Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

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

Shabbat Behar/Behukotai 5780

Dear Friends,

Everyone learns differently. So for this Shabbat, my weekly message of Torah is coming at you in two formats. For those who prefer to read the written word, click here. Or, you can watch me deliver it in

For your musical enjoyment this week, here are a few songs that helped me through this week.

David Byrne of Talking Heads wrote this beautiful song, and last year he was joined by Brooklyn Youth Chorus.  One verse of the song grabbed me: “Then before my eyes, is standing still/I beheld it there, a city on a hill/I complete my tasks, one by one/I remove my masks, when I am done”
(Note: even though Byrne co-wrote the song with Brian Eno, whose support of BDS and opposition to artists performing in Israel infuriates me, I won’t deny the world beautiful music because of his association with it.) 

Next week we will celebrate Yom Yerushalayim. I think you’ll find this clip of the late, great Ofra Haza as touching as I did.

Speaking of Jerusalem, Ehud Banai (some call him Israel’s Bob Dylan) recorded this Yerushalmi melody to the Shabbat poem El Adon. I love this melody, and really love this arrangement.

Finally, don’t forget to click here for Virtual Shabbat Prayers from Cantor Zim, and some Torah reading clips from me.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and good health

Rabbi David Wise