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Congregation Beit Shalom
Eli B. Perlman, Rabbi/Hazzan Maurice Mahler, President Larry Cohen, 1st President
“This is definitely not a congregation like any other. It is a 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.
November 28, 2020 / 12 Kislev 5781 Shabbat Vayetze: Gen. 28.10-32.3. Ashkenazi Haftorah: Hosea 12.13-14.10 (Optional addition: Micah 7.18) Sephardi Haftorah: Hosea 11.7-12.12).
Yaakov prays for Divine protection as he sets off into exile. Lavan, (a mean, contemptuous, expletive-deleted individual), is totally against helping anyone other than himself, especially if those others are family. As a result, Yaakov takes advantage of the very bad situation by allowing Lavan to put him to “good use.” For seven years Yaakov labors with the single purpose of marrying Rachel, the daughter of Lavan. At the wedding feast, Lavan, the fine gentleman and paradigm of the lousy father that he is, switches brides so that Yaakov ends up with Leah, the elder sister of Rachel. Yaakov is then forced to work another seven years in order to marry his true love, Rachel.
Both Yaakov and Rachel suffer and long for each other the entire time. In the end, Yaakov had two wives, one he loved and the other he simply tolerated, at best. Combining that situation with the fact that he accumulated two other wives along the way (Zilpah and Bilhah), this resulted in Yaakov having to watch the tragic exile of his entire nation!
After another six to seven years (no one knows precisely because nobody is alive who can remember that far back) of shepherding for his “lovely” father-in-law, Yaakov demanded payment in kind. Through a crafty series of machinations, Yaakov outsmarted Lavan and became a wealthy herdsman at Lavan’s expense proving that, sometimes, good people ARE rewarded. However, Lavan’s wrath forces Yaakov to flee. Only the hand of G-d prevented a massacre of Yaakov’s camp by the forces of Lavan. Stay tuned for next week as we will continue reading The Book of Bereshit – the inspiration for modern daytime TV “Soap Operas”.
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