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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
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Weekly Shabbat Message

Shabbat Shemot 5778

  • Posted on January 5, 2018
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We encounter a phrase we’ve seen many times before but have yet to see in the Torah reading cycle before this week as we begin reading the Book of Exodus with Parshat Shemot. As Moshe approaches the curious site of a bush that burns but is not consumed, the voice of God calls out to him Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayehi 5778

  • Posted on December 28, 2017
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When Yosef presents his two sons, Menashe and Ephraim, to their grandfather to receive a blessing, Ya’akov does something that disturbs the apparent natural order of things: “But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and his left hand on Menashe’s–thus crossing his hands–although Menashe Continue Reading »

Shabbat Miketz/Hanukkah 5778

  • Posted on December 15, 2017
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One of the most popular stories of Hanukkah is that of Hannah and her Seven Sons, which is told in the Second Book of Maccabees. As we know, the Jews of the second century B.C.E. were forbidden to observe core commandments, and were expected to make public displays of idol-worship. Hannah, the pious single mother Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayeshev 5778

  • Posted on December 7, 2017
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The family dynamic in the Book of Genesis just keeps getting crazier with every parashah. This week, in Vayeshev, the enmity between Yosef and his brothers boils over and it almost leads to homicide. Instead, the brothers throw Yosef in a pit, sell him into slavery, and events cascade from there. Parshat Vayeshev begins with the description of Continue Reading »

Shabbat Toldot 5778

  • Posted on November 17, 2017
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The rivalry between Esav and Ya’akov begins in utero, and it never really ends. The dynamic between the two is the focus of almost all of this week’s Torah reading, Toldot. From the struggles in their mother’s womb, to the race to emerge first from the birth canal, to the negotiations over the birthright, to Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayera 5778

  • Posted on November 3, 2017
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Have you ever tried to look at the story of the destruction of Sodom from the perspective of the residents of that doomed city? Granted, it’s hard to do so because there were no survivors, other than Lot and his two unmarried daughters. So no one left any historical record of expressions of righteous indignation Continue Reading »

Shabbat Noah/Rosh Hodesh 5778

  • Posted on October 20, 2017
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The new residents of the land of Shinar have grand architectural plans. They want to build a tower “with its top to the sky.” But it’s not just about the ediface itself; it’s a pursuit of accomplishment and acclaim.  “Vena’aseh lanu shem–so that we make a name for ourselves, ” they said (Genesis 11:4). Of Continue Reading »

Shabbat Bereshit 5778

  • Posted on October 11, 2017
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When our children were little, one of the most fascinating stories we would read together was Why the Snake Crawls on its Belly by Eric Kimmel. It tells of a ladder that extended from earth all the way up to heaven, which Adam and Eve used at their leisure. Angels would serenade them as they climbed, and Continue Reading »

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 »

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