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 Behar / Bechukotai: Levit. 25.1-27.34. Haftorah: Jeremiah 16.19-17.14.
BEHAR: Continuing with the sacredness of the cycle of the year, Behar begins with the Commandments of the Sabbatical and Jubilee Years. This was the time to recognize G‑d’s beneficence; ownership of the entire universe; and, parenthetically, what has become in modern times as soil conservation. The now frowned upon institution of slavery was de-rigueur in ancient times. Society must have found it distasteful even then since the Jews compassionately tried to temper it with the notion that no person was a slave to another. They introduced the idea that no Jew should remain in slavery for past debts – a fairly common practice through the Nineteenth Century, if not even to the present! In fact, Moshe tells the people that each individual is responsible for all humanity’s welfare. Gemilut Chasadim, the notion of “taking care of one’s own,” is basic to Jewish philosophy and outlook even today. The Sidra ends with yet another injunction against emulating the heathen in our midst. It is important to always to strive to be the best that we can be.
BECHUKOTAI: This portion is the final salvo against improper behavior found in the Book of Vayikra. It is, in fact, the final Sidra in the Book. It paints a remarkably black and white picture of good and evil, of righteousness and sin, of reward and punishment. It features a long admonition by Moshe, the “Tochechah,” which specifically and graphically describes the misfortunes that will befall the Jews should they turn away from the right path in Life. On the other side of the coin, endless blessings will accrue if the Jews follow G‑d and the Mitzvot. For the ancients, the Sanctuary and its attendant offerings were a symbol of walking in the way of G‑d. Therefore, the Book of Vayikra now ends in much the same way as it began – with the enumeration of rituals and offerings which are to be brought out of one’s free will to the House of G‑d.
חזק חזק ונתחזק
CHAZAK CHAZAK VENITCHAZEK
STRENGTHEN, STRENGTHEN, MAY WE BE STRENGTHENED.
This formula is recited at the completion of a Book of the Torah when read aloud in public.
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