomy begins with a ten-verse section in which the word shav–return–appears seven times. Sometimes, Israel Continue Reading »