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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 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 »

>Shabbat Vayikra 5771

  • Posted on March 10, 2011
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As we begin reading Sefer Vayikra, the Book of Leviticus, we find ourselves waist-deep in sacrifices. The central focus of ancient Israel’s ritual, sacrifices are foreign to us today. But in truth, we make them all the time. They may not involve quite as much blood and smoke, but still we sacrifice. Of course, the Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Pekudei/Shekalim 5771

  • Posted on March 3, 2011
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We find ourselves at the stage between collection and construction. The materials for the Mishkan have been gathered; the people have been more than generous. The time has come to put it all together, and eventually, Moshe will set it up. But first, there’s business to conduct: an audit. Seriously, now! The project was commissioned Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Vayakhel 5771

  • Posted on February 24, 2011
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When Jesse Owens ran, or Baryshnikov danced, or Judy Garland sang, it was clear to those who witnessed them that they were destined to perform at the highest level. Sure, they had to work hard to achieve fame, but they began with a gift of raw talent, genius, a calling. Apparently, when the Biblical artist Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Ki Tissa 5771

  • Posted on February 17, 2011
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We can read the episode of Egel Hazahav, the Golden Calf, which dominates our Torah portion, in two distinct ways. It is either a ringing indictment of Aaron, or it’s an example of a leader thinking quickly to make the best of a rotten situation. Is he complicit in building the calf–remember, he is the Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Tetzaveh 5771

  • Posted on February 10, 2011
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The Ner Tamid, the eternal light that is such a powerful symbol in the synagogue, has its origins in this week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh. Through Moses, God commands Aaron to gather pure olive oil to establish this Ner Tamid. Aaron and his sons are to set up these lamps “in the Tent of Meeting, outside Continue Reading »

>Shabbat Terumah 5771

  • Posted on February 3, 2011
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As we embark on a series of Torah readings that deal with the architecture and furnishings of the Mishkan, the Israelites’ wilderness-friendly portable sanctuary, we see a great deal of detail that may seem bereft of meaning. After all, do we look for spiritual inspiration in the technicalities of Ikea assembly manuals? But the beauty Continue Reading »