Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat HaGadol – Parshat Aharey Mot 5771
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ
PASSOVER SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
Monday, 4/18 – 6:40 AM – Siyyum B`Khorim (Conclusion of Study – for Fast of the 1st Born) – Chapel
Tuesday, 4/19, 9:30 AM – Sanctuary
Wednesday, 4/20, 6:30 AM – Chapel
Thursday& Friday, 4/21 & 22, 6:45 AM – Chapel
Saturday, 4/23, 9:30 AM – Sanctuary
Sunday, 4/24, 8:55 AM – Chapel
Monday, 4/25, 9:30 AM (includes Yizkor) – Sanctuary
Tuesday, 4/26, 6:30 AM (includes Yizkor) – Chapel
JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR OF EUROPE
Led by Rabbi Mark & Genya Mallach
October 23 – November 3, 2011
For more information, contact Barry Segal: SegalIrisBar@comcast.net
NEXT POTENTIAL CONGREGATIONAL ISRAEL TOUR
There have been inquiries about the next potential congregation Israel tour, such an event depends on several factors:
1. When? Possible time-frames: February or March, 2012, Summer 2012
2. Having a nucleus of participants to make it viable – 20 adult minimum
3. Having a chairman to organize
If anyone is interested, please let me know and we can discuss the possibilities
Seder Match Request
We still have 2 requests to find seats for our temple members at a Seder table, 1st Seder, Monday, April 18th:
1. a gentleman in his 70’s.
2. a woman in her 50’s
IMPORTANT NOTES FOLLOW BELOW
SHABBAT HAGADOL – PARSHAT AHAREY MOT
April 16, 2011 – 12 Nisan 5771
Annual: Leviticus 16:1 – 18:30 (Etz Hayim, p. 679; Hertz p. 480)
Triennial: Leviticus 16:1 – 17:7 (Etz Hayim, p. 679; Hertz p. 480)
Haftarah: Malakhi 3:4 – 24:3:23 (Etz Hayim, p. 1296; Hertz p. 1005)
Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser
Baldwin, New York
“For on this day atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you of all your sins; you shall be clean before the Lord. It shall be a Sabbath of complete rest (shabbat shabbaton) for you, and you shall practice self-denial; it is a law for all time.” (Leviticus 16:30-31)
“A Sabbath of complete rest (shabbat shabbaton) – Some say that this phrase means, a Sabbath for the spirit and a Sabbath for the body. Others interpret it in the sense of ‘the Sabbath of Sabbaths’ – that is, the loftiest of all Sabbaths.” Ibn Ezra “A kind of Super-Sabbath, a total cessation of the everyday for the sake of concentrating on atonement.” (Everett Fox)
“Our sages asked why Yom Kippur is called ‘a Sabbath of Sabbaths.’ Indeed, they pointed out that the Bible declares that the regularly celebrated Sabbath is called ‘a Sabbath of Sabbaths unto the Lord’ (Exodus 35:2). Yet the pious Rabbi Zevi ha- Kohen replied: ‘Indeed, of the Sabbath it is written, ‘a Sabbath of Sabbaths unto the Lord,’ but of Yom Kippur it is written, ‘a Sabbath of Sabbaths unto you.’ On Yom Kippur we draw the sanctity of the superior realm down nearer to us. This Sabbath of Sabbaths, called by the Greeks ‘a seven of sevens,’ ‘a holier than the holy,’ carries its exalted title with reason and dignity.” (Unattributed; quoted in Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins, Yom Kippur Readings)
“‘Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh it is Shabbat Shabbaton (a Sabbath of complete rest [Leviticus 23:3])’…The six days on which certain ‘work may be done’ in fact refers here not to the six days of the week but to the six Scriptural days of Yom Tov: Rosh HaShanah (one day), the first day of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, the first and seventh days of Pesah, and Shavuot (one day) – for on these six days certain kinds of work (e.g., cooking) may in fact be done. The seventh day, by contrast – Shabbat Shabbaton – refers to Yom Kippur, on which no manner of work may be done. Thus the passage as a whole speaks solely of the festivals.” (Maharsha)
“Described by the Torah as Shabbat Shabbaton (the Sabbath of Sabbaths), Yom Kippur is anything but restful; rather, just as it is the holiness of Shabbat that sets it apart, it is the holiness of Yom Kippur that elevates it beyond other days.” (Rabbi Cheryl Peretz)
Sparks for Discussion:
Is “Sabbath of complete rest” a reasonable translation of Shabbat Shabbaton — that is, a reasonable designation for Yom Kippur? Rabbi Peretz reminds us that Yom Kippur is not exactly restful! Is Fox’s term – “Super-Sabbath” — a more useful or appealing turn of phrase?
