Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

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

Shabbat Bemidbar 5780

Dear Friends,

Everyone learns differently. So again 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 by clicking here

Each week, I think of music that relates to recent events, or the calendar, or the Torah portion. We’ve had more sunshine in recent days, so my mind obviously went to this song. But I also think musically in Hebrew, and this song by Israeli pop star Rami Kleinstein also paints pictures of a gorgeous day. Try to conjure up the images from one of the verses in the song Shemesh (Sun”): “Two old men build a woman out of sand/rescuing the right tourist/a young girl eats a big mint popsicle/an airplane drags along an upside-down advertisement.” I can visualize a day on the beach. It’s Memorial Day Weekend. Can you see the beach in your mind’s eye?

Speaking of Memorial Day, I’ve always loved this sweet, sad ballad by The Dixie Chicks

And speaking of sand, this week we begin Sefer Bemidbar. Its English title may be “Numbers,” but the word means “in the wilderness.” And that made me think of those who’ve been through the desert. And, somehow, no one alerted me to this clever interpretation of that song. How could I have missed that for an entire month?

In my dvar Torah, I spoke of counting Jews in a more inclusive way. So it’s fitting to include the voice of the prince of kosher gospel, Joshua Nelson.

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