Rabbi's Corner

05/18/2017 11:56:25 AM

May18

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Looking forward to "Liberty Bell Shabbat"-

Parshat  Behar Bechukotai

We'll be completing the reading of the Book of VaYikra- Leviticus-Chazak Chazak Vnitchazek!

AndGet ready for Yom Yerushalayim- Jerusalem Day

Candle Lighting: 7:54 p.m.
Mincha followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv: 6:45 p.m.
Shabbat Mincha: 8:00 p.m.
Havdala:  9:01 p.m.
 

Quickie Dvar Torah

 The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai: 2Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: When you enter the land that I assign to you, (Leviticus 25)-

We have returned to the land, which God assigned  us and we established the Jewish Democratic State of Israel, with Jerusalem as our eternal capital.

In Psalm 122:3 Yerushalayim is called "Ir Shechubra Lah Yachdav"- עיר שחוברה לה יחדו  A city that is " united together".

In Midrash Tehillim it is written:

 א"ר יהושע בן לוי עיר שהיא עושה כל ישראל חברים

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said that since the root of 'Shechubra' is 'Chaver', one may suggest that the Psalmist is actually  saying that  Jerusalem makes all its inhabitants  haverim -friends. It is our responsibility  to ensure that  Jerusalem remains  a  city of friends, where citizens respect and care for each other.

As Theodore Herzl said:  "Im Tirtzu ein zoh Agada"- If you will it; it is no dream. We have a lot of work to do- Kadima!


Yom Yerushalayim- Jerusalem Day

In addition to the two major Rabbinic holidays, Chanuka and Purim, 4 more holidays and days of remembrance were added to our Jewish calendar in the twentieth century: Yom HaShoahYom HaZikaron,  Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim/Jerusalem Day.

On the 28th day of Iyar, 50 years ago, on the 3rd day of  the Six Day War ,Jerusalem, Israel's eternal capital was re-unified. Nineteen years of separation, east from west were over.

In 1998/5758 the Knesset ( Israeli Parliament)  legislated  the Jerusalem Day Law, which states: The Knesset hereby declares that the 28th day of the month Iyar is Jerusalem Day and will be celebrated yearly as a national holiday and will be called "Jerusalem Day".

Dvar Torah in honor of Yom Yerushalayim by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz -

Everyone who lives in Jerusalem - especially those like me who were born here - is in love with the city, really in love.  For us it is not just a place, not just a house; it is a home.  But it is even more than that -- it is an object of love.  Even visitors are in some way ensnared by Jerusalem.  So many of their hearts are captured, but in different ways, for different reasons.  Why is it so?

Jerusalem is many things to many people because it is, and always has been, a kind of enigma.  It is a place that is composed of many parts.  They may seem to clash with one another, but somehow they achieve a kind of harmony that is felt by anyone who walks her streets or breathes her air or soaks up her sunshine.

Jerusalem is simple, but not naïve.  Jerusalem is simple in a most sophisticated simplicity, because Jerusalem has passed sophistication.  It is a very old city.  It is a city that has suffered much and has known so many things that it is now very simple, like some of those great masterpieces.  The simplicity hides so many things.  You look at it, you dream about it and you think, what really is it?

Jerusalem is also, in many ways, a combination of contradictions: it is called, and its name itself implies, "City of Peace," yet so many wars took place here.  It is perhaps one of the most quarrelsome and troublesome places in the world, but it is still a city of peace.  There is a saying, especially in Jewish tradition, that it is "the house of God."  The gate to heaven is understood to refer to Jerusalem, but Jewish tradition also identifies the valley of Gehinnom (hell) near the walls of the Old City.

This is Jerusalem.  This is what the Psalmist described as a city that was joined together.  It is not just joined together because there is old and new, or because it is home to religious and non-religious, Muslims and Jews and Christians.  It is a place that combines differences and brings them, somehow, together in a kind of harmony of contradictions.  And there is another explanation which seems very beautiful to me --  that the name Jerusalem comes from yir'eh shalem, which may be translated as "a complete view," another form of harmony.

It is historically, and perhaps theologically, significant that Jerusalem is unlikely as the site of a capital.  It is not on a road, or on a river or near the sea.  It is somewhere -- in nowhere.  Even so, it is a center - the place the Bible tells us that God chose.  But why?  In life, as in geology, there is physical causality, in which things move and are understood according to physical laws and reasoning.  This physical causality, which some might call "real life", is one level of existence.

There is also another, higher and very different level of causality - a spiritual one - in which there are rewards and punishments for good and evil.  Usually, there are no connections between the physical and spiritual strata; they don't mix.  People may move from one level to the other, but they don't mix.  But there are in spirituality, as in geology, points at which the levels touch, where two strata of existence somehow come together in one point, like a corner formed by two walls.  The corner has no substance of its own, but like a lap, exists because of the relationship of two other planes.  This juncture is what Jacob called the ladder or gate to heaven, a place where influence, power and insight can move either way, between the spiritual and material worlds.

Such a point is Jerusalem.

No one knows why it should be so, but Jerusalem is a fault-line in the stratification of the world order.  Just as water may spurt forth from a geological fault, so too Jerusalem is a gushing wellspring of existence, a source of goodness and benefit.  Because this point where the physical and spiritual worlds meet is the place where they can work together, things happen in Jerusalem that do not conform to ordinary rules.  Here, more than anywhere else, the smallest events take on a cosmic meaning and enigmatic complexity that are beyond our understanding.

An event that happens in Jerusalem reverberates all over the world, yet a similar incident elsewhere passes almost unnoticed.  Only here does the causality of the material world become entangled with the entirely different causality of the spiritual world.  The energy of justice and the energy of power are pulled toward Jerusalem, as toward a lightning rod, and become entangled, sending shock waves around the globe.

Jerusalem is a place of power and resonance, waiting perhaps hoping for a voice that will be heard all over the world, a voice that will renew the message of peace and wholeness and holiness that has always issued from this holy city.


Please join us for a Yom Yerushalayim, Eve of  Jerusalem Reunification Day,  Tuesday, May 23, Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War and the Reunification of Jerusalem.

Mincha and Festive Maariv Service at 7:30 in the Chapel, followed by a  Jerusalem Kumzitz at Shira and Rav Barry's Home, 9811 Ferndale St.

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Reunification Day,Wednesday , May 24, 7:00 AM Festive T'fillat Shacharit in the Chapel.

Lunch and learn in honor of  Yom Yerushalayim at Shira and Rav Barry's home @ 1:00 PM. Please let us know if you are joining us! ravbarry@shaareshamayim.org

Tikun Leil Shavuot-

We will be learning at our home on the first night of Shavuot from 10:30 and onward.

Rabbi Dan and I are already scheduled to teach. If you'd like to teach a session, please contact me. I'd be glad to help anyone prepare a shiur.


Song of the Week in honor of Yom Yerushalayim

The Wailing Wall (HaKotel)

Performed by Ofra Haza z"l - The Wailing Wall (HaKotel)

THE Kotel

A girl stood facing the kotel (western wall)

She drew her lips and chin close to it.

She said to me, the shofar's blasts are strong

But the silence is even stronger.

She told me: Zion, the Temple Mount**

She was silent, about the reward and the right.

And what shone on her forehead at evening

Was the purple of royalty.

The kotel, moss and sadness.

The kotel, lead and blood.

