Hazzan and Rabbi wish all Moadim LeSimcha, gut Yontif! May this be the last holiday we celebrate alone!
Please spend an hour viewing our special Shavuoth YouTube video ahead of the holiday, with its many elements to set the tone for your private prayer and reflection.
WE WILL ZOOM THURSDAY EVENING, MAY 28th, BEGINNING AT 5:45, PM FOR MINCHA, TIKKUN LEIL SHAVUOTH, (YIZKOR MAARIV AT 7PM)
Erev tavshilin prayer is customary prior to candle lighting when Sabbath flows directly from the Holiday. (Having cooked an egg or another item for eating on Shabbat)
(this allows one to cook for a shabbat meal on Yontif itself), we recite the following:
Blessed are you, L-rd our G‑d, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with his commandments, and commanded us concerning the mitzvah of eruv.
Through this [eruv] it shall be permissible for us to bake, cook, put away a dish [to preserve its heat], kindle a light, prepare, and do on the holiday all that is necessary for Shabbat — for us and for all the Israelites who dwell in this city.
Thursday, May 28: Candle lighting Thursday evening, erev first day Shavuoth – 7:58 pm.
Sunset is 8:16 pm (blessing ends Vetzivanu Lehadlik Ner shel Yom Tov, then Shehehiyanu.)
Kiddush Shel Yom Tov may be said after 8:45 pm (at the ending of the full day and full counting of 49 full days)
Friday, May 29: Candle lighting for Shabbat Second day Yontif (with Yizkor candle preceeding it) – 7:58 pm.
(Blessing ends Vetzivanu Lehadlik Ner shel Shabbat ve shel Yom Tov. Shehehiyanu. )
Kiddush should be reserved until 8:45 pm as well (Shel Yomtov with shabbat entries), since we don't blend the separate Yontif days
Saturday, Shabbat May 30: Maariv and havdalah for end of Shavuoth can begin at 8:45 pm.
May all of us have a marvelous holiday! Chag Sameah. WE WILL MEET ONCE AGAIN AS A ZOOM KEHILA on Sunday, May 31 at 9:00 am.
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Very soon we will be celebrating the festival of Shavuoth, the holiday of matan ve Kaballat HaTorah, the giving and the receiving of the Torah. Our sages ask why the name of Shavuoth–Holiday of Weeks, and Yom Bikurim–the Holiday of First Fruits, are the only names given for it in the Torah itself. Why does it not mention that it’s the holiday of the giving of the Torah as does the Talmud? Because, they answer, the Torah is teaching us a lesson in humility. Humility is needed to absorb Torah, and therefore it loses no time in teaching it. And because, says another sage, God gives the Torah from the beginning of creation! It was always given from the beginning of time. It is simply that there were no people willing to receive it…that is until Israel stood willing at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
The festival of Shavuoth has fewer concrete mitzvoth than its companion festivals, Pesach and Sukkoth. Still, it is a holiday that seeks to recreate, in a visceral way, the experience of receiving the Torah. Just like at Passover, when we must consider that we were the slaves that exited Egypt, there are observances at Shavuoth that seek to place us at Sinai. A midrash asks why the Torah tell us that God addresses the Israelites as “you who are standing here today and you who are not standing here today.” To teach us that every Jewish soul–past, present and future–stood at Sinai when the Torah was received. We eat a dairy meal to remember how we refrained from meat at the time of the reception of the Torah. The word milk, halav equals in number value 40, reminding us of the forty days in which Moses spent day and night receiving Torah. And we also eat it, says yet another sage, to remind us of the argument that Moses gave the angels when they would not surrender it from their guardianship. “You angels, don’t you remember how you were eating milk along with meat when Abraham served it to you? You obviously were not taking this Torah seriously! You don’t deserve it!” (Midrashic humor). Sadly, this year, we cannot stand in our pews as we hear from the Torah about the Torah being given, like we do every other Shavuot. But with this in mind, at least as we listen to the YouTube Supplemental beforehand, we relive the Jewish people’s receptiveness and selection to receive it.
More intensively, at the time of Shavuoth, we seek to become vehicles of Torah learning. Just as the Jews that stood at Sinai had minds and souls fully probed with Torah insights and knowledge, so too, we, their childrens’ children, seek to study the Bible in a macroscopic way. The effect of such an intense learning is to feel an even deeper kinship with the first Israelites, who were infused with the spiritual and the intellectual content of Judaism at Mt. Sinai. I hope, therefore, that you will join with me in advance of sunset Thursday for a Zoom Tikkun Leil Shavuot, in which we will look at some sources on revelation, and in honor of this year, on the subject of triage in the case of a response to the pandemic.
