Sign In Forgot Password

The Rabbi's Desk

02/15/2019 02:33:09 PM


My Derasha topic this Shabbat Parshat Tetzaveh in the
Benaroya Sephardic Center / Chetrit Sancutary:
Scent of a People, Whoo-ah
(Rabbi Kuessous will be in the Straus Main Sanctuary)

Inside: (no longer linked, please scroll down)
Last Week's Derasha: Make a Little 'Godhouse' in Your Soul
Parent-Child Learning Parsha Questions
Intra and Inter Faith Monday

For This, Hashem Made the Internet (NEW FEATURE)

Last week's Derasha for Parshat Terumah
בלבבי משכן אבנה – Make a Little 'Godhouse' in Your Soul

Parent-Child Learning Continues
Last year's questions on Parshat Tetzaveh. 

Intra and Inter Faith Monday

This past Monday I had the great pleasure to attend two meetings focused on strengthening bonds both intra-faith and inter-faith.

I first met with Rabbi Lindsey Healey-Pollack, the Rabbi at Congregation Kol HaNeshamah, to welcome her to Englewood and her new pulpit. This afforded us the chance to get to know each other and set the stage for future opportunities for our communities to work together. I wish her Hatzlachah Rabbah in serving her community and our people.

Later that day, I was honored to host in our shul the second meeting of the Clergy sub-committee of Mayor Wildes Cultural Affairs Committee. We are discussing projects we can work on to bring members of our community together for the benefit of our town. Plans are underway for a joint effort to tackle the problem of hunger as it affects Englewood. Many of us may not be aware how many of our fellow citizens rely on programs to provide meals to individuals and families and supplementary snacks and the like to school children. I am very excited at the opportunity this presents for shul to reach out more than before to our neighbors of other faiths and partner with them to support those disadvantaged. Stay tuned!

(Photo Credit: Bett Schwartz)
Standing (l to r): Rev. Preston E. Thompson, Jr., Senior Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, The Rev. Dr. William H. Allport, II, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Mayor Michael Wildes. Sitting (l to r): Rev. Richard Hong, Pastor of the 1st Presbyterian Church, Rabbi Poupko, Rabbi Shmuel Konikov of the Chabad, Pastor Eddie Spencer IV, lead servant of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church. We were joined later by Rabbi Reichman.

For This, Hashem Made the Internet

As a product of the information age or the computer age, I do a lot of Torah learning and teaching preparation on the computer and benefit greatly from a number of websites that have become important tools. I'd like to share just a few of them.
This website has the entire Chumash and major commentaries. What makes this site so useful is that the commentaries are accessed by verse and organized by topic or question. So when a visitor to the site selects a pasuk, the major issues addressed are displayed and one can view the classical commentaries that address the issue. The first pasuk of this week's Torah reading, Teztaveh, contains the word תָּמִיד (lit. always or constantly). Looking here, one can find how Rashi distinguishes between different usages of the word as well as other approaches in other commentaries. Please note, this website has no English translations. Which brings us to another excellent site. 
This website describes itself as "a one-stop Tanakh study resource, providing the texts, tools, techniques, and technology to help scholars, educators, and laypersons...". One of the best parts of the site is the Mikraot Gedolot section where one can view a number of the classical commentaries arrayed in a clean, accessible format and there are many ways the user can customize the view and get English translation. The site has sections for GemaraRambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch, and more. There is a lot of other good stuff there and ways to customize your learning experience.

I also use and often which are great databses of Jewish texts are easy to copy and paste from. Sefaria recently added the English translation of the Talmud based on Rabbi Adin Stensaltz's explanation of the Talmud.

It was for these websites and may others like them that Hashem created the internet.

Mon, December 6 2021 2 Tevet 5782