There are people with a heart of stone.

There are stones with a human heart.

The paratrooper stood at the kotel.

Of his whole division - the only one.

He told me that death has no image

But it has a diameter -

Nine millimeters only.

He told me, I'm not shedding tears

And again lowered his glance.

But my grandfather, God knows,

Is buried here, on Har Hazeitim (the Mount of Olives).

The kotel......

She stood, dressed in black, at the kotel.

The mother of one of the infantry soldiers.

She told me, it's the eyes of my son that are shining

And not the candles on the wall.

She told me: I'm not writing

Any note to hide between the cracks.***

Because what I gave to the kotel only last night

Is greater than any words or writing.


Drive Safe and be well, Shabbat Shalom and join us for davening,

Rav Barry and Shira 

Rabbi's Corner

05/18/2017 11:56:25 AM

May18

A Few Words From Rav Barry

 A Few Erev  "Yom Yerushalayim" (Jerusalem Day) Words From Rav Barry 

Yom Yerushalayim- Jerusalem Day

In addition to the two major Rabbinic holidays, Chanuka and Purim, 4 more holidays and days of remembrance were added to our Jewish calendar in the twentieth century: Yom HaShoahYom HaZikaron,  Yom HaAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim/Jerusalem Day.

On the 28th day of Iyar, 50 years ago, on the 3rd day of  the Six Day War ,Jerusalem, Israel's eternal capital was re-unified. Nineteen years of separation, east from west were over.

In 1998/5758 the Knesset ( Israeli Parliament)  legislated  the Jerusalem Day Law, which states: The Knesset hereby declares that the 28th day of the month Iyar is Jerusalem Day and will be celebrated yearly as a national holiday and will be called "Jerusalem Day".


Please join us for a Yom Yerushalayim, Eve of  Jerusalem Reunification Day,  Tuesday, May 23, Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War and the Reunification of Jerusalem.

Mincha and Festive Maariv Service at 7:30 in the Chapel, followed by a  Jerusalem Kumzitz at Shira and Rav Barry's Home,.

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Reunification Day,Wednesday , May 24, 7:00 AM Festive T'fillat Shacharit in the Chapel.

Lunch and learn in honor of  Yom Yerushalayim at Shira and Rav Barry's home @ 1:00 PM. Please let us know if you are joining us! ravbarry@shaareshamayim.org


Song of the Week in honor of Yom Yerushalayim

"If I Forget you O' Jerusalem"; "im eshkachech", Lev Tahor

Drive Safely, Chag Sameach and Kol Tuv

Rav Barry and Shira   

Rabbi's Corner

05/18/2017 11:56:25 AM

May18

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Candle Lighting: 8:00 p.m.
Mincha followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv: 6:45 p.m.
Shabbat Mincha: 8:05 p.m.
Havdala:  9:08 p.m.
 

Quickie Dvar Torah

The Book of Numbers (BaMidbar) opens with:

"Vah'y'dah'bayr Hashem el Moshe b'midbar See'nai...lay'mohr," 

And G-d spoke to Moses in the desert (wilderness)  of Sinai...saying....

In  Bamidbar 21:18 it is written וּמִמִּדְבָּר מַתָּנָה which literally means  "and from the desert, a gift"-

The Rabbis have taught that  this alludes to the fact that God gave the Torah to the  Israelites as a gift in the desert. 

This raises the question, why was the Torah given "davka" (especially) in the desert? What quality does the desert possess that it was privileged to host 'Matan Torah'- the giving of the Torah?

One popular midrashic answer is that just as the desert is ownerless and  open to all, so too,   the Torah is "an open book", accessible and available for all to learn from.

Another answer is,  that just as the "desert is endless" so to the "Torah is without end". There is no end to learning Torah. Torah study is our lifelong project.

So, let's all learn some Torah! Join us on Tuesday night for our Tikun Leil Shavuot!


Israeli Song of the Week- inspired by the Parsha

LaMidbar- "Go, go to the desert "- Lyrics- Chaim Chefer, Melody- Sasha Argov

"Go, go to the desert"

Go, go to the desert,
The roads will lead you,
Before the night comes
Go, brother to the desert.

Once again we will return
Rocks will shout
And the sun of great light
Will shine on us

To the desert 
land with no water
Oh my land, 
we have returned to you.

A land with a salted soil 
and a wild wind
Your fighters are back, 
coming like a storm

 Hebrew Version: "Go, go to the desert"


Get ready for Shavuot @ CSS

Tuesday, May 30, Erev Shavuot

Shacharit- 7:00 AM
Candlelighting: 8:04 PM
Mincha followed by Maariv:
Traditional-8:00 PM
Egalitarian -7:45 PM

Traditional Tikun Leil Shavuot-Semi All Nighter of Torah Study-from  10:30 PM and up at Rav Barry and Shira's Home

1st Day of Shavuot, Wednesday, May 31

Shacharit:
Traditional-9:00 AM
Egalitarian-9:30 AM
Candlelighting: 9:11 PM
Mincha followed by Maariv
Traditional-8:10 PM
Egalitarian-7:45 PM
 

2nd Day of Shavuot,   Thursday, June 1

Shacharit:
Traditional-9:00 AM
Egalitarian-9:30 AM
Yizkor
Traditional-approximately 10:30 AM
Egalitarian-approximately 10:30 AM
Traditional-7:45 PM -Megilat Ruth followed by Mincha / Maariv
Havdalah- 9:12 PM
 

Drive Safe and be well, Shabbat Shalom and join us for davening,

Rav Barry and Shira   

Rabbi's Corner

05/11/2017 11:32:47 AM

May11

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Erev Shabbat Parshat Emor

Candle Lighting: 7:41 p.m.
Mincha followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv: 6:45 p.m.
Shabbat Mincha: 7:45 p.m.
Havdala:  8:46 p.m.
 

Quickie Dvar Torah

Quickie Dvar Torah - There are 3 seemingly unrelated key terms in this week's parsha which when linked together transmit a strong message.

Parshat Emor talks about:

1."Mumim"- Hebrew for blemishes; those infirmities which disqualify disabled Kohanim from officiating in the Temple.

2. "Moadim" - "holidays" - literally designated times which comes from the Hebrew root "l'yaed"- to designate.

3. "Chag"- "holiday" - According to my favorite etymologist "Balashon",  the  root of 'chag'  means  "to make a circle" or "move in a circle", an expression of  the nation gathering together around the spiritual center.

 A major "take home" from this week's parsha should be that we must include people challenged with disabilities in every aspect of Jewish communal life. Our gathering around our spiritual center will only be complete when all are welcome. Our circle will remain small if it remains inaccessible. We should all designate time and effort to achieve this goal.
 

 

Get Ready For...

 

All about Lag BaOmer: From Rabbi Isaac Klein's,  Guide to Jewish Religious Practice, pages 145-146 


 The 33rd day of the Omer, which falls on the 18th day of Iyar, is a semi holiday (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 493:2 in the Rema). According to tradition, the calamities of the Hadrianic persecution were interrupted on the 18th of Iyar and as a result it was declared a semi holiday.  In addition, according to tradition,   the 18th of Iyar marks the anniversary of the first fall of manna in the wilderness.

In Israel, the day is observed as the "Hilula of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai", the Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.. Large numbers of people visit his grave in Meron and celebrate the day as a festival.

