Chavurah Beth Shalom Virtual Seder, 2nd Night of Passover

We cordially invite you to our Chavurah Beth Shalom’s virtual second night Passover Seder, Saturday, April 16, at 6:00 pm via Zoom online.

Passover is a time of remembrance of those Jews in the past who did so much to ensure that we would survive as a people and be free to celebrate our Passover Seder.  It is also a time of renewal when we celebrate the Exodus from slavery and our love of freedom. As we wish to preserve this freedom, it is important for us to do our part to preserve those institutions that help guarantee Jewish survival.

Our Chavurah works relentlessly to educate our children and adults, to celebrate the holidays and to serve the community. As always, we are available to you for your life cycle events and pastoral needs. We are ever mindful of your continued friendship and generous support, which have enabled us to succeed and serve our community.

Come and celebrate our virtual Passover Seder on Zoom with your wonderful friends from our Chavurah, your out of town family members, and special guests.

This year, we need your help more than ever and so we have inaugurated a Passover Appeal which we hope will meet with the same generous response from our members and friends as in the past.

Whatever you contribute would be deeply appreciated and in the spirit of Passover.

Passover is a time when we say memorial prayers for our departed loved ones. Please email us the names of your dear ones and they will be read at our special memorial service along with the candle lighting. 

Hannukkah 5782 and Thanksgiving 2021 Together – Never Before Or Again

This year Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving, on 11/28/2021. The Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19×7  = 133 years. Looking back, this is approximately correct – the last time it  would have happened is 1861. However, Thanksgiving was only formally  established by President Lincoln in 1863. So, it has never happened before.

Because the Jewish  calendar  is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000years . This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29.

Of course, if the Jewish calendar is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the Gregorian calendar, until it loops all the way back to where it is now. So, Hanukkah could again fall on Thursday, 11/28…in the year 79,811 * .

Calendars , not with standing we need an early Hanukkah this year.  It is a holiday that brings hope and good cheer to all of us regardless of our religious backgrounds.

So pass the cranberry sauce AND the latkes, please.

  • NOTE: The 79811 date is NOT accurate, but was meant to be tongue in cheek. Jewish law requires Passover to be in the Spring.  Therefore, the Jewish calendar will have to be adjusted long before it loops all the way around.
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Shabbat Morning at Chavurah Beth Shalom

Chavurah Beth ShalomPlease join us for Shabbat Morning In Alpine, tomorrow, Saturday, June 15, 2019 (12 Sivan 5779) 10:30 AM

Morning Shabbat Service followed by our Chavurah Beth Shalom Weekly Torah Discussion Group.

This Shabbat we will discuss the Threefold Benediction from Chapter 6 verses 24-27 which is recited at every prayer service on Shabbat, Festivals and the High Holy Days.

In our tradition we include this blessing at life cycle events and simchas as well. Although the Birkat Shalom consists of only 15 words, it is pronounced and chanted in many different ways at different services at various times of the day according to the Jewish communities.reciting it.

“The Eternal One spoke to Moses: Speak to Aaron and his sons: Thus shall you bless the people of Israel. Say to them:

The Eternal bless you and protect you!

The Eternal deal kindly and graciously with you!

The Eternal bestow [divine] favor upon you and grant you peace! (6:22-27).

A light brunch, great bagels, hot coffee and tea will be served to all members, their guests and friends.

Chavurah Beth Shalom in Alpine, NJ. 07620

2nd Night Community Seder at Chavurah Beth Shalom

Please join us at our annual Chavurah Beth Shalom Community Seder on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 6:00 pm in Alpine (NJ) at the Community House, 5 Old Dock Road.
Special Pricing : $39.00 per person,children under 12 free.
Join our special community of friends for a 2nd Night Seder in our Northern Valley of Bergen County.
Great food and friends!

Email us here if you’d like to attend.

Download our Passover Seder forms here:
Chavurah Beth Shalom Passover Appeal

Rabbi Nat Benjamin



THe Honor Of Signing The Ketubah

Signing The Ketubah          Signing the Ketubah is an important part of the Jewish marriage ceremony. I have always felt that my signature as the officiating rabbi and those of the bride, groom, and their witnesses should be  clear and legible. It should require an especially reliable writing instrument. And so my deluxe Cross Pen, the top of the line, became my constant wedding companion.

          Rani and David had planned two wedding ceremonies. On Saturday there would be a two-hour Hindu wedding complete with a reading from the Vedas, the spiritual scriptures that are the heart of India’s culture , the Saptapadi (or seven steps) , and the vows taken in Sanskrit. On Sunday I would lead a twenty-five minute Jewish Wedding service in a country garden setting under a Chuppah with wine, a glass to break and a beautiful art decorated  Ketubah featuring both Jewish and Hindu motifs.

          At the conclusion, David smashed the glass and the bride and groom went on to  lead the recessional. Rani’s parents and grandmother approached me with joy on their faces and words of gratitude for my service which to them was wonderfully short compared with the Hindu ritual they had endured the day before. But their attention seemed to focus on Rani’s Ketubah which featured a Hindu bride clothed in a multi colored Sari. It was truly one of a kind. I presented it to them for safe keeping and their gratitude was overflowing.

          Then came the bombshell. “Rabbi, we must also have the pen which you used for the signing. Both the scroll and pen are  now sacred objects for our family and must be kept together for safe keeping.

          After gasping for a moment I explained to Rani’s family that my Cross pen was a special one which I only used to sign religious documents, naming  certificates and such. I probably indicated that it cost me a considerable amount of money. Rani’s father was cordial yet firm as to his responsibilities in this matter. His demand  for both Ketubah and pen were not to be denied.

          In that hour I truly learned what it meant to be torn between my Yetzer HaRa (evil intention) and my Yetzer Tov (good intention). And then a moment of blinding clarity came over me. For who was I to deny my Cross Deluxe Pen the opportunity to achieve the status of becoming a sacred object and to assume its rightful place in Rani and David’s home as a treasured memento of their wedding day ? I do remember as my pen passed into their hands that I really felt very good about my gesture and for the sacrifice made that sunny afternoon.

          Time had passed quickly, names and faces may be sometimes forgotten but a few years later I was called to lead a baby naming for a little girl.  As I walked up their front lawn a smiling middle-aged couple came out to greet me waving a pen. “Rabbi, here is your pen from Rani and David’s wedding. Now you can sign our granddaughter’s baby certificate. Your pen has brought us much good luck “.

– Rabbi Nat Benjamin