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Weekly Announcements

Ahavat Yisrael of Wesley Hills Announcements

Behar

May 20 – May 27

19 Iyar – 26 Iyar

 

Mask Rules

At this point following CDC guidelines, masking is optional. Those who wish to wear a mask are certainly encouraged to do so. Please, if you are ill stay home, recuperate and have a refuah shleima.

 

Condolences to Dorit Chasen & family on the passing of Dorit's mother, Eva Hermann, Shiva ends on Shabbos.

 

SCHEDULE

 

FRIDAY (5/20)

Mincha: 7:00 PM

Candle lighting no later than: 7:54 PM

Omer 35

 

SHABBAT (5/21)

Shacharis : 9:00 AM

Latest time for shma: 9:13 AM

Parsha Shiur: 6:50 PM

Mincha: 7:35 PM

Shabbos Ends: 8:58 PM

Maariv: 9:04 PM

Omer 36

 

SUNDAY (5/22)

Shacharis: 8:00 AM                                                                                                                                                                 

Rabbi’s Gemara Shiur in person and zoom: 8:45 AM  https://zoom.us/j/3812539596

Salute to Israel Parade in NYC

Mincha/Maariv:  9:00 PM

Omer 37

 

MONDAY – THURSDAY (5/23-5/26)

Maariv: 9pm

Wednesday: 8:15 PM Parsha Previews on zoom https://zoom.us/j/3812539596

 

Dvar Torah & Thoughts on Behar

Rabbi Asher Bush

With this year being a Shmita year, it would seem that Behar should have special meaning for us. Before addressing how this should impact us living outside of Israel, I would like to share a thought that a friend visiting from Israel mentioned. Rather than focusing on the restrictions, which for a person living in Israel can certainly complicate shopping for fresh produce, he spoke of the opportunity to fulfill the positive mitzvos of Shmita, seen in the words והיתה שבת הארץ לכם לאכלה, “and the Shabbos of the land shall be for you to eat.” Seen in these words is the opportunity to partake and enjoy the fruits which grow, to share them, and to treat them with the proper respect due. A small matter for many, but another one of the countless opportunities to practice the words of the Torah that take on a whole new reality when in Israel.

But how about the rest of us who are not living in Israel, who do not live with its restrictions or opportunities, what does the Shmita have to say to us? The one consistent theme that runs throughout the entire parsha is about concern for our brothers and sisters who are having a tough time financially. This is ancient history and today’s news, as there are always needs around us. So, while Shmita and Yovel may seem to focus on the fact that the land belongs to God and not us, the takeaway, aside from very large issues of faith, is about how the “haves” should deal with and treat the “have nots.” It is precisely with the backdrop of knowing and appreciating that we are just tenants and not the landlord that our responsibilities to those less fortunate resonate. If it is all really mine, then it is up to me, and all a matter of my good will, but if I too am really just a guest, albeit a more fortunate one, then everything changes.

To help us appreciate just how much this should matter to us, each time that a new scenario is introduced in the parsha, it begins with the words כי ימוך אחיך, “when your brother struggles with poverty”, it is not just anyone who is struggling, it is your brother. How we treat a person that we view as a brother or sister is far different than how we treat those we view as strangers. While on one hand this may not seem realistic, after all, family is family, and the rest are not, with the possible exception of a few very close friends, but that is precisely the point. Each and every fellow Jew is a member of the family, maybe not my literal brother or sister, but in a very real way, a member of my own family.

It is with this perspective that the very strong prohibition against charging interest can well be understood. When a person lends money to a family member, they would never think of charging interest, as that is just not what one does to a family member. Given that each and every Jew is a member of that family, we are commanded not to charge (or pay) interest to any Jew. If this was not at the core of the reason, the fact that we may charge interest to a non-Jew would not make any sense. At no time does the Torah ever permit us to lie, cheat or steal from anyone regardless of faith, so if charging interest was something inherently bad or wrong it would be forbidden with all people. Rather, it is a matter of a special way that one treats a member of the family, something seen in various other mitzvos as well, things that may not be bad or wrong are still not good enough for the special people in our lives. The big message of Behar and Shmita is that this list of special people includes far larger group than might otherwise have been assumed.   

 

Fri, May 27 2022 26 Iyyar 5782