 The origin of this celebration is attributed to the great Kabbalist-mystic Rabbi Isaac Luria. On Lag BaOmer, he saw not only the cessation of the plague that affected Rabbi Akiva's students, but also the fact that Rabbi Akiva's surviving students saved the Torah. The student who was most famous in the eyes of the Kabbalists was Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, to whom they ascribed the authorship of the Zohar [ the great Jewish Mystical text]. ..It is an ancient tradition to celebrate the Yahrtzeit of great people as a holiday (see Otzar  HaGeonim, Yevamot 241) and Rabbi Isaac Luria applied this to the Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, thus making Lag BaOmer more significant.


 Lag BaOmer is also called the Scholar's festival because of its association with the students of Rabbi Akiva. It is perhaps for this reason that the celebration has been observed mostly by schoolchildren. It is customary for children to make bows and arrows and engage in archery on Lag BaOmer. [This is also a reference to the Bar Kochva revolt which took place during the lives of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.]   Later Kabbalists  saw an association with the rainbow, which is a symbol of redemption, since there is a tradition that the rainbow will appear in the sky as the harbinger of the final redemption.


Shabbat afternoon, May 13,  Erev Lag Ba'omer

Mincha at 7:15 PM followed by Seuda Shlisheet and Pre Lag Ba'omer learning

Yom Yerushalayim, Eve of  Jerusalem Reunification Day, Tuesday, May 23, Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War and the Reunification of Jerusalem.

Mincha and Festive Maariv Service at 7:30 in the Chapel, followed by a  Jerusalem Kumzitz at Shira and Rav Barry's Home, 9811 Ferndale St.

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Reunification Day,Wednesday , May 24, 7:00 AM.  Festive T'fillat Shacharit in the Chapel.

Lunch and learn in honor of  Yom Yerushalayim at Shira and Rav Barry's home @ 1:00 PM

Tikun Leil Shavuot

We will be learning at our home on the first night of Shavuot from 10:30 and onward.

Rabbi Dan and I are already scheduled to teach. If you'd like to teach a session, please contact me. I'd be glad to help anyone prepare a shiur.

Keep well, drive safe and join us for davening. 

Kol Tuv, and Shabbat Shalom!

Rav Barry and Shira   

Rabbi's Corner

05/04/2017 11:02:39 AM

May4

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Erev Shabbat Parshat Achrei Mot-Kedoshim

Candle Lighting: 7:41p.m.
Mincha followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv: 6:45p.m.
Shabbat Mincha: 7:45p.m.
Havdala:  8:45p.m.
 

Quickie Dvar Torah

In this week's Torah reading it is written: ...do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord . (Leviticus 19: 16.)

I will  never forget the 1964 story of Kitty Genovese, a young woman who  was attacked on her way home in Queens, New York. It was reported that the unknown assailant attacked her over a period of about forty minutes, and she finally died of the stabs he had inflicted on her. As the police later learned, at least thirty-eight neighbors   heard her screams for help, yet no one  intervened .

The neighbors' behavior is in violation of the Biblical commandment "do not  stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor."

In an 2005 interview  Elie Weisel  said: -I believe that a person who is indifferent to the suffering of others is complicit in the crime. And that I cannot allow, at least not for myself...One of the central tenets of my life is the teaching in : "Lo ta'amod al dam reakha, Do not be indifferent to the bloodshed inflicted on your fellow man."  Also in the Bible, Moses rediscovers himself as a Jew and as a man when he defends a Hebrew beaten by an Egyptian and then one beaten by another Hebrew. Had he remained a neutral spectator, he would not have become God's prophet and the leader of his people. Albert Camus expressed this idea eloquently: "Not to take a stand is in itself to take a stand."

Please join us Shabbat afternoon, May 13, Erev Lag Ba'omer

Mincha at 7:15 PM followed by Seuda Shlisheet and Pre Lag Ba'omer learning.


Get Ready for Yom Yerushalayim-

Yom Yerushalayim, Eve of Jerusalem Reunification Day,  Tuesday, May 23, Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War and the Reunification of Jerusalem.
Mincha and Festive Maariv Service at 7:30pm in the Chapel, followed by a  Jerusalem Kumzitz  at Shira and Rav Barry's Home

Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Reunification Day,Wednesday , May 24, 7:00 AM

Festive T'fillat Shacharit in the Chapel.

Lunch and learn in honor of Yom Yerushalayim @ Shira and Rav Barry's home.


A Song for one of this week's parshiot- Kedoshim Tihi'yu-"Be Holy!"

Adi Ran - Ki Atáh Kadosh- "Because you are Holy"- from the movie "Ushpizin"

Because you are Holy

Keep well, drive safe and join us for davening. 

Kol Tuv, and Shabbat Shalom!

Rav Barry and Shira   

Rabbi's Corner

05/01/2017 02:44:10 PM

May1

A Few Words From Rav Barry

A few  "Erev Yom HaAtzmaut"  words from Rav Barry-

Please join us tonight as Yom HaZikaron gives way to Yom HaAtzmaut

MeiYagon -From Despair and  Sorrow

For your listening pleasure

FLASHMOB Hatikva on Jerusalem's Tramway

Come this evening- Monday, May 1 at 7:30 for the transition between Yom Hazikaron (Israel Memorial Day for Soldiers lost in battle and for the people who lost their lives in acts of terror) and Yom Haatzmaut- Israel's 69th Independence Day.

Mincha will be followed by a brief Memorial Service and the Traditional Festive Maariv Service, in honor of Yom HaAtzmaut.

A Kiddush will follow Tfillot.

All are welcome!

Yom Haatzmaut, Israel Independence Day
Tuesday, May 2, 7:00 AM

Festive T'fillat Shacharit in honor of Yom Haatzmaut in the Chapel, followed by special breakfast at Shira and Rav Barry's

Rabbi's Corner

04/27/2017 01:24:59 PM

Apr27

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Erev Shabbat Parshat  Tazria - Metzora

Candle Lighting: 7:34p.m.
Mincha followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv: 6:45p.m.
Shabbat Mincha: 7:35p.m.
Havdala:  8:37p.m.
 

Quickie Dvar Torah

Our parshiot introduce the laws of Tumah and Tahara - purity and impurity.

Since Judaism promotes the sanctity of life, it is only natural that it would have a strong aversion to death and define death as the primary cause of impurity.

Not only contact with a corpse creates impurity but as Rabbi Shlomo Riskin has taught "anything that mitigates against life and expresses death is declared tamei, ritually impure, the severest form of such impurity being a human corpse. ...Not only death itself, but even the unfulfilled potential for life, also creates tumah."

It must be emphasized that Tumah (impurity) is not a chronic condition. The transition from Tumah to Tahara-requires immersion in a Mikva of water from a natural body of water. Rabbi Avi Weiss explained: "...water is the clearest symbol of life (mayim chayim) -an appropriate spiritual antidote to tumah, which is nothing, less than what Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik described as "the whisper of death."


MeiYagon L'Simcha- From Sorrow to Joy

From Yom HaZikaron to Yom HaAtzmaut based on  The Observant Life, pages 224-225

The State of Israel was proclaimed on the fifth of Iyar, 5708, corre­sponding to May 14,1948, and this day is celebrated as Israel Independence Day, also popularly known by its Hebrew name, Yom HaAtzmaut. In Is­rael, the day is celebrated with parades and great celebration. For Jews every­where, the fact of Israeli independence is considered not merely in terms of its political implications, but also in terms of its religious significance. Many Siddurim incorporate special Tfillot to be recited on this Chag.

