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President's message BeHar 5/20/22

Dear friends,

BeHar, this week's Parsha, describes the rules and regulations of the
Yovel, or jubilee year. We are instructed to count the years up to 50,
much like we were commanded to count the days in last week's Parsha
where we discussed the Omer. 
There is a difference, however, in the texts describing the two. The Torah 
uses the plural when instructing us to count the Omer and the singular 
for the Yovel. Every single Jew is supposed to count the Omer, but it’s the 
Sanhedrin, the supreme court, the leaders of the Jewish people, who are 
supposed to count the Yovel, on behalf of the people. 
Rabbi Sacks z”l learns from this that the people are involved with the day 
to day, but the leaders must be concerned with planning long term, for the 
future. Rabbi Sacks goes on to give several examples of the leaders who had 
the concept of the long view.

Ben Zoma states a person is wise who foresees the consequences. Moses
speaks to the Israelites about how they will tell the story of the Exodus to their
children in years to come. Jermiah, Ezra, Nehemia, the Early Sages, the Later 
Sages, and the Rabbis and scholars of the more recent past and present…they 
all planned out the future survival of the Jewish people. How to live in exile, 
the writing of the Mishnah and the Talmud, the study of Torah and emphasis 
on keeping Torah life and learning alive. Their foresight and planning is what
allowed the Jewish people to survive. 

Leaders must plan the survival of the future so that people can live day to day. (For Rabbi Sacks' complete dvar, please click here )

• • • 
The need to plan for the future is central to all of us. We plan for our children, 
for our retirement, for all of the institutions we hold dear to be there when we need them.  
I hope that B’nai Avraham can count on your support as we celebrate our
33rd year.  I look forward to seeing all of you at the Gala on June
14.  I personally thank all who have already pledged, and urge those
who have not yet done so to support the Shul as much as they can.  All
contributions help to ensure our continued growth and our ability to
offer not only a place to pray but also a place to share a community.

I just left our wonderful Lag B’Omer celebration and thank the Rabbi and Shternie 
for a truly wonderful program both as a celebration of Lag B'Omer, but also 
as an opportunity to reach out to new community members and give a taste 
of what we have to offer.

May we all have a peaceful and meaningful Shabbat Shalom,

Steven Inker

Rabbi Raskin's video: Emor

President's message Achrei Mot, 4/30/22

Dear friends,

This week's parsha, Achrei Mot, goes into the details of the Yom Kippur service. HaRav Kook, in his book Olat Re’iyah, notes the difference between the chatatsacrifice that is brought on festivals and the one brought on Yom Kippur. The chatat sacrifice is a sin offering and is generally brought when one accidentally hurts or causes damage to another.

The usual sacrifice is a goat but on Yom Kippur it is a goat and an ox. Rav Kook explains that while both the goat and the ox symbolize power, the goat is destructive in nature, overgrazing and eating the roots of plants, while the ox is constructive, used in cultivating and building. Usually we bring a goat because most damage and hurt is caused by destruction (property damage, etc).

But on Yom Kippur we acknowledge that, even when we build––our property, our business, our life––we run the risk of inadvertently hurting others in the process. This is what we have to be acutely aware of, not just on Yom Kippur but throughout the year. All of our actions have repercussions, and achieving success for ourselves truly occurs if we don’t hurt others in the process. 

• • • 

The success of our Shul involves being involved. As the weather gets nicer, I hope that everyone feels comfortable attending our minyanim in person.

My thanks go to the handful of members who have already paid their dues. If you are not yet one of them, you can pay by credit card via the shul website 
( or send or drop off your dues check to 117 Remsen Street. It's much easier to run CBA when the dues are paid in the beginning of the year. (From the earliest days of the synagogue, our dues were payable at the beginning of the year, not at the High Holidays.)

The other major fundraiser for CBA, our annual gala “dinner," will take place on June 14. There will be an in-person component and we are considering many ideas, for the best opportunity to bring people together. As soon as the details are in place, I'll let everyone know.

Wishing everyone a peaceful and meaningful Shabbat Shalom,

Steven Inker

Thu, May 26 2022 25 Iyyar 5782