‘Rabbi’s Journal’ Category

Rabbi’s Journal

September 6, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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This Week’s Torah Portion: Short and Sweet

Please enjoy my thoughts on our Torah portion this week and preparations for Rosh Hashanah.   Our parshah, Nitzavim, is the second shortest portion in the Torah.  It continues Moses’s final speeches to the Israelites before they will enter the Land of Israel.  The parshah opens saying, “you who are standing today, all of you before the Lord your God.”  As we approach the days before the Rosh Hashanah, we are all before God.  On this Shabbat,  as preparation for Rosh Hashanah, imagine yourself before God.   What do you say?  Have you done the best you can?  How can God help you? How can you help others? When you can answer those questions honestly to yourself and to God, you are ready for the New Year. May it[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

August 24, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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This Week’s Torah Portion: 74 Mitzvot

Some weeks are so busy, it can be hard to find a time to breathe. There may be so much going on it is difficult to give complete focus to any task.  Our parsha this week, Ki Teitzei, contains 74 mitzvot, or commandments. This is more than any other parsha. Some of the mitzvot include shooing away the mother bird before taking eggs from the nest, building a fence around the roof of the house, not yoking together different animals such as a donkey and a ox to flow the field and various commandments about our clothing. Some of these statements have obvious reasons, such as putting a fence around the roof. In ancient times, people used their roofs for a[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

August 3, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Rabbi’s Journal

July 13, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Metz / Torah Portion: Keep your Priorities Straight

A huge thank you to Marc Fertik, Sharon Bender, Walter Rose and Jeremy Strauss for helping to lead services while I was on leave. Thank you always to our incredible and always hard-working president Cheryl August for keeping everything together!   Friday, July 13, 8 p.m. Kabbalat Shabbat services. Oneg will be sponsored by Sherry Weber and Mike Denes.  Please help us make a minyan enabling us to say Kaddish. This Shabbat morning, Saturday, July 14, at 10 a.m., meet us at Bayview Park for Shabbat Morning by the Sea. Join us for a shortened Shabbat service and to discuss if it is ever OK to break your word. I promise to be there! Please let me know you will be there by emailingRabbi.SaraMetz@gmail.com Looking[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

July 3, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Welcoming Baby Girl Metz

Dear Beth Mordecai Community, The Metz family is excited to welcome our daughter to the Jewish people and announce her name on Tuesday, 5/29  at Congregation Beth Mordecai, 224 High Street, Perth Amboy, NJ.  We will start with morning prayers at 9:30am and continue with the naming ceremony (Simchat Bat) at 10am. Afterwards, all are welcome to join us for a celebratory meal.  Since timing may be difficult for many, we will also be having a larger celebration in conjunction with a Shabbat by the Sea Friday night service, with a celebratory dinner afterwards, in July. Please keep an eye out for more information. Please let us know if you are able to join us by emailing Lev at lev36m@gmail.com.  With[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

May 20, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Each Day Counts

This week we begin reading the book of Bamidbar or Numbers in the Torah.  The second verse of the portion includes God’s commandment to Moses to count the number of families traveling in the desert.  The medieval, French commentator, Rashi tells us that God wished to count the children of Israel often because we are so dear to Him.  With each counting, God was able to acknowledge each person or family. Perhaps this is similar to a teacher constantly counting children on a field trip.  The teacher looks to each child with care and makes sure no one is missing. This Saturday night, we will celebrate the holiday of Shavuot.  We have been counting every day from Passover to Shavuot.  Tonight[...]

Category : Omer Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shavuot

Rabbi’s Journal

May 4, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Respectfully Disagree – The Message of Lag B’omer

Good Afternoon,   Every day between Passover and Shavuot God commands the Israelites to count the days for seven weeks, or 49 days. The 50th day will be the holiday of Shavuot.   The time of the counting of the omer is also traditionally a period of semi-mourning.  Many Jews do not celebrate B'nai Mitzvah, weddings, listen to music, or cut their hair.     The most common explanation for these practices comes from the Talmud, which tells us that during this season a plague killed thousands of Rabbi Akiva‘s students because they did not treat one another respectfully.   When the students disagreed with each other in the course of studying they insulted each other instead of listening and disagreeing with kindness.  In punishment, God sent a[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

April 27, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Are You Holy?

Good Afternoon, At the beginning of parashat Kedoshim, God speaks to Moses, saying: Speak to the whole community of the children of Israel, and you will tell them: You shall be holy, for I, Adonai your God, am holy.”   Reading this verse I felt the echoes of an ancient challenge speaking through the ages.  This urging toward Kedushah or holiness is framed as a communal responsibility. There are two radically different conceptions of Kedushah in Jewish tradition: The first perspective understands holiness as separation, as in the blessing we say to end Shabbat or a holiday, Lehavdil Bein Kodesh l’chol, to make a separation between holy and secular. Rashi, the medieval commentator says that holiness is inextricably bound to the concept of separation. [...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

April 21, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Israel at 70

This week we celebrated Israel's 70th birthday.  May Israel and her people live up to our highest ideals.  May Israel prosper in peace and joy. One of our dedicated members, Vardi Roy, shared this message with me.  It was written by the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Warren Goldstein.  He wonderfully weaves together themes of celebrating Israels with the portion we read this week from the Torah and the important theme of gratitude.  I wanted to share his incredible message with you this week.  Please let me know your thoughts at Rabbi.SaraMetz@gmail.com May God continue to bless Israel and her people, together with Jews all around the world, with prosperity, safety, unity, and success.  Israel at 70 - by[...]

Category : Israeli News Rabbi Rabbi's Journal

Rabbi’s Journal

April 13, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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This Week’s Torah Portion, Sh’mini – The deaths of two of Aaron’s sons

Good afternoon, I hope you are enjoying the wonderful weather today! Please enjoy my thoughts on this week's Torah portion, Sh'mini. This week we read the account in the Torah of the deaths of two of Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu.  We are told that “they brought before the Lord foreign fire, which He had not commanded them.” (Lev. 9:1) In the very next verse, we read, “And fire went forth from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” Lev. 9:2.  The question we are left with is: why did God kill Nadav and Avihu? What was their great crime? Rashi brings two possible reasons for their deaths, attributed to Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Ishmael respectively.  Nadav and[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal