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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 Shemot 5774

  • Posted on December 20, 2013
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What are your plans for this coming Tuesday evening and Wednesday? You can be sure that whatever you have in mind to do, it’ll be different than what you would have done in, say, Poland in the 18th century on that same date, or in Venice in the 16th century. The term “December dilemma” has Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayehi 5774

  • Posted on December 12, 2013
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Just as the Torah portion, Vayehi, dwells extensively on a father giving deathbed guidance to his sons, so does the haftarah. But the tone of the fatherly instructions in the haftarah is jarring. Here, in the second chapter of the Book of Kings, David advises his chosen successor Shlomo to do more than just to Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayigash 5774

  • Posted on December 5, 2013
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As Pharaoh had dreamed and Yosef had interpreted, the Land of Egypt was wracked by famine. Yosef’s initial economic advice was for Egypt to prepare for seven years of scarcity by stockpiling grain during seven years of surplus. But when it came time to address the population’s needs, things got dicey for the average Egyptian.  Continue Reading »

Shabbat Miketz/Hanukkah

  • Posted on November 29, 2013
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Who, really, were the Maccabees? We’ve always learned about the courage of the five sons of Mattathias: Yohanan, Shimon, Yehudah, Elazar and Yonatan. Yehudah–the Judah Maccabee of classic Jewish folklore, is the symbol of military strength in the face of persecution. Then there’s the heroism of Elazar, who took on the elephant in an act Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayeshev 5774

  • Posted on November 22, 2013
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As a native Torontonian, it’s been nice to see my city getting so much attention in recent weeks. Well, that’s not quite true. As the world watches the train wreck that is Mayor Rob Ford speed faster and faster out of control, I can’t imagine that anyone with roots in Toronto is proud of the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayishlah 5774

  • Posted on November 14, 2013
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It’s been 20+ years since Ya’akov and Esav have last seen each other. Now, they are on a collision course, and given how they felt about each other when they parted, the upcoming scene is fraught with tension. All that tension seems to melt away when Esav approaches his estranged twin: “Esau ran to greet Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayetzei 5774

  • Posted on November 8, 2013
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Reuven had the best of intentions. He saw that his mother, Leah, was in tough against her younger and prettier sister, Rahel, in the competition for dad’s attention. So he goes and picks dudaim, mandrakes, and gives them to his mom. He obviously knows the mythical power of mandrakes–a known aphrodisiac in the ancient world. This Continue Reading »

Shabbat Toldot

  • Posted on October 31, 2013
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Esav the hunter comes in from the field and desperately wants to eat what his brother Ya’akov is cooking. “Stuff me with that red red stuff,” he stutters. Ya’akov drives a hard bargain, though, and asks for Esav’s birthright in return. ” Esav replies, “Hinei anokhi holekh lamut–I am at the point of death, so Continue Reading »

Shabbat Hayei-Sarah 5774

  • Posted on October 24, 2013
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After burying his wife, Sarah, Avraham begins to confront his own mortality and realizes it’s time to solidify his legacy. After all, God has promised him a long-term covenantal relationship. It took long enough for Avraham to produce an heir to this covenant, and in order for the heir to have an heir, he needs Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayera 5774

  • Posted on October 17, 2013
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As I headed for the ballroom where the big plenary session was about to begin, I saw a man in the hallway outside the doors. Because I had heard the upcoming speaker, Ron Wolfson, before, I knew who it was standing there. It was Ron Wolfson. Before speaking in front of a convention of 1200 Continue Reading »