Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Ain! – Friday, July 13, 2018

Shabbat Shalom! It is hard to believe that I am already back from Israel. It was an intense, whirlwind time, and I look forward to sharing my reflections.
This week we read the Double Portion of Matot and Masei.  In the portion Matot, Moses describes the laws of oaths. The Israelites battle the Midianites. The tribes of Reuven and Gad request to dwell outside of the Land of Israel. In Masei, the tribes of Reuven and Gad promise to help out the other tribes while not living in the land of Israel. God tells Moses exactly where each tribe will live. God clarifies the laws of murder. The daughters of Zelophehad receive their inheritance.
Shabbat evening services are at 6:15 pm and Saturday morning services are at 9:15 am. I look forward to seeing many of you tonight and tomorrow.
Candle lighting is at  8:08 pm.
Thought question: In this week’s parasha we see that the tribes of Reuven and Gad choose to live outside the land of Israel and yet they have a relationship to those inside Israel. This foreshadows the important relationship between Jews in the Diaspora and those who live in the State of Israel today. How do you understand that relationship? What responsibility do we have to those in Israel and what responsibility do they have to us? While I will be referring to this in the coming weeks and months, I encourage you to read this survey by the American Jewish Committee in light of this week’s parasha. It must be noted however that only 1000 people or so were interviewed for this survey overall.
Upcoming Events!!
Tuesday, July 17
IRVING BERLIN:And 100 Years of ‘God Bless America’
It’s been a century since America’s greatest songwriter wrote his. most iconic song – so why did he keep it a secret for two decades? An affectionate look back at Berlin’s extraordinary life and career, and at a heartfelt song that became a national treasure.
Refreshments:  7 PM Presentation: 7:30 PM 7:30 pm
Complimentary admission for SPS members              Guest: $18
Tisha B’av
Saturday evening July 21 – Sunday July 22

Saturday Night 8 pm: The congregation will come together for a pre-fast dinner in anticipation of Tisha B’av, the day on the Jewish calendar where we recall the destruction of the Temple. Following dinner we will study excerpts of Rabbi Alan Lew’s Book This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared as we understand how the observance of Tisha B’av begins to make us aware of the coming High Holiday Season. This will be followed by the recitation of the evening service and the reading of the Book of Lamentations
Sunday July 22: Morning services at 9:15 am which will include the reading of the book of Lamentations.
Saturday August 4
SPS will welcome Br. General Bentzi Gruber to speak from the bimah on Shabbat morning during services about Ethics in the Field: a firsthand look into the strategic and ethical decisions that IDF commanders and officers make daily, has become influential beyond the borders of Israel.
Br. General Bentzi Gruber is Vice Commander (reserves) of Division 252, an armored division of 20,000 soldiers. As an entrepreneur, he has established Internet startups, been a real-estate developer and initiated biotech research. He is also the founder of “Chesed In The Field,” a non-profit that brings together IDF reservists and chronically ill and disabled children for special events throughout the year instilling the values of community and social responsibility in the hearts of thousands of soldiers. Br. General Gruber also established “Ethics in the Field” to shatter myths and present the facts missing in today’s discussion of Israeli counter terrorism.
Young Professionals Shabbat Dinner
Friday August 10
Join the Young Professionals of SPS as we pair with OneTable to host a shabbat dinner on the roof! Under the stars we will share laughs, clink glasses and enjoy a beautiful meal – hope to see you there!

Cost: $18 per person
Register at
Time to plan for the fall!
If you have any questions about High Holiday seats please reach out to Harriet Janover at or call her at 212-593-3300.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Ain