Congregation Beit Shalom

A 100% VirJEWal Synagogue serving the needs of all backgrounds of the Jewish Community of
Central, NJ since 1983

Eli B. Perlman, Rabbi


Who is Congregation Beit Shalom?

Congregation Beit Shalom / Monroe Township is a unique Conservative Egalitarian Congregation. The difference between this and other congregations is that we are truly a family. We get together to pray, to learn, to laugh, to sing, to schmooze - and it is 100% VirJEWal. When someone is in need, we help each other in ways that continue to inspire everyone.

To attend VirJEWal Religious Services
Every Shabbat and Yom Tov Morning at
9:30 am ET on YouTube... and to attend the next VirJEWal Kabbalat Shabbat Service on Friday, July 19, 2024 at 7:30 pm ET

Shabbat Shelah
Torah: Num. 13.1-15.41.
Haftorah: Joshua 2.1-24.

Did you ever wonder why it took Moshe and B’nai Yisrael 40 years to cross the Sinai Peninsula? This Torah portion tells us why. After all the unpleasantness of the people in our previous chapters, G*d Commands Moshe to send scouts (many translate this as spies, but scouts is more correct) to reconnoiter Canaan and bring back a report. Perhaps then, the stiff-necked nation will believe that G*d indeed wishes them to enter this Promised Land.

The mission goes awry when 10 of the 12 scouts (one sent from each tribe in the spirit of fairness) counsel against entering the fortifications of the land of the 7 Canaanite tribes. For this public doubting of G*d’s power, Israel is condemned to wander one year in the desert for each day of the scouts ill-fated journey, a total of forty years for forty days.
During their wanderings, laws such as Challah and Tzitzit (P’til T’chelet - Thread of Blue) are commanded, possibly to keep B’nai Yisrael together in spirit, if not in deed.

It is made clear by Moshe that revolting against G*d’s laws would not be tolerated. Mistakes will occur and can be forgiven, but purposeful transgression would not go unpunished. As if to underscore this, a certain Shabbat-breaker is stoned for his public crime. His experience is a grim reminder to a rebellious flock. 

Click here to attend Services on YouTube

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Divrei Torah

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