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From the Rabbi- May 23, 2024

Rabbi Chaitovsky

By now you should have received our message regarding weekday Mincha and Maariv services at BMH-BJ. We would like to restart the daily minyan brginning Monday June 3rd, the day after our Annual Event. For your convenience,
Sign Up Genius has been set up and a WhatsApp group is forming. I hope that you will make every effort to help revive and reinstate our evening minyan. Please read the letter carefully and make your commitment today! Thank you.


A number of things jump out us as we survey this week’s Torah portion, Behar.
First, it is not often read solo; it is usually partnered with the next reading, Bechukotai. The overall theme of the parasha touches on the relationship we are have to the land of Israel. It mentions shmitta – the Shabbat for the land that occurs every seven years. Just like the Shabbat every seven days which rejuvenates us and helps us infuse our lives with more spirituality, the agricultural shabbat also has spiritual as well as economic ramifications. The Jubillee, which occurs after seven cycles of shmitta years, provides that land which might have been sold due to financial hardship was not sold in perpetuity, but would return to the original owner, restoring a certain balance that was thrown off by the need to sell the land in the first place. The reading begins with the seemingly out of place reminder that these mundane agricultural laws were spoken at Mt Sinai. We are to see them as no less significant than any of the other laws with which we might be more familiar. The parasha makes the point that the Torah’s program was comprehensive and touched on all aspects of life, infusing them all with the potential for holiness and meaning.

This week’s sermon will touch on what is sometimes called “friendly fire.” More than a few Israeli soldiers have been injured or killed due to friendly fire, which is frighteningly disturbing. There are many kinds of friendly fire and many kinds of battlefields, and we will consider some of them on Shabbat. I hope you will be there.

Shabbat shalom…and as always, see you in shul!


Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784