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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 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 »

>Shabbat Aharei-Mot 5771

  • Posted on April 14, 2011
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“Mah nishtanah haPesah hazeh mikol HaPesahim–How different is this Pesah from all others!” The last time I spent the seders with my parents was 1996, a month before my ordination from JTS. The last time we were in Toronto for a seder was 1977; I was in third grade. The only time in the interim Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Metzora’ 5771

  • Posted on April 7, 2011
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The haftarah for Shabbat Metzora’ tells the story of a besieged Samaria, in economic crisis and on the verge of famine so extreme that cannibalism was an appealing option for some. Just before we pick up the narrative in II Kings 7:3, the prophet Elisha has announced great news: the market will recover immediately. But Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Shemini/Parah 5771

  • Posted on March 24, 2011
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For the obsessive-compulsive among us, the next month on the Jewish calendar is one long field day. With Pesah soon to arrive, we start cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning some more. The night before the seder, as Erev Pesah begins, we are even so obsessed as to go into all the rooms we’ve cleaned and Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Tzav/Zakhor 5771

  • Posted on March 17, 2011
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The Shabbat before Purim is known as Shabbat Zakhor, because the word “zakhor–remember”–is the opening word of the special maftir reading. The Torah commands us explicitly to remember what Amalek did to us on our way out of Egypt, attacking the stragglers as they made their way to freedom. But whereas most mitzvot address some Continue Reading »