Uncategorized

24
Oct
0

Shemini Atzeret: Make the Most out of Today by Anna Jacoby

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

Shemini Atzeret: Make the Most out of Today By Anna Jacoby

Honored Rabbi, Madame President,

Today, of course, is Simchat Torah, the second day of Shemini Atzeret. Simchat Torah is the Yom Tov Sheni Shel Galuyot, and the last day of the “holidays.”And at this point, many of us are getting tired of the holidays --the cooking, missed work, and time off from school.So, today, it’s easy to think “Shemini Atzeret?Great, one more day and I’m done!”

This morning I would like to share with you an idea that will hopefully change how you think about Shemini Atzeret.Shemini Atzeret literally means “the assembly of the eighth day.”Atzeret comes from the same shoresh as Atzar, which means “stop.”Some have thought this means refraining from work. Our sages, however, have interpreted this as “detaining” or a deliberate extension of the prior seven days.

This idea of extending the holiday makes sense when you also consider the number of sacrifices on Shemini Atzeret. During the time of the Temple, 70 bulls were sacrificed during Sukkot. 13 bulls on the first day, 12 bulls on the second day, 11 bulls on the third day, and so on. Believe me, it adds up to 70.However, on Shemini Atzeret, only one bull is sacrificed.

Our sages explain why Shemini Atzeret is on the eight day, and why only one bull is sacrificed with the following beautiful parable:Hashem is like a host who has invited his whole kingdom to a huge party lasting seven days. After the party was over, and everyone left, the king felt lonely. So, he invited his closest friend to stay an extra day and eat together. This is a small private party, just the king, and his best friend, the Jewish people.

This is why only one bull is sacrificed. Shemini Atzeret is a small party of close friends. In this case, more is not merrier.

This Midrash shows the special relationship between G-D and Israel. The story tells us that G-d loves Beni Yisrael as the king loves his best friend.

I know that many of you are tired and are looking forward to the holidays ending. But I ask you to take advantage of these remaining few hours of Shemini Atzeret, and think about our special relationship with Hashem and what that means to you.

Mo’adim L’Simcha!

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 87 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
24
Oct
0

Simhat Torah Devar Torah by Shoshana Menashe

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

Simchat Torah Dvar Torah

By Shoshana Menashe

Moadim L’Simcha – Chag Sameach!

Be’reshut Rabbi Meyers, Greetings to our Madam President, and thank you to the entire congregation for giving me the opportunity to share a few words of Torah this morning that are based on an article by Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks.

We are finishing up the Chagim – an amazing month of holidays – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hoshanah Rabah, Shemni Hatzeret, and Simchat Torah.

As we get ready to leave the Chagim and go back to our regular schedules, I want to share some thoughts about my personal favorite, Sukkot.

We were lucky this year that the Sunday before Sukkot it did not rain and I spent pretty much the whole day helping my dad put up the Sukkah. I held up walls and took doors using the power drill. Once we had the walls up, I climbed up on the roof of our house to make sure the Schach was placed correctly across the top of the Sukkah. (My mother does not like to watch that part of the Sukkah building!). Then after I helped put up all the beautiful Sukkah decorations I even finally convinced my father to put up the Mariners lights. He wasn’t eager to do that because he said the Mariners sometimes don’t bring him happiness but in the end he agreed!

My father and I were especially happy that during the windstorm in the first days of the Chag our Sukkah stood strong and nothing really moved or flew away so we were able to have all our meals in our Sukkah.

Since we put all this effort into our Sukkah it made me wonder why do we have to put up our Sukkah every year? With all this effort shouldn’t our Sukkah be permanent so we do not have to rebuild every year or shouldn’t we build with materials that are a little sturdier?

I guess my question is what exactly is a Sukkah? What is it supposed to represent?

I learned with my parents that the question is important to the Mitzvah itself. The Torah says in Vayikra :

בַּסֻּכֹּ֥ת תֵּשְׁב֖וּ שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים כָּל־הָֽאֶזְרָח֙ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל יֵשְׁב֖וּ בַּסֻּכֹּֽת׃

You shall live in sukkot seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live sukkot,

לְמַעַן֮ יֵדְע֣וּ דֹרֹֽתֵיכֶם֒ כִּ֣י בַסֻּכּ֗וֹת הוֹשַׁ֙בְתִּי֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בְּהוֹצִיאִ֥י אוֹתָ֖ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם אֲנִ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃

in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite people live in Sukkot when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I the LORD your God.

