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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 Lekh-Lekha 5777

  • Posted on November 11, 2016
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Last week, after Noah emerged from the ark, God made a brit, a covenant, with him and all humanity. God’s promise, in the form of a rainbow, was to never again flood the earth so thoroughly. What was our end of the bargain? We were now permitted to consume the flesh of animals, perhaps as Continue Reading »

Shabbat Noah 5777

  • Posted on November 4, 2016
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When game seven of the World Series was delayed by rain on Wednesday evening, didn’t you begin to wonder if the rain might last 40 days and nights? It was almost like the umpires went searching for two of every animal in anticipation of a serious deluge. Actually, that’s based on the part of the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Bereshit 5777

  • Posted on October 28, 2016
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It’s one of the most challenging passages theologically in all of Torah, and it comes in the very first chapter. God has been extraordinarily productive for five-plus days, creating this and that and the next. Then, God has an idea. Instead of saying “Let there be…,” God says “Let’s.” The plan is to make a Continue Reading »

Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot 5777

  • Posted on October 23, 2016
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We’re rolling through Sukkot, known as zeman simhateinu, the time of our rejoicing, when we suddenly get hit with this splash of cold water in our festive faces. There’s no more moody Biblical text than Kohelet, or Ecclesiastes. In both the opening and closing chapters, the author asserts: “Havel havalim…hakol havel–Utter futility…all is futile!” As we prepare Continue Reading »

Shabbat Haazinu 5777

  • Posted on October 14, 2016
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Two passages in this week’s poetic Torah reading, Haazinu, jumped out at me when I learned of the 24 member states in UNESCO who voted for a resolution denying the historical ties of Judaism (and Christianity, for that matter) to Jerusalem. The first verse that comes to mind is the very first one of the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ki Tavo 5776

  • Posted on September 23, 2016
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Is jealousy ever a good thing? After all, the Torah is pretty harsh about the sin of covetousness, even mentioning it on some Top Ten commandment lists. The rabbis spin stories to emphasize humility. The moon complained that the sun was getting too much credit, so God made its light weaker than that of her Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ki Teitzei

  • Posted on September 16, 2016
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Early this week, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared a video profile of Talleen Abu Hama, who will be representing Israel in the Miss Trans International pageant this week. It’s a fascinating story about a Nazareth-born man who found that the Jewish State was the safest place for him to embrace his true gender and Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shoftim 5776

  • Posted on September 9, 2016
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Is there such thing as unfair competition in Jewish thought? I remember a dispute when a new kosher pizza place opened on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in my student days,, much to the aggravation of the owner of an existing pizza place a few blocks away. I think the local rabbinic authorities, the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Reeh/Rosh Hodesh Elul

  • Posted on September 2, 2016
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As we observe Rosh Hodesh Elul on Shabbat and Sunday, we’ll notice a change in our ritual behavior. With the arrival of the final month of 5776, we will sound the shofar each day leading up to the eve of Rosh Hashanah. The reason for this tradition is found in the midrash:   “On Rosh Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ekev 5776

  • Posted on August 26, 2016
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This is the time of year when parents move their children out of the house and into a dorm room. By and large, it’s an American rite of passage. While parents remain responsible for their children in many ways (tuition especially!), what we do when we pack them up and take them to campus is Continue Reading »