Many Congregations  recite the full version of Hallel, read a Torah portion and chant a Haftarah, which deals with God's promises of national redemption. It is also customary to recite the Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel that appears in most Siddurim.

Although Yom Ha-atzma-ut falls during s'firah, the celebration of Israel Independence Day is usually, and reasonably, deemed to take precedence over the restrictions on joyous behavior normally associated with the weeks be­tween Passover and Shavuot.

The day before Yom Ha-atzma-ut is called Yom Ha-zikkaron, Day of Remembrance for Israeli Fallen Soldiers who died in defense of the State of Israel since 1948 and for  Victims of Terrorism. On this day it is appropriate to add special prayers to the service and to recite the El Malei Rahamim memo­rial prayer in memory of those who have died in defense of Israel.

A memorial candle may also be lit at home and  in the synagogue. In Israel, an air raid siren is sounded early in the morning of Yom Ha-zikkaron as the entire coun­try pauses to observe a national moment of mourning. Reciting a Psalm  in sympathy with the citizens of Israel is also an appropri­ate gesture for Jews in the Diaspora.


Please join us for an Israeli style

Tfilla Chagigit- Festive Yom HaAtzmaut - Israeli Independence Day Davening on Monday evening, May 1 at 7:30pm

I recommend the following youtube videos:

Brothers in arms/IDF - the music of Dire Straits

Ein Li Eretz Acheret-I have no other Country-Gali Atari

I have no other country
even if my land is aflame
Just a word in Hebrew
pierces my veins and my soul - 
With a painful body, with a hungry heart,
Here is my home.

I will not stay silent 
because my country changed her face

I will not give up reminding her 
And sing in her ears 
until she will open her eyes

I have no other country
even if my land is aflame
Just a word in Hebrew
pierces my veins and my soul - 
With a painful body, with a hungry heart,
Here is my home.

I won't be silent because my country
has changed her face.
I will not give up reminding her 
And sing in her ears 
until she will open her eyes

I have no other country 
until she will renew her glorious days
Until she will open her eyes

I have no other country
even if my land is aflame
Just a word in Hebrew
pierces my veins and my soul - 
With a painful body, with a hungry heart,
Here is my home.

With a painful body, with a hungry heart,
Here is my home.


Keep well, drive safe and join us for davening. 

Kol Tuv, and Shabbat Shalom!

Rav Barry and Shira   

Rabbi's Corner

04/25/2017 03:03:37 PM

Apr25

A Few Words From Rav Barry

 Erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar

We will be marking Rosh Chodesh Iyar tomorrowWednesday and Thursday.  (Shacharit - at 7:00)

Iyar is the second month of the Jewish calendar counting from Nisan. The Torah calls the second month Ziv (lit. Light or Glow) - See - 1 Kings 6:1,6:37: "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of God."

The sign of Iyar is Taurus, an ox eating grass.

Important Dates in Jewish-Israeli History

1 Iyar - Rosh Chodesh Iyar
1 Iyar 2929 - 832 B.C.E.:  King Solomon began the construction of the first Beit Hamikdash / The First Temple

2 Iyar

April 20, 1920: the Balfour Declaration was recognized and Israel was proclaimed  a mandated territory under British administration.. 

May 11, 1948: The Jewish soldiers of the Haganah captured the city of Tzfat and the port of Haifa, just days prior to Israel's declaration of independence.

3 Iyar

May 12, 1948: Bet-She 'an was captured by the Haganah.

4 Iyar

April 16, 1869: Joseph Rivlin laid the cornerstone of the first private home to be erected outside the wall of Jerusalem marking the beginning of the modern Yishuv- Settlement of the Land of Israel.

May 14, 1948: The British mandate to govern the Holy Land expired on Friday, May 14, 1948. A United Nations resolution passed six months earlier endorsed the establishment of a Jewish state in the biblical homeland of the Jewish people. On the afternoon of 5 Iyar, the State of Israel declared its independence, in a ceremony led by David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv.

5 Iyar- is celebrated in Israel as Yom Ha'Atzmaut - Israeli Independence Day.

5 Iyar 5743 - April 18, 1983: A Hezbollah car bomb killed 63 people, 17 of them Americans, at the U.S. embassy in Beirut.

6 Iyar

May 15, 1948: · The British mandate over Eretz Yisrael came to an end, exactly 28 years after it began.

May 15, 1948: One day after the State of Israel was proclaimed,  the surrounding Arab nations -- Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq --declared war on the fledgling state. 

Tel Aviv was bombed on that very first day of the War of Independence. The Arab armies invaded Israel.

May 15, 1948: The Arab Legion captured Neveh Yaakov, the last Jewish settlement north of Jerusalem.

7 Iyar

May 12, 1943: The first Jewish agricultural settlement was established in the Negev, Kibbutz Gevulot. David Ben-Gurion believed that the Negev -- encompassing about half the land mass of Israel -- was the fledging country's great frontier.

May 16, 1948: Jordan annexes the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

8 Iyar
May 17, 1948:  Israel captured Acco.

9 Iyar 

May 18, 1948: The Arab Legion captured the police station on Mount Scopus, isolating it from the rest of Jerusalem.

11 Iyar
May 20, 1948: The Israeli Army defeated the advancing Syrian Army, following the shelling at the entrance of Deganya, which began at sunrise and lasted nine hours. It is considered the first Israeli victory following the start of the War of Independence.

12 Iyar

May 11, 1949: Israel admitted as the 59th member of the UN.

May 22, 1967: Egypt blocked the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping. On May 17, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser demanded that UN monitoring forces evacuate the Sinai, a request with which UN Secretary-General U Thant cowardly complied. Nasser began the remilitarization of the Sinai, and concentrated tanks and troops on the border with Israel.

On May 22, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, and blockaded the Israeli port of Eilat in the Gulf of Aqaba. The Egyptian blockade violated international law and Israel demanded that it cease. When Egypt failed to act, Israel launched a preemptive attack that destroyed 300 airplanes -- nearly the entire Egyptian Air Force -- in a matter of hours. Within days Israel had captured the entire Sinai Peninsula; this would be the bargaining chip for the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Accords of 1979.

14 Iyar 

May 23, 1948: Ramat Rachel was repossessed by Israel. The battle for Jewish control of the Jordan Valley was successfully concluded on the same day.

May 23, 1948: The only advance of the Arab Legion beyond the Old City walls into western Jerusalem was halted in front of Notre Dame. The British commander of the Arab Legion, Sir John Bagot Glubb (Glubb Pasha), considered that battle to be the worst defeat suffered by the legion throughout the war.

May 11, 1960: Agents of Israel's "Mossad" (Secret Service) captured Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, chief architect of Hitler's iniquitous "Final Solution," in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

18 Iyar 

May 27, 1948: The Jewish community of the Old City of Jerusalem surrendered to Jordan's Arab Legion.

May 27, 1948:The Churva synagogue located in the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, was captured and dynamited by the Arab Legion of Jordan.

May 27, 1948: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was created on Lag Ba'Omer of 1948.

20 Iyar 

May 9, 1939: The Hadassah University Hospital and Medical Center was opened on Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem.