In other words, understanding and being aware that we are in a Sukkah and the reasons for the Sukkah are very important. For that reason, it says in the Talmud that a Sukkah that is taller than twenty cubits, which is about 30 feet, is not kosher because when the schach, the “roof,” is that far above your head, you might not even be aware that you are sitting in a Sukkah!

So if you have to be aware you are sitting in a Sukkah, what is the meaning of the Sukkah itself?

Rashbam, Rashi’s grandson, says the Sukkah was there to remind the Israelites of their past so that, at the very moment they were feeling the greatest satisfaction at living in Israel, when they were able to bring their beautiful crops up to the Beit Hamikdash, they should remember that they were once a poor group of ex-slaves traveling in the desert. Sukkot, says Rashbam, is very connected to the warning Moses gave the Israelites at the end of his life about the danger of feeling too secure in your home and your resources. Everything that we have, including our money, comes from Hashem’s blessings and protection.

So perhaps our Sukkah has to not be permanent to remind us that everything we have in life, all our possessions and material wealth, are because of Hashem’s blessings and that what we have can be taken away in an instant. While hard work is important, we cannot accomplish anything without Hashem’s Beracha, His blessing. Just like the Jews wandering in the desert and living in Sukkot could not have survived without Hashem’s protection, and our Sukkot in Seattle (no matter how hard we work on them!) are subject to the winds of October, all we can ever really count on is the commitment to Torah and Mitzvot, not material things or structures.

In addition to understanding the message of the temporary nature of the Sukkah – I think there is another important aspect of Sukkot – the Mitzvah of v’samachta b’hagecha – to be with “Simcha” on the Chag. What does that mean?

The Rambam says in Hilchot Yom Tov that the ways that Jews rejoice is by inviting guests to our house for a meal on the Chag, including the widows, the orphans, and people who don’t have a place to go or cannot provide for themselves. That’s what real “simcha” on the holiday means – to share what we have with others.

The Rambam says this very clearly, and I quote:

A person who spends time on the Chag with only his own family, eating good food, enjoying a fine meal but does not invite people who have no other place to go or do not have the ability to provide for themselves good food, then such an individual who isolates himself from the unfortunate does not having the “Simcha”/joy of the holiday; he’s only having the “Simcha”/joy of his own stomach.”

Sadly there are so many in our community who do not have shelter and food. In honor of the Mitzvah of “ v’samachta b’hagecha “ my school, the Seattle Hebrew Academy, purchased over 600 pounds of food for the JFS food bank and I went with the SHA middle school to help package the food and get it ready to distribute to those who do not have enough to eat. Our very own Mrs. Lea Hanan makes it her own personal year round Mitzvah of collecting food from the entire school for the JFS food bank.

To conclude, Sukkot is an amazing holiday because it teaches us both to appreciate all the material blessing we have in our lives and to share what we have with others who are not as fortunate. I hope this lesson and all the other amazing things we learned over the Chagim continue to inspire us to higher levels of Torah and Mitzvot in the year to come.

CHAG SAMEACH!

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 69 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
14
Aug
0

RCA Proclamation on Racism

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

For the record, the Rabbinical Council of America formally adopted a "Torah Proclamation on Racism" back in Oct. 30, 2015.I am reprinting the main points of the proclamation given recent events in our country:

  • Whereas the Bible teaches that all humans share one heavenly Father who created us in His Image (cf. Genesis 1:27, 5:1, and Malachi 2:10); and
  • Whereas the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 4:5) teaches that God created Man as one individual human being to promote harmony among people, so that no one can claim that his origins are superior to those of another person; and, that God's Greatness is manifest in the diverse and unique appearances of His creatures; and
  • Whereas the Jewish people began its history as a persecuted, enslaved people, and is repeatedly adjured by God to remember its lowly origins and to be kind to others in similar circumstances; and
  • Whereas the Jewish people has experienced both great acceptance as well as significant discrimination in the United States and, more broadly, has a continuous history as a persecuted minority; and
  • Whereas the centuries-old American problem of white racism against African Americans continues to be a disgraceful, explosive contemporary reality, with both overt and insidious manifestations

Therefore, the Rabbinical Council of America reaffirms its absolute condemnation of racist speech and deeds.

