‘Rabbi’ Category

Rabbi

March 19, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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A Prayer of Hope During This Pandemic

I found the prayer very helpful and calming for me. The leadership of Beth Mordecai and I will be contacting our members. Please email Rabbi Metz at Rabbi.SaraMetz@gmail.com if there is any way we can do to help during this difficult time. A Prayer of Hope During this Pandemic by Rabbi Naomi Levy We are frightened, God, Worried for our loved ones, Worried for our world. Helpless and confused, We turn to You Seeking comfort, faith and hope. Teach us God, to turn our panic into patience, And our fear into acts of kindness and support. Our strong must watch out for our weak, Our young must take care of our old. Help each one of us to do our part to halt the spread of this virus Send[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Rabbi

March 16, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Half a Shekel

In this week’s parsha, Ki Tisa, we learn that each adult male was required to contribute the same amount, a half-shekel towards the building of the Mishkan, the portable Tabernacle in the desert. This mitzvah or commandment served two primary functions: it was a census, counting all the adult males potentially eligible for battle, and it helped to build up a fund to pay for the construction of Mishkan. The nature of each contribution being the same amount suggests the importance of each person. Each person has equal value to this world and God. Yet the amount that was given was only half a shekel from each adult male. Each person matters. This tax was only required by the adult males, yet each[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Rabbi

March 5, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Sacral Vestments

Following the description of the structure of the Tabernacle last week in Parashat Terumah, our portion, Tetzaveh, leads off with a depiction of the High Priest’s “sacral vestments” - the choshen hamishpat (breastplate of decision), the ephod, a robe, a fringed tunic, a headdress, and a sash. Classical commentators describe the purpose of those pieces of clothing is to elevate the holiness of Aharon, the High Priest, Kohen Gadol. Those items were made specifically for holy use. They are different and set apart from other articles of clothing. They were made with great care out of precious materials to be both beautiful and awe-inspiring. However, there were also specific elements of the sacral vestments that God commanded be included, not because of[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Uncategorized

Rabbi

March 3, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Sacred Objects

Parashat Terumah details the construction of some of our earliest sacred objects: the Ark of the Covenant (yes, the same one Indiana Jones found), the Tabernacle, and the sacred altar. Many of these objects take on central roles throughout the rest of the Torah and into Jewish history. The Ark of the Covenant led the Israelites on their march through the wilderness and in early battles for the Land of Israel. The Tabernacle was the portable sanctuary that eventually led to the construction of the Temple, the permanent sanctuary we still turn towards when we pray. As important as each of these objects are, they are in certain ways surprising. We speak of God as being without body or substance, so why do we have physical[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Rabbi

February 17, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: The Ten Commandments

Last week we experienced the miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea. This week, we stand together at Sinai to receive set of teachings commonly known in English as “The Ten Commandments.” The content of these teachings is as important as their order. They are: I am the Lord, your God, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall not have the gods of others before Me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image… You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain… Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it…. The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it. Honor your father and your mother… [...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Rabbi

February 6, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Move From Prayer to Action

The Torah was written with an economy of language, meaning a minimum of words. Every black letter carefully written on the white parchment holds within it immense meaning and potential. The Rabbis often look for interpretations and explanations to better understand the text. Often the Torah switches from one narrative to another and back again. Between 400-1200 CE, the Rabbis compiled various narratives that come to explain or give more detail about a part of the Torah know as Midrashim. Exodus 14:5-22 states, “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to Me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. And you lift up your rod and hold out your arm over the sea and split it, so that the[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Rabbi

January 30, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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“A Mixed Mixture Went Up”

In this week’s parsha, Bo, we celebrate our exodus from slavery. We, the children of Israel are a mighty nation that God is bringing out from slavery to redemption, to freedom. God brings us out as a community. Our Torah tells us “a mixed mixture went up.” The rabbis believe that every word in the Torah was specifically chosen by God for a reason. In this verse, I believe the Torah is commenting on community and relationships. Not only is there a mixture of people going up from slavery to freedom, it is a diverse group that is mixed amongst itself. I understand this verse to be telling us of the importance to branch out from your family or your social comfort[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Rabbi

January 23, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message – Showing Gratitude

As the Plagues of Egypt are about to begin, the Torah relates that God tells Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out his hand over the river. It seems strange that Moses does not do it himself! Our sages offer a compelling explanation. Since the river sheltered Moses in his basket when he was an infant, Moses is not allowed to hit the river now, and instead, Aaron is given the job. The reasoning seems somewhat odd. What difference does it make that the river once “helped” Moses? Will it be “insulted” if Moses hits it now? Since when do rivers have feelings? And why is it better that Aaron hit the river? Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl discusses this question in his book Talks[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Rabbi

January 6, 2020
By Beth Mordecai
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Welcome to 2020

The running joke in my family is that none of our kids have glasses… yet. If someone does,not yet have glasses, it is a matter of time for each of them. Yet how well a person sees with their eyes and how one sees with their hearts are two very different things. We just celebrated the new year of 2020. Bob Dylan asks us, How many times can a man look up, before he sees the sky? He tells us the answer is blowing in the wind. Many compare God’s presence in the world to the wind. It cannot be seen directly, yet it can be felt, and we can see its effect. There are many things in this world we cannot[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi

December 19, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Chanukkah Lights

It’s Hanukkah time again. Soon the lights of the hanukkiah will grow brighter each night, as we commemorate the victory of the few over the many, the fight for the freedom to live as Jews, and the courage that it took to turn back to a sacred tradition. As in the Maccabees time, the Jewish people are a small minority in America, valiantly trying to maintain our distinctive beliefs and practices in a time of diminishing belief and lessening of religious ritual. More than two thousand years after the Maccabees’ battles, we still admire and find inspiration in their devotion to God and their miraculous deliverance by God. They fought for Judaism, and they celebrated their victory by re-asserting the[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

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