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Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center : A Community Enriching Jewish Connections and Jewish Values

210-10 Union Turnpike, Hollis Hills, NY 11364
(718) 776-3500

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Weekly Shabbat Message

Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot 5778

  • Posted on October 4, 2017
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I confess that I felt a bit like the author of Kohelet earlier this week. This Sukkot, as we cycle back to the first chapter of the biblical scroll, we are struck by the futility of life. “One generation goes and another generation comes. But the earth always remains the same” (1:4). Or “Everything is exhausting. You Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ha-azinu/Shabbat Shuvah 5778

  • Posted on September 24, 2017
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Every worthwhile discipline has a program with steps. Stephen Covey had his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote of the five stages of coming to terms with loss. Alchoholics Anonymous has a magnficent 12-step program for recovery. And then there’s a somewhat-less-sucessful nine-step plan that you can watch here: Since teshuvah, repentance, is a most worthwhile Continue Reading »

Shabbat Nitzavim-Vayelekh 5777

  • Posted on September 15, 2017
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Every year, immediately before Rosh Hashanah, the weekly Torah readings fit the occasion so appropriately. On this final Shabbat of 5777, we read at the beginning of our two parshiyot, Nitzavim-Vayelekh:    “You are all standing this day before the LORD your God: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, every man of Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ki-Tavo

  • Posted on September 8, 2017
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As I enter my 13th year as the rabbi of this wonderful community, I often recall my first Yom Kippur here.  We were clobbered all day leading up to Kol Nidre with relentless rain, and by the end of services that evening, we discovered that the shul building was taking on water. There was a flood in Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ki-Teitzei 5777

  • Posted on September 1, 2017
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We have been overwhelmed by the images from Houston and other Gulf communities in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. So much has been lost, including lives, in the flooding. There is so much that cannot be replaced, but we’ve also been inspired by the sights of volunteers all across the country packing trucks with supplies Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shoftim

  • Posted on August 28, 2017
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Several weeks ago, when we learned about ‘arei miklat, the cities of refuge, we underscored how important it was to the theology of Biblical Israel to avenge all spilled blood. That makes the final topic covered in this week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, truly fascinating. It’s the ritual of the ‘eglah ‘arufah, which is a response to finding a Continue Reading »

Shabbat Reeh 5777

  • Posted on August 21, 2017
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For the second time already in his farewell discourse, Moshe instructs the people what to do when they inevitably encounter idolatrous shrines upon conquering the Promised Land. On the heels of 7:5, we learn this week in Parshat Reeh: “You must destroy all the sites at which the nations you are to dispossess worshiped their gods…Tear Continue Reading »

Shabbat Devarim 5777

  • Posted on July 28, 2017
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In just a few days, we will commemorate Tish’ah B’Av, a day of mourning for cumulative national trauma. Most notably, we remember the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem. The hurban represents not only the demolition of a building, but of the sovereign society at whose epicenter the Temple stood. But we are here to commemorate it, which means Continue Reading »

Shabbat Mattot-Mas’ei 5777

  • Posted on July 21, 2017
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In the ancient world, the spilling of blood was cause for spilling more blood. That’s why murderers were killed, either executed by the courts in capital punishment, or if they fled, by a relative of the initial victim in an act of blood vengeance. The institution of cities of refuge, ‘arei miklat, is mentioned in a Continue Reading »

Shabbat Balak 5777

  • Posted on July 7, 2017
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One of the Torah’s most entertaining scenes is the confrontation between the prophet Bil’am and his talking ass. Bil’am, a prophet considered to be the gentile prophetic equal to Moshe, Balak, king of Moav, to curse the otherwise unstoppable Israelites. As he rides his long-serving animal up the hill to get a better view of Continue Reading »