Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Shabbat Ha-azinu 5779

Before delving into this coming Shabbat’s readings, I want to express my gratitude to our community for such a meaningful start to 5779. It is a privilege to pray, learn, and connect with you on these most holy days.

 
As promised, here are some video clips of the songs I referenced in my Yom Kippur sermons (so you can hear how they’re really supposed to sound!). 
 
Here’s No Hard Feelings and I and Love and You by the Avett Brothers.
 
Click these links for songs by Kobi Oz, including Zalman Zeh Lo Atah, the duet with his grandfather’s recording called Elohai, and a pair of classics from his Teapex days: Rabbi Joe Kappara and Rolled Up in a Newspaper (all songs have English subtitles). 
 
On to Torah–this Shabbat, we read two poems. One, in the Torah reading, Ha-azinu, is Moshe’s swan song. The haftarah is also in verse, attributed to King David, labeled as his song of thanksgiving to God for rescuing him from adversity. In one verse, God’s saving power is described as expressing itself in nature: “Then the earth did shake and quake; the foundations of heaven did tremble; they were shaken because He was angry” (II Samuel 22:8).
 
Why did the ancients see God in natural disasters such as earthquakes? Did the rabbis do anything to modify this theological worldview? We’ll look at one fascinating comment together on Shabbat morning.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi David Wise