‘Shabbat’ Category

Shabbat

January 3, 2014
By bethmordecai
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DAY 552: Needing to Feel the Light of Shabbat

Dear Hevreh, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel writes that Shabbat is a palace in time, a physical abode for the spirit in the hidden reality of time. In short, it's the home for our souls to feel safe and secure from the ravages of the world. This security is not brought on by by being surrounded by the creature comforts of physical things, but by being immersed in the aura of the spiritual realm in which our souls experience the light of God's love for all of creation. That godly light, which our souls transfer to our temporal bodies on moments like Shabbat, not only remind us of God's watchful presence in our lives but helps us experience God in a personal, intimate, and[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat
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Shabbat

December 6, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 524: The Joy of Rubber Ducks…and Water!

Dear Hevreh, I have yet to fully experience it as a father, but I've heard that there is nothing like the joy of a kid playing with his or her rubber duck in a bathtub. If you need any proof of this, just askErnie from Sesame Street. The smile that lights up on a child's face as their little toy floats on this incredible source of life substance we call "water" is priceless. In fact, it is probably the echo of this joy that inspired the popularity of Rubber Duck Race fundraisers like ours on Sunday beginning around 3 pm at the YMCA of Raritan Bay (357 New Brunswick Avenue). Rubber Ducks and water just go really well together. We'll[...]

Category : Rabbi's Journal Rubber Duck Race Shabbat
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Shabbat

November 15, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 503: Responding to Typhoon Haiyan — The Desire and Limitations of Our Care

"In a situation like this, nothing is fast enough. The need is massive, the need is immediate, and you can't reach everyone."-  Max Roxas, Interior Secretary of the Phillipines "The international community needs to resist the urge of the savior syndrome, to come in and think they can duplicate the structures [of aid], can do better, can do without the government [of the Phillipines], because that will only worsen the response."- Sara Pantuliano, Head of the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute "A time of disaster is a time to help others. It is not a time to think only of self and forget others. It is a time to console and embrace our neighbors. It[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat
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Shabbat

November 14, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 502: That Special Kehillah Feeling

Dear Hevreh, As some of you may have already seen on Facebook, the synagogue has renewed my contract which means that I will continue to be your rabbi for at least the next 2-3 years (and hopefully longer!). Rachel and I are both very excited about staying here at Beth Mordecai and in Perth Amboy, primarily because the community has embraced us with open arms. From the services to the parties and all of the special events that bring us together, our kehillah, our community, makes us feel right at home. The word kehillah is so important. It comes from the root k-h-l meaning "gather" or "congregate." In other words, the heart of what makes a community a community is[...]

Category : Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Uncategorized
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Shabbat

November 8, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 496: Becoming Aware of Our Inner Shalom (at tonight’s White Out Friday Night)

Dear Hevreh, Each of us is capable of finding our own sense of "peace." Whether it's a relaxing walk, a good book, or perhaps even coming to shul, there are certain times when our minds are relaxed and our spirits are put at ease as we experience the calming effect of...peace. How do you find a sense of peace? Have you ever wondered why there certain moments, particular environments, or perhaps even encounters with people give you that sense of peace? How is it that at one moment our hearts, minds, and souls are full of restlessness but at the very next moment we can fill ourselves with love, as the sh'ma teaches us, and thus become aware of an overwhelming feeling of[...]

Category : Rabbi's Journal Shabbat White Out Friday Night
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Shabbat

November 5, 2013
By bethmordecai
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DAY 493: The Spirit of White Out Friday Night

*Note: This message is a little longer than usual Dear Hevreh, When I experience the need for some musical inspiration I often turn to Spotify, a popular online music sharing service. As I'm sure many of us have, there are a number of different playlists on my Spotify account. However, there is one particular playlist that seems to be on repeat whenever I need some help thinking or writing about a topic (like I'm doing right now). That playlist is simply called "White Out Friday Night." Last winter we ran a new Friday night program in which community members were encouraged to wear white as a symbol of the snow on the ground and the purity and holiness of Shabbat. More than[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat White Out Friday Night
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Shabbat

October 12, 2013
By bethmordecai
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Parashat Lekh Lekha — Go From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be

Rabbi Ari Saks Sermon for Parashat Lekh L’kha – October 12, 2013* Installation Weekend of Rabbi Moshe Saks Temple Israel, Scranton PA I want to thank the leadership team and my father, my Abba, Rabbi Moshe Saks, for extending the invitation to speak this morning about Parashat Lekh L’kha. But before I begin, I wanted to share a quick observation about my Abba, which you may or may already not know. He’s a man who loves logistics. He loves figuring out how to get from point A to point B, sometimes when you don’t even ask him to. My wife Rachel and I have developed a routine when talking to my Abba about making plans to come visit him, my Ema, and my sister[...]

Category : Rabbi Sermons Shabbat
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Shabbat

March 29, 2013
By bethmordecai
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Shabbat Hol Hamoed Passover (שבת חול המועד פסח) — Keeping Shabbat in Passover

2013/5773 -- Keeping Shabbat in Passover
Each year there are special readings for different readings. What are the special readings for Passover? Is there a unique one for the Shabbat of Passover? Come learn and enjoy the discussion together! Share your thoughts in the comments!

Category : Online Learning Online Parashah Class Passover Shabbat
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Shabbat

March 23, 2013
By bethmordecai
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Sermon for Shabbat Hagadol, Cantor Showcase, Memorial for Cantor David Levine z”l 2013: From Transformation to Redemption — Stepping into the Red Sea and Beyond

From Transformation to Redemption: Stepping into the Red Sea and Beyond (Shabbat Hagadol, March 23, 2013)*  Rabbi Ari Saks Congregation Beth Mordecai Perth Amboy, NJ On a cold, blustery afternoon in mid-town Manhattan I sat down with Cantor David Levine, zikhrono livrakhah, may his memory be for a blessing, to discuss the upcoming High Holiday season. I was impressed with his breadth of knowledge on hazzanut, the art of cantorial music, and I was excited by his willingness to try new ideas to make the service more engaging and meaningful. Yet the most inspiring moment of my time with our beloved hazzan was[...]

Category : Passover Rabbi Sermons Shabbat
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