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 Rabbi Lipskar's weekly d'var torah

Behar – Bechukotai

The Torah’s third book, Vayikrah, (Leviticus) comes to a close with this week’s double portion. It begins by stating, “G-d spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai” and ends with “These are the commandments that G-d gave to Moses for the Israelites at Mount Sinai” (Chapters 25, Verse 1 and 27, Verse 34). Mt. Sinai anchors the portion.

This special mountain plays a central role in Jewish life as the site of revelation – the place where the Jews were given the Torah and its commandments; the place that Almighty G-d chose to crown the Jewish People as his “Chosen Nation” and the place where Heaven came down to earth.

In terms of overall height and impressiveness, Sinai is actually a mediocre mountain which Hashem specifically chose to emphasize the importance of humility. It is not the one which proclaims to be “highest” which is the most deserving to be honored, but rather the one that is, self-effacing and humble. That was the important criteria that qualified Mt. Sinai for that historic distinction. If that trait was the required component to be the place of revelation, why didn’t G-d give the Torah in a valley? Surely a valley represents even greater self-nullification and humility.

The reason that Almighty G-d chose a low mountain is to emphasize two qualities that are necessary in order to receive the Torah properly and fully integrate its wisdom into our lives. Sinai was a mountain, but a humble one.

First, we must be humble. At the same time however, we must also stand tall and proud with a sense of Jewish pride and self-esteem. We must not perceive ourselves like a valley that exists as a fissure in the earth. We must have a presence, strength and character that results from our allegiance, dependence and connection to G-d. Just as Hashem is eternal, omnipotent and Holy so too, when we are one with G-d, are we eternal, omnipotent and holy.

These two portions contain laws of the Sabbatical and Jubilee year, ownership of land in Israel, historical, painful consequences for transgression, keeping one’s oaths and ultimate covenant that can never be abrogated between G-d and Israel. All of these varied and detailed laws and events must be fulfilled and evoke within us both pride and humility.

This polarized behavior integrating two seemingly opposite attitudes can be successfully achieved only under the influence of Divine authority. Just as G-d contains the potential of opposing virtues, limits and infinity, grandeur and simplicity, pride and humility, similarly, when we fuse with Him and follow His directives, we also have the capacity to integrate grandeur with simplicity and pride with humility. You don’t have to be haughty to be proud and you don’t have to be lowly to be humble.

Chazak! Chazak! V’Nischazek!

Have a good Shabbos and a great week.

Rabbi Sholom D. Lipskar


The Shul Pushka Campaign


It's the little things in life that count. G-d fills the world every moment with His divine energy. Tzedakah is one of the special and significant ways to create an all-encompassing Mitzvah, and in today's world, we need more Mitzvot than ever. It doesn't matter where or how much you give, just make Tzedakah part of your day.

The Shul provides beautiful Pushkas (Charity Boxes)* to the community and to all those that would like to participate in the important Mitzvah of Tzedakah. To request a ShulPushka please call: The ShulShul Office: 305-868-1411 or fill out this form below.

Click here to request a Pushka


To Learn More About The Meaning of Tzedakah Click Here

Jewish Holidays


All Jewish holidays begin the evening before the date specified on most calendars. This is because a Jewish "day" begins and ends at sunset, rather than at midnight. If you read the story of creation in Genesis Ch. 1, you will notice that it says, "And there was evening, and there was morning, one day."

From this, we infer that a day begins with evening, that is, sunset. Holidays end at nightfall of the date specified on most calendars; that is, at the time when it becomes dark out, about an hour after sunset.

   All holidays begin at sundown on the day before the date specified here.


Chanukah Begins sunset of  Thursday, December 10, 2020 Ends nightfall of  Friday, December 18, 2020

Fast of Tevet 10 Begins sunrise of  Friday, December 25, 2020 Ends nightfall of  Friday, December 25, 2020

Purim Begins sunset of  Thursday, February 25, 2021 Ends nightfall of  Friday, February 26, 2021

Passover Begins sunset of  Saturday, March 27, 2021 Ends nightfall of  Sunday, April 4, 2021

Second Passover Monday, April 26, 2021

Lag B'Omer Friday, April 30, 2021

Shavuot Begins sunset of  Sunday, May 16, 2021 Ends nightfall of  Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Rosh Hashanah Begins sunset of  Monday, September 6, 2021 Ends nightfall of  Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Yom Kippur Begins sunset of  Wednesday, September 15, 2021 Ends nightfall of  Thursday, September 16, 2021

Sukkot Begins sunset of  Monday, September 20, 2021 Ends nightfall of  Monday, September 27, 2021

For more information Click here

Project 33154


Project 33154 is a community wide program to create a neighbor to neighbor Jewish experience. The initial case study started Chanuka 2002 where 10 young Yeshiva boys visited every home in Bay Harbor to identify which ones were Jewish and give them the necessary items (Menorah, Candles, Guides etc.) for the Holiday of Chanuka.

Over 250 Jewish Homes were identified together with a color coded map or Members, Non-Members and Unaffiliated Jews. Over the next Purim and Passover the same idea was used in the Surfside and Bal Harbour area and over 800 new Jewish homes were contacted and had a taste of The Shul.


Block Shluchim

Together with color coded map each neighborhood was split up into different areas that include a lay leader from The Shul.

Before each Yom Tov The Shul prepares a special food package which promotes holiday awareness.

Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Succot, Chanukah, Purim, Pesach andShavout

Every newly identified Jewish household in the Bal Harbor, Bay Harbor Islands and Surfside areas has been contacted with thousands of Apples and Honey packages, Chanukah kits and Purim Mishloach Manos and food packages distributed this year.

Over 350 pounds of hand-made Shemurah Matzo (that’s about 2,450 pieces of matzah) has been distributed throughout 33154. If you are new on the 33154 area, please let us know so you can be included on this amazing and inspiring Jewish Program.

Send a letter to the Rebbe זי"ע


Throughout his lifetime, the Rebbe received hundreds of letters every day, from people of every conceivable background, occupation and faith. Today people continue to send letters to be placed at the Ohel for the Rebbe's guidance and intervention On High, in the age-old tradition of written prayer petitions at our holiest sites

Whether referring to one's own self or mentioning someone else's name in a letter, one should always include the name and mother's name (e.g. Isaac the son of Sarah) of both the one(s) who are in need of blessing and the signer. is preferable to use one's Jewish name. (Customarily gentiles use their father's name.) Letters can be written in any language. You can fax directly to the Ohel at: (718) 723-4444 Or you can use the form below to have the rabbis at Ohel Chabad Lubavitch bring your prayers to the Rebbe’s resting place.

The Rebbe

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of righteous memory, the seventh leader in the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty, is considered to have been the most phenomenal Jewish personality of modern times. To hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of sympathizers and admirers around the world, he was -- and still is, despite his passing -- "the Rebbe."

Whether referring to one's own self or mentioning someone else's name in a letter, one should always include the name and mother's name (e.g. Isaac the son of Sarah) of both the one(s) who are in need of blessing and the signer.

Click Here to Know More Click Here.

Sun, May 9 2021 27 Iyyar 5781