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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 Vayikra 5773

  • Posted on March 15, 2013
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This Shabbat, we’ll have the pleasure of learning Torah from USYers from the five boroughs as we host Kiriyah Spring Kinnus at HHJC. And then we have our monthly Lunch n Learn with The Observant Life. Assuming it doesn’t snow this time (!), we’ll look into the chapters on the Secular Justice System and Crime Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayek-hel-Pekudei/HaHodesh 5773

  • Posted on March 7, 2013
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In the months that followed the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites undertook two building projects: the Golden Calf and the Mishkan. One was a profane denial of God’s sovereignty; the other expressed a desire to build sacred space for God.  What should be today’s Jewish building project, and what are the implications of choosing to be Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ki-Tissa/Parah 5773

  • Posted on February 28, 2013
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It wasn’t easy getting God to calm down, but Moshe succeeded, at least for the moment. God has even tried to disown the Israelites, who responded to all God had done for them by building the Golden Calf. God said to Moshe, “Hurry down, for your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, have acted basely” Continue Reading »

Shabbat Teztaveh/Zakhor 5773

  • Posted on February 21, 2013
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What does the term “God-fearing” mean to you? For some, it conjures images of Bible-thumping fundamentalists in the American south. It sounds like a characteristic of religious fanaticism, but to others it’s at the very core of religion. It’s certainly at the core of the passage we read every year on Shabbat Zakhor, the Shabbat before Continue Reading »

Shabbat Terumah 5773

  • Posted on February 15, 2013
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The most famous phrase in this week’s parashah, Terumah, comes near the beginning of God’s instructions for the building of the Mishkan, Israel’s portable sanctuary: “And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them–ve’asu Li mikdash veshakhanti betokham” (Exodus 25:8). The word betokham, translated here as “among them,” has long puzzled me. This week, I’ve Continue Reading »

Shabbat Mishpatim/Shekalim 5773

  • Posted on February 7, 2013
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With Parshat Mishpatim we begin what is called Sefer HaBrit, the Book of the Covenant. Its appearance so soon after last week’s reading of the Decalogue, God’s will revealed at Mount Sinai, tells us that we are on the hook for more than just the “Ten Commandments.” How, exactly, are we “on the hook?” Notice that early in Continue Reading »

Shabbat Yitro 5773

  • Posted on January 31, 2013
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When someone who isn’t Jewish looks at you, what does he or she see? Is it anything like this classic movie scene? Woody Allen has been criticized severely for his ambivalent Jewish identity, but in that classic clip from Annie Hall, he may have been on to something. No, we don’t all have black hats and payes, but Continue Reading »

Shabbat Beshalah/Tu Bishvat 5773

  • Posted on January 24, 2013
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How different this seder is from all others! I refer to Seder Tu Bishvat, which we will conduct on Shabbat afternoon followingminhah in the waning hour of the day designated as the New Year for nature. A Tu Bishvat seder is not merely an opportunity to eat rare fruit in great quantity, or to experiment in shades of grape juice. It’s Continue Reading »

Shabbat Bo 5773

  • Posted on January 17, 2013
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Who shot J.R.? Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Who killed all the Egyptian firstborn? The classic line in the haggadah for Pesah says that God did the deed, in all Divine glory: “Not by way of an angel, nor by way of a seraph, nor by way of an agent.” The basis of this is a verse in our parashah: “For Continue Reading »

Shabbat Va-era 5773

  • Posted on January 10, 2013
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Justice is complicated. Finding the appropriate way to punish wrongdoing is a challenging business for lawmakers in any legal system. Societies set policy in an attempt to balance the needs of the victim of the crime (or his/her survivors) and the need to educate/improve/punish the perpetrator. In our parashah, even God has to come up with Continue Reading »

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