‘Rabbi’ Category

Rabbi

March 23, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: “Come Closer”

Good Afternoon, “Come closer.”  This is what God is saying to us.  Our weekly portion, Tzav,  focuses on the different types of sacrifices the priests or kohanim would offer in the Tabernacle.  The Torah describes the multiple animal and grain sacrifices, what is given, when, why and how.  I often say that every translation is an interpretation. The word “sacrifice” we use in English, has the connotation of giving something up, voluntarily or compulsory. In Hebrew, the word that is used to describe the animal, grain or act is korban, קרבן.  This is the noun that comes from the Hebrew verb, להקריב.   Sacrifice is not a good English translation as it does not give the same nuance as the Hebrew.  The verb, להקריב,[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi

March 16, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Mesage: Committing an unintentional sin

Good Afternoon,   This week we start reading the book of Leviticus.  This book outlines the many intricacies involving the procedures a Priest would conduct including sacrifices.  In this Torah portion, Moses also teaches the people the laws of which sacrifices to give and when.  One of the situations discussed is when a person commits an unintentional sin.     According to Hasidic thought and various psychological approaches as well, when we do something inadvertently, it is not a mere accident but it is our motives coming out from deep in our soul or subconscious.  These actions reveal what is truly going on deep in us.  Thus, one should not only ask forgiveness and make amends for the actual act that was committed, but for[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Rabbi

March 9, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message from Rabbi Metz – D’var Torah: A Woman’s Gifts

Good Morning, This week I would like to share with you a thought-provoking interpretation of this week's Torah portion.  This was written by one of my teachers, Rabbi Joel Levy, of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. We will discuss this further Shabbat morning. Please share your thoughts with me at Rabbi.SaraMetz@gmail.com. D'var Torah: A Woman's Gifts Rabbi Joel Levy, Rosh Yeshiva, Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem  This double parasha, which describes the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness, mentions various contributions made specifically by the Israelite women. The first is found in Exodus 35:25-26: "...every woman wise of mind with their hands they spun ... the goats'-hair." By way of the ancient and time-consuming activity of hand-spinning - twisting fibers together to[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Rabbi

March 2, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message from Rabbi Metz – Tangible Objects of Holiness

Good Afternoon, We have all see various depictions in film and art of Moses descending Mt. Sinai with the tablets in his hands.  He then sees the Israelites below him worshipping the golden calf and throws the tablets down as they shatter below him.  We read of this scene in this week’s parshah, Ki Tissa. The Kuzari, written by the medieval Spanish Jewish philosopher and poet Judah Halevi explains one possible reason for how the people could commit idol worship so soon after the revelation at Sinai.  Halevi explains that the people were waiting with great anticipation for Moses to return. But what were they expecting to receive, the tablets of what was written on them? Halevi explains that the people needed some[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi

February 3, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Metz

Good Morning, “Remember the Sabbath day and sanctify it. Six days you will work and perform all your labor, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord, your God; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your beast, nor the immigrant living among you. For six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it."  Exodus 20:8-11 Every Shabbat morning we say these words just before reciting the blessing over wine, sanctifying the day of Shabbat.  According to these verses, all the people and animals who either work[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi

January 26, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message

Good Afternoon, What would you do, standing at the banks of the Red Sea or the Sea of Reeds, having just escaped slavery and you hear the Egyptian army approaching in their chariots?  This week we read of the incredible miracle of the splitting of the Red Sea.  Exodus Chapter 14:15 states: The Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry out to Me? Speak to the children of Israel and let them travel.  The Medieval commentator, Rashi explains that this verse “teaches us that Moses was standing and praying. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, “This is no time to pray at length when Israel is in distress.”  God then commands Moses to stretch his staff over the[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi

January 24, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Rabbi Metz’ Israeli Visit, part 2

Good morning, Please read the following thoughts on my past few days in Israel and share your thoughts with me at Rabbi.SaraMetz@gmail.com Shabbat in Jerusalem is an incredible and special experience.  While the city does not stop, it slows. (more…)

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi

January 19, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Rabbi’s Israeli Visit, part 1

Our first day was busy and full of touring the Old City in the rain. We landed about 5:30 in the morning and had a full and exhausting day!  Walking through the wet, slippery and history filled streets of the Old City, we learned together about the many different communities and religions who lived in Jerusalem and the many who still do. (more…)

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi

January 12, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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‘Let My People Go!’

“Let my people go!” Moses exclaims these well-known words to Pharaoh in this week’s Torah portion.  We also read of God sending the first seven of the plagues, Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild Beasts, Pestilence, Boils, and Fiery Hail.  Pharaoh’s heart is hardened and we do not go free. As Moses prepares to go to Pharaoh, God tells him, “I place you in the role of God to Pharaoh, with your brother, Aaron, as your prophet.” (Exodus 7:1)  What can we learn from God placing Moses in this God-like role? One lesson we may take from this is recognizing the Godliness in others. Our creation narrative reminds us that people are created in the image of God. Rabbi Bradley Artson writes[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi

January 11, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Rabbi Metz’ Israel Mission

Dear Congregation Beth Mordecai Community,   I will be participating in an interfaith clergy mission to Israel from January 16 - 24.  If an emergency arises, please contact Elliot Rubin at 732-442-1373.     I will also be reachable via email (with a time difference for Israel) and will be able to follow up by phone.   This mission to Israel aims to help all participants, gain a greater and more nuanced view of Israel and the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.    While away, I will be writing a blog comprised of short entries about the experience.  These entries will be emailed to the community 2-3 times during the week and will be posted on our website at http://bethmordecai.org/category/rabbis-journal/   Upon my return, I am excited to share and[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal