TTT: B`hukotai 5771

May 18th, 2011 by admin | Filed under TTT.

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat B`hukotai 5771
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ

Led by Rabbi Mark & Genya Mallach
October 23 – November 3, 2011
For more information, contact Barry Segal:

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 (NOTE: HAVE GOTTEN SEVERAL RESPONSES, INTEREST IS CLEARLY GROWING…)

May 21, 2011 – 17 Iyar 5771
Annual: Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34 (Etz Hayim, p. 747; Hertz p. 542)
Triennial: Leviticus 26:3 – 27:15 (Etz Hayim, p. 747; Hertz p. 542)
Haftarah: Jeremiah 16:19 – 17:14 (Etz Hayim, p. 763; Hertz p. 551)
Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser
Baldwin, New York
“If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments, I will grant your rains in their season, so that the earth shall yield its produce and the trees of the field their fruit.” (Leviticus 26:3-4)
“From now on, your behavior, not the whim of the gods or slave drivers, will determine your fate. By accepting a code of law, you become responsible for what you do and the result will not be a matter of luck. It may be a harsh law, but there will be no surprises. To the men and women at Sinai, this must have been revolutionary. For the first time, what they do matters.” (Shulamith Hareven)
“The difference between our Torah and other ancient and modern law codes is that the chief aim of the law codes is to establish law and order in society, whereas the chief aim of the Torah is to enable man to become fully human.” (Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan)
“Hebraic religion cannot and will not admit that society is the whole of life or that any social institution whatever is above judgment and criticism in terms of the ‘higher law’ revealed in the divine imperative. It says no to society or the state or the church when any of these dares to exalt itself and call for the worship of total allegiance.” (Will Herberg)
“Judaism rises and falls in accordance with the degree to which halachah permeates and penetrates the life of the Jewish people. Despite the occasional successes scored by secular Judaism, and the apparent growth in some branches of Judaism that do not maintain halachah, the lasting quality of Judaism and the Jewish people is intimately tied up with the observance of mitzvot ma’asiyot, the religious practices that characterize Jewish life and give it the dimension of holiness.” (Rabbi Isaac Klein)
“Law is the projection of an imagined future upon reality.” (Robert Cover)
“At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.” (Aristotle)

Sparks for Discussion:
How are law and obligation liberating, as Shulamith Hareven suggests? How are our restrictive or exclusive relationships, in fact, freeing? What elements of Jewish belief and practice reinforce this principle?
In the twenty-first century, Jewish law is non-coercive; that is, there is little mechanism for enforcement or sanction against the noncompliant. What incentives impel Jews to commit themselves to the covenantal system and a halachic lifestyle?
How might Rabbi Klein, an important mid-twentieth-century pulpit rabbi, halachic decisor, and author of the influential Guide to Jewish Religious Practice, explain the correlation between observance of the mitzvot and Jewish communal vibrancy and spiritual experience? That same correlation seems to be an inherent aspect of the divine promise in our verse. Does the social reality Rabbi Klein observes substantiate the blessings and curses of Parashat Bechukotai? What other forces contribute to the historic pattern he describes?
How does our individual – even private – observance of Jewish religious practice contribute to securing a Jewish future and affect the spiritual condition of our religious communities? What are the consequences should we neglect the mitzvot?
What are some of the ways in which Jewish tradition and the law at its core help us “to become more fully human”?
Your thoughts are always welcome…


A. Tuesday, May 17th, 6:30 PM: Teen Institute Closing BBQ at Rabbi Mallach’s house – Kitah Zayin students are our invited special guests – Frisbees welcome – NOTE DUE TO RAIN – RESCHEDULED FOR NEXT TUESDAY THE 24TH – TI WILL MEET TONIGHT IN THE TEMPLE
B. Thursday, May 19th:
1. 6 PM: Women’s League Donor Dinner
2. 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
C. Sunday, May 22nd :
1. 8:55 AM: Morning Minyan
2. 5 PM: “A Very Special Evening” – Night of TBAY Stars
3. 7:45 PM: Evening Minyan
D. Tuesday, May 17th, 6:30 PM: Teen Institute Closing BBQ at Rabbi Mallach’s house – Kitah Zayin students are our invited special guests – Frisbees welcome [RAIN DATE = 5/24]
E. Wednesday, May 25th:
1. 12:30 PM: Women’s Torah Study Group
2. 7 PM: Screening of the documentary film, Race to Nowhere – for ticket information go to –

F. Friday, June 3rd, 6:30 PM: ShabbaTis4U & presentation of the award letters for the Dora Sugarman Memorial Scholarship for College Judaic Studies
G. Saturday, June 4th,9:30 AM: Bat Mitzvah of Marissa Chusid
H. Sunday, June 5th, 10 AM: Touched By Grief session
I. Tuesday, June 7th, Erev Shavuot
1. 7:45 PM: Minha followed by Maariv Service & Siyyum Tihon – Conclusion Of High School Studies – Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael’s Teen Institute: Join us as we honor Jamie Berger, Dana Meyerhardt, Stacey Shewitz and David Wasserman on the completion of 4 years of Hebrew High studies in our Teen Institute
2. 8:30 PM – Oneg l`Shavuot
3. 8:57 PM – Tikkun Liel Shavuot: Shavuot Study Session Begins: Exploring Jewish Myths – Can a Jew with a Tattoo be Buried in a Jewish Cemetery and Other Myths.
J. Wednesday, June 8th, 9:30 AM: Yom Tov shel Shavuot services in the sanctuary – includes Yizkor
K. Friday, June 10th:
1. 6:30 PM: President’s Dinner for Installation Shabbat – RSVP to:
2. 8:00 PM: Installation Shabbat & a Tribute to Martin Shindler, may his memory be for a blessing, a TBAY past-president

L. Saturday, June 11th,9:30 AM:
1. Bat Mitzvah of Rochelle Shvartsman
1. AufRuf of Dan Poltrock & Michelle Rosenthal
M. Tuesday, June 14, 7:45 PM – Meeting for those interested in the Jewish Heritage Tour of Europe

You can also visit my website at:

For updated information go to: