‘Rabbi’s Journal’ Category

Rabbi’s Journal

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’s Journal

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’s Journal

February 16, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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“Make for me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them.”

Good Afternoon, In this week’s Torah portion, Terumah, God instructs Moses to tell the people, “Make for me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them.”  If we build a place for God among us, God will dwell there. God is giving us the message that we must actively work to bring God in and then God will reside in our midst.  This Torah portion opens with instructions for Moses to transmit to the people of very specific building specifications to make the Mikdash, or the Tabernacle, to house the whole and the broken set of tablets with the Ten Commandments inscribed upon them. Lately, I have been thinking about what it means to build a sanctuary and to bring God in.  In[...]

Category : Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

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’s Journal

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’s Journal

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’s Journal

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’s Journal

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’s Journal

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

Rabbi’s Journal

January 5, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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This week we begin the book of Exodus

This week we begin the book of Exodus and read the names of the Children of Israel who descended into Egypt, Moses’s birth through Moses leaving Egypt and encountering God at the burning bush.   (more…)

Category : Rabbi's Journal