The statement goes on to say that we should voice our objection to racism in the name of Torah ideals, embrace Jews of all racial backgrounds, and work towards fostering warm relationships with our fellow Americans of races different than our own.

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 363 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
25
Jul
0

Donations to Michal Salomon and Children

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1103480764942&ca=0d7980ac-17cc-46ff-9952-5ca24498e5e9

You can also call the EB office at 722 5500 and donate using your credit card or existing account at EB

Thanks

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 399 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
26
May
0

Introducing Sephardi Fest!

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 652 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
18
May
0

Lea Koenig Tablet Magazine Article

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 578 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
28
Mar
0

Three Events Hosted by Ezra Bessaroth

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 590 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
24
Mar
0

Sephardic Trips to Israel!

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1
JERUSALEM UNITED MISSION TO ISRAEL MAY 16-29


FREE SEPHARDIC BIRTHRIGHT TRIP FOR 18-26 YEAR-OLDS THIS AUGUST
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 509 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
15
Mar
0

Correction to this week's schedule

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

I've just been informed that the Ladies Auxiilary will NOT be baking this coming Monday March 20th

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 530 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
07
Mar
0

PURIM SCHEDULE MARCH 11-12

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 497 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
07
Mar
0

EB Launches Customized Meldado Shiurim

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 473 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
11
Jan
0

Shabbat Yerushalayim Schedule!

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

Click the "clipboard" on the home page for the full schedule

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 526 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
30
Dec
0

SHABBAT TIME CORRECTION FOR MIKETZ/SHABBAT HANUKKAH

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

Shabbat ends at 5:13 pm and not 5:08 pm as written in the newsletter

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 615 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
30
Nov
0

See our new "Story of a Sephardic Congregation Website"!

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

...And buy the book - a great Hanukkah gift! 

 

https://sephardiccongregation.wordpress.com/

 

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 0 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
30
Nov
0

See our new "Story of a Sephardic Congregation Website"!

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

And buy the book - a great Hanukkah gift!https://sephardiccongregation.wordpress.com/

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 715 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
25
Apr
0

PURCHASE TICKETS FOR YOM HASHOAH PROGRAM

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 890 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
20
Apr
0

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein Remembered...with Rav Moshe Taragin

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 1491 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
23
Mar
0

RCA Statement on Post-Election Reaction of US Government

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

Rabbinical Council of America Expresses Alarm at
Rhetoric Surrounding of US-Israel Relations


The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest organization of orthodox rabbis in North America, expresses alarm at the excessive criticism leveled at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for comments made in the closing days of the Israeli election.

While we commend the United States administration for its assurances of unwavering support for the security of Israel, we call upon it to desist from statements that are perceived as threats to the only democracy in the Middle East. Support of Israel is built on the rock solid foundation of our shared values of democracy and freedom. Israel is the only country in the region that preserves these values. In this election, Arabs voted freely and the chairman of the elections committee was the Arab Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran. The elections were not followed by violence and bloodshed, as other so-called "democratic" elections in the region have been. The United States and Israel share the values of western democracies, societies built upon open education, open opportunity, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression.

In the heat of a hard fought campaign, comments without context and explanation, were made by Prime Minister Netanyahu. In light of the context of these comments and their intent, excessive criticism of Mr. Netanyahu for these comments from Jewish groups is sorely misplaced. There are those who would have preferred different results. Democracy, however, grants privilege to the voters, who saw national survival as the most important election issue. Israel remains committed to a peaceful solution with its neighbors, arrived at by negotiation, and not imposed from without. Israelis will beat a quick path to the negotiating table when there is a partner with whom to negotiate, rather than a terrorist government in Gaza, and a weak, corrupt one in the Palestinian Authority whose imams call for the annihilation of all Jews.

We call on all Americans to renew their commitment to Israel, a commitment rooted in the prophetic visions of our Bible, visions of justice, kindness, peace and the dignity of all people. American support of Israel is predicated on our shared visions, a support that rises above occasional differences.

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 1323 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
26
Feb
0

Israeli Hologram Technology

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1

Tags: Untagged
Hits: 1158 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes
26
Feb
0

A Must See - Alan Dershowitz on the History of Modern Israel

Posted by Rabbi
Rabbi
Rabbi has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
in Uncategorized
1
Tags: Untagged
Hits: 1127 Continue reading →
Rate this blog entry
0 votes