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President's Message: Eikev

Dear friends, 

In Eikev, this week's Parsha, we are given the second paragraph of the Shema, to accompany the first paragraph that we had in last week's Parsha. The two paragraphs are almost identical. They both speak about loving Hashem, studying and teaching Torah, Tefillin. The obvious question: why?  

In his commentary on last week's Parsha, Rabbi Mirvis explains that the two paragraphs are similar but not exact. The concepts are the same, but last week's paragraph is written in the singular and this week's paragraph is in the plural. First we are commanded to love Hashem and do the mitzvot, but then we have to insure that all of the Jewish people do likewise.  

We are not islands, but a People, and we are responsible for each other. We must personally adhere to the laws of the Torah, but we must also support the community institutions that allow us all to become better Jews. If there are opportunities to facilitate the performance of more mitzvot, we are obligated to seek them out and embrace them (Rabbi Mirvis' full dvar Torah is here ).  

• • •

Bnai Avraham is our community institution, and it behooves us to support it, as well as all of the programs and opportunities it provides. Not all programs will appeal to everyone, but that isn't the point. The point is for everyone to find a home. 

Before my son spent his year in Israel, I took him and his friend to look at a variety of yeshivot. I remember taking his friend to one. After the tour and the interview, he told me that it just wasn't his "makom" (his place). It was a fine yeshiva, but not the right one for him. 

We want B’nai Avraham to be a makom for everyone, but in order for that that to happen, we have to allow for people to find their place within it. Israel has lots of Yeshivot to choose from. Brooklyn Heights has one frum Shul.

As the Rabbi said in his email this week, it’s time to start saying Shana Tova, the High Holiday season is upon us. The tents are being ordered, the Chazzanim are preparing and we have to start getting ourselves ready too. Dinners will be avalable for Rosh Hashana and Sukkot, and there will be a variety of events to participate in. Flyers will be going out shortly. If you haven't already paid your membership dues, doing so will ensure your seats for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.  

I want to send wishes of refuah shlemah to all our congregants who need them. May they all have successful outcomes and speedy recoveries.

Wishing you all a peaceful and meaningful Shabbat Shalom,
Steven Inker​​​

Mon, October 2 2023 17 Tishrei 5784