Explore the Spiritual and Inspiring World of
Congregation Beit Shalom
Eli B. Perlman, Rabbi/Hazzan
Maurice Mahler, President
Larry Cohen, 1st VP, Treas.
Lillian Rich, Sisterhood President
Bill Lidman, Men's Club President
“This is definitely a congregation like no other.
It is a close family… a very special family!”
– Rabbi Eli B. Perlman –
Congregation Beit Shalom is a unique Conservative Congregation that is comprised of approximately 750 members. 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 to eat. We study and watch movies together. We learn Torah and we share experiences in our lives. More importantly, when someone is in need, we help each other in ways that continue to inspire everyone.
Shabbat Acharei Mot - Kedoshim: Levit. 16.1-20.27 Haftorah Ashkenazi: Amos 9.7-15 Haftorah Sephardi: Ezekiel 20.2-20
ACHAREI MOT: Once a year, the High Priest of Israel was to make atonement for the sins of the Congregation. This ceremony of purification was taught to Aaron just after his sons, Nadav and Avihu, perished. The juxtaposition of events indicates the place of punishment and atonement; there must be adequate provision for both in our lives. The High Priest was instructed to enact the ritual of the “scapegoat,” which bore upon its head the sins of Israel. This goat perished in our place – a kind of early day transubstantiation. In modern times, we read this portion on Yom Kippur. While on the subject of holiness, we find a section dealing with the sanctity of animals slaughtered for our consumption. This impacts us as a holy nation, for we are forbidden to descend into idolatrous practices – like the drinking of blood – even when satisfying our lust for meat. This is continued in another section dealing with unlawful marriages, promiscuity, and sexual perversion. We learn that the morality outside the Sanctuary is at least as important as piety within its walls.
KEDOSHIM: This portion has been regarded as the essence of Torah, “rov gufay Torah” by many of our commentators. In its rambling account of ritual and moral laws, we see a kernel of the Decalogue repeated once again. We see fundamental laws of justice and righteousness between two human beings. Situated right in the middle of the Torah, Kedoshim forms a timeless dictum to all generations. G-d bids us to be holy, as driven by the G-dliness in us all. Aside from revering the Almighty, we must act kindly to the less fortunate, abandon vengeance, forsake criminal and idolatrous practices, and deal honestly in business. We look away from any practice that is ruinous to us since, as creations of G-d, we have a bit of the Divine within us all (Nefesh – “soul or spirit”). As a message to a slave nation getting its first taste of freedom and autonomy, and as a moral teaching to us, the descendants of those ex-slaves, these words bring nobility and higher purpose to our existence.
PESACH SHEINI (14 Iyar / 26 April) – Observed to indicate a one month grace period for those who could not deliver the Paschal lamb at the required time for Passover. Many eat Matzah and omit the Tachanun Prayers on this day.
LAG B’OMER (18 Iyar / 30 April) – The ‘Omer’ was the offering of new barley brought to the Temple on the second day of Passover. Fifty days were counted from the day after the omer offering to determine the date of the Shavuot festival. Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day in the Omer counting period. ‘Lag’ represents the combined numeric value of two Hebrew letters,’lamed’=30 and ‘gimel’=3. On this day the plague that had decimated Rabbi Akiva’s disciples during the Second Century C.E. came to an end. Because of the tragic events of this period, semi-mourning is observed. On Lag B’Omer, however, marriages are performed and other mourning observances relaxed.
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