23 Iyar

June 1, 1948: Amman, capital of Jordan, was bombed by Israel's air force.

June 1, 1948: The Arab states and Israel agreed to its first truce. By then, Israel had already scored substantial victories over the Syrian and Egyptian armies, though greatly outnumbered by the enemy.

May 15, 1974: Terrorists murder 26 people (22 of them children) at a school in Ma'alot.

24 Iyar

June 2, 1948:  An Israeli attack on Egyptian positions at Ashdod marked the turning point in the war between Israel and Egypt. The battle forced Egypt to give up its plans to attack Tel Aviv and made the isolation of the Negev from the rest of Israel its prime objective.

26 Iyar

June 1, 1948: Amman, capital of Jordan, was bombed by Israel's air force.

June 1, 1948: The Arab states and Israel agreed to its first truce. By then, Israel had already scored substantial victories over the Syrian and Egyptian armies, though greatly outnumbered by the enemy.

24 Iyar

June 2, 1948:  An Israeli attack on Egyptian positions at Ashdod marked the turning point in the war between Israel and Egypt. The battle forced Egypt to give up its plans to attack Tel Aviv and made the isolation of the Negev from the rest of Israel its prime objective.

26 Iyar
June 5, 1967: First Day of Israel's Six Day War.

27 Iyar

May 28, 1938: Construction of the harbor of Tel-Aviv began..

May 31, 1962: Adolf Eichmann hanged at Ramleh Prison, Israel, following his trial and conviction for his crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity and war crimes during World War II, the only capital punishment ever carried out in Israel. His body was cremated and ashes scattered at sea.

June 6, 1967: Day Two of the Six-Day War.

28 Iyar

28 Iyar:  Yom Jerusalem

May 9, 1956: France delivers arms to Israel under secret agreement with tacit U.S. approval.

June 7, 1967: Day Three of the Six-Day War., Rabbi Shlomo Goren z"l, blew the shofar and said Shehecheyanu, at the Kotel.

June 1, 1981: Bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor by the Israeli Air Force.

29 Iyar

June 8, 1967: Day Four of the Six Day War. Egypt and Syria accept the cease­fire ordered by the United Nations.

 Shira and Rav Barry  

Rabbi's Corner

04/20/2017 01:59:47 PM

Apr20

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Erev Shabbat Parshat Sh'mini

Candle Lighting: 7:27p.m.
Mincha followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv: 6:45p.m.
Shabbat Mincha: 7:30p.m.
Havdala:  8:29p.m.
 

Quickie Dvar Torah

Parshat Shmini introduces the Laws of Kashrut.

In the Guide for the Perplexed, 3:35, Maimonides taught that keeping the laws of Kashrut" trains us to master our appetites; to accustom us to restrain our desires; and not to consider the pleasure of eating and drinking the end of man's existence."

The Kli Yakar (Rabbi Shlomo Efraim of Lunshitz 1550-1619) wrote that "the reason for the laws of kashrut is not for physical health benefits.  Rather, their purpose is for the well-being of the soul.."

The Kli Yakar's statement is supported by Midrash Tanchuma, Shmini 7 (collection of Israeli 4th C midrashim) which quoted Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi (Judah the Prince editor of the Mishna, 3rd C. CE) who said, "What difference does it make to God if the Jews eat without proper slaughtering, or if they tear open the neck and eat, or slaughter from the back of the neck? Know that the only purpose of the commandment of [Kosher] slaughtering was to refine [the character of] the Jewish people..."

Along these lines, Rabbi Isaac Klein wrote "the Torah regards the dietary laws as a discipline in holiness, a spiritual discipline imposed on a biological activity."


Please view these Youtubes which reflect the observance of Yom Hashoah in Israel:

Holocaust Remembrance Day Siren

In Israel, on Yom Hashoah, a memorial siren will be sounded all over the country. The traffic came to a halt on both sides of the highway spontaneously. Cars, trucks and busses will  stand silently  still , and then return to their vehicles and carry

on with their lives.

Yom Hashoah in Israel

Yom Hashoah in Israel 2

E-l Maleh Rachamim at the National Holocaust Memorial Ceremony at Yad Vashem  in Jerusalem, April 2013 - Cantor Azi Schwartz

E-l Maleh Rachamim at the National Holocaust Memorial Ceremony at Yad Vashem


Please join us on Sunday night, April 23, at 8:00 PM, the Eve of Yom Hashoah, at Shira and Rav Barry's Home(9811 Ferndale St.) to read Megillat HaShoah   ---   the Holocaust Scroll: A Contemporary  liturgy for Yom Hashoah.

Every year on Tisha B'av we gather in the Synagogue to read the Book of Lamentations and  remember the destruction of our Temples. On Yom HaShoah we will gather together to read Megillat Hashoah and remember the destruction of our people.

If you'd like to take part in the reading of the Megillah in either Hebrew or English please contact Rav Barry- ravbarry@gmail.com

Drive safely, come to daily Minyan and join us on Shabbat,

Shabbat shalom, Chag Kasher V'sameach,

Kol Tuv,
Shira and Rav Barry  

Rabbi's Corner

04/10/2017 09:35:56 AM

Apr10

A Few Words From Rav Barry

BT Rosh HaShana 10b- "We were redeemed from Egypt in Nisan, and we are destined to be redeemed in Nisan."

Monday , APRIL 10 (MORNING) : Shacharit at 7:00 AM

FAST OF THE FIRSTBORN (individual fast - begins at Dawn)

A firstborn male (and some include first born females) of a mother or a father observes this daytime fast on the eve of Pesach, recognizing that in Egypt, the firstborn of Israel was saved, while the first born Egyptians died in the tenth plague.

If the firstborn child is a minor, the parent fasts in his/her place.

In order to avoid fasting the entire day, a Siyyum (the festive completion of study of a text of rabbinic literature) is conducted followed by a Se'udat Mitzvah (the festive meal celebrating the performance of a mitzvah.)


Chametz Timetable:

Sunday, April  9-Search for Chametz in the evening.

Monday, April 10 - Latest time to eat Chametz ♦ 10:50 a.m.

Burning of Chametz ♦ Before 11:56 a.m 

Don't forget to sell your Chametz preferably, before Sunday night

Monday night, April 10:

Candle Lighting - 7:16 pm

Mincha followed by Maariv- 7:00 pm


All about Sefirat HaOmer and the Omer Period

"Count the Omer with Homer"

Visit the following site: Homer Calendar


From the  "Guide to Jewish Religious Practice."  By Rabbi Isaac Klein

We begin counting the Omer- Tuesday night, April 11 after Maariv

The period between Pesach and Shavuot is called Sefirah (counting). The name is derived from the practice of counting the 'Omer', which is observed from the night of the second Seder of Pesach until the eve of Shavuot.

The Sefirah period is a time of sadness. According to the Talmud, this is because twelve thousand of Rabbi Akiva's disciples died one year between Pesach and Shavuot (B, Yeb. 62b; Otsar Hage'onim Yebamot, p. 141).

The rabbis explain that this massacre took place because the disciples did not respect each other. Historians connect the event with the Hadrianic persecution, which followed the Bar Kokhba revolt in which Rabbi Akiva was involved (Wahrman, Nagel Yisra'el Urndadaw, p. 166).

