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

2019 Memorial Day Invocation, Alpine, NJ

On this National Day of Remembrance, so very honored to have been a part of Memorial Day in the Borough of Alpine (NJ). 

— 2019 Memorial Day Invocation

May 27, 2019, Alpine, NJ. 07620

Rabbi Nat Benjamin, Chavurah Beth Shalom

 

Almighty God,

We pause on this Day of Memorial to honor the memories of the heroic sons and daughters of our country who rendered their full measure of devotion on all the far-flung battlefields of the world in the defense of these United States. We honor our deceased brothers and sisters who willingly laid down their lives so that we might live in peace and tranquility and celebrate this Memorial Day of 2019 with our families, neighbors and our children. They fought valiantly and courageously in storms of fire and blood so that we, the living, may enjoy the blessings of liberty, democracy and freedom. We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world for us to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice

Memorial Day is a day when we pause in prayer to give thanks to the people who even now, as together we pray, are sacrificing their very lives and dreams for the way of life we, as Americans, hold sacred and dear.

We are proud of our military heroes whom we recognize and honor on this day, serving our country in far flung locations throughout the world and here at home. We are proud of the United States Navy Seals, The United States Navy, The United States Marines, The United States Army, The United States Air Force, The United States Coast Guard, The National Guard, our heroes who are still missing in action, prisoners of war and those in our military hospitals suffering the ravages of war.

Let us never forget from the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism and all the wars in between that sacrifice was made for our freedom. May the deeds of our fallen heroes be an inspiration to us and to all our fellow Americans. Grant that their supreme sacrifices shall not have been in vain and may we prove ourselves worthy of their sacrifices.

Let this Memorial Day stimulate us to be mindful of our responsibilities and duties as conscientious citizens of this great Republic.

We pray thee, Merciful God, sustain the leaders of the World’s Nations in their efforts to remove the dark shadow of fear which lurks over the abode of peace-loving people.

Help all nations of our 21st century world realize the cruelty of bloodshed and the futility of warfare and terrorism. Inspire them to labor with all their might to banish conflict and strife and establish world peace. May it be your will that the prophetic vision of enduring universal peace be speedily realized in our time; ushering in a new birth of freedom for all the inhabitants of the earth.

Amen.

Rabbi Nat Benjamin

 

The Significance of Passover

As we follow our Chavurah‘s Haggadah at the Seder table, it clearly says several times that we celebrate Pesach “because of what God did for me when I came out of Egypt”. Egypt, “Mitzrayim” is a metaphor for our own lives.

Does each one of us have his or her own Egypt?

What is the personal bondage we each feel in real life ?  

Can we be delivered from it ?

The Passover story describes three kinds of slavery:

  1. Physical slavery, actual physical captivity and the suffering caused by oppressors.
  2. Second is psychological slavery. The Israelites were made dependant upon the whims of others causing fear and desire.
  3. The third is spiritual slavery which is ignorance of our status as human beings because of self-deception and self-forgetfulness.

How many of us are still in Mitzrayim ?

How many of us are still in Egypt ?

How many of us are addicted to behaviors we do not control but control us?

How many of us would like to stop smoking or drinking or over eating or living too sedentary a life?

Aren’t these forms of slavery?  

How many of us are emotional or spiritual slaves dominated  by thoughts, desires and will power which are imposed by someone else in our lives?

The ultimate significance of the Passover Seder is to encourage the liberation of all of us philosophically, psychologically and spiritually in every generation.

Rabbi Nat Benjamin

 

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

 

 

Purim Reflections

Throughout the entire story of Purim in the Megillah, God is not mentioned once. But since this is a story about God miraculously saving the Jewish community of Persia, why is the almighty left out of the story entirely ?
The response to this question are many which our sages have pondered over. Many of the great Jewish commentators had this same question and discussed this issue at length over time and circumstance.
If we compare the story of Purim with that of our other holidays it is clear that the plot featuring Esther, Mordechai and Haman present us with no new miracles. No seas split, no mass revelation, no dwelling in clouds for forty years, and no overcoming an enemy one hundred times our size using guerrilla warfare. What did happen was that a lot of people were in the right place at the right time to provide just the political clout necessary when needed. All these events were deliberately orchestrated from above by the Almighty who stood behind a stage, so to speak.—
In a sense Purim is a holiday of masks. The costumes conceal one’s real identity, just like the dough of the hamantash covers the fruit filling, the Megillah conceals God’s name and says nothing of divine intervention.
Although Purim and the characters portrayed in the story are often presented in a lighthearted narrative, the seriousness of hatred and anti-Semitism are easily stirred up. Even today we see it re emerging throughout the world and we must respond with vigilance.

Please join us for our Purim Megillah reading on Wednesday March 20th at the Alpine Community House, 5 Old Dock Road, Alpine, N.J.07620 at 4:00 pm. You are welcome to wear masks and costumes. Hamantaschen will be served.

Purim at Chavurah Beth Shalom