Your presence and your attendance at this year’s Siyum is most coveted. We hope you will join us for this special installment on Thursday, May 28th. We will begin our short Mincha service at 5:45pm, followed by a study session. Then we will do a “Maariv” service with Yizkor and a sermon at 7:00 pm. Normally, we wait until starlight–until the very end of the 49th day in its entirety. But since this year is not normal, we will begin early enough to stream before sundown. Our study session, complete with cheese blintzes, cheesecake, coffee and tea, will end around 8:00 pm. Of course, you will have the option of providing your cheese blintzes and the coffee you prepare for the occasion😊
The Berdichever Rabbi once asked why is it that when Moshe counts the people in the book of numbers, it says, “as God commanded Moses, he counted them at Mt. Sinai” (Numbers 1:19). Usually, the phrase is reversed: “Moses counted… as God commanded.” The Berdichever teaches something additional: “that which God commanded (the Torah) is numbered like the Israelites. That is, there are 600,000 letters in the Torah just as there are 600,000 Israelites. That which God instructed is the number of the Jewish people.” From this idea, our rabbis said that every Jew is like a letter in the torah scroll. If he or she is vibrant, the letter is clear. If he or she is muted in their faith and practice, the letter can become faded, thus making the entire scroll, the entire Jewish people, unfit. All of us must be counted and all of us must play our parts clearly and energetically. Summer beckons–but so does your heritage, your Jewish religion–always. And when we stand up and be counted, as we did, all of us at Sinai, fantastic things can happen.
Hag Sameach in advance, and I hope very much to see you at our Siyyum! You’ll like the virtual blintzes and you’ll like the lessons learned– I guarantee it! Read More
With Pesah coming up, it's never too early to start thinking about seders. So I've been asked to offer up my chicken soup recipe, but the truth is that I can't give it to you–and not because it's top secret–but rather, I don't exactly use a recipe. Sure the ingredients are mostly the same: water, chicken, vegetables, spices, etc. But the truth is it varies: sometimes I use chicken thighs, sometimes I use gizzards. In fact, sometimes I've even used turkey necks for my "chicken" soup. I always try to use celery, carrots, onion and dill, but often I try to add parsley or parsnips, occasionally a turnip. This time, on Mary's suggestion, I added thyme, a lovely addition. But there are still some key tips and tricks I can give you to improve your chicken soup, no matter which recipe you use:
1. Don't cook the soup the same day you serve it. Soup is ALWAYS better a day later, when the ingredients have had an opportunity to mix and mingle. Waiting a day or even two can make all the difference between a good soup and a GREAT soup.
2. Brown the chicken before putting it in the soup. Sure, if you're in a rush, you can toss the chicken in a pot of water, but by browning the chicken in the pot before adding the water, you add an immense amount of aroma and browning flavors that will intensify your soup and bring it to the next level.
3. Sauté the vegetables as well, while you're at it. While not quite as impactful as cooking the chicken, you can make the vegetable flavors stand out more. Often I will do the chicken first, then remove the chicken and cook some of the vegetables in the chicken fat, and then add back in the chicken and the vegetables.
4. Skim the soup to eliminate extra fat, etc. Especially when using chicken wings, you often have to deal with feathers, and those things don't dissolve in the soup but float to the top, so you can skim that off along with any extra fat.
5. Know your audience. Some people prefer clear soups, and so you might want to wrap ingredients in cheesecloth, while others don't mind "stuff" in their soup. Some actually prefer it! Some people like throwing in thin egg noodles, or making kneidels/matzoh balls. But if you want to know about how to make those, you'll have to ask Libby, the Kneidel Maidel herself. She even as a song about it! Read More
Last month was very busy at the ENJC, with numerous activities for all. The turnout at all our events was outstanding, starting off with our second annual SOUPER SHABBAT!
Our Shabbat service was enjoyed by all, and was highlighted by the soups that over 85 congregants tasted while celebrating Shabbat together. A very special thank you to our chef’s – Steve Alberti, Beth Schlesinger, Ilene Glatman, Karen and Jason Tyll, Allan and Donna Berman and Hazzan Walvick. Look for their recipes in this month's Bulletin. I enjoyed all the soups I tried and my only regret was that I did not get a chance to try them all. Thank you as well to Robin Kain, the salad maker. YASHER KOACH to all that helped make it a very special Shabbat.
On Sunday morning, February 2nd, it was time for East Northport’s participation in the World Wide Wrap. The Daled and Hay students made their presence felt with a large turnout. Steve Krantz and the Men’s Club provided hot sliced bagels. Over 40 people got up early on Super Bowl Sunday to attend!
The following Shabbat was another busy weekend! Our Friday night Service was followed by 35 congregants enjoying our annual Tu B’Shevat Seder. It is one of my favorite nights of the year, as my 23-year-old daughter Amanda joins me in participating in the Seder. She was happy to attend and both Rabbi Silverman and Hazzan Walvick made it enjoyable and memorable.
The Engage Program is involving many ENJC members in the many activities offered. Mah Jongg Sundays have started up, and on February 23rd we were treated to some insights from Yossie Mermelstein about the War on Entebbe. Yossie was a pilot with the Israeli Air Force at that time and when he spoke, we all felt that we were there too.
February is ending with our participation in Shabbat Across America, highlighted by a Mexican Dinner. I’m sure it will be MUY BUENO!
Purim is next – SEE YOU IN SHUL! Read More