Exodus 25:1-27:19 2nd Torah for Rosh Hodesh Numbers 28:9-14
Candle Lighting time 5:54 p.m.
Judy and I compliment each other in an unconventional way. Although she is a good cook, because of her schedule I do most of the day to day cooking. I try to get a hot, nutritious, and delicious meal on the table when she walks through the door from her work in the city. On the other hand, Judy is always handier with tools to fix something broken in the house. I have two left hands that can’t hammer a nail in straight. We’re a perfect match. But when a big job comes along, we hire a skilled craftsman to create or fix something that will be both functional and beautiful.
Beautifying a synagogue is called in Hebrew a Hiddur mitzvah. “The concept of Hiddur Mitzvahis derived from Rabbi Ishmael's comment on the verse, "This is my God and I will glorify Him" (Exodus 15:2): "Is it possible for a human being to add glory to his Creator? What this really means is: I shall glorify Him in the way I perform mitzvot. I shall prepare before Him a beautiful lulav, beautiful sukkah, beautiful fringes (Tsitsit), and beautiful phylacteries (Tefilin)." [Midrash Mechilta, Shirata, chapter 3, ed. Lauterbach, p. 25.]The Talmud [Shabbat 133b] adds to this list a beautiful Shofarand a beautiful Torah scroll which has been written by a skilled scribe with fine ink and fine pen and wrapped in beautiful silks.” (MyJewishlearning.com)
That was God’s attitude from the very beginning when He established a place of worship for the ancient Israelites. He didn’t recruit just anybody to set up an ordinary tent. He appointed skilled craftsmen, Bezalel and Oholiab (Ex. 36:1), to decorate the tabernacle with finely-woven tapestries and intricately designed ornaments (37:17-20).
I think the beauty was important then because it reminded the people of the worth of God in their worship. During the dry and dusty days of desert wanderings, they needed a reminder of God’s majesty.
The beauty created by us in worship settings today can serve the same purpose. We offer God our best talents because He is worthy. Together through our relationships with one another we can make our already beautiful sanctuary even more gorgeous one where everyone will feel safe, secure, and most importantly God’s presence. When we do so, we shall realize the words of the Ashrei “Happy are they who dwell in your House, they shall ever praise You.” (Psalm 84:5)
Rabbi Gary Greene
In the spirit of cooperation between Marathon JCC and Little Neck JC, we hope to double the days our members may attend a morning minyon and say a kaddish or at least help others by being part of the quorum. Little Neck encourages their members to join us in morning services Monday and Thursdays at6:30 am and we encourage our members to join them at LNJC for shacharit services on Tuesdaymornings at 6:30 am and Sunday mornings at 8:45 am.
|Friday night||7:00 p.m.|
|Mon. & Thurs||postponed for time being.|
|Mon. - Thurs||7:30 p.m.|
Save the Date!
Shabbat morning the Boker Tov Cafe Opens at 9:00 a.m Services begin at 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday Adult Education classes will continue every Tuesday. We are are studying Psalms and reading Jewish Short Stories. No previous knowledge or Hebrew needed.
Thursday, January 23 7:45 p.m. Are you interested in Kabbalah? Join Rabbi Greene for 3 more Thursdays in January. We shall study the classic work The Zohar in English. No Hebrew or previous knowledge needed.
Wednesday, February 12 7:15 p.m.Women's Rosh Hodesh Group meets.
Saturday, February 22 p.m. 6:30 p.m. We are screening the classic movie Exodus in our Israel Film Festival. Bring the whole family. There is no charge.
Monday, February 24 7:45 p.m. Yom Hashoa Meeting
There is growing interest of a synagogue trip to Israel either in the fall of '14 or early spring of '15. If you are interested in learning more about this exciting possibility and shaping our pilgrimage to Israel, let Rabbi Greene know. Members and non-members are invited to participate.
In the Community
Learning Opportunities co-sponsored by us and JTS Context series of Adult Ed.
The Judeo-Christian-Muslim Tradition: Law and Covenant in the Three Major Western Religions
Instructor: David Kraemer
Course Description: Sometimes we understand ourselves best by comparing ourselves to those who are most like us. In the case of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, this means considering what we bear in common as well as how we differ. In this course we will read the central narratives of law in the Torah, New Testament, and Quran, asking how each faith—based upon its founding document—came to understand the place of law and covenant. “Who are we and what is required of us?”—how do each of these sister faiths answer this central question of human existence?
Instructor Biography: David Kraemer is the Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian (=Director of The Library) at The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he has also served as Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics for many years. As Librarian, Prof. Kraemer is at the helm of the most extensive collection of Judaica—rare and contemporary—in the Western hemisphere. On account of the size and importance of the collection, Professor Kraemer is instrumental in setting policy and establishing vision for projects of international importance. Professor Kraemer received his M.A. and Ph.D. at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He is a prolific author and commentator. His books include The Mind of the Talmud (1990), Responses to Suffering in Classical Rabbinic Literature(1995), and The Meanings of Death in Rabbinic Judaism (2000), among others. His most recent book is Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages (Routledge, 2007, 2009).
Location: Reform Temple of Forest Hills, 71-11 112th Street, Forest Hills, NY
Day/Time: Thursdays, 7:00–9:30 p.m.
Dates: February 6, 13, 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27, 2014
Tuition: $425 plus one-time Blackboard fee of $27
Financial Aid: Payment plans and need-based scholarships available.
Register online: www.jtsa.edu/context/registration
In addition, two synagogues will be hosting Context Mini-Courses beginning in May 2014:
How Could We Forget Thee, O Jerusalem: The Idea of Return to Zion in Jewish History
Location: Temple Gates of Prayer
Dates: May 7, 14, 21
Kabbalah: Entering the Garden of Spiritual Mysteries
Instructor: Eitan Fishbane
Location: Hollis Hills Jewish Center
Dates: May 1, 7, 14, 28
UJA-Federation of New Yorks Connect to Care is a multi-agency initiative assisting families who have been adversely affected by the economic downturn and provides assistance with: Employment & Career Transition Services, Legal & Financial Consultations, Supportive Counseling, Jewish Spiritual Care, & Interest Free Loans up to $10,000. Watch our 8 Minute Loan Presentation, view our other workshop flyers, and our resource directory at: www.sfy.org/connecttocare