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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 Vayeshev 5778

  • Posted on December 7, 2017
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The family dynamic in the Book of Genesis just keeps getting crazier with every parashah. This week, in Vayeshev, the enmity between Yosef and his brothers boils over and it almost leads to homicide. Instead, the brothers throw Yosef in a pit, sell him into slavery, and events cascade from there. Parshat Vayeshev begins with the description of Continue Reading »

Shabbat Toldot 5778

  • Posted on November 17, 2017
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The rivalry between Esav and Ya’akov begins in utero, and it never really ends. The dynamic between the two is the focus of almost all of this week’s Torah reading, Toldot. From the struggles in their mother’s womb, to the race to emerge first from the birth canal, to the negotiations over the birthright, to Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayera 5778

  • Posted on November 3, 2017
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Have you ever tried to look at the story of the destruction of Sodom from the perspective of the residents of that doomed city? Granted, it’s hard to do so because there were no survivors, other than Lot and his two unmarried daughters. So no one left any historical record of expressions of righteous indignation Continue Reading »

Shabbat Noah/Rosh Hodesh 5778

  • Posted on October 20, 2017
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The new residents of the land of Shinar have grand architectural plans. They want to build a tower “with its top to the sky.” But it’s not just about the ediface itself; it’s a pursuit of accomplishment and acclaim.  “Vena’aseh lanu shem–so that we make a name for ourselves, ” they said (Genesis 11:4). Of Continue Reading »

Shabbat Bereshit 5778

  • Posted on October 11, 2017
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When our children were little, one of the most fascinating stories we would read together was Why the Snake Crawls on its Belly by Eric Kimmel. It tells of a ladder that extended from earth all the way up to heaven, which Adam and Eve used at their leisure. Angels would serenade them as they climbed, and Continue Reading »

Shabbat Hol Hamoed Sukkot 5778

  • Posted on October 4, 2017
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I confess that I felt a bit like the author of Kohelet earlier this week. This Sukkot, as we cycle back to the first chapter of the biblical scroll, we are struck by the futility of life. “One generation goes and another generation comes. But the earth always remains the same” (1:4). Or “Everything is exhausting. You Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ha-azinu/Shabbat Shuvah 5778

  • Posted on September 24, 2017
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Every worthwhile discipline has a program with steps. Stephen Covey had his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote of the five stages of coming to terms with loss. Alchoholics Anonymous has a magnficent 12-step program for recovery. And then there’s a somewhat-less-sucessful nine-step plan that you can watch here: Since teshuvah, repentance, is a most worthwhile Continue Reading »

Shabbat Nitzavim-Vayelekh 5777

  • Posted on September 15, 2017
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Every year, immediately before Rosh Hashanah, the weekly Torah readings fit the occasion so appropriately. On this final Shabbat of 5777, we read at the beginning of our two parshiyot, Nitzavim-Vayelekh:    “You are all standing this day before the LORD your God: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, every man of Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ki-Tavo

  • Posted on September 8, 2017
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As I enter my 13th year as the rabbi of this wonderful community, I often recall my first Yom Kippur here.  We were clobbered all day leading up to Kol Nidre with relentless rain, and by the end of services that evening, we discovered that the shul building was taking on water. There was a flood in Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ki-Teitzei 5777

  • Posted on September 1, 2017
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We have been overwhelmed by the images from Houston and other Gulf communities in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. So much has been lost, including lives, in the flooding. There is so much that cannot be replaced, but we’ve also been inspired by the sights of volunteers all across the country packing trucks with supplies Continue Reading »