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Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center

A Jewish Community Built on Caring, Prayer and Learning

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Weekly Shabbat Message

Shabbat Terumah 5778

  • Posted on February 16, 2018
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This week’s Torah portion, Terumah, begins a stretch of parshiyot whose primary concern is the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that God instructs Moshe to build for the wilderness phase of Israel’s experience. But it’s not the first time we get details on sacred worship. In fact, right after the report on revelation that we call The Ten Commandments, we Continue Reading »

Shabbat Mishpatim/Shekalim

  • Posted on February 9, 2018
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It is in this week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, that we first encounter one of the core concepts of our tradition: radical empathy. It is expressed in the phrase, “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egpyt (Exodus 23:9).    Perhaps because Continue Reading »

Shabbat Yitro 5778

  • Posted on February 2, 2018
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What do you think of when you hear or read the name Abraham Joshua Heschel? I’m guessing that you know him best for his social activism, particularly in support of civil rights and the anti-war protests of the late 1960s. If you look up his page on myjewishlearning.com, two large photos of Dr. Heschel with Martin Continue Reading »

Shabbat Beshalah 5778

  • Posted on January 26, 2018
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The Israelites stood on the shore of the Sea of Reeds, having crossed over miraculously in safety on dry land, with the pursuing enemy vanquished by the water. In this moment of extreme emotion, they were driven by the impulse to sing. Shirat Hayam–the Song of the Sea–is the product of this creative impulse. That’s what Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vaera 5778

  • Posted on January 12, 2018
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Now that God has arrived on the scene, the Israelites should be fully confident that their burdens will be removed. When Moshe and Aharon communicated God’s intentions through symbolic acts and words in last week’s Torah reading, the people believed. But when their leaders’ first foray into Pharaoh’s palace fails, they fall even deeper into Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shemot 5778

  • Posted on January 5, 2018
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We encounter a phrase we’ve seen many times before but have yet to see in the Torah reading cycle before this week as we begin reading the Book of Exodus with Parshat Shemot. As Moshe approaches the curious site of a bush that burns but is not consumed, the voice of God calls out to him Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayehi 5778

  • Posted on December 28, 2017
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When Yosef presents his two sons, Menashe and Ephraim, to their grandfather to receive a blessing, Ya’akov does something that disturbs the apparent natural order of things: “But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and his left hand on Menashe’s–thus crossing his hands–although Menashe Continue Reading »

Shabbat Miketz/Hanukkah 5778

  • Posted on December 15, 2017
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One of the most popular stories of Hanukkah is that of Hannah and her Seven Sons, which is told in the Second Book of Maccabees. As we know, the Jews of the second century B.C.E. were forbidden to observe core commandments, and were expected to make public displays of idol-worship. Hannah, the pious single mother Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayeshev 5778

  • Posted on December 7, 2017
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The family dynamic in the Book of Genesis just keeps getting crazier with every parashah. This week, in Vayeshev, the enmity between Yosef and his brothers boils over and it almost leads to homicide. Instead, the brothers throw Yosef in a pit, sell him into slavery, and events cascade from there. Parshat Vayeshev begins with the description of Continue Reading »

Shabbat Toldot 5778

  • Posted on November 17, 2017
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The rivalry between Esav and Ya’akov begins in utero, and it never really ends. The dynamic between the two is the focus of almost all of this week’s Torah reading, Toldot. From the struggles in their mother’s womb, to the race to emerge first from the birth canal, to the negotiations over the birthright, to Continue Reading »

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