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Rabbi Lipskar's weekly d'var torah

Baruch Hashem

 

LECH LECHA 5769

 

“The hearts (thoughts/perspectives) of Ministers and Kings are in G-d’s hands”.   Though a fundamental principle of Jewish faith and law is the concept of free choice, yet our Torah categorically states that secular Kings and leaders are preprogrammed by Hashem to   fulfill His will.

 

In this week’s Torah portion we begin the saga of the Jewish journey through History.  Abraham is directed by G-d to leave his familiar, comfortable zone of family, environment and nationality and travel to an unknown land where his future is destined.  He is promised children, wealth, universal recognition and Blessings.

 

Soon after arriving at his Divinely destined destination, the land of Caanan (eventually to be the land of Israel) a famine sets in that forces Abraham to descend to Egypt where he can survive this physical challenge.

 

Two obvious serious issues are engendered: 1) Hashem just promised Abraham a cornucopia of positive blessings when he would leave his home and go to Canaan, and practically the opposite occurs; 2) whereas the primary objective of Abraham was to promulgate G-d’s presence in the world and to attract the masses to recognize G-d’s omnipotence and omnipresence, the apparent opposite occurs. The population of Canaan said that until Abraham and his G-d arrived all was good and positive but once Abraham arrives a famine ensued.

 

This apparent paradox of faith and commitment is the genesis of the Jewish People and Jewish Faith.

 

It is actually this seeming inconsistency that is the foundation of Jewishness.  Throughout History we Jews have faced extraordinary problems and setbacks. We have been the recipients of persecution, prosecution, genocide, hate, intolerance and blame for every ill that society has encountered. Yet we are the “Chosen People” – “Children of G-d” - those whom G-d loves and cherishes.

 

How do we reconcile these polarized realities?

 

It is precisely through the challenges that we are able to reach, the lofty levels of G-d’s intention for us. True faith is to accept all that happens in life as coming from Hashem.  Even when we cannot fathom the reasons for difficult realities, it does not diminish our faith and reliance on G-d.  Without friction there is no movement. To move forward we need a backward thrust. Every descent is only there to bring us to a higher ascent. Every challenge allows us to break through and reach loftier heights.

 

This time in history bodes the coming of Moshiach.  Our very challenging and convoluted social norms require a complete paradigm shift from our materialistic, hedonistic, conspicuous consumption, me, me, me, society to a vision of kindness, goodness, G-dliness and selflessness.

 

It is not by arbitrary design that more and more people are recognizing the need for meaning and purpose in life.  It is not by chance that the world’s leadership is being tested and challenged.

 

The world does not depend on who is the face of its leadership.  Our future is not bound with a particular name or person who makes international executive decisions.

 

From an eschatological perspective, our fate is determined by G-d.  From a personal and practical perspective, our fate and future depend on each person alone.  You and I individually, and our singular acts and behavior.  As Maimonides, the classic philosopher codifier and Jewish leader par excellence wrote, “Every person must perceive the entire world as perfectly balanced with the good and bad equal on either side of the scale.  Each of us with a simple act, regardless of its significance can weigh the entire world in either direction.   A positive deed brings the person and the entire universe to the positive side and a negative deed unfortunately brings the converse.

 

It is up to you and me to prepare our world for Moshiach.  Hashem wants us to go “Over the top”. 

           

Have a good Shabbos and a great week!

Rabbi 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.

 

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.

 

List of All Holiday Dates

Below is a list of all major holiday dates for the next four years. All holidays begin at sundown on the day before the date specified here.

 


 

5779

5780

5777

5778

Rosh Hashanah

 

 sunset of  Sunday, September 29, 2019 

10/3/2016

9/21/2017

   .

 Yom Kippur

Begins sunset of  Tuesday, October 8, 2019 

10/12/2016

9/30/2017

9/19/2018

Sukkot

 

Begins sunset of  Sunday, October 13, 2019 

10/17/2016

10/5/2017

 

Shemini Atzeret

 

Begins sunset of  Sunday, October 20, 2019 

10/24/2016

10/12/2017

 

Simchat Torah

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

10/25/2016

10/13/2017

 

Chanukkah

 

Begins sunset of  Sunday, December 22, 2019 

12/13/2017

12/3/2018

TuB'Shevat

 

Monday, February 10, 2020

2/11/2017

1/31/2018

 

Purim

 

Begins sunset of  Monday, March 9, 2020 

3/12/2017

3/1/2018

 

Pesach (Passover)

Friday, April 19, 2019

Begins sunset of  Wednesday, April 8, 2020 

4/11/2017

3/31/2018

 

Lag B'Omer

May 23, 2019

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

5/14/2017

5/3/2018

 

Shavu'ot

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Begins sunset of  Thursday, May 28, 2020 

5/31/2017

5/20/2018

 

TishaB'Av

Sunday, August 11, 2019

 

8/1/2017

7/22/2018

 

 

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.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/761128/jewish/Why-Use-the-Mothers-Name-When-Praying-for-Someone.html

http://www.ohelchabad.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/78445It 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 http://www.ohelchabad.org/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/78445personally 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.

Wed, November 13 2019 15 Cheshvan 5780