Some associate the somberness of these days with an even earlier period of Jewish history. The fruits of the field ripen during the time encompassed by Sefirah, and it is, therefore, a period of uncertainty - of hope and prayer that our physical sustenance will be continued in abundance (Abudraham Hashalem, p. 241; B. R. H. 16a). 

A contemporary scholar has suggested that this uncertainty was due, in particular, to the fact that in Israel, the hot winds, which are so harmful to the crops, blow between Pesach and Shavuot (Wahrman, Hagei Yisra'el Umo'adaw, p. 171).

The  'Omer'  could no longer be brought to the Temple of Jerusalem after the destruction. The counting was continued, however, as a  Zekher Lemikdash(Remembrance of the Temple) - hence another reason for sadness (B. Men. 66a; Kol Bo, chap. 55; Maimonides, Hil. Sefirat HaOmer). It was easy to superimpose other sorrowful memories on such a period, and the Hadrianic persecution was the most prominent of these.

The Crusades added another reason for sorrow, especially for the Jews of Germany, since the massacres perpetrated by the Crusaders also took place at this time of the year (0.H. 493:2 in M.D. 2).

Another reason for sadness was added in modern times. While the crematoria and gas chambers of the Nazis operated all year round, some notable tragic events took place in the Sefirah period. The last great deportation to the gas chambers of the Jews of Hungary took place during the Sefirah period. The Parliament of Israel fixed the twenty-seventh of Nisan as Yom HaShoah - the Memorial Day for those slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II. In addition, the day before Israel Independence Day is called Yom HaZikaron - Memorial Day for those who died in Israel's wars and because of acts of Terror.

These sad events are memorialized by our refraining from participation in joyous events during this period. No weddings should take place, and it is customary not to have the hair cut (0.H. 493:2). No event involving music and dancing should be scheduled during Sefirah (0.H. 493:1 in M.A. 1). Nowadays, many observe the mourning customs until Lag B'Omer (0.H. 493:1 in Rama).

Pesach Kasher V'sameach!

Keep well, stay warm, drive safe and join us for davening. 

Kol Tuv 

Rav  Barry and Shira  

Rabbi's Corner

04/06/2017 09:08:12 AM

Apr6

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Erev Shabbat Hagadol, Parshat Tzav

BT Rosh HaShana 10b- "We were redeemed from Egypt in Nisan, and we are destined to be redeemed in Nisan."

Candle Lighting: 7:13p.m.
Mincha followed by Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv: 6:45p.m.
Shabbat Mincha: 7:10p.m.
Havdala:  8:13p.m.
 

Quickie Dvar Torah Erev Shabbat Hagadol, Parshat Tzav

 אֵשׁ, תָּמִיד תּוּקַד עַל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ--לֹא תִכְבֶּה

In this week's parsha it is written: The flame of the altar shall burn it it. Do not extinguish it.

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski wrote that Rabbi Shneur Zalman taught  that these words should be interpreted as, "extinguish the לֹא, the "No" in yourself". In other words, get rid of your negativity.

The great Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev (1740-1809) , the  defending advocate of Israel was known  for his positive outlook. He saw good in every person he met and "always looked on the bright side of life."

 Here  are two  examples:

1.The Jewish wagon drivers of Berdichev felt they had to be ready for work as soon as it became light, so in order to save time, they would put on their Tallit and  Tefilin and pray speedily next to their wagons, and at the same time do all the little tasks necessary to prepare the wagons for the road that day. When the Berditchever first saw them doing this, he raised his eyes towards Heaven, and exclaimed, "O Merciful Father, how wonderful are your children, the Jewish people. Even while they work, they pray!" (as told by Yerachmiel Tilles)

2. It was the afternoon before Passover, and Rabbi Levi Yitzchak was wandering through the streets of the Jewish quarter seeking out local smugglers. From one he quietly asked for a quote on contraband tobacco, from another he enquired about the availability of smuggled brocades and embroideries. No matter the merchandise he sought, everything was available for the right price.

However, when he started asking his newfound acquaintances to supply him with some bread or whiskey, those very same businessmen who had previously proved so accommodating  balked. "Rabbi," said one, "are you trying to insult me? The seder will be starting in just a few hours and no Jew would have even a speck of chametz left in his home or business."  Not one merchant was able to come up with even a crumb of bread or dram of alcohol  no matter the price offered, not one merchant was willing or able to come up with even a crumb of bread or dram of alcohol. The town had converted into a chametz-free zone.

Thrilled with the results of his failed quest, the rabbi looked up to heaven and declared: "G-d Almighty, look down with pride at Your people! The Czar has border guards and tax-commissioners dedicated to his commands. The police and the courts are devoted to tracking down and punishing smugglers and black-marketers, and yet, anything one could possibly want is available. Contrast this with the faith and fidelity of Your Jews. It has been over 3,000 years since you commanded us to observe Passover. No police, no guards, no courts and jails enforce this edict-and yet every Jew keeps Your laws to the utmost! (as told by Elisha Greenbaum)


Download the Rabbinical Assembly's - 5776 Guide to Pesach 

NISAN 12; SHABBAT - APRIL 8

Shabbat HaGadol is the name of the Shabbat preceding Pesach. Some rabbis explain that this Shabbat takes its name from the end of the special haftarah for this day (Malachi 3:23): "I will send the prophet Eliyahu to you before the coming of the great, fearful day of the Lord. "

This is a foreshadowing of the role Eliyahu plays at the Pesach Seder as a harbinger of the coming for the messianic age. A number of alternative explanations for the name are offered by other rabbis.

There is no special Torah reading added for Shabbat HaGadol.


MONDAY, APRIL 10

FAST OF THE FIRSTBORN (individual fast - begins at Dawn)

Shacharit at 7:00 AM

A firstborn male (and some include first born females) of a mother or a father observes this daytime fast on the eve of Pesach, recognizing that in Egypt, the firstborn of Israel was saved, while the first born Egyptians died in the tenth plague.

If the firstborn child is a minor, the parent fasts in his/her place.

In order to avoid fasting the entire day, a Siyyum (the festive completion of study of a text of rabbinic literature) is conducted followed by a Se'udat Mitzva (the festive meal celebrating the performance of a mitzvah.)

UPCOMING Programs 

On Shabbat Chol HaMoed afternoon, April 15 at 7:10 PM we will be reading Megilat Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs).

Please join us!

Drive safely, come to daily Minyan and join us on Shabbat,

Shabbat shalom, Chag Kasher V'sameach,

Kol Tuv
Shira and Rav Barry  

Rabbi's Corner

03/29/2017 03:41:59 PM

Mar29

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Erev Shabbat Parshat VaYikra

Candle Lighting: 7:06p.m.
Mincha followed by Kabbalat Shabbat: 6:45p.m.
Shabbat Mincha: 7:05p.m.
Shabbat Ends ~ Havdala:  8:06p.m.
 

Quickie Dvar Torah Parshat VaYikra

Why do we salt our bread before eating it?

Every sacrifice prior to being burned required salting, as it is written in this week's parsha: 

VaYikra 2:13- "And you shall salt every one of your meal offering sacrifices with salt, and you shall not omit the salt of your God's covenant from [being placed] upon your meal offerings. You shall offer salt on all your sacrifices."

As an extension of the Mitzva to salt the sacrifices, the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) OH 167:5 codified that "one should not break bread until one has been offered salt to be added to the bread."

