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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 Vayikra 5777

  • Posted on March 31, 2017
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Now that we’ve entered the month of Nisan, it’s time to begin delving into the Haggadah as we prepare for Passover. Since I’ll be away for Pesah, I’ll be teaching about the holiday this Shabbat and next. My own preparation for this year has been with the help of the haggadah commentary of the Vilna Continue Reading »

Shabbat Ki Tissa/Parah 5777

  • Posted on March 17, 2017
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When I teach at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires in the summer, one of our most popular activities is the Biblical Victims Unit. We look at classic stories from the Torah and set up courtrooms to put various characters on trial, such as Ya’akov for stealing his brother’s blessing, or Moshe for killing the Egyptian Continue Reading »

Shabbat Tetzaveh/Zakhor 5777

  • Posted on March 10, 2017
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On this Shabbat Zakhor, the Shabbat before Purim, we will take a deep dive into chapter 2 of Megillat Esther at our pre-Purim lunch and learn. Vashti has been deposed, and the vacancy is going to be filled. The king’s advisors hatch a plan for an empire-wide search for a replacement. In this chapter, we Continue Reading »

Shabbat Terumah 5777

  • Posted on March 3, 2017
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How big, according to Jewish tradition, is God? I imagine your inclination would be to spread your arms as wide as you are able and say something like, “so much bigger than this.” We express the idea of God’s enormity every time we say the kedushah: “M’lo khol ha-aretz k’vodo–God’s glory fills the entire land.” Continue Reading »

Shabbat Mishpatim/Shekalim 5777

  • Posted on February 24, 2017
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What actually happened when God revealed the Torah? Well, it depends which Biblical passage you ask!  This Shabbat, in Parshat Mishpatim, we will read a somewhat different narrative than the one we saw last week. As JTS bible professor Dr. Benjamin Sommer wrote in his book Revelation and Authority, “Commentators have long debated whether Exodus Continue Reading »

Shabbat Yitro 5777

  • Posted on February 17, 2017
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What a grand reunion does our Torah portion, Yitro, describe. After a year away from his family while busy at work, Moshe finally gets to see his family again–his wife Tzipporah, his sons Gershom and Eliezer, and his revered father-in-law, Yitro. In fact, most of the excitement, and all of the conversation, centers on the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vaera/Rosh Hodesh Shevat 5777

  • Posted on January 27, 2017
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On multiple occasions in his dealings with Pharaoh, Moshe is instructed to confront the authoritarian leader at a particular time, with a specific message, and in a distinct posture. For example: “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Early in the morning present yourself to Pharaoh and say to him…’” (Exodus 9:13). In this case, Moshe is Continue Reading »

Shabbat Shemot 5777

  • Posted on January 20, 2017
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Every Shabbat, as part of our Torah service, we have a series of public service announcements. One of them is a prayer for our country, which includes wishes for the success and well-being of the government in its various forms. On this inauguration weekend when the occupant of the White House changes, much has been Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayehi

  • Posted on January 13, 2017
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Several weeks ago, when his mother encouraged him to dress up as his twin brother and make off with his father’s blessing, Ya’akov was hesitant and anxious. The chances of getting busted were high, and the consequences severe: “If my father touches me, I shall appear to him as a trickster and bring upon myself Continue Reading »

Shabbat Vayigash 5777

  • Posted on January 6, 2017
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When Ya’akov receives the news that Yosef is indeed alive, and in fact in a position of authority in Egypt, his reaction is one of incredulity. “His heart went numb, for he did not believe them” (Genesis 45:26). It’s understandable that he might have felt shock, but is his disbelief a function of his inability Continue Reading »

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