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Rabbi Lipskar's weekly devar torah

Boruch HaShem

Parshas Shemini

We are in the second cycle of the weekly Torah portion of Shemini due to the intervening Holiday of Pesach when we read special Pesach Torah sections during the past Shabbos.

This extraordinary portion contains the absolute extremes of life experiences. We begin reading about the formal dedication of the Holy Tabernacle – G-d’s personal home in our midst - with all of its ensuing pageantry and services.

The entire community receives the Priestly Blessings from Aaron, the High Kohain, after he concludes his offering service and then receive the encompassing blessing of Moses together with Aaron for Divine success in all the community’s undertakings.

The entire People of Israel witness G-d’s fire descending onto the Altar from on high and they sing out to Hashem in praise while falling on their face in prostration.

It is difficult to imagine the ecstatic joy that accompanied this historical revelation as G-d came down to live with us in the most evident and revealed manifestation.

At the very same time on this significant day of Rosh Chodesh (First of) Nissan, Aaron’s two eldest sons, Nadav and Aveehu, whose installation as Kohanim (Priests) had just been formalized, were stricken to death by a fire that G-d directed to consume them.

A major calamity that should have completely overshadowed the joyous dedication celebration. Aaron’s response was an inanimate silence that found no words, no language, no expression.

As the cousins of Nadav and Aveehu removed their bodies from the Tabernacle, the festivities and program continued unabated. There was not even a moment of respite for mourning.

How does one reconcile or internalize such radically different events that ranged from the ultimate of joyous celebration to the abyss of horrific tragedy, and continue to function effectively?

A seemingly similar clash of emotions is evident in the Jewish world as we respectfully honor those whose life was extinguished by the Haman of our generation because they were Jews, and those who stood courageously and strong as soldiers giving their lives to protect the Jewish Holy Land and Holy People, while within minutes praising G-d with gratitude for the obvious miracles that we experienced when granting us the Holy Land of Israel in 1948 and ensuring our eternal successful presence.

It is also during this period when we commemorate with certain modes of mourning the plague that killed 24,000 of the brightest Jewish scholars, disciples of Rabbi Akiva, while simultaneously maintaining the joyous nature of the month of Nissan, representing multiple, magnificent miracles, and also growing internally and behaviorally in a constant upward movement of refinement in preparation for ultimate freedom at the Sinaic Revelation.

Such extremes of feelings, experiences and mind challenging issues all coalescing in a vortex of dancing with trepidation.

This is Shemini – the eighth day – a number that transcends the natural order. The relationship between Hashem and we, His Chosen Beloved Children, that reached its intended climax on this First day of the dedication of the Tabernacle, infused us with an existentialism that is beyond logic, nature, human comprehension or systemic order and structure.

The internal essence of the Jew is a transcendent, beyond natural element that imbues every aspect of our being and produces a spiritual / emotional / intellectual DNA that is far beyond the limited dimensions of general human function.

To experience a fusion of outstanding joy together with indescribable pain while maintaining enormous sensitivity and proper feelings is beyond the pale of the biological chemistry of mankind.

Only Hashem who is perfect and a composite of opposites, missing nothing, being infinite, unlimited and beyond time and space while at the same time finite, limited and within the structure of time and space, can share that ability to simultaneously suffer loss and pain while filled with love and hope. It is in the fires of destruction and desolation where the seeds of growth and prosperity sprout and flourish.

We are invincible and nothing can stop us as we move relentlessly like a raging river to fulfill the purpose and objective of G-d’s plan for creation: to not only eliminate the darkness and all that it represents but to transform it to light, joy and jubilation.

Thank You G-d for the Torah, Land of Israel and for choosing us.

Have a great Shabbos and a good week.


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, 27 April 2017 1 Iyyar 5777