According to BT Berachot 55a, "as long as the Temple stood, the altar atoned for Israel, but now a man's table atones for him."  Since the table is likened to an altar; nowadays, eating at the table is comparable to offering a sacrifice. Rabbi Irving Greenberg suggested that this expresses the idea that a meal eaten calmly, with good manners, in the company of   friends and family is an act of holiness and is equivalent to a sacrifice brought in the Temple.


Birkat  Ha'ilanot -The Blessing on Blossoming  Trees

 

Since Nisan is the month of the spring, it is the appropriate time to make a blessing on blossoming   trees. It is preferable to say birkat ha'ilanot as soon as one sees a fruit tree in bloom.

BT Brachot 43b instructs :  If one goes abroad in the days of Nisan [spring time] and sees the trees sprouting, he should say, 'Blessed be He who hath not left His world lacking in anything and has created in it goodly creatures and goodly trees for the enjoyment of mankind'.

This was codified in Shulchan Aruch, OC 226:1. The Mishneh Berura emphasizes that even after the month of Nisan, one may recite the Birkat Ha'ilanot the first time one sees a budding fruit tree.

The Text of the Blessing:  See Red Sim Shalom, Page 223, or Birnbaum, Page 775

Blessed are You, G-d, our Lord, King of the universe who has withheld nothing from His world, but has created in it beautiful creatures for humanity to enjoy.


Megilat HaShoah- the Shoah Scrol

Please join Shira and me in our home on Sunday night April 23 after Maariv to read Megilat HaShoah.

Megilat HaShoah was written by Prof. Avigdor Shinan, the son of Holocaust survivors and published by Rabbinical Assembly and the Israeli -Schechter Institute. Rabbi Philip Scheim, religious leader of Beth David credited Alex Eisen, a Holocaust survivor from Toronto, for coming up with the idea for Megilat Hashoah and creating a liturgical Megilah which would supply a unifying structure for Yom HaShoah and enable Jewish communities to observe it in a more spiritual way. 

Rabbi David Golinkin wrote in his introduction to Megilat Hashoah: "Historic events are remembered in Judaism only if they are anchored in religious rituals,"

If you'd like to take part in the reading (in Hebrew or English) please contact me: ravbarry@gmail.com or call the Shul office.

Stay Warm, Drive Safe, Shabbat Shalom

Shira and Rav Barry

Rabbi's Corner

03/22/2017 02:48:13 PM

Mar22

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Erev Shabbat Parshat HaChodesh
Parshat VaYakhel Pikudei
Chazak Chazak V'nitchazek
 
Candle Lighting: 6:59p.m.
Mincha followed by Kabbalat Shabbat: 6:45p.m.
Shabbat Mincha/Ma'ariv/: 7p.m.
Shabbat Ends ~ Havdala:   7:58p.m.
 

Rav Barry and Shira will be hosting Dr. Lou and Debbie Flancbaum this Shabbat.

Dr. Lou Flancbaum, MD, will deliver the Dvar Torah (in the Traditional Service) on the subject of Jewish Medical Ethics.


Quickie Dvar Torah

The second Parsha we will be reading is Pikudei which is invariably read during or around tax season. In Pikudei, Moses presents a detailed account of all the materials collected and used to build the Tabernacle.

It is written in 'BaMidbar'- Numbers 12:7: "But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house." 

Some have asked why was Moses, God's most trusted servant, asked to give an accounting? The answer is simply that no one, even Moses, is above the law.  We are all accountable! 


Shabbat "HaChodesh"

From Rabbi Isaac Klein's Guide to Jewish Religious Practice, page 108 - The Shabbat before the month of Nisan is "Shabbat Hachodesh." Two Torah scrolls are used:  from the 1st, we will read Parshat Tazria and from the 2nd, we read from Shmot (Exodus) 12:1-20. The Haftarah is from  the Book of Ezekiel (45:16-46:18) which contains a description of the sacrifices to be brought on the 1st of Nisan, Pesach, and other festivals in the future Beit HaMikdash (Temple). This Shabbat celebrates the arrival of "Aviv" - spring (well, at least in Israel), during which the liberation of Israel took place.

The Maftir - reading from the 2nd Sefer Torah says: "God spoke to Moshe and to Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: This month is the first of your months, it is the first of the months of your year...".  We count the months of the year from Nisan- the first month. For example, we celebrate Rosh Hashanah on the 1st Day of the 7th month (from Nisan) which is Tishrei. This was an appropriate commandment for a people who have just been freed from slavery. The Israelites were commanded to be masters of their own time.


A few words about the Month of Nisan

Shmot, 12:1-2 "God said to Moshe and Aharon in the Land of Egypt, 'This month [Nisan] shall be for you the beginning of the months; it shall be for you the first of the months of the year.' "

Nisan is also known as Rosh Chodoshim," or "HaChodesh HaRishon," the First Month and "Chodesh HaAviv," - The Spring-time Month.

The  sign of Nisan is the "kid," the young goat, which the Israelites were commanded to sacrifice as the Pesach sacrifice.

Nachmanides, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, 13th C. Spain/Israel explains: .... this month should be counted first. And beginning with it, should the count proceed to the second, the third, and so on, till the end of the sequence of months with the twelfth month. For the purpose that this month should be a commemoration of the Great Miracle 

[the exodus from Egypt]. For every time we mention the months, the Miracle will be alluded to. It is for that reason that the months do not have names in the Torah, but rather they are identified by number...


Don't forget to sell your Chametz before Erev Pesach!

The Biblical Laws regarding Chametz include the following:

Exodus 12:15: For seven days you shall eat unleavened cakes, but on the preceding day you shall clear away all leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leaven from the first day until the seventh day that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Deuteronomy 16:4: And no leaven shall be seen with you within all your border for seven days; neither shall any of the flesh you slaughter on the preceding day in the afternoon, remain all night until the morning.

Exodus 13:3: Moses said to the people, "Remember this day, when you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, for with a mighty hand, the Lord took you out of here, and [therefore] no leaven shall be eaten.

Exodus 12:20: You shall not eat any leavening; throughout all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened cakes.

From these Biblical verses the Rabbis have instructed that:

1.   We shouldn't have Chametz in our possession during Pesach.
2.   Chametz shouldn't be seen during Pesach.
3.   No benefit could be derived from Chametz on Pesach.
4.   Chametz shouldn't be eaten during Pesach.
 

Therefore, if one can't consume or get rid of all the Chametz in the house before Pesach, (especially that great bottle of Single Malt Scotch in the liquor cabinet) one can sell the Chametz to a non-Jew as the Rambam, Maimonides (13th Century) wrote:

Rambam: Laws of Chametz and Matza 4:6, based on  Tosefta Pesachim 2:6-A Jew and a gentile are traveling together in a ship, and the Jew possesses chametz. When the fifth hour [on the fourteenth of Nisan] arrives--behold, he should sell it to the gentile or give it to him as a present. He may return and buy it back from him after Pesach, as long as he gives it to him as an outright present.

For more info. on Pesach, please contact me at ravbarry@shaareshamayim.org

Click the link below or visit our website for Chametz Sale forms. 

 Sale of Chametz Form

Bedikat Chametz    בדיקת חמץ

The Erev Pesach - Search for the Chametz - will be done on Sunday, April 9, after nightfall.

