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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 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 »

Shabbat Vayishlah 5776

  • Posted on November 27, 2015
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One of the most troubling narratives in the entire Bible is the story of the rape of Dinah, which appears in this week’s portion,Vayishlah. Yes, I’m aware of the school of interpretation that Dinah did indeed consent to relations with Shechem. For more on this line of interpretation, you can read this entry from the Jewish Continue Reading »

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 »

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