Message for the Week from Rabbi Stein

Meaningful Conversation

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

Mishna Avot 3.6 

HALAFTA OF KEFAR HANANIA SAID: [WHEN THERE ARE] TEN SITTING TOGETHER AND OCCUPYING THEMSELVES WITH TORAH, THE SHECHINAH ABIDES AMONG THEM.

People are different in different settings.  There are some who feel completely comfortable making small talk with a few friends. There are some who prefer the large group over intimate conversation. Yet every one of these circumstances center on what is being said. 

When the impulse is to talk of the regular everyday, mundane topics, like sports, weather and career, seize the moment to speak of God, Torah and Israel.  By giving us the subject matter to discuss we take the first step to being comfortable in our surroundings.

The young man or woman preparing for a date wonders what they will talk about over dinner.  The couple getting ready to go to a dinner party thinks about the varied topics that will bantered about at the table. Our Mishna offers the suggestion that values, morals and God’s word might be a good topic of conversation.    

 

  

Making Small Jobs Important

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

Mishna Avot 3.5

NEHUNIA B. HAKKANAH SAID: WHOEVER TAKES UPON HIMSELF THE YOKE OF THE TORAH, THEY REMOVE FROM HIM THE YOKE OF GOVERNMENT AND THE YOKE OF WORLDLY CONCERNS, AND WHOEVER BREAKS OFF FROM HIMSELF THE YOKE OF THE TORAH, THEY PLACE UPON HIM THE YOKE OF GOVERNMENT AND THE YOKE OF WORLDLY CONCERNS.

Sometimes we find ourselves bogged down in tasks we dislike doing. If, however, we step back for a moment and recognize why we are doing this particular activity, we usually continue doing that very chore.  If we can remember why we do what we do, menial jobs seems less so.

Every person is born with a divine directive.  As we make our way through life we must remember we are in service of God no matter how tedious the assignment.  Looking back at the varied accomplishments in one’s life gives us the support necessary to continue ahead.  Seeing what we have been able to endure in the past, gives us the strength to push onward.   Recalling that we are all placed here with a purpose, even if we have yet to define it exactly, gives us the courage to endure the setbacks life often brings.

 

We are starting a new group called “Shul Stitchers.” If you knit or crochet please join us

April 26th at 1:00 pm for our kick off meeting.  Yarn provided!!

  

A Good Night's Sleep

Rabbi Jay M. Stein

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 10:00:00 am

Mishna Avot 3:4
R. HANINA B. HAKINAI SAID: HE WHO KEEPS AWAKE AT NIGHT, AND HE WHO WALKS ON THE WAY ALONE AND MAKES ROOM IN HIS HEART FOR THAT WHICH IS FUTILE, LO, THIS [MAN] INCURS GUILT [EXPIABLE] BY HIS LIFE.

As a child, who after a long, great day at sleep-a-way camp, gets into bed and discovers, for the first time, he is homesick, so too, we can get distracted by the events of the day. Sometimes it takes the quiet of our bedroom to get in touch with our inner thoughts.  This can be an important exercise in self-evaluation.  Each of us needs time away from the tumult of life to evaluate our priorities and to look in the mirror. Regularly, we encounter people who give us advice and consul.  Some give their perspective with the best of intentions while others’ motivations are less sincere.  Either way, the image of self is a bit distorted.

A life with input from others can be imprecise.  We can easily loose perspective and find ourselves in a vortex of self-doubt, confusion and even anxiety. For some, there is no choice, sleep does not come.  Those people wrestle all night long with doubts and insecurities and need professional help.  But for many, there comes a time when they make a choice to sleep or to stay awake. Says our Mishna, we each need a good nights sleep in order to function properly.  We need to make sure that when the insecurities of nighttime begin to creep into our heads, we tune them out and get some rest.  Our Mishna teaches that we are social beings who need each other to live; but we also need a good night’s sleep!

Friday 7th Day of Passover

Sermon: God Hurled Both Driver and Horse

Shabbat 8th Day of Passover Yizkor 

PowerStart What Is Oppressive Labor

Sermon: Future Redemption

No FinishStrong (We will limp to the end of the Holiday)