‘Rabbi’s Journal’ Category

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

Rabbi’s Journal

December 15, 2017
By bethmordecai
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On the first night of Hanukkah, how many candles do we light?

I would like to share with you these wise words which were written by a fifth-year student, Sam Rotenberg, at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies. Please let me know your thoughts and reactions: "On the first night of Hanukkah, how many candles do we light? (more…)

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

December 8, 2017
By Beth Mordecai
no comments.

How are you?

How are you? How many times a day do we ask this and are we asked? How do you answer? Do you say, I’m good thanks, you? Or do you actually answer the question? In this week's parsha, Vayeishev, we read about the sibling rivalry between Joseph and his brothers, how they sell him into slavery in Egypt and how Joseph ultimately succeeds there. I would like to focus on one specific verse, early in the parsha. Joseph's brothers are pasturing their sheep in the surrounding area called, Shechem. Israel becomes fearful of his sons' safety and sends Joseph to check on them. The wording that is used here is: 'lech-na re'eh et-shalom achecha', which translates more literally as "go see the peace[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal