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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 Mas’ei 5771

  • Posted on July 28, 2011
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Until this week, I wasn’t familiar with the word “prolix,” an adjective meaning “tediously lengthy.” (I was familiar with the concept; just not the word.) Then I stumbled on it twice in one day. Once was while reading about the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which invites submissions of the worst possible opening sentence to a Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Korah 5771

  • Posted on June 23, 2011
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When Mayor Bloomberg’s mother, Charlotte Rubens Bloomberg, died earlier this week, we read how little her son’s immense wealth and fame changed her personality and values. She was happy to remain in her modest house in Medford, MA. When he sent limousines to pick her up, she reimbursed him. She was proud of him, but Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Shelah-Lekha 5771

  • Posted on June 16, 2011
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“I’d like to use my lifeline, Regis.” With these words, a contestant on the hit TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire can phone a friend, ask the audience, or narrow the choices from four to two and “stay alive” in the game. The show’s creators picked an interesting term for these helping Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Beha’alotekha 5771

  • Posted on June 10, 2011
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Chronology seems to be less important to the Torah than it is to us. While we often take great pains to establish the sequence of particular events, the Torah’s narratives are sometimes arranged out of chronological order. This non-linear style of story-telling is affirmed by Rashi, the great 11th-century commentator, with his principle of Ein Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Naso 5771

  • Posted on June 2, 2011
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We sometimes feel a tremendous weight on our shoulders. What is it that we are feeling? The sons of Kehat, Levi’s grandchildren, had enough already on their shoulders, so Moshe didn’t make them schlep anything more to the Mishkan Dedication Ceremony. While the Gershonites and Merarites had plenty of animals and carts to bring, their cousins were spared: Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Bemidbar 5771

  • Posted on May 26, 2011
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There is no doubt that we are all products of our environment. But while last week, my reference to the environment was in ecological terms, this time I’d like us to consider “the ‘hood”–where we grew up, and where we live now. In Parshat Bemidbar, we read of the Israelite’s housing arrangements. The tribes will Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Behukotai 5771

  • Posted on May 19, 2011
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Last week, our Torah portion emphasized the mitzvah of Shemittah, the sabbatical year of rest for the land. In our look inside this commandment during services last Shabbat morning, we noted that the following week’s parshah, Behukotai, mentions the threat of exile if the Israelites do not observe the laws of Shemittah with bitter irony: Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Behar 5771

  • Posted on May 12, 2011
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Parshat Behar addresses the inevitability of poverty. And though the common translation of Leviticus 25:35 says “If your kinsman, being in straits, comes under your authority,” the Torah uses the word “Ki”–not “if,” but “when.” It is bound to occur that we will encounter among us needy whom we must strengthen. In his commentary on Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Emor 5771

  • Posted on May 6, 2011
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The Kohen Gadol, the High Priest in ancient Israel, was subject to great privilege. He led a family that lived off the foodstuff of the masses, he wore special clothes, and he had extraordinary access to God through ritual and the sacred precincts of the Temple. In theory, he would never have to worry about Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Hol Hamo’ed Pesah 5771

  • Posted on April 22, 2011
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It’s my annual custom to buy a few new haggadot each year in the weeks leading up to Pesah. This year things got rather hectic, so my first real opportunity to shop came the Sunday before Yom Tov at a Judaica store in Toronto. One of my new purchases is called The Haggadah Connection; the Continue Reading »