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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 Bemidbar 5778

  • Posted on May 18, 2018
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I’ve never worn a military uniform, not even as a Purim costume, because I’ve never considered myself worthy of one. But as I approach my 50th birthday in a few months, I realize this week that had I been born in a different time in Jewish history, I would just be aging out of military Continue Reading »

Shabbat Behar-Behukotai 5778

  • Posted on May 10, 2018
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Years ago, on one of my trips to Israel, I found myself bumping into one familiar face after another as I walked in Jerusalem. It was in the days before Facebook, but I realized at the time that in terms of Jewish geography, Jerusalem was the ultimate social media site. If you haven’t seen someone Continue Reading »

Shabbat Emor 5778

  • Posted on May 4, 2018
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“In three places [Scripture] mentions the festivals: In Leviticus, because of their order; in Numbers, because of their sacrifices; and in Deuteronomy, because of the leap year [to assure that Passover is celebrated in the spring].” (Sifrei Devarim 127) It is rather fascinating that the Torah instructs us about the scheduled celebrations we call holidays Continue Reading »

Shabbat Aharei-Mot/Kedoshim 5778

  • Posted on April 30, 2018
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In the midst of the Holiness Code, the section of the Torah that we read this Shabbat with our double portion of Aharei-Mot/Kedoshim, we find an agricultural law that seems contrary to a farmer’s instincts. “When you enter the land and plant any tree for food, you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. Three years it Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shemini 5778

  • Posted on April 13, 2018
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We are in the midst of what Rabbi Donniel Hartman calls “the High Holy Days of the State of Israel.” This is the Shabbat that conencts Yom HaShoah veHagevurah, which we just finished observing, to Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha-atzmaut, which are observed and celebrated next week. It’s an emotional rollercoaster for Israelis in particular, and for many Jews Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayikra/HaHodesh 5778

  • Posted on March 16, 2018
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From the moment I began collecting multi-volume Torah commentaries in my JTS days, I noticed a fascinating trend. In almost every set that contained five volumes, one for each of the books of the humash (an abbreviation for Hamishah Humshei Torah, the Five Books of the Torah), the thickest volume of all was Vayikra, Leviticus.   Considering that the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayakhel-Pekudei/Parah 5778

  • Posted on March 9, 2018
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Of the many things I had a chance to learn about and discuss during my five days in Washington with AIPAC this week, none seems so timely as the topic of my Shabbat dinner session: “Zionism in Tension with Other Values.” The presenter, Yehuda Kurtzer, is well-known to our Engaging Israel students in his leadership Continue Reading »

Shabbat Tetzveh/Zakhor 5778

  • Posted on February 22, 2018
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On this Shabbat before Purim, as we have for the last few years, we take time for a close reading of a different chapter of Megillat Esther. This year, we’ll pay particular attention to chapter 3.   It would be reasonable to say that the first two chapters of the Megillah are rather frivolous. We learn of the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Terumah 5778

  • Posted on February 16, 2018
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This week’s Torah portion, Terumah, begins a stretch of parshiyot whose primary concern is the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary that God instructs Moshe to build for the wilderness phase of Israel’s experience. But it’s not the first time we get details on sacred worship. In fact, right after the report on revelation that we call The Ten Commandments, we Continue Reading »

Shabbat Mishpatim/Shekalim

  • Posted on February 9, 2018
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It is in this week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, that we first encounter one of the core concepts of our tradition: radical empathy. It is expressed in the phrase, “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egpyt (Exodus 23:9).    Perhaps because Continue Reading »