‘Shabbat’ Category

Shabbat

April 12, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Searching with Light

Throughout the week I study each parsha and read various commentaries and explanations written by ancient and modern rabbis. This week I read the following explanation of the parsha, written by one of my teachers, Rabbi Joel Levy at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. I found the following piece thought provoking and extremely relevant. Please click here and share your thoughts with me. ___________________________ The central section of Parashat Metzora deals with the outbreak of tzara'at (a leprosy-like growth) on plastered buildings. On discovering an outbreak the homeowner is instructed to report it to a priest who would then come and inspect the house to determine whether or not the outbreak constituted a true infestation that required full purification rituals.[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Shabbat

April 5, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Speak Respectfully

We have all been heard, and possibly told others, “if you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all.” This week we read in the Torah in Parshat Tazria about lash on harah. This is often translated as gossip, yet it could also be slander or speaking negatively. For thousands of years, the Jewish people have discussed the merits of measured, level-headed speech. Life would become unbearable if we said the first thing that came into our head. The Torah demands that we strike a balance between truth and peace. Of course, it is, to tell the truth, and not to lie, but we also need to strive for peace among people. Sometimes peace takes priority over truth. When we[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Shabbat

March 14, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Lessons from Leviticus

We have finished Genesis, on the creation of the world, followed by Exodus, in which we went from slavery to freedom. What’s next? Where do the reader, and the Jewish nation, continue from here? The next stage is the book of Leviticus, which is also called, “The Book of Holiness.” A high standard is expected of us:”You shall be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.” What does the Torah mean by this demand? The commentators explain that this relates to personal sanctity: we are meant to be holy people within our physical selves and the physical world. This holiness is expressed within the small details listed in the Book of Leviticus dealing with sacrifices, respectful dialogue, holidays, the[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Shabbat

March 8, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: The Best-Known Symbol

In the middle of the winter, we gather together to enjoy as much fried food as we can stomach and to light the Chanukkiah. A Chanukkiah is a kind of a Menora that is specifically for Chanukkah. The Menora was initially made for the Mishkan, or Tabernacle, that was our portable temple while we, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. In our Pasha this week, Pekudei, the Torah describes the Menora as having seven branches. The artisans made the Menora by hammering out the shape from one single piece of metal rather than being made from separate pieces of metal that were joined together. The Menora was first placed in the Mishkan and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. It has[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Shabbat

February 28, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Come Together

The opening verse of our Torah portion, Vayak’hel tells us that Moses brought the entire congregation of Israel together to tell them God’s commandments. Why is it so important that Moses brought everyone together? What strength do we have in being one unit and what place does an individual have among the masses? Abba Kovner* was a member of the HaShomer HaTa’ir youth movement in pre-war Europe and was a leader of the partisans during the Holocaust. He provided an answer to these questions.   "…The first week after I arrived in Israel, I went to the Western Wall. When I was just a few steps away from the stones, I felt that I did not belong, that I am a part of another[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Shabbat

January 31, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: Following a Recipe

Our Parshah, MIshpatim, is a little like following a recipe. The parashah contains 53 of the 613 mitzvot in the Torah. The long list of directions and laws deals with violence, murder, damages, false testimony, bribery, returning lost property, the prohibition of eating milk and meat together, the laws of Shabbat and festival and many more! When you only sort of follow these laws, like I only sort of followed the directions on the cake recipe, you may have a good life, just like I still got that cake. Yet, when we study and follow the mitzvot in a more careful manner, our lives become that much meaningful. God’s commandments connect us with a long and rich history of people living according to[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Shabbat

January 4, 2019
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: The Ten Plagues

Our parsha, Vaera recounts the first seven of the ten plagues God brings to Egypt. During Shabbat services, on Friday night at 8 PM we will discuss the scientific rationale behind the 10 plagues and if they matter to us. God sends the first plague, turning the water in Egypt to blood. The Tora text states, “The Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron: Take your rod and hold out your arm over the waters of Egypt…that they may turn to blood…” Exodus 7:19 Further, God asks Moses and Aaron participate in the bringing 5 out of the 7 plagues described in our parsha. Surely, God could have turned the water to blood, brought frogs, lice, boils, and fiery hail without asking Moses and[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Torah Teachings

Shabbat

December 28, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message: What’s in a Name?

We begin reading the book of Exodus this week and learn of Moses’ birth. The daughter of Pharaoh gives him the name, Moshe or Moses after the circumstances in which she found him. Exodus 2:10 states, "The child (Moses) grew up, and she (Yocheved) brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, and she said, "For I drew him from the water.” The Hebrew name, Moshe, literally means drawing. This name is a description fo how Pharoah's daughter found Moses, floating in the Nile as well as a foreshadowing to Moses’ life of drawing people out, to freedom and to safety. The word a person hears most, is their own name. The name Moshe or[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat

Shabbat

December 14, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Shabbat Message from Rabbi Metz

In this week’s parshah, the Prime Minister of Egypt, Pharaoh’s right-hand man, reveals his true identity to the sons of Israel who had come seeking food in this time of famine. He is in fact Joseph, the brother they had betrayed, cast down in a pit and sold into slavery. “Then Joseph said to his brothers,…’I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. But now do not be sad, and let it not trouble you that you sold me here, for it was to preserve life that God sent me before you…and [in] another five years, there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you…’” (Genesis 45:4-6) Essentially, Joseph is saying that all his trials and tribulations, including[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Torah Teachings

Shabbat

October 7, 2018
By Beth Mordecai
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Blessing of the Pets

    Blessing of the Pets, Saturday, October 20, 10 a.m. Enjoy a fun Shabbat at the Gazebo in Bayview Park, where we will offer a blessing to the animals that have been a blessing to us. All animals & humans, members & friends may participate. **All pets must be leashed or contained.**        

Category : home Services Shabbat

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