Message for the Week from Rabbi Stein
Rabbi Jay M. SteinWednesday, April 4, 2018 at 12:00:00 am
May this holiday awaken within you a renewed sense of freedom and joy. May you feel energized to work on behalf those in the world suffering from scarcity and violence. May we learn effective ways to share the spiritual wealth found deeply inside all of us.
If you have room at your table for a couple of people, please let me know ASAP. There are still a few people in our community who do not have a place to go.
Please enjoy this Passover greeting by clicking on the link below. As always I thank Michael Billig and his team for making this video so beautiful.
(If this link doesn't work, just cut and paste it into your browser.)
On behalf of my wife, Sharon Cantor Leuchter, Hal and myself to wish you a happy and healthy Passover.
Rabbi Jay M. SteinThursday, March 15, 2018 at 12:00:00 am
Mishna Avot 3:2
HANINA, THE VICE-HIGH PRIEST, SAID: PRAY FOR THE WELFARE OF THE GOVERNMENT, FOR WERE IT NOT FOR THE FEAR THEREOF, ONE MAN WOULD SWALLOW UP ALIVE HIS FELLOW-MAN.
Social responsibility is at the core of our value system. Care of one another is one of the most basic principles in Judaism. The welfare of the community takes precedence over the single person. This concept, though essential to our national survival is at odds with our modern sensibilities that places the individual at the center of our priorities.
Our Mishna teaches us that we must think of others. We must pray for others. The responsibility of leaders is great. Much rests on their shoulders. The very idea of government rests on the idea that there are those charged with the care of the common good. Those people find themselves is a difficult place of trying to please so many and they need our prayers.
Every Shabbat morning we say the words, “Our God and God of our ancestors: We ask your blessings for our country, for its government, for its leaders and advisors, and for all who exercise just and rightful authority.” In that prayer we give language to the hope that they are inspired by our tradition to do what is best and serve a noble cause.
Maybe God hear our prayers and the prayers of all, for life and for peace.
Say it Out Loud
Rabbi Jay M. SteinSunday, March 11, 2018 at 12:00:00 am
Mishna Avot 3:1
AKABIAH B. MAHALALEEL SAID: APPLY THY MIND TO THREE THINGS AND THOU WILT NOT COME INTO THE POWER OF SIN: KNOW WHENCE THOU CAMEST, AND WHITHER THOU ART GOING, AND BEFORE WHOM THOU ART DESTINED TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT AND RECKONING. WHENCE CAMEST THOU? — FROM A FETID DROP. WHITHER ART THOU GOING? — TO A PLACE OF DUST, OF WORM AND OF MAGGOT. BEFORE WHOM ART THOU DESTINED TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT AND RECKONING? — BEFORE THE KING OF THE KINGS OF KINGS, THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE.
It is difficult to keep our heads up in trying times. This Mishna, unfortunately, identifies how we all feel sometimes. There are times when we all feel unworthy. There are times when we all feel as though we have no direction and we have no control and life seems utterly futile.
Strangely enough saying it – knowing others feel the same gives us comfort. So say it. Share your fear, your concern, your anxiety- and know you are in good company. Whether it is the words of Akabiah B. Mahahlaleel or the famous words of Thomas A Harris MD, in one of the best selling self-help books ever published, I’m OK, You’re OK.