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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
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Weekly Shabbat Message

Shabbat Vayetzei 5776

  • Posted on November 19, 2015
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At the end of last week’s portion, Toldot, Ya’akov has no choice but to leave home. It’s not safe; Esav has threatened to kill him once dad is gone. Both Rivkah and Yitzhak, in separate conversations, advise him to head east, to his uncle Lavan’s homestead.   Put simply, this week in Parshat Vayetzei, Ya’akov is Continue Reading »

Shabbat Toldot 5776

  • Posted on November 12, 2015
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What’s the relationship between truth and lies? Are they polar opposites, or are they more closely comparable?   There’s a fascinating explanation for a subtle nuance in the story of the births of Esav and Ya’akov, those ever-struggling twins. The Torah records their birth and immediate naming as follows: “The first one emerged red, like Continue Reading »

Shabbat Hayei-Sarah 5776

  • Posted on November 5, 2015
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As our congregation prepares to celebrate with our veterans this Shabbat, I’d like to draw attention to the very first Jewish war veteran, Avraham Avinu. We don’t usually think of our founding patriarch as a war hero, but indeed he was. Two weeks ago, we read in Parshat Lekh-Lekha about his military rescue mission when Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayera 5776

  • Posted on October 30, 2015
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Avraham and Sarah are desperate to have a child. Last week, extreme measures were taken when Hagar was used as a surrogate. This week, Divine messengers bring the news that Sarah herself will become pregnant. Yitzhak is born, but by the end of Parshat Vayera this week, Avraham may well have lost both of his Continue Reading »

Shabbat Lekh-Lekha 5776

  • Posted on October 23, 2015
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It doesn’t take long for the father of our People, Avram, to learn that in the future his children would be victimized. God tells him, “Know that your offspring shall be strangers in a land not theirs, and they shall be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13). Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirscsh, known as Continue Reading »

Shabbat Noah 5776

  • Posted on October 16, 2015
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The results of the sixth day of Creation were not just good, but tov meod, very good. Presumably, that’s because we–humanity–were created on that day. But it doesn’t take God long to lament having created human beings. This week’s portion, Parshat Noah, describes God’s attempt to start over in light of that miscalculation. After enabling Noah Continue Reading »

Shabbat Bereshit 5776

  • Posted on October 8, 2015
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If you read the beginning chapters of the Torah to try to figure out how we got here, you’ll probably wind up with a headache. Parshat Bereshit, and the beginning of Genesis, opens with not one but two creation stories. Neither of these jives particularly well with evolutionary science. We can read many books about the interplay Continue Reading »

Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot 5776

  • Posted on October 2, 2015
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There’s much wisdom to be found in wisdom literature (thank you, Rabbi Obvious!). On Sukkot, our source of wisdom is the biblical book Kohelet, Ecclesiastes. We’ll read a chapter of it at services Shabbat morning, as we do every Sukkot; this year, we’re up to Chapter 11. Before you join me in making bankruptcy jokes, Continue Reading »

Shabbat Haazinu 5776

  • Posted on September 25, 2015
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As we build a bridge between the seriousness of Yom Kippur and the unbridled joy of Sukkot, the Torah portion that serves as the link this year is Haazinu. It’s Moshe’s farewell to the People in poetic form coming at the end of several chapters of his signing off in prose. But there’s a common Continue Reading »

Shabbat Haazinu 5776

  • Posted on September 24, 2015
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As we build a bridge between the seriousness of Yom Kippur and the unbridled joy of Sukkot, the Torah portion that serves as the link this year is Haazinu. It’s Moshe’s farewell to the People in poetic form coming at the end of several chapters of his signing off in prose. But there’s a common Continue Reading »

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