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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 Ha-azinu 5779

  • Posted on September 20, 2018
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Before delving into this coming Shabbat’s readings, I want to express my gratitude to our community for such a meaningful start to 5779. It is a privilege to pray, learn, and connect with you on these most holy days.   As promised, here are some video clips of the songs I referenced in my Yom Continue Reading »

Shabbat Nitzavim 5778

  • Posted on September 6, 2018
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Teshuvah–repentance. It’s one of the most important concepts in all of Judaism, but you won’t find it in the Torah. Well, that’s not entirely true; in this week’s Torah portion, Nitzavim, we read the following: “When all these things befall you…and you take them to heart amidst the various nations to which the LORD your God Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ki-Teitzei 5778

  • Posted on August 23, 2018
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The Torah demands of us that we be generous. Does it expect us to extend our generosity to the point where it becomes detrimental, both to the giver and the recipient?   Consider this hypothetical situation: you are walking on Broadway, and you encounter a person who is clearly stricken with both poverty and drug addiction. Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shoftim 5778

  • Posted on August 16, 2018
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When you think of the great leaders of ancient Israel, the list would surely include at least a few kings: David, Solomon, Hezekiah, among others. Of course, there are no Israelite kings in the Torah, and the only mention of a future Israelite king appears this week, in Parshat Shoftim. It’s the passage where the Torah Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ekev 5778

  • Posted on August 2, 2018
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Thirty-five years ago, the British band The Police had their greatest commercial success with the song Every Breath You Take. On the surface, with its pleasant melody, it seemed to be a song about deep, devotional love. But a more careful listen to Sting’s lyrics will expose the speaker’s more sinister motives: “Every breath you take/every move you Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vaethanan 5778

  • Posted on July 27, 2018
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Hag Sameah! Today it is my pleasure to wish you a festive Tu B’Av, one of the least-known but most festive days on the Jewish calendar. No, it’s not Tu Bishvat, so we won’t be having a fruit-filled seder; and it’s clearly not Tish’ah B’Av, that mournful day we commemorated earlier this week.   What is Tu B’Av? It’s Continue Reading »

Shabbat Devarim 5778

  • Posted on July 20, 2018
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Two passages from this week’s Torah portion, Devarim, jump out at me this week. One is a seemingly irrelevant but oft-appearing geographical reference, for example: “Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to make this instruction clear” (Deuteronomy 1:5). The phrase B’ever haYarden, “across the Jordan, occurs several times in this Biblical book. But Continue Reading »

Shabbat Korah 5778

  • Posted on June 15, 2018
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The story of Korah’s rebellion is one of most textually complicated passages in the Torah. There are multiple players, all with a similar complaint, namely that Moshe and Aharon have solidified their leadership at the expense of others who were equally deserving or qualified. But these multiple players have diverse agendas, and sorting out who Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shelah-Lekha 5778

  • Posted on June 7, 2018
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“How could they have done this to their children?”    The Israelites have it all set up perfectly. God has freed them from slavery, rescued them from the Egyptians, sustained them in the wilderness, forgiven their foibles, and prepared them for the Promised Land. Now, so close in both location and time to arriving in Continue Reading »

Shabbat Beha’alotekha 5778

  • Posted on June 1, 2018
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  Two weeks ago, I reflected on the fact that according to the Biblical model, in approaching age 50, I would soon be exempt from military service. This week, in reading Parshat Beha’alotekha, I realized that if I had been born a Levite in those days, I’d also be on the verge of retirement. “But at Continue Reading »