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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 Ki Tissa 5776

  • Posted on February 26, 2016
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You’ve been given your toughest assignment yet as a defense attorney. You have to get Aharon off the hook for a heinous crime against God: aiding and abetting idolatry, building the Golden Calf.   As members of the legal team, you of course need more information. But you need to do some independent research. You Continue Reading »

Shabbat Terumah 5776

  • Posted on February 11, 2016
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When you think of cherubs, what comes to mind? I’d imagine that adorable faces with rosy cheeks and chubby thighs are part of your mental picture, with some wings thrown in for good measure. That’s the image we’ve adopted and that dominates the Valentine’s Day commercial cachet. But in Jewish tradition, keruvim, cherubim, are far more Continue Reading »

Shabbat Mishpatim 5776

  • Posted on February 5, 2016
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A few years ago, in our Law, Order, and Torah class, we addressed the issue of self-defense in Jewish law. Our core text appears in this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Mishpatim. Its rabbinic code name is haba bamahteret: “If [a] thief is seized while tunneling (bamahteret), and he is beaten to death, there is no Continue Reading »

Shabbat Yitro 5776

  • Posted on January 29, 2016
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We’re excited to welcome Sababa USY to our shul this Shabbat, and they’ll do the teaching as well as the davening at Shabbat morning services. I’m sure that the sight of talented teens leading and participating so actively will be music to my ears.   Yes, the mixed sensory metaphor (“sight…music”) was intentional. It’s reflective Continue Reading »

Shabbat Bo 5776

  • Posted on January 15, 2016
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The narrative of the makkot, the ten plagues, is not just a story of God versus Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The Egyptian environment–all living things, including animals–felt the repercussions of Pharaoh’s obstinacy and refusal to let Israel go free. The plague of dever, cattle pestilence, in particular targeted creatures other than humans, but it’s clear Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vaera 5776

  • Posted on January 8, 2016
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As we begin the narrative of the plagues in this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Vaera, we are amazing by the miraculous happenings in Egypt. While scholars and even filmmakers (such as Ridley Scott in last year’s abysmal Gods and Kings) suggest nature-based explanations for each plague, that’s not the Torah’s point. These are presented as Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayehi 5776

  • Posted on December 24, 2015
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“Come, all ye faithful”–at this time in our secular calendar, we’re likely to hear this song on the radio, whether we like it or not. It reminds us of the prominent place of faith in Christianity. In contrast, we think with no little relief, Judaism is a tradition focused more on action than on faith. Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayigash 5776

  • Posted on December 18, 2015
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This week, we’ll try another edition of Breakout Shabbat–for those who want to use the Torah service to discuss the weekly portion, Vayigash, you’ll have a chance to do so in the White Chapel, with Ben Solomowitz as the facilitator. As always, it is best to read the parshah in advance. Click this link to find the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Miketz/Rosh Hodesh/Hanukkah 5776

  • Posted on December 10, 2015
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The stories we tell about ourselves are in a constant state of evolution. At times, we add color and detail to enhance the narrative. Other times, we leave out certain elements when they no longer serve the larger purpose of the story.   The story of Hanukkah is just like any other–subject to embellishment at Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayeshev 5776

  • Posted on December 4, 2015
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Yosef’s brothers strip him of his fancy coat, and to cover their tracks after selling him into slavery, they slaughter a goat and cover the coat with its blood. They come and ask their father, Ya’akov, if he recognizes the coat. “My son’s tunic! A savage beast devoured him! Joseph was torn by a beast!” Continue Reading »

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