Please download the following guide to Bedikat Chametz: Bedikat Chametz

Stay Warm, Drive Safe, Shabbat Shalom

Shira and Rav Barry

Rabbi's Corner

03/15/2017 12:15:02 PM

Mar15

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Erev Shabbat "Parah", Parshat Ki Tissa.

תודה רבה  The proceeds from the Traditional Service's  Matanot L'evyonim Purim Collection were distributed on Purim to benefit the homeless. Thank you to the chaverim who contributed!


Quickie Dvar Torah

Parshat Ki Tissa begins (Shmot 30: 11-13 ) with: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:  "When you take the sum of the children of Israel according to their numbers, let each one give to the Lord an atonement for his soul when they are counted; then there will be no plague among them when they are counted. This they shall give, everyone who goes through the counting: half a shekel according to the holy shekel. Twenty gerahs equal one shekel; half of [such] a shekel shall be an offering to the Lord."

On these verses Rashi (12th Cent. France)  wrote: "when you wish to count  their numbers to know how many they are, do not count them by the head, but each one shall give a half-shekel, and you shall count the shekels. [Thereby] you will know their number."

When we count Jewish adults  for a minyan we do not count each individual, but ascribe to each person a word from Psalms 28:9 (Hoshea et Amecha etc......) which has ten words.

The lesson to be learned is that each person is more than a just number or statistic on a flow chart. Each person is a valued contributor to the community- a person we could "count on".

And, on this note, I would like to ask you to help support our daily  Minyan. A number of times this week we didn't have a Minyan and as a result our mourners and those observing Yahrtzeit couldn't  say Kaddish.


Intro. to Shabbat Parah (From Rabbi Isaac Klein)

The third of the four Shabbatot (before Pesach) is Shabbat Parah. This must always precede the last of the four Shabbatot, Shabbat Hachodesh. Thus,  if Rosh Chodesh Nisan fall on a Shabbat and it also  becomes Shabbat Hachodesh, Shabbat Parah falls on the last Shabbat of Adar. If Rosh Chodesh Nisan is in the middle of the week, Shabbat Hachodesh falls on the last Shabbat of the month of Adar and Shabbat Parah precedes it.

Two Sifrei Torah are used. From the first we read the Parshat HaShavua (the portion of the week), and from the second, the laws concerning the Parah Aduma- the red heifer. The Haftara deals with the future purification of Israel as described in the Book of Ezekiel.

All Israelites came to the Temple in Jerusalem on Pesach in order to offer the Paschal lamb. They had to be in a state of ritual purity to perform this rite. Since the ashes of the red heifer were used in the process of purification, this  passage served to remind those who were not in a state of purity to take the necessary steps.


Don't forget to sell your Chametz before Erev Pesach!

The Biblical Laws regarding Chametz include the following: Exodus 12:15-For seven days you shall eat unleavened cakes, but on the preceding day you shall clear away all leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leaven from the first day until the seventh day that soul shall be cut off from Israel.

Deuteronomy 16:4- And no leaven shall be seen with you within all your border for seven days; neither shall any of the flesh you slaughter on the preceding day in the afternoon, remain all night until the morning. 

Exodus 13:3- Moses said to the people, "Remember this day, when you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, for with a mighty hand, the Lord took you out of here, and [therefore] no leaven shall be eaten.

Exodus 12:20- You shall not eat any leavening; throughout all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened cakes

From these Biblical verses the Rabbis have instructed that:

  1.   We shouldn't have Chametz in our possession during Pesach.
  2.   Chametz shouldn't be eaten during Pesach.
  3.   Chametz shouldn't be seen during Pesach.
  4.   No benefit could be derived from Chametz on Pesach.

Therefore, if one can't consume or get rid of all the Chametz in the house before Pesach, (especially that great bottle of Single Malt Scotch in the liquor cabinet) one can sell the Chametz to a non Jew as the Rambam, Maimonides (13th Century) wrote:

Rambam - Laws of Chametz and Matza 4:6, based on Tosefta Pesachim 2:6-A Jew and a gentile are traveling together in a ship, and the Jew

possesses Chametz. When the fifth hour [on the fourteenth of Nisan] arrives--behold, he should sell it to the gentile or give it to him as a present. He may return and buy it back from him after Pesach, as long as he gives it to him as an outright present.

For more information on Pesach, please contact me: ravbarry@shaareshamayim.org

For the RA - Guide to Pesach- please visit the following site

RA - Guide to Pesach

Check our Website or click on the link below to obtain the Chametz Sale form.

Sale of Chametz Form

Shabbat Shalom, 

Stay Warm, Drive Safe, Be Well, and join us for davening.

Shira and Rav Barry

Rabbi's Corner

03/10/2017 09:14:38 AM

Mar10

A Few Words From Rav Barry

Erev Shabbat Zachor, Erev Purim , Parshat Tetzaveh

See you on  Purim:
Megila Reading, Motzaei Shabbat (Sat.night)-
Mar. 11 -Shabbat is over at 6:43 PM
Megila will be read at 7:15 PM in both services.
Megila Reading, Sunday, March 12- Purim- Tfillat Shacharit at 8:00 AM including Megila reading.

Quickie Dvar Torah

This week's Parsha opens with (Shmot 27:20):

"You shall further instruct the Israelites to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting, the Ner Tamid- (aka  "the eternal light")"

In Rabbinic tradition (see BT Sotah 21a) the Torah is likened to light. Just as light illuminates, the Torah is  the torch by which our paths are  illumined and we are  protected from the dangers of darkness. Midrash Shmot Rabba 36:3,  brings three verses from  the Book of Proverbs  (authorship attributed to King Solomon) to expound on that point:

1."and if you run , you shall not stumble" (Proverbs 4:12 )

2."the spirit of man is the lamp of God" (Proverbs 20:27)

3." For the commandment is the lamp and the teaching is the light" (Proverbs 6:23)

By combining the three aforementioned verses, we learn that if we run in the direction of the light of Torah, and use that light to kindle our lamps through  the performance of Mitzvot, we will not  stumble on our way.

We all  have the ability to become  the  "Ner Tamid", the eternal light, responsible for making sure that our Torah will eternally  illuminate a world in need of light in these troubling days.

Intro to Shabbat Zachor

The Shabbat preceding Purim is called Shabbat Zachor. It is the 2nd of 4 special Shabbatot before Pesach. On this Shabbat we read from two Sifrei Torah. From the first we will read the portion of the week and from the 2nd,  the story of the Israelites battle with Amalek (Devarim 25:17-19). This portion begins with the word "zachor" (remember), hence the name of the Shabbat.

There is a mitzvah to remember Amalek's action and a prohibition against forgetting it.

How does one remember? The Rabbis quote the words of the Sifrei:

"Zachor bapeh; al tishkach balev."-Remember verbally; do not forget in your heart. We observe this Mitzvah by coming to Shul and listening to the specific Torah reading assigned for Shabbat Zachor.

The Haftara is from 1 Samuel 15:1-34, which also tells about a battle with Amalek. The material is associated with Purim because of a tradition that Haman was a descendant of King Agag the Amalekite (See 1 Samuel 15: 8.)


For your listening pleasure:

The Maccabeats -"the whole megila"-  the Purim Song

The Maccabeats - The Whole Megila


Shabbat Shalom, 

Stay Warm, Drive Safe, Be Well, and join us for davening.

Shira and Rav Barry

Tuesday, May 30 2017 5 Sivan 5777