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Rabbi Lipskar's weekly devar torah

Boruch HaShem

Parshas Tazria-Metzorah

The different names of the 53 portions of the Torah are significant and give an essential identity to the general theme of that portion.  The two portions that are read in tandem this week have seemingly opposite and even contradictory meanings.

Tazria means to give forth seed – be impregnated – relating to birth and life.  It regards the laws pertaining to a woman who has given birth and the obligation to circumcise a son on the eighth day. Metzorah, a leper – is one who has been infected by a dermatological eruption, abrasion, rash or discoloration that renders him impure, contaminated, spiritually defiled.  This particular state is the harshest kind of impurity requiring excommunication and quarantine.  In fact, our Rabbis state that a Metzorah is considered like a dead person.  The degree of spiritual impurity engendered by the Metzorah is more extreme than even the defilement caused by a dead person.  The proximity of these two concepts and their integration into a single weekly portion must have significance.

As completely and extremely polarized that life and death are from each other they are like two sides of a common coin. Two realities that are divided by the thinnest demarcation that often blurs their distinction.  Life can at times be death and death life. Our Rabbis teach that “Righteous even in death are considered alive” while “Evil ones even in their life are considered dead”.  As much as life and death are biological and chemical and are measured and determined by physical factors i.e. breathing, heart beat, brain function, blood flow etc., there is another dimension to these states of being.   Have you ever heard or experienced a comment or feeling “He/she is like a dead person”, “There is no life in him”, “I have no desire to live” or similar statements?

To know death one must know life.  What is life?  Is it existence with the aforementioned symptoms?  If one’s heart is beating and brain waves moving but is in a deep coma is that life?  Of course it is technically and legally living, but is it life?

True life has an eternal quality that never ceases and contributes a sense of meaning and purpose to everything and everyone it contacts.  Before we read the Torah from the Torah Scroll we proclaim the verse “And you who connect with the Lord your G-d are all alive today”.  The Torah is the tree of life to those who hold onto it”, “G-d is called alive”.   “The Torah teaches us that we each have a choice for life or death as it states clearly, “I hereby give you today life and good and death and bad - choose life”.

When we are born, we are given the opportunity to utilize the eternal life that has been imbued in us by G-d to vitalize our physical body wherein that life force (soul) is contained and the entire space that one will contact in their time span in this physical world.  That requires a total commitment to G-d which is represented by circumcision and a life that will be devoted to G-d’s ways.  On the other hand, when one utilizes his life force to beget negativity through gossip, tale bearing, character assassination and selfishness, then his life has been usurped and integrated into death.

The word Truth in Hebrew is “Emes” – which is one of G-d’s signatures and represents eternity. It consists of three letters Aleph, Mem and Sof. Aleph represents the Master of the Universe – Mem and Sof make up the word Mes - meaning death - when the Aleph/Hashem is there then you have Emes - truth - eternity.   When however the Aleph is absent then you are left with Mes – death.

Let us utilize our potential to bring life to oneself and to our entire world in preparation for Moshiach when “all impurity will be removed from our world” and “death will be abolished forever”.

Have a great week and a good Shabbos

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.


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.







Rosh Hashanah






Yom Kippur












Shemini Atzeret






Simchat Torah
























Pesach (Passover)






Lag B'Omer



















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.

Thu, April 26 2018 11 Iyyar 5778