The redoubled form of “Shabbat Shabbaton” suggests a superlative; of what ideas or values is Yom Kippur the ultimate expression?
Why does Yom Kippur, a day when we are commanded to “afflict” ourselves, seem to retain the interest and commitment even of Jews on the periphery of religious life to a greater extent than the weekly Sabbath (on which we are commanded to “delight”)? How do we explain this disparity? What other religious observances and perhaps holy days suffer from inexplicable or irrational neglect? What can Jewish communities and congregations do about that?
What is the functional difference between a Sabbath of Sabbaths “for you” and “for the Lord”? Is it surprising that these terms refer to Yom Kippur and Shabbat, respectively, and not the other way around? How is our Sabbath delight for the Lord? How is our affliction and self-denial for us? What are the limitations of the Maharsha’s clever interpretation of Shabbat Shabbaton: that Yom Kippur is to the other holy days as Shabbat is to ordinary weekdays?
Your thoughts are always welcome…
A. Thursday, April 14th, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
B. Friday, April 15th:
1. 6:30 PM: Kids Kabbalat Shabbat program
2. 8 PM: Shabbat services
C. Saturday, April 16th, 9:30 AM: Shabbat Shaharit services & the Bar Mitzvah of Adam Wohlgemuth
D. Monday, April 18th, 6:40 AM: Morning Minyan &Siyyum B`khorim – see below for details & form to sell your Hametz
E. Wednesday, May 11th, 7:45 PM: Adult Bar/t Mitzvah Class – Exploratory Meeting with Rabbi Mallach – interested? Join us to see what it involves
F. Sunday, May 22nd, 5 PM: “A Very Special Evening”
For updated information go to: http://www.tbaynj.org/
Siyyum Ta`anit B`khorim v`Biur Hametz
Conclusion of Study for the Fast of the First Born and the Burning of Hametz
Monday, April 18th – 6:40 AM
In commemoration of the 1st born of the Israelites being saved from the Angel of Death, the 1st born of each family is obligated to fast the day of Erev Pesah (ending with the 1st Seder). Our rabbis decreed that one may be relieved of this obligation by participating in a siyyum, a formal conclusion of study of a particular Judaic text.
On Monday, April 18th, at 6:40 AM, as part of the Morning Minyan Rabbi Mallach will conduct such a siyyum for benefit of our 1st born. Afterwards, there will be a Last Chance Bagel Breakfast, to be followed by the ceremony of Biur Hametz, the burning of the Hametz gathered in the at home searches conducted the evening before. If you would like to participate, 1st born or not, conduct a home Bedikat Hametz (Search For Hametz – see the front of a Haggadah for instructions) and bring in your crumbs to be burned in our congregation bon-fire following the siyyum and breakfast.
SALE OF HAMETZ PROXY
In order to assure that you are not in legal possession of any hametz (leavened) product during the festival of Passover, please return the form below to Rabbi Mallach no later than Monday, April 18th, 10:00 AM. Please note that since this is a legal contract authorizing Rabbi Mallach to serve as your agent to conduct the sale of your hametz, it must be accompanied by a check in an appropriate amount made out to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund. In addition, please allow one hour after the conclusion of the Passover festival for sufficient time for Rabbi Mallach to conclude the re-purchase transaction, at which time you may legally re-posses your hametz.
However, if you desire to perform a ceremony of ritual kinyan (acquisition) in person, Rabbi Mallach will available after morning minyanim (or by appointment at other times) to conclude an agreement of agency appointment.
I, the undersigned, do hereby authorize Rabbi Mark Mallach of Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, 60 Temple Drive, Springfield, NJ to serve as my agent in regard to sale of any or all hametz that may be my possession, home or office, during the Passover Festival. I understand and agree that any such hametz must be placed in a secured storage area.